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Lizards Exist interview

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Category: Progressive Music Lounges
Forum Name: Interviews
Forum Description: Original interviews with Prog artists (which are exclusive to Prog Archives)
Printed Date: September 30 2022 at 04:14
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Topic: Lizards Exist interview
Posted By: Svetonio
Subject: Lizards Exist interview
Date Posted: May 12 2015 at 20:17
I did an interview with Siniša, the guitarist from Croatian progressive psychedelia quartette Lizards Exist. Here it is.

 Where do you live?

Hi Svetonio, we are from Zagreb, Croatia. We began in Karlovac, Croatia, but moved to Zagreb. It is a capital city and mos tof the stuff is easier to do from Zagreb.

 Why the name "Lizards Exist"?

Our first band name was Merik Psihodelik, but it wasn't suitable and after our first public appearance, we decided to change the band name. Boris (the drummer) suggested that the band should be called Lizards Exist. He didn't think it seriously, but I went for it the moment he said it.  

An astonishing originality, interwoven with the influences of the classical 70s era, adorned your debut album. Today it is hard to be indigenous to that extent, especially in so exploited genre as progressive psychedelia as well. But, what are your influences?

We started off with the old Pink Floyd and my good friend found the band library on the PA web page. He started investigating about psychedelic bands and downloading one at a time and he built an extensive band library in no time.
He shared it with us, and we began to explore vintage psychedelia. New wave psychedelic music has always missed something IMO. The best trips were while listening to 70s music. I think it is because of the global mentality.
I would mention the early Pink Floyd (from the beginning to The Dark Side of the Moon), Gong, King Crimson, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh, Dr. Dopo Jam amongst many as our influences. But way more in the thought process than the music itself. We try to keep our music as the Lizard music.

 In your music there is quite nice jazz fusion feelings, as every top space rock. For example, "Letnji Hit", is close to jazz fusion, or track that comes after on the album, "58". What are you listening of jazz acts?

Our drummer is a jazz fan, but we don't listen to jazz. We like The Soft Machine, Miles Davis, early Herbie Hancock, but we're generally not jazz type of guys :)

Lizards Exis performed Bamija ("Bamia") and Letnji Hit  ("A Summer Hit") at Vintage Industrial Bar, Zagreb, Croatia (2015).

 What you are used of the equipment for recording of your s/t debut album? 

We used lots of stuff. Hiwatt amp for guitar, rhodes piano and mellotron. Binson Echorec 2 was our main echo, we used it on almost everything, we used a hammond M 103 organ through leslie 147, Sound city bass amp, fender bassman cab, vintage slingerland drums, Arp 2600 synth and a 70s Kawai synth. We even used late 70s Ursa major digital delay for the synth.
After we left the studio, we had to buy all the essential stuff we recorded with because our perception about the sound changed and we couldn't bare our old equipment.
It didn't have that richness in sound. I was the only one who had a decent equipment at a time. Now we're stuck with a full van and 500kg of equipment. But the sound is good.

The classic ex-Yugoslavian progressive rock, except psychedelic / prog folk of Croatian singer-songwriter Drago Mlinarec in the early seventies, and progressive psychedelia of Belgrade-based band Igra Staklenih Perli in the late seventies, had no many prominent psychedelic acts on that list. Do you listen to any of the former Yugoslav progressive rock bands?

Only Igra Staklenih perli, their album Igra Staklenih perli. I like their sound. It was recorded on a MCI board and MCI tape recorder. Our recording engineer has it, but he has to refurbish it and I hope we will also record on it.  Their music is great!

Your debut album is well received by the Internet prog community (whatever that means). What is your audience in Croatia?

Only our friends and their friends. People in Croatia don't have an ear for music like ours and since we're not an alcohol based music band, it is really difficult to cope with the new alcoholic society.
We prefer smaller gigs for a closer audience.
Internet community is a different story. We have made many contacts, sold our albums and reviewers appreciate our work.
The most important thing is that the audience still exists and it doesn't matter where they are and where they live as long as they're enjoying it.

  What is the situation with progressive music in Croatia today ?

There are some bands, but they only have a few gigs per year because the audience is not interested in that kind of music. The most respectable band is Šumovi protiv Valova IMO. I attend their gigs regularly as well as the guys from the band. 

 What do you think of the contemporary prog scene in general, and who are your favourites by modern bands?

I don't really listen to the modern prog cause the main substances in music making have changed and I'm not a fan of modern distortion and modern sound (especially drums and guitars). Keyboards and synths don't have that richness anymore.
The overall vibe of the planet has changed as well as the music. We try to keep the old heritage alive. Not many people do that anymore.
But Kikagaku Moyo caught my attention a few months back and I really like their vibe.

 Your live performances are very attractive. When can we expect a live DVD?

Thanks! Now we're working on a visual performance and looking for a most suitable style. We will most definitely try to avoid using projectors and computers, but I can not tell what the future will bring. We will record a live DVD as soon as we get the chance to play in a suitable venue for a thing like that.
But we are planning to make an experimental film with our third album so that you can watch it while listening to our music. It will be an ultimate experience.

Live footage of Lizards Exist from Vintage Industrial Bar, Zagreb, Croatia, playing their new song  Lunarna Ekspedicija ("Lunar Expedition") (2015)

 The new album, I hope it will be in 2015?

Nope. We will record it in spring/summer of 2016. It will only have 2 tracks. One for side A and the other for side B. The new song is already in progress. 

 When you will go to tour Europe?

We wanted to do it in Fall 2015, but because of the weather we decided to do it in spring 2016, just before entering the studio.

 I can't wait for a new album! Thanks for the interview!

Thank you! It has been a pleasure answering to your questions :)


Posted By: Meltdowner
Date Posted: May 13 2015 at 07:23
Great interview Thumbs Up

I wish the best of luck to the Lizards with all those ambitious objectives, I'm curious to hear the new stuff already Big smile

Posted By: LizardsExist
Date Posted: May 13 2015 at 16:57

Some Magic Mushroom sessions will be out soon. 4 hours of psychedelic music with a pinch of funk and jazz. Stay tuned!


Posted By: Meltdowner
Date Posted: May 13 2015 at 17:07
Cool! Cool

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