The Lionyls
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The Lionyls

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Soul




"Hive-Minded Soul"

Ottawa four-piece The Lionyls talk connection and collaboration

Standing on the shoulders of their forefathers of funk and rock & roll, the Lionyls, an R&B-rock outfit from Ottawa have worked their way up over the last few years, opening for such artists as The Trews, Sam Roberts, Serena Ryder, The Strumbellas and July Talk along the way.

With a lead singer that can only happen when swallowing an extra large dose of Marvin Gaye funk, Zach Raynor knows how to manage the perfect amount of falsettos and “ooh-ahs” to tip the band’s soulful funk-rock flavour into another level.

Touring their new album Cocaine Stars, the four-piece are bringing a new drum player with them on tour and a collage of styles that come from each member’s own favourites.

“Our bass player really likes Rush, our guitarist, Robbie Rigg really likes Jimi Hendrix,” Raynor says. “I love MJ; I love Freddie Mercury from Queen, and you can hear those influences in the music we play.”

The four-piece also make a point of building their name with vlogs that bulk up their brand, using tags like #lionyllivin’ and #lionylland. Raynor and his bandmates feel it’s important for fans to feel a connection to the band off the stage too.

“It’s cool for them to be able to see that behind the scenes, personal element where we aren’t up on stage and we might be just in the van, taking a cool picture of some scenery or going grocery shopping,” he says.

“When I think about my favourite artists, I mean, I would like to know what Michael Jackson ate at the grocery store, what games he played on Xbox.”

“We’re just regular people doing cool stuff at night,” bassist Alex Jee says.

The Lionyls also bring a form of collaboration to their song production that’s rare in the industry. They find that each member will bring an idea, a riff or a word sequence to the table and they’ll work together to jam on it until they work out where the refining needs to happen.

“We’re all after the same goal of really building these songs that really convey emotion honestly to the listener,” says Raynor. “But we all go about that I think, in a little bit of a different way.”

When it comes down to it, Raynor says that one person will take whatever section needs work and work on it alone for a month or so. For example, if the chords aren’t lining up, Rigg will go home and work out the kinks and bring it to the group. But as far as throwing the concepts together, the four of them often work collaboratively to decide the next step.

“Because we’re all after the same goal, it’s not criticism, like to hurt anybodiess feelings. You just have to be very open and listen to what someone else thinks about your idea, which may be very personal and hard to hear but you still have to be able to do that.

“In the end, we just want the music to be the best that it can be.”

The troupe are hitting up Edmonton thrice this month at both the Needle and Blues on Whyte too. - Vue Weekly (Sierra Bilton)

"Ottawa Foursome Lionyls Flatten Roadblocks on Cross-Canada Tour"

Ontario foursome the Lionyls are touring Canada behind their self-titled first album. They hit the Jasper Legion on Sept. 16 and had a chat with Craig Gilbert earlier this week to set it up.

Craig Gilbert: So what can Jasperites expect at the Legion on Saturday?

Zach Raynor: We love the funk, soul, rock and roll tradition – real, honest music. We have a nice mix of music that showcases all of those styles and then we have some great covers that people will recognize and will be able to connect to. We really pride ourselves on an energetic live performance where we’re focused on connecting with the audience. We really rock out on stage; the rhythm section is super-tight, Robbie has a ton of killer guitar solos and I love to do some dancing stuff and put on a show for the people.

Craig: What do you get out of playing live?

Alex Jee: The energy. We really think of it in terms of we’ve made something we’re really proud of musically, it represents us well, and we thrive off of that energy exchange between the audience and ourselves. For example if we’re playing a show and some guy starts screaming ‘drum solo!’ let’s stop the show and Steve is gonna hit a crazy drum solo on the spot. It’s a respect between the performer and the audience member and creating that moment everyone can connect to and making it memorable.

Craig: What would someone listening to your first album be getting themselves into?

Zach: The band started like five years ago. Those are songs we’ve been on almost since the beginning. Just the process of refining that music took way longer than any of us expected. When you think a song is done and you put it on demo, you listen to it back. Someone has some issue they want to change; maybe the lyrics don’t sit quite right.

