Funk and Punk. These two genres seem contradictory, but Little Lizard brings them together on “Premium Vanilla” in a way that works unexpectantly well. Five seconds into the first track you know this is going to be a unique album, it’s light and bubbly while also strange and trippy. Titled “Greetings,” the opening track does just that, it greets you in multiple languages and provides the only lyrics you’ll find on the album. The rest of the album is full of fun instrumentals that are all over the place as far as sound and feel are concerned, but in the best way possible. I’m going to put my bias out there, I tend to focus (too much) on lyrics, but while listening to “Premium Vanilla” I didn’t miss them at all. Featuring trombone, bass, synth, and drum machine, Little Lizard’s sound is simple with out being predictable. The album as a whole is fun and perhaps Little Lizard described it best when they said whimsical. The highlights for me are “Flipper,” a surf vibe tune fronted by what I believe is the trombone, “Which Witch,” a darker themed track with a back and forth between synth and a funky bass, and “Sunburnt,” a song with synth parts that are moody and a trombone that grooves. The entire album comes off as experimental without being pretentious. Definitely check out “Premium Vanilla,” and check out Little Lizard live January 27th at the 7th Street Entry.
Lizz D. – electric bass, theremin, vocal samples, and trumpet
Shea Daniel – trombone, synth, programmed drums
(Melodic Noise) What is Little Lizard’s origin story?
(Little Lizard) We originally met playing in a brass ensemble six years ago and formed our friendship through that. The idea for this project came to us while bowling at Memory Lanes. Lizz’s bowling name was Little Lizard, which we thought would also be a great band name, that’s what really got the ball rolling... Haha sorry couldn’t resist a pun.
(LL) Funk Punk
(MN) Is there a story behind the latest album’s name?
(LL) ‘Premium Vanilla’, we have no idea why we called it that but vanilla grows in tropical areas, so yeah.
(MN) Lyrically what stands out on the album?
(LL) We put some vocal samples in the opening track “Greetings”, which stands out from our three EPs which are all instrumental.
(MN) What was the inspiration behind the album?
(LL) Honestly there isn’t a crazy story behind the album. We had material that we were working on and wanted to release a full-length record. After finishing what we had the rest of the material just fell together. So I guess you could say we were inspired to write as much material as possible using only trombone, bass, synth, sampler, and drum machine.
(MN) What do you hope people take away from the album?
(LL) A sense of glee and wonder. We want to add some whimsy back into the world! Life isn’t always easy and there should be things out there that can make you smile and on ‘Premium Vanilla’ we aimed to provide listeners with this experience.
(MN) Are you local to Minnesota or transplants?
(LL) Lizz D. – born and raised locally
Shea Daniel – transplanted to Minneapolis in 2010 from the state of great faces, South Dakota
(MN) Who are some of your music Influences and Minnesota influences?
(LL) We both love David Bowie and Miles Davis, a couple of geniuses. It would have to be Prince for Minnesota influences, duh.
(MN) Favorite current Twin Cities artists?
(LL) Scrunchies and France Camp are seriously bad ass! Also we love Sauna Accident and Zen Is In to death, they will performing with us at 7th Street for our release party.
(MN) Favorite venue to play & see shows at in Twin Cities?
(LL) Mortimer’s, it’s within walking distance from our apartment. Also Saturday brunch shows, HELLO! 2-4-1’s, a breakfast burrito, and loud music! Great way to start the day.
(MN) Favorite memory of playing a show?
(LL) Last summer while playing the super cool record shop Bric-A-Brac in Chicago an ice cream truck drove by during our set and our sounds melded. This created a truly magical combination of tunes, life-size cardboard cutouts, VHSs, action figures, and ice cream. Definitely recommend checking out Bric-A-Brac the next time you’re in Chicago.
(MN) What can fans expect when they come to a Little Lizard show?
(LL) You should expect to be giggling with delight while Lizz D. does some crazy dance moves next to Shea Daniel who will be lookin’ fly. Fans can expect to be mystified as Little Lizard does the impossible, make the trombone cool… just kidding trombone has always been the coolest instrument.
(MN) Who are your dream tour-mates?
(LL) Quintron & Miss Pussycat would be super fun to tour with. They hard rocking organ puppet show experience is truly inspiring.
(MN) Other hobbies?
(LL) Shea Daniel loves music and plays bass, synth, and trombone in Pancake7, Downrange Telemetrics, and a couple other of local projects. Lizz D. is a visual artist and designer. Both of us like to go hiking around Minnesota, there are so many incredible parks, Tettegouche is probably our favorite!
(MN) What do you like about living in the Twin Cities?
(LL) Biking and beachin’ it up in the summer, Cedar Point is probably our fav beach to chill at. Also the vibrant local music scene keeps us busy going to shows and meeting new people.
(MN) Favorite places to grab food or drink in the Twin Cities?
(LL) Caffetto, it may or may not be the reason we live in uptown. They have really yummy cakes and pies, best cold press in town, pinball, and there are always posters for the rad upcoming shows.
(MN) What are the band's plans for the future?
(LL) Continue to do our thing, make new friends, travel to as many cities as possible, trumpets, and aliens?!?!
Review and Interview by: Andrew Perrizo
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