Lizard Skynard
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Lizard Skynard

Rockford, Illinois, United States

Rockford, Illinois, United States
Band Rock Spoken Word

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Jul
03
Lizard Skynard @ Tornados Grub and Pub

Cedar Rapids, Illinois, USA

Cedar Rapids, Illinois, USA

Jul
02
Lizard Skynard @ Missipi Brewing Co.

Muscatine, Iowa, USA

Muscatine, Iowa, USA

Jul
01
Lizard Skynard @ Kryptonite

Rockford, Illinois, USA

Rockford, Illinois, USA

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MUSCATINE, Iowa - So, this green lizard guy walks into a bar in Muscatine with his band, Lizard Skynard, and he's telling stories and swallowing swords.
Sound familiar?
Probably not ... yet.
But 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 2, that scene will come to life at the Missipi Brewing Co., 107 Iowa Ave.
Erik Sprague, also known as the Lizardman, and the Lizard Skynard band will give a performance that includes original music by the band and Sprague's stand-up comedy and storytelling.
But this isn't just your run-of-the-mill variety show. The frontman isn't billed as The Lizardman for nothing.
Through tattooing and surgical procedures, his body has become a canvass and he's transformed himself into a walking work of art that would have some reptile lovers green with envy.
Sprague, 37, who lives with his wife Meghan, 31, in Austin, Texas, began his adult career path as a national merit scholar finalist. He attended Hart-wick College in Oneonta, N.Y., on a full academic scholarship and received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in philosophy in 1994.
He stopped working on his doctorate in philosophy at the University at Albany in 1999 to make performing his career.
He and Lizard Skynard guitarist Mossy Vaughn, decided to combine their talents and take their show on the road two years ago.
Mossy writes the music, which provides a soundtrack for Sprague's spoken material and stage skills, such as sword swallowing.
A number of comedians have incorporated music into their sets, said Sprague, but not Mossy's music, which Sprague describes as psychedelic metal.
Sprague has used body modification to give himself reptilian features.
He said his parents, Cindy and Lanny Sprague of New York, knew him well enough not to be surprised when he had his face and body tattooed in shades of green and half his tongue splayed into two sides in a process called tongue bifurcation.
He has undergone approximately 650-700 hours of tattooing and has several piercings. His eyebrows have been elevated with Teflon implants and four of his teeth have been filed into sharp fangs.
Even as a child, Sprague said he was an independent thinker.
As an adult and an artist, he wanted to show a commitment to his work.
"You can walk away from a painting," said Sprague. "I'm a walking piece of surrealism. I disrupt the status quo."
The reptilian theme felt right to him, said Sprague.
His decision to make his individuality so visible may seem extreme, but Sprague hopes to inspire others.
"It's great to have an ideal," said Sprague. "But make it your ideal, not one that is foisted upon you by society."
Sprague knows that someone who happens to see him on the street will likely be facing the unexpected, which can give a person pause for thought.
"Even if just for a second, it brings people out of their rut, I hope it affects them longer and brings back a spark of what's around the next corner," he said.
And sometimes, there are tangible advantages to being green.
"It makes it easy to get a seat on the bus," said Sprague. - Muscatine Journal


Two years ago, Mossy (THE HEAVILS) and Erik Sprague, better known as the professional sideshow freak and stand-up comedian Lizardman, started talking about putting together a unique-sounding band. With the aid of Mossy’s cousin Johnny Baker (WACO JESUS), Russell Gillespie (MOTHERTRUCKER) and Mossy’s brother, Eric Vaughn (IRON SAUSAGE), the band is about to unleash its debut to unsuspecting ears.

It all began on the Jagermeister tour in 2008. Mossy was working in marketing and promotions for the company, and Lizardman was a performer/host. They started discussing a name and sound based around both of their eclectic influences.

SMNnews spoke with Mossy and his green friend while they were putting the finishing touches on their debut album at Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago.
Kelley Simms (SMNnews): Tell me about this new project and how it came together.

Lizardman (Erik Sprague): I think I can sum it up pretty easily. Mossy smokes a lot of weed. And if you spend enough time around Mossy, you’re going to get caught up into his gravity and his clouds and his atmosphere. He’ll just pull you into it and make you do stuff. I’m definitely here against my will, but Mossy has complete control over me now. He’s got me in a haze.

KS: Is this project an excuse to get together to get high and drink Jager?

