Things to do in Miami King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard at Space Park June 18-19, 2022

As long as the name of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard may seem, the Australian band’s discography is even more extensive. Since forming in Melbourne, the sextet have released 20 studio albums, and that’s not including their ten live albums and numerous compilations.

Bassist Lucas Harwood tells New Times the band’s prodigious output is a case of continuation.

“A lot of songwriters write as much as we do; they just don’t release everything,” he explains. “Stu [Mackenzie]Joseph [Walker]and Ambrose [Kenny-Smith] he follows through with every idea they have to the point that it becomes a song. In some bands, people think that a song may be too personal to share with others. In our group, there is no shame. We lift each other up no matter what, and that’s creatively liberating.”

King Gizzard began as a kind of impromptu band during Harwood and his bandmates’ stint as students at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, also known as RMIT University.

“We started out as a fun, easy party band,” recalls Harwood. “We made our songs intentionally easy with two, three or four chords at the most, and each song had a quiet part and a loud part, so anyone who played an instrument could fit in. The line-up was fluid at first, but the band grew Like a snowball with the good reactions, and the lineup firmed up from there.”

Once King Gizzard established a fan base in the US and started playing here more often, the members decided to make music a full-time gig. They all quit their side jobs, including Harwood, who worked in coffee shops.

“The United States has become our biggest market, that’s for sure,” says Harwood. “Australia is very different. Only the capitals are so far apart from each other. You can’t do different tours like in America, where you go all over the country, never playing in the same city.”
Another band of road warriors that serves as an inspiration for King Gizzard and also a point of comparison is the Grateful Dead. “We love the carefree spirit of their times and that they let the songs take them wherever they go,” says Harwood. “We talk about them and listen to them a lot, especially when we’re in America.”

Miami fans will find out for themselves if the Grateful Dead comparison is warranted when King Gizzard play their first Florida shows at Space Park on June 18-19. Harwood promises that each night will be a unique experience, with no songs being played at both shows. He says the band has around 90 songs in its live repertoire, with frontman Stu Mackenzie leading the formation of each set list. show.

“See what songs we’ve played in a city before, then try to completely change it up,” says Harwood. “He’ll put the tracklist out for the rest of the band to review, and we’ll have our say. Someone might say that I don’t remember how to play that song because we haven’t played it in five years. “

The live experience, Harwood says, depends on equal parts spontaneity and preparation.

“Most days, we settle into soundcheck and go over songs we haven’t played in a long time or new songs we haven’t really played much live,” he adds. “Even the songs I’ve played a thousand times, I want to remind myself that I know them, otherwise I might think too much.” Harwood says that it is mastery through repetition that allows freedom. “We go on a journey ourselves on stage. Sometimes a song goes to a completely different place and we end up surprising ourselves.”

With so many songs at the band’s disposal, Harwood understands that it can be daunting for new listeners to know where to start. He suggests 2014 I’m on your mind Fuzz and 2016 infinity nonagon as good starting points, although it is also partial to Omnium Gatherumthe band’s double album, which was released in April.

“It really encapsulates us. It’s not focused on one concept, so we’re allowed to do anything,” says Harwood. “There’s Krautrock, some rap songs, psych rock. It’s the most collaborative of our records, and the 16 songs run the gamut of what King Gizzard is.”

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. 7 pm Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 at Space Park Miami, 300 NE 61st St., Miami; spaceparkmiami.com. Tickets are $20-$45 through eventbrite.com.

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