I think when we sat down to do an album versus to getting everything to the point to where you feel proud of it – we’re different people, so we have a little bit of a different idea of how something should sound – to a point where we all agree and we’re all proud of the same thing, that was a much more harrowing experience than we expected. It took a lot out of us but at the end of the day, it’s important we went through that. That’s us – a snapshot in time of who we were when we wrote those songs. We’ve grown even since then, but it was a really, really cool experience.

Craig: What comes next for the band?

Robbie Rigg: We have a few days off so we’re enjoying our time in Vancouver, which is nice, but when we get back from the tour we’re planning to record our next album, hopefully. So we’ve been kinda in the process of writing on the road half the time one of us is in the back of the van with their guitar working on stuff (mostly Zach). We just received an (Ontario Arts Council) grant to help us do that, thankfully.

Zach: The grant will help us with the writing process. The last album was a snapshot of who we were, but all of us have grown so much and even in the two weeks that we’ve been on the road, you start to realize, trial by fire, how much this type of thing can help you grow.

Like we were headed to Sudbury, for example, and we hit a roadblock and it was like a four-hour detour, so we were three hours late for the show, but we still showed up. So we get there and the crowd is waiting for us, and you have to give them what they came for and paid for, despite how you might feel, the lateness, that fact that we had to get the sound set up immediately in front of the crowd so when we get back and we’re writing, there’s experience behind that we didn’t have with the first album and I think that will really show in the new songs. It’s a new level of ability. - The Fitzhugh (Craig Gilbert)

"The Lionyls Release New Video Midnight Hour"

Ottawa based rock/soul band, The Lionyls are currently on tour with stops in Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Today, the excitement is high as we are premiering their brand new video for “Midnight Hour”. The song is upbeat, fun and will have you singing along almost immediately. When we asked vocalist, Zach Raynor about the video, he remarked,

“Working on the Midnight Hour music video was very inspiring. Several members of the Ottawa arts community banded together on very short notice help us with the video. We approached Mock Trial Productions and Ottawa Special Events with a vision and within a few weeks, we were on set. The actors and extras are local, and makeup, wardrobe styling was all done by local professionals as well. The positivity from the whole production team really contributed to the whimsical energy that is so evident in the video.”

It is certainly a video that they should be proud of, it keeps the viewer interested throughout the whole viewing and the actual song is killer. If you have the chance to check The Lionyls out during their tour, you definitely should. All dates are listed on their website.

We also asked guitarist, Robbie Rigg about his thoughts on the “Midnight Hour” video, he commented,

“We’re all very excited about Midnight Hour being our debut music video. The song is good mix of all the genres that we represent – rock, soul, funk, pop.. It’s all encompassing, and true to who we are. The video also represents us well, it’s rooted in a simple story, and it really comes from our hearts. We hope that people feel that when they watch it.”

So, all that’s left for you to do is watch the video and check out our newest segment of Five Questions With featuring The Lionyls. We are sure you will enjoy!

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, Canada! We are The Lionyls, that’s like lion + vinyl, and we’re a four piece ‘Rock & Soul’ band from Ottawa, ON.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

We are inspired by the funk, soul, blues, rock and roll traditions and our innovative ‘Rock & Soul’ music is a reflection of that. Each song we create is a unique blend of the things that influence us, packaged with a clean contemporary edge. We are timeless yet current, raw but refined.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

We are currently touring across Canada in support of our self-titled debut album. September 7th we’ll be in Calgary at the County Line Saloon. This weekend we’re in Kamloops (September 8th), and Nelson (September 9th). After that, we make our way through British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan before returning to Ontario. All dates are listed on our website.

Our live performances are exciting and spontaneous; we focus on connecting with the groove and then sharing that experience with our audience. You can expect an air-tight rhythm section, searing guitar solos, a captivating frontman, and colourful harmonies. Dancing shoes are a must.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

We would love for everyone to hear Midnight Hour; it really captures our essence. When you listen to it, you can hear the soul, funk, rock and roll, and blues influences. They blend to create something that is identifiably The Lionyls. That song is us. That is our sound.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Some of our favourite Canadian artists include Rush, Old James, Rush, The Souljazz Orchestra, The Sam Roberts Band, and Joni Mitchell. - Canadian Beats (Jenna Melanson)

"The Lionyls Album Review"

If you are from in or around the Ottawa area, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of one of the hardest working local bands in the land – The Lionyls. Billing themselves as a “rock & soul” band, I think it’s also fair to call them a full-on party band, since they essentially want to “get the party started!”, as it says here on their official website.

