INTERVIEW! Lionize bring the noise on Clutch’s Psychic Warfare tour!

January 9, 2017

We are closing out the remaining articles that chronicle the year that was 2016 and we just couldn’t help but end with an interview! December saw rockers Clutch hit the road and join us in the UK again. With them they brought along Lionize who have been dominating the live music scene as of late with their electric stage show that you can’t help but nod your head to. Having watched their amazing support slot at the Roundhouse we were more than happy to chat lead singer and guitarist Nate Bergman about life on the road with Clutch, their favourite places to play and what’s coming up in the new year for the band. Firstly, we just want to congratulate you guys on an awesome show the other night supporting Clutch at The Roundhouse. We were in attendance, stood side of the stage for it and one of the first times we had actually caught you guys live!


Nate: Thankyou so much Really liked you outfit on stage as well! It was quite…LOUD!


Nate: Thankyou! The thought behind that is really, you know Clutch is one of our favorite bands and they have their “look” or “non-look” as it is and I think that there is a lot of room in rock and roll to have fun! And I think we should. We don’t want to be like everybody else. Everyone is dressed in black or leather jackets and I think when people pay twenty-five quid to see you on stage I feel like the least we can do is entertain them. Absolutely! Couldn’t agree more. Out of interest, who taught you the “quid” word.


Nate: Ah we’ve done five tours of the UK now and consider it our second home so we are well into the local words. We’ve learned some other words too but I wont use those for the interview [laughs] I think we have a good Idea what they probably are so we’re good! SO how are things in Lionize camp, how has the tour been overall?


Nate: Phenomenal! It gets kind of redundant I guess because its so great every night. There’s never really a bad night or a let down. Its pretty fantastic. We get to watch them (Clutch) every night which is a treat and on top of that they’re the nicest, most down to earth guys in the business and we get to perform to their fans who are generally more open minded then your average music fan so for us it’s a win/win all around. Obviously we saw Tim (Sult) join you on stage for a song or two, how did that come about?


Nate: Well over the years we’ve had Tim come in and out of recordings and jam with us and those guys are all killer musicians. Its works nice because we only have one guitarist in the band so when we have a chance to expand into different territories sonically its nice to have him. He’s a friend and I think he’s a fan of our band and its just fun to kind of get together and jam So talk to us more about Lionize. Some of our readers may be unfamiliar with who you are; some may be very familiar but what are you guys all about? What can someone expect if they were to pick up a Lionize record today?


Nate: I think the easiest way to describe it is that we are a rock and roll band that is unapologetically unafraid to explore different territories of songwriting and different styles of music. We’re never not going to be a rock and roll band but we do love to explore blues and jazz and funk and I think that’s very apparent when you listen to the band. Live you could do it several different nights in a row and get a different experience every night. We all take turns writing the set list. We don’t really have something that you should expect. We love playing live and we try to keep each other on our own toes by listening to each other play so I think when you come to a live show you can get a different experience each night. The energy you saw at The Roundhouse, that’s the same energy level you can expect at any other show but that’s the only think you can expect to be the same. Do you see any differences from the shows you play in the UK and Europe compared to back home in the US?


Nate: Massive differences. The UK, Spain and Greece in particular are the three countries that are the most enthusiastic about live music and playing shows in the UK, there is a culture respect and a history of rock and roll. The UK took American rock and roll and turned it into this completely other thing so when it started with Little Richard and Muddy Waters and it came over to the UK and transformed into bands like The Rolling Stones, Cream, Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. There’s a long history of American acts like Hendrix basically having to come to the UK to break AND I feel like we are in a very similar position where maybe the American audience doesn’t really understand or haven’t gravitated to what we are doing yet but its very apparent in the few tours that we have done in the UK that we have a home here so we love coming here. So 2017 for Lionize, what’s the year going to bring for the band?


Nate: I think what we’re looking at is we are going to record a full length record in the first couple of weeks of January and we are going to work and get that in shape for the summer time. We will put that out and then come back to Europe and then we will do more US dates and generally continue down the path of rock and roll! Have you started writing that record yet? Or is that something that still needs to be done?


Nate: Oh yeah There’s fifteen songs completely done and on this tour in particular we have been playing about seven or eight of them. All the songs you heard in London the other night were actually all brand new! We are really excited to get it out and are confident that this will be the record that defines us musically. Some quick-fire questions just to end the interview then! What’s your favorite gig or festival of 2016?


Nate: We played a festival in Greece called Los Almiros festival and that was the highlight of our year Nice! Favorite band of the year? What been on the iPod?


Nate: Oh that’s tough! I think the best new thing I’ve listened to all year I think the newest Queens Of The Stoneage record. Psychic Warfare was pretty great, yeah the new Clutch record was fantastic. What’s the best part about being in a touring band?


Nate: I think the best part is experiencing how other people in the world live, especially as an American, you quickly learn that you’re not the center of the universe and that really everyone everywhere kind ofof wants the same thing to enjoy their lives and eat great food and listen to great music, be free and enjoy their lives and the more you travel in a band the more you realise people basically all want the same things. And the worst part about touring in a band?


Nate: Finding a clean bathroom! Finally, your dream gig lineup for Lionize, as show that you’d either headline or support, who would be on that bill?


Nate: Well, we’re happy to headline with anyone who wants to play with us so I’ll leave that out there! But if Lionize could tour and support the last few Deep Purple shows that would be awesome! Anything in that world where we could pay our respects would be amazing.



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