Lizardman: And whatever else we can get our hands on (laughing). When there’s gonna be drinking, then the drinking starts. I haven’t had a beer yet today, so it is kind of rough.

Mossy: Me and Lizard met on the Jagermeister tour. After many, many Jagermeister’s and too much time sitting in the back of the bus watching Lizard play X-Box, we started talking about it (forming a band).

Lizardman: I told Mossy to come up with a cool name. If you’re going to recruit me, you have to at least come up with a cool name so I know that you’re serious.

Mossy: So I came up with Lizard Skynard because I love Lynyrd Skynyrd anyway. So “Why not?”

KS: What are you wanting people to get out of this project?

Mossy: Whatever they want.

Lizardman: I would like everybody to walk away with T-shirt, a copy of the album, a hat, a keychain … what else are we making Mossy? (laughing).

Mossy: We just want to get out there and play.

KS: Erik, is this just a comedy thing or are you doing this for the love of metal and want to show another side of your talents?

Lizardman: This is weird for me on a lot of levels because it’s nothing I’ve ever done before. And when we get to the live show, I’m going to incorporate some stuff like that (sideshow stunts). But as far as the band, music and the project goes, this isn’t a comedy album and it’s not a joke, despite the name being kind of funny, it’s not a joke. We’re taking it seriously and working hard on it. The material that’s there … there’s some dark humor present in the songs and lyrics, but this is not like me going out and doing a stand-up comedy gig and there just happens to be a band behind me. There’s a band and we’re taking it as something serious. But when we get out there and start doing live shows, we’re definitely looking to have a lot of fun, and if anybody who is familiar with the Jager tour … that will give them an idea that there’s a lot more to it.

This is another outlet and another way to do things. A big part of the reason for doing the music this way … I’ve seen other performers that have been doing it in different musical genres, but nobody’s ever really done it metal-wise in this respect. You got the Blue Country guys, with new albums and do spoken word pieces with country musicians. Rock’s got a ton of people who’ve done it, jazz and even hip-hop people, William S. Burroughs. There’s never been a really good example of people trying to do it in metal, and that’s what I like, and I’m going to give this a shot.

KS: Mossy, you have been here before, meaning you have tasted minor success with the Heavils and was in the scene, as well as your cousin with Waco Jesus. But what do you hope will happen with this creation?

Mossy: We’re recording at Electric Audio just for the soundman. It’s unbelievable here. Greg Norman is doing the actual production. The music is really crushing, it’s heavy, it’s smart too, I think … the lyrics. We’re going to get out and tour for sure, if Jager doesn’t put us on tour, then we’re going to beat up Adam Grayer! Direct quote: If we don’t tour off this in any way through Jager, then we will beat up Adam Grayer! (laughing). Honestly, we’re taking this super-seriously. My cousin definitely left Waco for a while to do this and I’m hungry … I’ve been wanting to play in a band again, and this is the perfect project. It’s serious and it’s heavy. It’s going to change things.

KS: You bring a mix of technical, bizarre and trippy weirdness of creativity. What are your influences, and what did you guys talk about when you first got together and decided to do this project, or can I say, actual band?

Mossy: I didn’t really know a lot about Lizard’s musical tastes, but I found out recently in the past couple of years. He’s into the Dead Milkmen, Ministry, William S. Burroughs and anything on Comedy Central probably. Myself, I’ve always been into anything weird, progressive, ’70s rock, Mastodon. We both love Slipknot, we found out. We’re just trying to twist everything together.

KS: Is Erik going to incorporate any of his sideshow act into the Lizard Skynard live performance?

Lizardman: Live shows, yes, I don’t think there’s any dispute not to. Maybe we’ll do music completely suspended by hooks, but it’s not meant to be a sideshow. It’s a matter of, what can I give extra to people beyond the music while doing a live show? We’ll pull out all the stops for them too. We want to be a great live experience, but we also want it to be something that people can sit down and listen to the music as well.

Mossy: I’d like it to be like a super-heavy, Cirque du Soleil, sideshow trip show. Can you imagine Lizardman being hung by hooks over the crowd, with naked chicks, animals … if you can think of that imagery, that’s what we’re going for. ZZ Top meets the Pussycat Dolls!

KS: Erik’s prose on songs “Fractal Love Song” and “Austin Slow Trip” are classic Lizardman. But will there be actual vocals on songs where Erik sings?