Indeed, I have seen them live and that is exactly what they’re all about – getting people moving, connecting with the crowd, and rocking it hard. They’re definitely a live band at heart. They’ve been sharpening their claws, opening for big names in music such as Serena Ryder, Sam Roberts, the Trews, and Duran Duran to name but a few. The Lionyls know a vast arsenal of crowd-pleasing get-up-and-dance cover tunes, of which they are apt to play one or another depending on the situation (wedding, bar gig, private party, etc.).

That said, they recently dropped their debut album of funky original tunes on an eponymous 8-track album. Here’s the album sleeve below.

Who are the Lionyls? The band is Alex Jee on bass, Anto Rizzuti on drums, guitarist Robbie Rigg, and Zach Raynor on vocals. The debut album has been a long time coming from these boys. The band has been gigging like mofos for a few years now, and they’ve been trying to get into the studio when they didn’t have shows lined up (they’re pretty busy) to get this album completed. If you have been following the band at all, you might have noticed that fans keep asking “Where is that damn album at already?”

So, yeah, here it is finally. How is it, you ask? I’d say that The Lionyls (the album) is foremost a very complimentary counterpart to their live show, which is always energetic and hard hitting. These guys are a practical bunch, and love to please their peeps. As such, the new studio album is funky, frisky, and it rocks with no apologies. That said, we’re not talking about punk rock or heavy metal here. The music leans towards soul music and so it’s not meant to be overly intense or super-headbang-y. It’s more about groove and dynamics, and there is definitely a perfectionist streak on this album. It sure ain’t sloppy.

The production is generally quite smooth, and all the instruments are well played and well recorded. There is no lack of anything with this album in terms of what you’d expect from a collection of you-want-it-you-got-it party jams. You want bass? You can’t miss it. If you feel like focusing on just the drums in detail – you can hear everything that’s going on. The guitar you certainly aren’t going to be able to ignore – all of the riffs and licks, both soft and hard, are highlighted nicely. The vocals? Again, in terms of the mix, it’s where it ought to be, and, like the other instruments, I’d say there’s a certain element of vocal acrobatics going on to make you go “Well now!”

Actually, you can hear the various band members going off at certain points on the album, and you realize that each of these guys can really fucking play / sing. It’s rather impressive, really. And that’s when you have to give some major props to Cory Bergeron at Pebble Studios in Ottawa. According to the liner notes on the album, Corey was the album’s main producer, and he did a great job here, highlighting all of the performances the band members gave. Even huge bands like the Chilli Peppers and Metallica have botched albums based on a bad mix or master, and so it’s with some relief that fans of The Lionyls can relax, knowing that all is well in that department.

Of course, a band that can play their instruments does not a great album make. There are plenty of bands who can play just fine, and it’s not my bag at all. In fact, there’s lots of bands I like that have questionable “chops” (eg. punk bands) that still write killer tunes. In the case of The Lionyls, I think that they are basically doing what comes natural to them, and, at this point, they want to party, so that’s what the songs are mostly about.

Actually, that’s not really true. Many of the songs are about being bummed out and / or downright desperate due to a broken heart (eg. Castaway) or getting over someone and trying to get back to having a good time (eg. I Feel Alright). So, while the album does appear to have a party vibe, just by virtue of the fact that many of the songs are upbeat and easy on the ears, it’s clear that there’s some trouble brewing somewhere in the narrative of the album. And of course, some are just about having fun, and being in love in the present tense. It’s a mixed bag of emotions.

I think this is where the songwriting becomes a big part of The Lionyl’s game, because while the songs are super catchy and make you want to party, the songs themselves are about a variety of things – making it big (eg. On Our Way), being shunned (eg. Blacklisted), going out and partying (eg. Fever), and addiction (eg. Cocaine Stars).

Here’s a live clip of the band playing their song Fuse (off the new album) live not too long ago at TD Place in Ottawa. (Clip courtesy of the official Lionyls Youtube channel)

If the above clip sounds like something you’d be into, the album is basically the same, but with studio polish on top. The band, I think, takes pride in the fact that whatever you hear on the album is what they do live, so, in a way, the two sounds aren’t that much different.

