Interview with Chris Brooks of Lionize


“Play live, play live, play live. It’s the only way to get better and the only way anyone will know you exist!”

Interview by Lisa Billingham



So I should start by saying … supporting Clutch for their tour, tell me all about it.

Supporting Clutch is one of our favourite things to do. We’ve done so many tours in the US now, so we’re all good friends already and that makes the touring a lot more fun/easy. Coming over to the UK has been a blast and the shows have been fantastic, so we feel very lucky to have our first time be with Clutch.

And then you have the hefty Vans Warped tour with more awesome bands like Bowling for Soup and Dayshell, you must be loving this?

Yes! The Warped Tour is really cool. We did it in 2011 and it has proved invaluable. So many new and different people to play for that would have otherwise not heard of us. Not to mention all the bands and people on the tour who we’ve worked with since. We expect this year to be even better than the first time.

You are signed up to Weathermaker Music and Jetpack Soundtrack was released.  I just love what I am hearing, they are all brilliant tracks.  What made you pick Reality Check as the single?

Reality Check is quick and catchy. The chorus comes up pretty quickly in the song, and there’s a lot of elements that we think are representative of our overall approach. Funk, Rock, solos, vocal harmonies… We thought it would be a good introduction for the average listener that hasn’t heard us before.

Are your songs written quickly or over a period of time?  A joint effort?

The songs on this record were written over a long period of time. We mostly write together, improvising and jamming with the tape running. Then we put things together, and go to JP from Clutch’s studio to dissect arrangements and make improvements, then we repeat. It’s sort of a pre production distillation process. This went on for about a year before we took the tracks to Machine at the Machine Shop in Newark NJ, for a final round of rather intensive pre production.

Sea of Tranquility is so different to the other tracks, where do you draw your inspiration from?

We have dabbled quite a bit with dub and reggae music on previous albums. While we wanted to write a particularly rock focused record, we thought it would be cool to close the record with a long and indulgent dub track for the fans of that side of us. It started out as an instrumental bit, and it was JP who encouraged us to do it justice and make it a full song. It turned out to be easily one of the best songs we’ve written.

So what’s next after the tours?

We’re gonna continue to write and work out new material. And tour our asses off for the rest of this year !

Any advice or pitfalls that you could offer a new band?

Play live play live play live. It’s the only way to get better and the only way anyone will know you exist!