Lizardman: It’s not all spoken word quite in that name, but I won’t be doing any traditional singing. I won’t be putting myself down and traditional singing down as well. It would be an insult to both professional singing and myself if I tried to sing in that manner, I think. If you’re familiar with Reader’s Theater, where all the emotion and all the acting is done with the voice, like old radio programs, it’s going to be very theatrical vocally, in that sense. I’m not singing for keys or listening for notes, it’s the delivery. In that respect, there is going to be a big range in the material.

Mossy: For me, for the last bunch of years, all I’ve heard is singers out there trying to kill themselves every night. They’re singing stuff that I can’t understand, they’re yelling shit like Cookie Monster stuff. All that shit’s done now, I’ve heard it. Every time on the radio, anything, anytime I listen to new bands, it’s all the same, there is nothing different. You know what? We’re the fucking future.

KS: You chose to record in Chicago at Electrical Audio Studios where the Heavils have recorded. What is it you like about that studio?

Mossy: I like every thing about this studio. The drum sounds are amazing. Greg Norman has done some great bands, he did the last Russian Circles album, it’s awesome. It’s just the sound of the studio and the vibe here. There’s nowhere else I’d like to go.

KS: When will the album be released?

Mossy: We don’t know. We have a couple of weird songs in mind that we’re going to put out on the internet. But I’m not sure, as soon as someone pays us, I guess. We’re just going to release what we can, and I’m not sure when it’s going to come out. Soon I hope. In the next couple of weeks we’re going to release a couple of songs for people to hear.

By Kelley Simms - Smnnews.com


Lizardman to return to Rockford fronting the band Lizard Skynard
By Kelley Simms
GO.RRSTAR.COM

Jun 28, 2010 @ 01:19 PM


PHOTO PROVIDED
Erik “The Lizardman” Sprague


The name is sort of familiar. The show promises to be something else.

Lizard Skynard is a unique-sounding new band fronted by a professional sideshow freak and a former guitarist for The Heavils, a Rockford-based heavy metal band. A three-city mini-tour brings them to Kryptonite Music Lounge on Thursday night.

“Kryptonite was the only place we really wanted to play at around town,” guitarist Mossy Vaughn said.

“Chris, the owner, has been so loyal. He’s the one that helped me with my initial Jagermeister sponsorship, he wrote the initial letter to them that helped me out. Having it at Kryptonite was a no-brainer. I really like what Chris is trying to do downtown for local music.”

Erik “The Lizardman” Sprague and Mossy started talking about forming a band while on the 2008 Jagermeister-sponsored Disturbed tour. Mossy was working in marketing and promotions for the company; Lizardman, who also does stand-up comedy, was a performer/emcee.

“When you spend enough wasted time in the back lounge of a bus, you come up with silly ideas, and sometimes you follow through on them,” Lizardman said.

“This one took us a while, but we followed through on it. Mossy was always saying he was going to find something for us to do. ‘I’m going to find something, we’re going to do something together. We’re going to do a band. I’m going to handle the music. I’m going to put together a such a great band and make music, and you just to get in front of it and do whatever you want to do, and it’s going to work.’

“And here we are.”

Mossy and his green friend started discussing a name and a sound based on their eclectic musical influences.

“I saw Lizard one night in Portland, Oregon, completely take over this crowd,” Mossy said.

“I saw 1,000 people paying attention to him, and he wasn’t even doing anything except for his stand-up, just by himself. But behind him, the band was already set up. That night I just approached him and said that if he was up there in front of a band, that it would probably make a really good show. So we just talked about it for the next four months on the bus.”

Concocting a mish-mash of experimental/fusion/electrorock/punk sounds, the band has completed its debut album, which was recorded at Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago with Greg Norman, where The Heavils also recorded. The music is a mixture of psychedelic, tripped-out, fuzz-box craziness, with Lizardman’s obscure and dark-humored prose on top of it.

“I’m not a vocalist. I will never make that claim,” Lizardman said.

“Mossy and the guys have done some really good and heavy stuff, and over the top of that, I’m basically telling stories, or doing Reader’s Theater. I’m playing different characters and doing voices to tell a story.

“When we were going into this and Mossy and I were talking about it, I wasn’t thinking in terms of a band so much as I was thinking in terms of a project where authors had set their work to music. I was thinking about William S. Burroughs reading his work and putting music to it.