To be honest, the more I listen to this album, the less I hear it as a straight up party album, and more like each song is about something different. It isn’t what you’d call a concept album. I think it’s more of a musical calling card saying “this is what we do”. In any case, on the surface, it has that fun party vibe, which means that the band can whip any of these songs out during a gig, and show the crowd a good time, even though there might be some darker undercurrents going around on the lyrical level, or even on the musical level. This isn’t a one dimensional sound. As I said before, this band is dynamic, and it all comes back to that. Giving it hard when necessary, but also pulling back sometimes. Having a balance of joy and sadness in the music to make you feel alive. - Youtube Music Sucks (Dave Fox)

"The Lionyls Announce Fall Canadian Tour"

Ottawa based rock/soul band The Lionyls have just announced a fall Canadian tour. In honor of their self-titled debut record, the band will be touring across the country throughout the full month of September. Beginning on August 31 in Toronto, The Lionyls will make their way west before finishing off the tour in their hometown on October 6. The group will also be performing at the Grey Cup Festival in Ottawa with Sloan, Trooper, and April Wine.

Check out The Lionyls’ tour dates:

Thursday, August 31st – The Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON
Friday, September 1st – Speakeasy – Sudbury, ON
Saturday, September 2nd – Lavigne Tavern – West Nipissing, ON
Thursday, September 7th – County Line Saloon – Calgary, AB
Friday, September 8th – Bailey’s Pub – Kamloops, BC
Saturday, September 9th – The Royal On Baker – Nelson, BC
Thursday, September 14th – Falconetti’s – Vancouver, BC
Friday, September 15th – The Last Drop Pub – Revelstoke, BC
Saturday, September 16th – The Legion – Jasper, AB
Friday, September 22nd – The Needles – Edmonton, AB
Saturday, September 23rd – Corona’s – Medicine Hat, AB
Monday, September 25th – Blues On Whyte – Edmonton, AB
Tuesday, September 26th – Blues On Whyte – Edmonton, AB
Wednesday, September 27th – Bud’s On Broadway – Saskatoon, SK
Thursday, September 28th – Bud’s On Broadway – Saskatoon, SK
Friday, September 29th – Cloud 9 – Regina, SK
Saturday, September 30th – The Capitol – Regina, SK
Friday, October 6th – The Atria – Oshawa, ON
November 27th – Ottawa, ON – Grey Cup Festival

Connect with The Lionyls:
Twitter - Canadian Beats (Chloe Sholl)

"Barrymore's Comes Alive With The Sound Of Local As The Lionyls Release Their New Album"

It was a packed house at Barrymore’s last Saturday as a couple of local bands held a dual CD Release Party – The Lionyls and Wise, Young & King. The two were joined by fellow locals Tribe Royal and Lemon Cash for an entertaining musical evening.

First up for the evening was Tribe Royal. The quartet brought an energetic mix of folk and rock. I’ve been seeing the band’s name quite a bit recently, so I was eager to catch their set. Unfortunately they were well into their set by the time I arrived. I did however manage to catch the last 4 songs and thoroughly enjoyed what I heard. Hopefully I’ll be able to take in a full performance sometime in the near future.

Hitting the stage next was Lemon Cash. The last time I saw them, they were competing in finals of the LiVE 88.5 Big Money Shot competition in 2014. You could tell they had a good following with them, as the crowd pushed up to the stage once they started to play. The band has refined their sound since 2014 and has a knack for writing catchy hooks.

After a short intermission, The Lionyls got started with their engaging brand of soul and rock. I also discovered them through the Big Money Shot competition when they won back in 2014. The band has definite stage presence and I learned early on that you’re going to get an energetic performance every time. I always enjoy hearing them play and they never fail to deliver plenty of opportunities for a photographer.

The last band to take the stage was Wise, Young & King, another group I first heard in the Big Money Shot. Though they disbanded a few years ago, I was excited to find out they had reformed at the start of the year. The group always bangs out a hard hitting set of rock ‘n roll goodness. I’ll never tire of vocalist Alan Charlton’s voice. I still don’t understand how he doesn’t blow out his voice half way through a set.

