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LizZard is a French experimental rock/metal trio whose recent release, Out of Reach, prompted me to proclaim the group the heir-apparent to Tool in my recent album review. The groups’ brand of polyrhythmic rock is vibrant, kinetic, and skull-crushingly heavy while concurrently offering more melodic elements a place at the table as well.
We recently had an opportunity to chat with the band to discuss the origin of their sound, material from their latest record, and where all their abundant energy stems from. Enjoy!

Good day, folks! Firstly, let me thank you for taking a moment to chat with us— we were very impressed with Out of Reach. It’s an excellent record!


To begin, can we have you identify yourselves and your role in the band?

-Hi, I’m Mathieu, I play guitars and vocals.


-Hello! I’m Katy, the drummer.


Will, bass, hello!



I’ll start by saying that I heard a slew of influences on the record. Who would you cite as your major musical inspirations?
-Mat: Well, different things inspire us. For me it’s mainly all music with an emotional content. That can either be contemporary music, classical music, jazz, rock music or even pop music! The emotional content is what makes music so addictive to me and that’s definitely what I ‘m looking for when I listen to music.


-Will: There are so many bands, across many genres, it would be impossible to pick out just a few.


How did you engineer your sound? Did it occur organically, did you craft it in the studio, or did you have a goal in mind of what you wanted to embody with the group from its inception?


-Katy: Our sound kind of came about naturally as a result of the chemistry between the three of us. However, we each knew from the beginning how we wanted to sound as a band and when we started playing together that was exactly the sound that we produced!


-Will: In the studio we try to reproduce that sound as closely as possible.



I hate to jump at the obvious— but why two Z’s in the band name? Is there a story behind that decision?


Katy: We started out being called Lizard and quickly discovered there were other bands going by that name, so we added the extra Z! Also we found it more fun for logos and designs with the two Z’s.



Do you have a favorite song from the new record? If so, what makes it stand out?


Will: “Loose Ends,” is probably my favorite to play. It’s trippy, groovy, and heavy.

Katy: I actually really like the instrumental, “Backslide,” for the tribal groove and industrial kind of sound.


Mat: I don’t really have preferences…Each of the songs have a different mood and feeling. I really can’t compare. I love them all.



How do you as a group tend to compose material? Is there a principle songwriter in the group, or is it more collaborative?


Katy: Mat usually triggers the songs off with some riffs and melodies he’ll come up with, then we all jam about with the ideas, come up with loads more, then pare down and shape them into a more structured song format! We always have a clear idea of the overall direction and vibe of the song, and we try not to lose sight of that throughout the whole composition process. Mat and I then work on the lyrics, which are always written after the music is finished, so they tend to be a natural result of the overall feel of the song. The subject and tone are never difficult to come up with, as the songs just speak for themselves!



Many of the compositions on Out of Reach are insanely kinetic. Where does the energy and syncopation come from? Do you practice extensively or is it inherent group chemistry?


Katy: We do practice frequently, but as always the energy is just the result of the three of us playing together! Syncopation is also a natural result as we all love music that isn’t always straight forward!


Mat: We always want the music to tell a story. We want the listeners to go on a trip. So, of course, things have to happen!



Give us a little insight into, “The Orbiter.” How did that tune immerge? What made you decide to shoot the video for it? From a performance aspect it is certainly visually arresting— 


Katy: “The Orbiter,” immerged from some rhythmically-exciting riffs Mat came up with. The song was quite complicated and took a while to write. It’s kind of got this magic theme we really got into, and at the time it was the obvious track to shoot a video for.


Mat: We were lucky enough to work with Stefanie Durand for the clip. She really understood where we wanted to go with the song, and she had the skills to bring that out!


Katy: We had a load of fun making that video, ideas just kept flowing and we filmed the whole thing in only two days !



“Out of Reach,” sounds like a tune that would perfectly slide onto a Porcupine Tree record.  It’s an infectious and beautiful melodic-rock tune. Tell us a bit about writing it—



-Mat: Thanks for the compliments ! It’s actually one of the easiest tracks we came up with. Everything went nice and easy while composing. It happens sometimes… I came up with the main riff, I had the vocal line on the chorus chords and had this idea on how the verse and chorus should answer each other. Katy and William got it straight away…In one practice it was done!



What would you consider to have been your greatest challenge as a group thus far?


Mat: I don’t really know…being a band is quite a challenge these days…


Will: I agree !


To contrast that thought, what’s your greatest accomplishment?
Katy: Writing and recording Out Of Reach!
Mat: I agree, we are proud of those takes !


A major strength of the record is the dynamic shift— the tone isn’t as one-note as many hard-rock or metal acts tend to be. What urged you to craft a more diverse record? Would you say it’s a proliferation of your sensibilities as music lovers or songwriters?
Mat: Yes, it definitely is in the first place. We listen to and love lots of different things! We really have a lot to say…and in lots of different manners. We usually get bored really quickly while listening to metal bands these days mainly because of that. They can play really well, have a great sound and all, but most of the time after the third track, it’s like déjà vu. You’re stuck on point A waiting for the train to bring you to point B


Will: We definitely get bored playing 4/4 also, so messing around and experimenting with time signatures tends to bring an extra dimension out of the songs, and ourselves.



What can we expect from you in 2013? Will you be touring, in the studio, etc?



Katy: We hope to be on the road a lot in 2013, and we’ve already started work on some new material so who knows, we might even start work recording the next album!


Will: We should be releasing another video at some point in the not too distant future.



Now, for my James Lipton portion of the interview…
Do you have a Desert-Island Top-Five albums (or Artists)?


Tool Aenima and Lateralus

NIN The Fragile

The Mars Volta Octahedron

and Meshuggah Nothing



Jimi HendrixThe Band of Gypsys

King CrimsonThe Power to Believe

Scott Walker – Tilt

MegaoctetDreams in Tune

Pat MethenyImaginary Day
RadioheadOK Computer

DeftonesWhite Pony

Tool – Salival

Meshuggah – Nothing

Gojira – The Link



If you had the opportunity to join any band (other than the one you’re in) which would it be and why?


Katy: NIN would be an exciting challenge… I love their powerful energy.


Mat: King Crimson, because I know it will never happen…haha…


Will: Massive Attack, I love those bass lines !



What is the best live show you have ever attended?


Katy: NIN in 2009 in Paris.


Mat: I was there too and I would say the same…they were mind-blowing…


Will: Tool, Olympia, Paris 2002.



Thank you again for your time and taking a moment to talk with us! We appreciate it immensely! Best of luck with the tour— we’re sure it will be an absolute success— because the album certainly is! 


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