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When inspiration hits, Lionize takes advantage

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two records in one year. That’s what Maryland-based reggae rock band Lionize achieved in 2011.

The four-piece band had enough material to put together “Destruction Manual” and “Superczar and The Vulture.” But the albums were very different.

“After we put out ‘Destruction Manual’ last February, we were inspired,” says keyboard player Chris Brooks. “We weren’t planning on doing more music, but the opportunity came for us.”

After touring with Streetlight Manifesto during the summer, Brooks says Lionize was asked if it wanted to record some more music.

“The inspiration was already there, so we jumped at the chance,” he says. “We got into the studio and just wrote. It turned out pretty well for us. We were able to work with a band that has tons of experience.”

Brooks says most of those in the band – Nate Bergman, Henry Upton and himself – have known each other for nine years. The trio played together in high school and as the band progressed, it found its drummer via Craigslist.

“Mel (Randolph) was looking for a band to play with,” he explains. “He auditioned for us and fit in with the band. It’s been smooth sailing since.”

Brooks says “Superczar” is a record that’s a little more put together even though it only took 10 days to record.

“There’s more of a singular idea and is more of a complete record,” he says. “We wanted all the music to revolve around a concept.”

Lionize spent last summer as a standout on the Vans Warped Tour, and followed that success with a string of dates across the United States co-headlining with friends Larry and His Flask.

Brooks says the band has two different sets for shows such as Warped Tour and regular touring. With festivals like Warped, the band tries to put its most energetic songs in the set.

“We’re only playing for 30 minutes during those festivals and the younger crowds are more likely to get up dance and move around,” he says. “On this tour, we’re still giving a lot of energy on set, we just take our time with the set.”

As for the future, Brooks says he is looking forward to making more music.

“I don’t think we’ll put out two albums in the same year again,” he explains. “But we’re starting to write for a new album, hopefully to be released at the end of this year.”


Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
With Lionize, SuperGiant, Ambryzette
WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30
WHERE: Sunshine Theater, 120 W. Central
HOW MUCH: $10 at or 886-1251