It was great to 4 excellent local bands entertain a sold crowd at Barrymore’s. Make sure you check out all of them. It’s evenings like this that prove there is no shortage of musical talent in Ottawa! - Soundcheck Entertainment (Scott Martin)

"RBC Bluesfest July 16th Picks"

One of the coolest and nicest bands in a city loaded with cool and nice groups are The Lionyls. The band shot to local fame after they won the 2014 Live 88.5 Money Shot competition with their catchy and anthemic rock-soul combination. Now the Ottawa crowd will get to discover what many within the local scene have long known – The Lionyls are one the local acts with the potential to go far beyond the NCR limits. - The Revue (Ben Young)

"Bluesfest Local Highlight The Lionyls"

Four-piece funk/soul/rock sensation, The Lionyls, have been on a non-stop performing schedule, showcasing themselves lately on some bigger stages such as HOPE Volleyball, TD Place, NAC, last year’s CityFolk, this year’s Westfest, and now the main City Stage for their first ever performance at Bluesfest

The band, who are Zach Raynor (lead vocals), Alex Jee (bass/vocals), Robbie “Midnight” Rigg (guitar/vocals), and Anto Rizzuti (drums), brought their larger-than-life sound and presence in an electrifying performance that no doubt rendered The Lionyls many new fans to their already massive following.

They rocked the audience with supremely well-written and very skilfully performed original material. One aptly titled “Fever” worked its way into a heated exchange of guitar, bass, and drums, after which Rigg stood center stage in all his confident guitar god glory to give the audience the first taste of his solo work.

I loved the jumping jazzy-soul fusion in “Midnight Hour,” which was painted with Raynor’s Stevie Wonder-like vocals. His natural front man skills shone as he worked the crowd and stage like he’d done this a thousand times. One called “Cocaine Stars” began with a smoldering guitar/bass intro that jumped into an infectious stop/start sequence, and later soared into a flowing melody. Great vocal harmonies and Latin rhythms topped off this textured piece.

Rigg once again impressed the growing audience with a Hendrix-flavoured solo, which introduced another original, “Steppin’ Out.” It was alive with quick spurts of rhythm changes and seethed with groove. “Blacklisted” featured Jee’s truly magnificent bass skills. He powered some great leads throughout the song.

My favourite was “Castaway,” which took us on a journey from a sultry opening, into a sexy three-quarter timed sweep of bluesy-jazzy goodness laced in Raynor’s soulful vocals. Rigg tore up the blues scale in another hot guitar solo steeped in bending notes, after which the song took a sudden turn into an upbeat tune. Again, another textured piece loaded with changing rhythms showed off Anto Rizzuti’s drumming expertise.

In just three short years, The Lionyls have managed to carve out what looks to be a very bright future. They are putting the finishing touches to their recorded work in a soon-to-be-released debut CD. The hard work they continue to put into their craft and performance I predict will send them places. - Apt 613 (Terry Steeves)

"The Lionyls Bring Funk To CityFolk's Marvest Series"

Avid CityFolk show-goers themselves, The Lionyls are pumped to perform in the “Marvest at CityFolk” show series. Drawn to each other by a mutual respect for rock & roll, funk, soul and contemporary pop music, The Lionyls formed in 2013, when Alex Jee and Robbie Rigg (The Mongrels) joined forces with Zach Raynor and Anto Rizzuti. The band, who has already shared the stage with the likes of Serena Ryder and July Talk, has spent the last 2 years developing their sound in an attempt to bridge the gap between the musical genres they are so inspired by. Currently tracking at Pebble Studios, they expect their debut release to come out in Winter of 2016 under Hummingbird Music.

With a genuine appreciation for Ottawa’s burgeoning music & arts community, The Lionyls are happy to see City Folk extending its reach to local acts in addition to more established international artists: “City Folk seems to have a re-invigorating energy to it. It has its roots in the Ottawa festival community, but at the same time it is colourful and trendy. It represents a shift in consciousness that is starting to occur in Ottawa, where we are beginning to acknowledge and honour the vibrant artistic energy that has been growing here for years,” the band said. With plans to attend the concerts of “obvious ones like Van Morrison, Of Monsters And Men, The Sheepdogs, Walk Off The Earth,” The Lionyls also intend to support Ottawa-based bands: “We’ve grown and played with acts like Monday I Retire, Moonfruits, The Split, Danielle Allard, Zoo Legacy, and Amos The Transparent, it’s wonderful to see them recognized. The Ottawa music community is tight-knit and the artists are very supportive of one another; Marvest is a great way to bring that to light.”

