In two painfully long years, the Thunderlizards have won over the hearts and souls of our fine town. The band has probably destroyed everything you once assumed was valuable, without you even realizing it. Fayetteville’s own Island of Doctor Moreau mutation of Motorhead, Sleep, and Chris Gaines, and our only chance to teach future generations about the horrible effects of eating too much candy.
The band has added a new member, released a new EP, and will soon celebrate a second birthday.
I asked head honcho Nick Shoulders some questions and here’s what he said…
You guys have a new person in the group. How and why was he inducted into the band and what has it changed about things?
Who: Thunderlizards, LLinda, Not On Your Life
When: 9 p.m. Friday, June 28
Where: Lightbulb Club, 19 N. Block Ave.
More: 18+ / $5 / Facebook event
I think that’s Nick Thomas you speak of. I guess he was sworn in about six months back, just in time for our recent drag show and just in time to take blood oath at Choom Fest. As it’s worth mentioning again, I’ve pretty much only played guitar for as much time as this band has existed, meaning I still suck pretty hard. Nick is a rad dude and a really awesome musician. It’s his burden to hold our chaotic live show together just enough to make it worth watching, since I’ve got playing things wrong and falling down on lock. Plus, he’s got a shit-load of hair to whip back and forth…you would want him in your band, too. We’re stoked to start writing songs with his better guitar skills as soon as we can.
In the last year there seems to be a new band vibe – What’s causing the newfound heaviness?
I had a feeling that might come up. I guess what it really comes down to is boredom. There are currently a lot of really awesome punk bands in this world – even right here in Fayetteville – and we’ll be the first to admit we’ve never been one of them. Besides the fact that we’ve never really expressly claimed to be a straight punk band, we’ve written plenty of material that could be lumped into some sort of punk subspecies and frankly it’s just gotten old. Our bassist, Chooch, and freak of nature drummer Coger are both phenomenal musicians, so I think it was just a matter of time before my slide guitar bullshit had to get more technical and meaner or they would just quit and start a real band. It’s not like we’re breaking new ground with this heavier stuff, but I think I can speak for the group when I say we’re pretty proud to have concocted our ferocious, weird new sound.
Take us through a typical band practice. How do you make a song?
Our typical practice starts about 3 o’clock on a Sunday, right after church. We immediately do our best to dent our collective hangover with an ice cold Zima, right before playing the opening riff of Electric Funeral about 40 times. After that, it’s just a vicious spiral of butt chugging and black candle rituals until sundown. Then we hit Stir. In the past, I’ve just come to practice with a song more or less written, then we let Coger make it a million times faster and scarier before Chooch lays some signature wah-pedal slap bass lines on that sucker. However, with Nick T in the band now…well…we haven’t written anything. I’ll get back to you about that one.
Are there any unexpected influences you’d like to share for the first time? And what have you been listening to lately?
Ahhh man, do you know how much Doo-Wop I listen to? That’s really what makes this band great in my mind, no one in it really gives too much of a damn about thrash or speedmetal, we just happen to play it. Our deep dark secret influence is definitely meth.
Besides Guns & Roses, Which band would you trade places with and why?
I’ve thought about that question for a whole year and here’s my revised answer: I wouldn’t trade anyone places for the world. The dudes in this band are awesome, we’ve got ridiculous friends that go bonkers and make a mess when we play, we’ve no aspirations toward touring or broader recognition and we enjoy the hell out of being the loudest, shittiest thing in Fayetteville. Cheesy or not, I love being a thunderlizard.
Give us the details of the new EP.
This new EP is sort of a mish-mash of unreleased material that has been recorded and neglected for the last six or so months. The songs are either infinitely more pissed off than our old stuff (see Embrace the Suck), or lighthearted and stupid as always (see Bathsalt Boogie). It’s definitely no indicator of how over the top we’ve gotten live, but I feel like these songs are definitely a more honest picture of what we play and where we’re headed. We’re super amped to have fresh meat in the ranks, so expect newer, better tunes soon.
What can we expect from The Thunderlizards in Year 2 (The Terrible Two’s)?
The Lizards of year two…I don’t even know. I feel like I could jerk everybody around and talk about how much improvement we’ve seen in a year and how much better I think we’ll be this time next July but I don’t know if I believe it and neither should you. If you want a prediction, I think we’ll be a doom metal band in like two months. Expect violent live performances, that’s about all I can guarantee.
What do you get the band that has everything? Put any gift requests here.