L/zard - Colour Blind

 

L/zard - Colour Blind

L/zard – Colour Blind

 

ARTIST NAME: L/zard

 

SONG TITLE: Colour Blind

 

GENRE: Alternative-Rock, Psychedelic,

 

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Hailing from Liverpool, L/zard (‘Lizard’) creates a hailstorm of the energetic.

 

They draw influences from all – from the complexities of Jazz legends like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to the energetic, driving swagger of bands like Queens of the Stone Age and The Garden.

 

The four craft sounds unlike any others before them served with meticulous musicianship, passion, and attitude.

 

The band formed in early 2018 and consists of Noah Ottman (keys, vocals), James Harvey (Drums), Jack O’Hanlon (guitar), and Ben Dyer (bass).

 

Their influences include rock and indie music, infused with jazz, and presented with a punk-esque attitude.

 

Live, the band are a consistent, unstoppable tour de force, organizing DIY gigs and performances and leaving witnesses stunned.

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Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.

As a band, we have so many different musical influences that cross multiple genres, from jazz and funk to psychedelic rock, to indie, to hip-hop, to industrial noise.

 

For us, a lot of it is finding how we can meld aesthetics and sounds in a new and exciting way. It’s 90% exploration, 10% song-writing, which often ends up in a sound that excites us, is full and energy and a little off-kilter – if it raises an eyebrow, it’s good in our book.

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Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.

It’s easier than it’s ever been to release music online, and that is amazing. It means that right down to a grassroots level, the smallest of artists can have their work on a site – a written mark that will forever be there and theirs.

 

The downside to this is that the market can be so saturated, with so many artists releasing so much music, but that’s what you must do to stay afloat and stay relevant.

 

It makes for an unforgiving place for independent artists, or those who lack enough momentum to constantly be pushing forward, releasing music, gigging and posting tirelessly, because at the end of the day you’re mostly keeping up with people’s scrolling speed.

 

If you’re not providing a constant presence, it’s much harder to break away from the hundreds of songs released each week. An opinion! It’s tough to keep up, but if you love the music, and love what you’re doing, that is what matters.

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Tell us about your experience as a musician/artist.

Being a musician can be equal parts terrifying and life-affirming.

 

When you play, music is an outlet, it’s a friend, it’s a cathartic experience, it’s attempting to create something you see as perfect in real-time.

 

As musicians, we are so invested in these moments, and when you’re playing as a group so invested in watching those alongside you do the same and taking part in it together. To decide that that’s what you want your career to be is where the ‘terrifying’ enters.

 

Nobody wants to see something they put that much into fall by the wayside, so you can be plagued by doubts as to whether it’s even worth the effort! Are you wasting your time? Is what you’re doing worth anything at all? It’s swings and roundabouts, and those moments when performing live, or seeing people listening to your music and enjoying it, will (hopefully!) always balance out the negatives.

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Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.

For smaller artists, it’s such a double-edged sword. Yes, you can distribute your music to the masses very easily, but if you’re planning on making a living then it’s not going to happen through that.

 

Platforms like Spotify pay a pittance each time your track is streamed. Then, you have web distribution channels who say “pay us ‘x-amount’ per month and we will keep your music up online on these platforms for you,” and pretty soon it’s looking more like a protection-racket than it is a service! Artists’ payment needs serious re-examination on a corporate level because it’s squeezing artists both big and small.

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Tell us your goals and plans.

Well obviously, the situation with COVID-19 makes it difficult to plan what we’ll be doing the next few months, but as soon as possible we’ll be out and gigging.

 

In the meantime, we will be releasing another single, Smells Like Love, later in the month.

 

We’re also experimenting with what we can do within the limits of isolation, with videos and a cheeky bit of recording.

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Tell us five current artists that are your favourite.

God… This changes every week… Now –

 

Thundercat – His latest album, ‘It Is What It Is’ has been being played on loop right now.

 

Solange – Production is always incredible…

 

Purple Disco Machine – Provides bops and boogying for days on end.

 

The Ezra Collective – So much to unpack, an incredible mix of jazz and grime.

 

Congo Natty – Bit of jungle never hurt.

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Tell us your best song up to date.

Colour Blind – our latest! We never go backward.

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Tell us your dream and hope for the future.

We’d love to play the big stages and the whole works, but even more to get the chance to work with all sorts of artists.

 

One of the things we love doing is working with other bands and artists and seeing them succeed, so collaborating with others is something we’d love to do.

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Tell us what has changed in the music industry.

The music industry is constantly changing so fast it’s difficult to know where to begin, but the biggest change is probably social media being available. You instantly can be heard and noticed by so many more people.

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Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists.

It makes it more difficult to break through to the wider public.

 

Larger artists have that constant line where they can be sure to get played on major stations, but that’s the game, and you must build up to that point!

 

Stations like Amazing Radio and BBC Introducing are fantastic for promoting smaller artists though, and they are always willing to give them some love.

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Tell us the challenges independent artists are facing and how to tackle them.

There are so many challenges, but constantly working at it in the right way really helps! Gig as much as you can, get your music listened to by the right people, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to promote yourself, and always grasp every opportunity you can get with both hands.

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Tell us your opinion on using social media to promote music online.

It makes our lives a lot easier – everyone’s on social media! It’s fun generating content to post and for people to enjoy, and you have a waiting, guaranteed audience for anything you put out.

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Tell us about your music career.

We are quite a young band, this is only the second single out, but we have some more in the pipeline…

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Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.

Mostly because we enjoy playing so much. Performing and writing commit you to learning and developing new skills your whole life, so it’s never boring, and every day is different. You can always get better as a musician, and as a performer and that motivation is constantly there.

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Tell us about you as people.

We all met through Liverpool University and the surrounding music scene in Liverpool.

 

We are two Northerners (Noah and James), an Irishman (Jack), and a Southerner (Ben), so we’re really uniting the nation here but the search for a Scot and a Welsh is ongoing.

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Elaborate on the story behind the song.

This song is about sobering events that can occur in people’s lives, when the world may carry on, but the outlook on it shifts.

 

A loss of innocence or trust or creeping regret can change the way you view things in to become bitter or futile as if the colour’s seeped from the world. It’s a bit like in Yellow Submarine film, but with a bit more realism.

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Tell us the process involved in making this song.

It’s been a long process. It started off as a tiny shred of an idea, just the line ‘how can I convince you through a phone,’ at a time when I was trying to support someone from very far away. Slowly over time it developed and expanded, a chord sequence made its way into existence, other bits from previous unfinished songs winded their way into a new one.

 

The final part of this song that went in was the bridge. I remember watching an old documentary about black and white movies, and the smudgy greyness of older films, and that’s where the lyrics for that section came from, and the song titles itself.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

L/zard (pronounced ‘Lizard’) was originally called ‘Lizard and the Travellers Three’ which was based on an impulsive pub quiz team name pulled out of thin air.

 

It started out as a joke, and then ended up being our name until we realized that it was a bit too long, and we just stuck with the first word.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

Colour Blind – it’s a state of mind you get yourself into.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

This is the only song we are releasing right now but keep an eye out… Exciting times ahead. *winks*

 


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