Rock & Soul fans can expect a fun and exciting live show, with a tight rhythm section, heavy musicians and a captivating frontman. When asked about playing at Marvest’s more challenging venues, The Lionyls are ready to get down and get funky, no matter the performance situation “We’re very adaptable and have played in venues of all shapes and sizes, so we plan to bring the funk regardless.”

The Lionyls play Marvest at CityFolk on September 18, 2015 from 10:30pm to 11:15pm, at Black Squirrel Books (1073 Bank St.). Visit the Lionyls on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, or YouTube. - Apt 613 (Amanda Mabro)

"Everybody Love Everybody Festival Launch - Ottawa"

June 21, Babylon Nightclub, Ottawa
When Ottawa was named Canada’s most boring city last month, locals took it seriously. Newspapers and radio stations campaigned against the title. Twitter raged against the insult.
It appears that the Ottawa music scene is also fighting back. On Friday, June 21, local fans and artists gathered at Babylon Nightclub for the ELE Fest Launch Party. The first in a series of events from this new, collaborative music festival, the Launch Party featured local rock bands (The Lionyls, Madison & Fifth) alongside hip hop artists J.A.H., Neegus, Wolfie, and Black Jesus. The attendees and artists made their case proudly: Bands turned up their amps, rappers flawlessly delivered line after line, a crowd of over 200 loyally chanted “613!”, and some guy in an ELEphant costume danced eagerly to the beats. If the organizers of ELE Fest were trying to prove that Ottawa music is alive (and definitely not boring!), they certainly succeeded.
Proving that Ottawa knows how to party is impressive enough, but ELE Fest has an even more ambitious goal. With its debut set for September 20, 2013, the festival seeks to “put the love back in the music,” by fostering a new collective attitude in the Ottawa music scene. By bringing together talented young artists from all genres, ELE wants to make a major statement about the city’s musical potential and positivity.
“ELE stands for everybody love everybody,” ELE organizers explain. “From what we’ve seen, the Ottawa music scene fosters more than enough talent to make this festival a success. We have great venues, and extremely talented musicians. Let’s make this city ELE-lectric.”
Based on Friday’s launch party, ELE Fest definitely has all the ingredients for a successful venture: talented performers, good music, great fans and a smart line up. The energy on Friday night reached a high around midnight: die-hards donning official Neegus t-shirts crowded around as the rapper doled out verse after verse, eventually crowd-surfing off the stage and passing the excited audience to organizing band The Lionyls. With their edgy, soulful sound and outrageous lead singer, it wasn’t hard for The Lionyls to keep the crowd moving–imagine the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, only with a guy like Freddie Mercury center stage. Their technical talent and a couple classic covers kept my inner music nerd happy, while the dancing crowd had me wondering how anyone could call a city like this boring.
Halfway through their set, The Lionyls invited local rapper Wolfie on stage. Sure, the crowd surfing and head banging was pretty great, but this was the moment when the very essence of ELE Fest really shone through. Collaboration is really at the heart of the festival’s vision, and the group nailed it. Together, Wolfie and The Lionyls produced an original sound, for a responsive audience, in a fun venue. Triple threat.
As with any show featuring several artists, there were high points and low points to the launch; as the audience built up and thinned out over the night, the energy sometimes faded. In the end, however, a supportive crowd and some amazing performances made the evening a success. I think everyone who went to Babylon on Friday night left knowing exactly what they would be doing on September 20, 2013.
The first annual ELE Fest will be presented rain or shine on Friday, September 20, 2013, from 5pm to 11pm (Tabaret Lawn, University of Ottawa). You can learn more about ELE Fest and check out other summer events at
- The Scene Magazine Ottawa

"E.L.E Festival - The Lionyls"

What a performance! The Lionyls held nothing back as they took the stage at E.L.E Festival. A great setlist of catchy songs, a mix of rock and soul, were the fuel for vocalist Zach Raynor’s boundless energy, as he left no part of the large stage unused.

I was impressed with guitarist Robbie Rigg. He can really play and knew when to pick his moment and step out to the front of the stage. I also couldn’t leave out drummer Anto Rizzuti and bassist Alex Jee Rodriguez who provided a solid driving rhythm all set.

I’m still amazed that last years festival appearance was their first official show. They looked like a band that has been doing this for years.

