The Band: Lionize
Answers by: Nate Bergman (lead vocals, guitar)
Over the years, LIONIZE have cultivated a unique blend of funky riffs, cyborg tales and soulful rock sensibilities. Now, with their new LP, “Nuclear Soul” they are delivering a classic rock staff, full of taste, diversity of sounds and great skills, satisfaction guaranteed.
Hello Nate and congratulations for your new album "Nuclear Soul”
Thanks so much. We are very excited about it
For those who still haven’t listened to Lionize’s stuff how would you define your music?
Lionize is a Rock and Roll band that loves funk and soul and reggae.
Right answer! The beginning of your story was 2005’s “Danger My Dear”, what has changed since that time (if anything)?
Everything has changed since then! We are always growing and learning. We are constantly absorbing new music and trying to push the boundaries of what is possible for us. Sonic exploration is like going into space!
One of the most amazing things in your music in my opinion is the huge blend of ingredients in your songs that flow in a so natural way…
I think that’s a good observation. Our influences are vast. I think bands like the Police and Thin Lizzy - that’s what makes them so special. They are really eclectic. But they always sound like themselves because they don’t change who they are, just the style. I think more bands should experiment.
How was the composition process of "Nuclear Soul”?
The process was really enlightening. We worked a lot with Jean Paul Gaster over the better part of year to construct the arrangements for the songs. We wrote and rehearsed and demo’d hours a day and then when it finally came to record, we only took about 5 days to actually lay down the music. It was all to 2’’ tape and live in a room together. It’s very authentic to how the band sounds live.
It sounds so… The artwork takes us to a fiction sphere, your lyrics use to touch the sci-fiction theme, maybe something not so usual in the rock scene
I think there are bands like Rush, Clutch, Parliament - there’s bands that love sci-fi but it’s all about telling a story. And it’s way more fun to write a love song about someone in the future in outer-space than someone from Philadelphia in 2017.
Hahaha true enough. Any favorite song in the album?
Right now I’m really loving “Fire in Athena”.
It’s difficult to say who has more weight in Lionize’s sound, all you guys have an excellent execution throughout the album
Every member of the band is important to the entire make-up of the sound - but without a doubt Chris Brooks’ Organ is the center-piece of the band. It’s the defining factor that separates the band from the rest of all-guitar based bands out there. Also there are other bands with Organs, but aside from Deep Purple, Steppen Wolf and Procol Harum, there’s no other band that puts the organ as the lead instrument.
There are fans that think that rock is in a perpetual spiral repeating itself once and once again, others believe that rock is bound to be this way and there is no point in trying to do other thing, what is your opinion?
That’s a bullshit opinion. How lackluster and lazy to think something has to be one-way or another. The future of rock music is wide-open - there are endless possibilities to be creative. I think bands find it easy just to repeat - and that’s safe, and there’s plenty of that out there right now. But there’s some bands pushing the envelope and I think we are one of them.
Listening to your songs there are so many classic rock bands that come to mind that the list would be too long to enumerate, if you could choose you would tour around with which band?
We’d love to tour with Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple. We’d love to tour with Government Mule, Black Crowes, Black Berry Smoke, Rival Sons, The Allman Bros. There’s still some hope to tour with a few of those bands.
The worst and the best of being a rock band nowadays?
The worst part of being in a band is the constant devaluing of the art itself. Free Music is something people almost feel entitled to, and there’s not many other industries where the main product is expected to be free. The best part of being in a rock band is being in a rock band.
David Lee Roth supposedly once said: “I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.” Rock has always been that way or now everything is more serious and professional (and boring)?
I think there’s a balance to it all. And also a lot of posturing has disappeared. I don’t think there’ s anything really boring about tour unless you’re sitting in the van or bus for 8 hours a day. That part can be boring. But it’s a great time to read or do work or practice or write. You can always be expanding. But I’ll say - I think the David Lee Roth thing is bullshit. I think he’s lying and posturing. I think he partied hard, drank a lot - did a lot of cocaine - all that stuff is fun, and glamorizing is cliche now - and it still exists. But if you tell me Diamond Dave wasn’t jogging everyday and running and doing sit ups to keep his six-pack - i’d say someone’s lying. Mick Jagger has done more drugs and had sex with more women than anyone in Rock and has been doing it for years, and even he has no problem telling you he also get’s on the treadmill and runs and walks and lift weights. I think you have to do it all. It’s a balance. Plus the better shape you’re in you get way more inebriated from your blood circulation being better. It happens faster.
What are your plans for the future?
We are going to continue to sing and play our hearts out for you. Live and on Tape. We’ll be back in Europe again in 2018 - we are very excited.
A great chance to see a cool band playing live. Thanks for the chat Nate
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us - and we’ll see you in Germany in a few weeks for the CKY tour.