“To me, it wasn’t a matter of me taking my spoken word and my stand-up and performing it, but adjusting it to a time and a tempo that went along with the style of metal-influenced music that Mossy and the guys had put together. And I think that’s what really separates us.”

With a sideshow freak as the frontman, the band’s live show is promised to be something to behold.

“We will definitely be very theatrical,” Lizardman said. “The live show has to be that. We want to make sure that there’s a driving force for people to come out and see the shows and make them say, ‘We can’t miss a Lizard Skynard show, who knows what might happen.’ ”

Rounding out the band are Mossy’s cousin, drummer Johnny Baker from grindcore band Waco Jesus, bassist Russell Gillespie (Mothertrucker) and Mossy’s brother Eric (Iron Sausage) on keyboards.

“This time around, it’s different,” Mossy said.

“I’m in a band with my brother on keyboards, one of my best friends, Russell, on bass, and my cousin on drums. It’s a family. Playing with these guys was a no-brainer. This is all I’ve really been doing for the past year. The Heavils did so many great things as a band and played everywhere, and were in so many magazines, but we never really got there, you know?”

Lizard Skynard’s debut CD is out and will be available at the Kryptonite show at the merchandise stand. - Rockford Register Star


Lizard Skynard / Live @ Kryptonite, Rockford, IL / 07.01.2010
Lizard Skynard performed their first live performance as a 5- piece band before a crowded room of wannabe music nerds in Rockford, IL the first of July, 2010. The Austin, TX, via Chicago to Rockford, IL electrometal band brought all reasons to NOT doubt them to the table. A tattooed, physically manipulated frontman matched by a monstrous rhythm section pushed this listener / viewer’s experience to a level of appreciation once reserved for bands accidently caught live in larger cities in long ago times. Imagine the Deftones with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine as dead serious as you can be in a band on your own in America, 2010.
“There is no treatment, there is no cure” as Lizardman scientifically professes live from, “Bell & Syndrome”, is as close as you’ll get to a marriage between 1980s speed metal, mid 90s angst and 2010 space metal. The wash of feedback is massive, the drum rolls are jah-retarded (in a good way if it matters) and the bass is the hammer to the nail in the head that crashes on in, slow and deep.
Lizardman, the perfect frontman / performance artist / poet is hard to take your eyes off of, often staring down and gazing over the crowd with an uncomfortable smile as the band tries to fool you into thinking they’re the backdrop to this act– while failing. Perfectly failing.
Lizard Skynard is a ferocious band with or without the Lizardman, often providing the perfect score to an unaired live documentary. If further proof needs validation, hearing “Space Eels” live off of their recently, self-titled, debut that night – proved no validation was needed. A spaghetti western-sci-fi metal anthem destined to be. Hearing this live rattled any doubts I had thinking this was Lizardman’s band. This is a band of 5 guys creating very serious, well orchestrated noise as if their lives depended on each second put out, from here on out.
Sure, this is a band with a Lizardman (it’s a foil, he’s a smart-ass, well-educated, sweetheart underneath it all and too smart for this f*cking planet- it’s obvious)- that’s the catch and he’s a wonder to watch and listen to, however; this is a poet and entertainer, with a ferocious, well-oiled and classically trained, punk band ready to rip your f*cking brain outta your skull. - Sock Monkey Sound


Discography

Lizard Skynard July 2010

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Bio

Lizard Skynard is an exciting new band fronted by the famous Lizardman and Mossy Vaughn from the band The Heavils (metalblade.com).....Erik 'The Lizardman' Sprague is an accomplished sideshow entertainer, world traveler, stand up comedian and professional FREAK.The band also features drummer Johnny baker from the grind band Waco Jesus and on bass Russell Gillespie (Mothertrucker,KeyChainToker) and Eric Vaughn on keyboards. The New album was recorded at Electrical Audio studios with Greg Norman and mastered at Chicago Mastering with Jason Ward......

The reptiles wake to the morning sun and blood begins to warm in their veins. Today, there is a general sense of unease among the reptile community as if perhaps a redeemer were among them. Long gone are the glory days of the dinosaur and reptile rule and long since has the reptile community struggled and yearned for a forceful new leader. Today I feel, that day is upon us.... Born in the seething underbelly of the reptilian world, rising up from the unctuous pools of underground rock.... the reptile messiah has arrived! ladies and gentlemen, I give you!!! LIZARD SKYNARD!!!

Lizard Skynard drink the hell out of Jagermeister but we do it responsibly.....