Catch The Lionyls next at the Big Money Shot Grand Finals on October 17th at Ritual. Also, check out their E.L.E Festival collaboration with City Fidelia (after the photos). Great tune! - Spotlight Ottawa

"The Lionyls Live 88.5 Big Money Shot 2014 Winners"

I have only seen The Lionyls perform a couple of times now, but I can’t get enough. The band puts on a fantastic show! Their mix of rock and soul always gets the crowd moving.

Their fans were loud as the band started their short set and even louder as they finished up, hoping to push them into the winning spot themselves.

The guys were definitely deserving of this year’s title. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I highly recommend that you do! In fact, you can see them for yourself this Thursday and Friday at Mavericks. In addition to the $5000 in talent support from LiVE 88.5, this year’s BMS winner also picks up an opening slot for a pair of shows by east coast favourites The Trews! - Scott Martin

"The Lionyls Aiming to Win Big Money Shot"

Barrhaven based soul-rock band The Lionyls will be performing the finals of Live 88.5’s Big Money Shot at Ritual on Oct. 17. After a year of trying to find their sound, founding members Zach Raynor and Anto Rizzuti met Robbie Rigg and Alex Jee Rodriguez through a mutual friend from high school. Since then, they’ve rocked the Everybody Loves Everybody festival on two occasions, a festival that Raynor co-founded. They also played Barrhaven’s Canada Day stage over the summer. Vocalist Raynor said the band is walking a fine line with their musical relationship with the Big Money Shot. “We’ve created our own little niche where we aren’t in direct competition with the other bands,” he said. Through the competition the band said they had the chance to work with producers in Toronto studios, record some tracks, and improve their songwriting. “We recorded ‘Big Leagues’ not too long ago for the Big Money Shot. It has got all the energy. It has got the hip hop angle we wanted. It’s dancy and it has got a killer guitar solo,” Rodriguez said. “I think it has all the elements that people enjoy from music.” The songwriting process fluctuates but typically starts with a riff or progression that gets built upon, Raynor said. They also integrate Top 40 songs into their set, including Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” “The song itself did not pop to us,” Rodriguez said. They reworked it and made it their own, he said. The band said they are excited for the final round of the Big Money Shot. “I looked at Facebook and our name was on top. I didn’t even look at the other bands on the list,” said Rodriguez. “I was like, holy crap.” “Nothing beats playing a great show to an even better audience,” Raynor said. They said Ottawa’s musical potential is untapped and they hope to bring the attention of big labels to the city. - See more at: - The Charlatan

"TD Place Event Recap"

The sun shone on Friday July 3rd as Lansdowne Park - Ottawa’s new destination area for live entertainment, sports and culture - officially launched with an amazing free concert at TD Place starring Serena Ryder, The Strumbellas, and The Lionyls.

The arena inside TD Place was packed with more than 5,000 pumped music fans. Hometown heroes The Lionyls kicked the evening off beautifully with their soul rock originals. Six-piece alt-country band The Strumbellas moved the audience with their fresh, JUNO-award winning indie-roots music. - TD Music


The Lionyls - Debut Album - April 7th, 2017

Get Down Santa - Single - Dec 22, 2014 

Summer Of Love - Single - October 15th, 2014

High ft. City Fidelia - Single - Sep 22, 2014

Big Leagues - Single - April 2014

Down Under - EP - February 18th, 2013

Raw - EP - December 20th, 2013

Released on February 18th, 2013



The Lionyls are a four-piece Rock & Soul outfit based in Ottawa, Canada. Inspired by an eclectic variety of music, the band combines elements from many different genres to create songs that transcend social and cultural barriers and connect people from all around the globe. With every note, they pay homage to the rhythm & blues, funk, soul, and rock & roll traditions. Thus standing on the shoulders of past musical masters, they have crafted an organic sound that is both timeless and current, raw and refined. 

In April 2017, after four years honing their craft, the Lionyls released their debut full-length album, and in Fall 2017 they toured across Canada in support of the new record. Their music truly comes to life in live performance, where their skillful musicianship, charismatic presence, and raw energy invite the audience to join them deep in the groove. With every show, their fanbase grows, excitedly anticipating The Lionyls’ next release.

The Lionyls document their adventures in music through an online web series and vlog entitled #LionylLivin. There, the band’s personalities are on display, and fans get to know the people behind the music through what is essentially an all access backstage pass. From rehearsals, to life on the road, to the band’s biggest shows, the fans can be with them every step of the way.

Band Members