King Lizard – Vocalist Flash Roxx Sawyer
Interview By Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Photography by Sabrina Dersel
Something has survived… this sequel isn’t about genetically enhanced dinosaurs though, but a band that hearkens back to the good old days when rock ‘n’ roll got rowdy. With work well underway on the follow up to first album ‘Viva La Decadence’, King Lizard’s vocalist Flash Roxx Sawyer pauses in the fast lane to talk about what lies behind the image…
Your Facebook page opens with the simple phrase ‘Something has survived…’ – is that in reference to your sleaze rock sound?
Flash Roxx Sawyer: It’s more of a reference to the days when rock was great and massive. When bands had that epic sound that seems to have disappeared and that we’re gonna bring it back.
Flash: I think it’s just people want to forget about the stress of the real world, let their hair down and have a good time, sing along and raise their fists in the air to their favourite song. Rock n’ roll is about having fun and leaving a show feeling blown away with your ears ringing.
As band members go you all have pretty awesome names – is that a pre-requisite of joining? 😉
Flash: Maybe! But I guess people who play this kind of music like to give themselves a new persona, plus a memorable name always sticks with people, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Slash, Niro Knox…for example, no one forgets who those guys are!
Flash: Yeah, It’s currently in the mixing stage. I still have a little bit to sing on one song but what we’ve heard so far is amazing, we’re really happy, we feel this album is so strong, the band is on top form and Pedro Ferriera the producer was awesome.
I believe the album is titled ‘A Nightmare Livin’ The Dream’ – is that title taken from personal experience?
Flash: Yeah well that’s the title track as well and the lyrics although written from my perspective is kind of what we all have been through and not just us, everyone out there in a band trying to make it. From an outsiders point of view it’s great, you know it looks like we’re all living the dream, playing shows, touring but to people in bands it can really be a nightmare and it tests us all in terms of committing our lives to doing what we wanna do so it’s kind of opening that side of things up for everyone to see.
What can we expect from the album? Anything you can share with us?
Flash: You can expect great songs, a more mature sound (well a little bit hehe), we’ve widened our scope as far as the type of new songs. There are a couple of older songs we used to do live that weren’t recorded for the last album. It’s a nice mix of songs, amazing production values which we were lucky to have this time, also we got some trumpets!
This is the first record with Lee (bass) and Moyano (drums) – how are you finding it?
Flash: Amazing, these guys have fit in so well and have done an amazing job, these guys are like family now. Moyano is a fucking machine gun drummer, Lee is solid as a rock, plus he’s a singer too so that all ads to the new sound. They both fit with Niro’s playing and the band perfectly.
Does this bring a different dynamic to recording compared to your previous album?
Flash: Yeah totally, with different players the sound changes naturally but it’s still very King Lizard!
How are you finding working with Pedro Ferreira?
Flash: Amazing, we’re very happy that we went with Pedro, he brought a lot to the table, even at the beginning when he came to rehearsals. He’s very hands on and always seems to say the right things so it was cool, it was like he was a fifth member of the band, he would work us and work us until he got the best out of us.
Have you had any thoughts about the album artwork yet? Will this be in keeping with ‘Viva La Decadence’? 😉
Flash: Yeah there’s a fair few ideas but we’re still working on it. It won’t be a pair of breasts…at least I don’t think so, we can’t top that 😉
You played a couple of dates earlier this year – how did you find those?
Flash: The shows were great yeah, it was good to get a lot of energy out that we’ve been building up whilst we’ve been in the studio, plus it was good to try out a few more of the new ones in a live environment.
Have you got any other gigs lined up for 2012?
Flash: Yes we’re playing The Underworld again April 26th with Peepshow but they’ll be many more shows of course but I don’t know any dates yet. It’s all in the pipelines but we’re still in album mode at the moment.
Flash: Yeah you get that, I guess the most un-rock n’ roll thing is we don’t party before we go on stage (well not too much) it’s important to stay focused.
King Lizard are obviously inspired by some of the great 80’s metal bands – but would you say there are any advantages to being a band outside of this heyday?
Flash: Well we have better recording tools now and another thing is we’re not up against Gn’R or Mötley Crüe! In all seriousness it’s good because people are hungry for the glory days again so people are lapping it up!
That said, is there anything about this period that you really envy?
Flash: I guess we envy how easy it was to get a major deal and get tons of money thrown at you back then. The amount of shit from the 80’s that got money poured into it to cash in on the latest trend is unbelivable, it would’ve been nice to have got some of those chances, although now you have to work harder and finally we were rewarded with a great album deal and got to work with a top producer on an awesome album so it’s all good!