Something wicked this way comes ... and it ROCKS!
    Wicked Lizzard  is a Fayetteville-based band that doesn't want to take the same road as many local groups, seeking that big record contract and MTV video in heavy rotation — it's a group of four musicians who simply want to play a wide range of rock 'n' roll cover songs that appeals to an eclectic range of ages and genres.
    Most importantly, they're all about bringing the fun back to the local music scene — for themselves and their fans.
    "We’re a high-energy, hard-driving rock band," said Jay Lambert, Lizzard's lead singer. "We're not really original — some bands are more original, some bands are just slamming metal and you can’t understand them. We’ve got a nice mix. We get a good age mix. You look over here and you got a 23-year-old and you look over here and you’ve got a a guy who’s 45.
    "We also play a wide variety of songs," said Jay. "If you don’t like the song we’re playing, wait until the next one because odds are we’re going to play something you like. We’re learning new stuff too, so we’re not just stuck in one genre."
    When Lambert says Wicked Lizzard  plays a wide variety of tunes, he ain't just whistlin' "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down;" the Lizzard has more than 50 songs on its set list, ranging from old school rock such as Kiss, AC/DC and Traffic, to new blood like Radiohead, Alice in Chains and 3 Doors Down.{mosimage}
    All the musicians have more than 20 years experience playing in bands, including bassist Jamie Gardner, who started out playing in a jazz band in high school, and then played with a country rock outfit for 12 years. However, like each of his band mates, he feels he's truly struck gold with Wicked Lizzard.
    "This is by far the best band I've ever played in," said Gardner. "There are no egos or issues here — everyone has an equal say in what we do and what we play."
    Wicked Lizzard plays out about three times a month and is looking to expand on that number. The band's favorite local spots to play include FuBar, Louie's Sports Pub and The Dog House.
Having a little age on the band members has caused some surprise to club owners and fans when the Lizzard hits the stage and begins rocking like guys half their age.
    "The guy at FuBar’s had never seen us, but we got in there and just exploded and he really wants us back," said Lambert. "That’s not bragging, we’re just psyched about that. They thought we were just going to get up there and start doing Johnny Rivers tunes; we bring it a little harder than that. We want to give the people their money’s worth.
    Guitarist Roger Biggerstaff — Sgt. First Class Biggerstaff of the United States Army, that is — is the one most responsible for making sure the songs are just right before the band hits the stage.
    "We try to come as close to the sound of the song as we can," said Lambert. "Roger is the leader of that. He’ll say we’re not going to do that song until we practice, practice, practice and get it right. We screw some songs up on stage sometimes like every band, but we’re shooting for perfection."
    And keeping it all nailed down and sounding good is drummer David Morris, who is also responsible for shaping the band's sound.
    "He breaks his neck getting the PA set up," said Lambert. "He makes it all sound pretty; we just show up and go."
    Expect an old-fashioned show complete with smoke and mirrors when you go see Wicked Lizzard. What some bands call "kitsch," the Lizzard sees as putting on a show. A lifelong member of the Kiss Army, Lambert believes every show needs some of that old "I Want To Rock and Roll All Night" sizzle.
    "I won’t compare us to them (Kiss), but the way they do a show, we do it on a local scale what they do on a big scale — smoke, lights," said Lambert. "A lot of bands don’t like to do that but we like to blow it up. Image is fun. We don’t do it because we’re saying we’re gods or anything, we just love doing it. Put the smoke machine on top of me — I eat it for breakfast."
    And if you get a chance to see this group of vintage rockers at a club near you, they guarantee you'll eat it up, too.
    "I was a hired hand for a few years, playing with whoever wanted me," said Gardner. "This is what I prefer — you walk into a bar and drop a quarter in a jukebox and hear what you want to — that’s what I want to play ... and we've found that's what the people want to hear."
    You can catch Wicked Lizzard  live on the following dates: July 20 at the Dog House; July 26 at Big Harry's Tavern; Aug, 14 at the Dog House; Sept. 5 at FuBar; Oct. 4 at FuBar.

Tim Wilkins, Associate Editor
COMMENTS? 484-6200 ext. 105 or
tim@upandcomingweekly.com

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