LFA RIP

Lizards From Afar has officially disbanded… again. Three years after our virtual (can I say it?) regeneration we’ve agreed to crawl back under our respective rocks. There are other things to do in life and I think we proved that even after all this time we still rock with our own distinctive sound.

There are still a couple of new tunes so far along we’ll release them anyway, one being a brilliant “suite” of three songs, in fact, written and composed by Chopper Newt. I had originally thought his contribution of these songs would renew our drive for a new album, but it hasn’t worked, unfortunately.

And for fans of the old days, here’s a remake of a 1993 Gator classic (always on about suicide, Gator!) that I finished up and decided to send forth into the digital world. The original is on our ill-titled 1993 tape “Tantric Pathways” (our overly u2 influenced days). Vive Les Lizards!

Then I Fall 2010

In the meantime, this website will remain active for fans of all things Lizards From Afar.

For the future, there is a possibility that Sir Pent and I will form some sort of new musical collaboration.

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17 Responses to “LFA RIP”

  1. (written the evening I found out LFA had disbanded)
    I listened to your entire repertoire in chronological order today.
    I don’t know how coming back together and producing 19 new songs (and reworkings of old ones) affected you Lizards personally.. but for me, it was a dream come true. (stop rolling your eyes)

    When I lived with Gator for a while in Chicago, he gave me the 3 original tapes, with which I fell in love and I memorized every note and lyric. Completely devouring them as I have for only a few choice recording artists in my life.
    For me, the songs represented a shared experience gone by.. These 4 guys lived through IWU and Bloomington about the same time I did. When I heard Gator sing about an Indian Summer, it’s magic.. I probably experienced the same warm spell he did in the same town.. When Chopper Newt sang about when Bush thought everything was cool,.. I was pissed off about the same war, in the same town he wrote it in. “Giddy With Dread” was apparently about a European tour that had to prematurely return to the U.S. because of that same war. I was on a parallel tour with the IWU Camerata at the same time.. and had to return for the same reason. I know that feeling of dread almost as precisely as the people on Gila Monster’s tour.
    “Last Train” (I’ve posted about this before.. please indulge me) is one of the few songs capable of reducing me to tears (especially today). The final song of the third of three original tapes. To me, it’s that lonely pause to let the gravity of the end of an era in ones life be felt.. one last time.. before stepping into the next era. Today’s listening was beyond significant.

    I thank you four, brilliant, creative, hilarious, talented guys.. of whom, I only got to know Gator well (a friendship I’ll cherish forever (and regret I wasn’t a better friend to him at the time)). Perhaps in the years that come, I’ll be lucky enough to collaborate on projects with some of you… for that, I pray none of you hang up your songsmithing hats permanently.
    I also thank the members who left the core band, because no one can say that the band was ill-developed because of you. Gila, Komodo, even A Trane Salvador Dave Zimmerman.. I love everything you contributed to the band in your time with them.
    You guys have given me something real to hang my thoughts and memories on. A soundtrack to a period of my life that wasn’t there when I was going through it (ok.. I did hear at least 2 live LFA concerts, but didn’t really absorb the music until later) but a perfect sync applied in the post-production of memory and reflection, made all the more poignant by the breakdown of a love forged at the time the music was made, was what I have because of you guys.
    It was enough to make me want to form a band of my own, which turned out to be more rewarding than I’d imagined.
    I hope you guys didn’t open too many old scars in the process.. I, for one, am eternally grateful you came back and made more music together.

    Thanks for everything.

    Most sincerely,

    Gordon

    You’ve all got eyes, why can’t you see? We’ve got all that we need: our instruments, a 4-track. We can leave this town and never come back.
    And we’re traveling down this road, for all these years.
    Traveling down this trail of tears.

    • Chopper, don’t reply “TLDR”.

      • Gordon…I think Matt, Ivan and I are going to try to continue collaborating musically in some sort of informal fashion. I have written hundreds of lyrics. We would love to have you involved.

        What should we call this non-Lizard, loose collective of moderately talented musicians?

      • I’ll help out, but I warn you.. My burners are all covered at the moment. So as to not frustrate you with AWOL periods of no output, I wouldn’t expect a lot from me if I were you. Just being upfront.

        I’m much better at being your biggest fan and once in a while guesting on a track.

        I do appreciate the inclusion, believe me. This was a laughably improbable pipe dream 5 years ago.

  2. Thanks, Gordon, our biggest fan.

    I, for one, am hanging up nothing. I just bought a 12-string electric guitar, for pete’s sake! Anytime you want to collaborate, you’re in. I’ll send you our future demos and you can decide.

    Planning a gig for next fall, if I’m around here in Ohio. Definitely making the song list will be: Four H and Fourteen!

  3. It’s too bad! And you never did a “Japan Tour”!

    Well, you can still come visit Tokyo this summer and see KISS play.
    (And Marty Friedman on TV).

    http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/kiss-and-friedman/

  4. Once upon a time, I was surprisingly reluctant to revive LIZARDS FROM AFAR. I hadn’t played drums in years. I had no idea how we could share files “virtually”. I had never had to record drums following along to guitars…they had always had to follow me.

    I figured I would give it a try. It was both wonderful and terribly frustrating. My old electronic drums sounded terrible when recorded. I struggled to play well. What I did play frequently wasn’t satisfying for Chopper or Gecko. We had many email arguments, which now seem ridiculous.

    It was also wonderful because, for the first time in years, I had a creative outlet. Not only was I drumming, but I was writing lyrics. Something I love to do, but was always #4. (Chris-Ivan-Carm always came before me…deservedly so.) Now there was less competition. The perfect opportunity to shine.

    In the end, I think Matt and I helped drive Chopper away. We were overly enthusiastic. Some might say annoying. Hell, we are annoying. I like to think that it’s because we loved the music (and eachother) so much.

    Having the Lizards From Afar in my life has been a great distraction from many of the physical problems I have been facing. Lately, those problems have been preventing me from playing drums. Double edged sword. Still, I will miss it.

    I don’t think this is the END of it. Like many famous acts, I want to say that we’re “taking a break” or “on hiatus” or “recharging our creative batteries”. Someday we will regroup and put together our wistful middle-aged retrospective collection of songs…and then Matt and I will insist on rapidly assembling a follow-up which will again drive Chris into seclusion.

    • Oh, come now. Blaming us for driving away Chopper Newt? I offered to address whatever issues he had, so I assume there are other things in his life (like D&D) that are consuming all his leisure.

      Seriously, though, I’ve thought about what it is the Lizards From Afar are trying to do, and there is a sort of aesthetic nihilism to it. We record rock songs for no reason other than our own pleasure and to hear them played on the internet. That and and the fact that we never or rarely see our collaborators face to face tends to breed a sort of nonchalance about the whole thing. It’s probably hard to maintain energy for a project that seems to have no obvious end and no real goal. If we recorded a second (or is it really a fifth) album, would we then start on the next one?

      I decided I’m fine with that because I still enjoy it (it’s my hobby, my escape), but it DOES take up more time than it ought to. When I probably should be thinking about my research, I find myself thinking about the next new song.

      I told my parents to their horror when I was 15 that I was going to be a rock star, but became a professor instead. It’s hard to imagine that I would have been LESS successful had I tried for the rock thing. I worked for seven post graduate years to get a PhD, then I’ve taught for eight years full time since then–and now I have almost nothing to show for it except some nice published articles and a book manuscript under consideration at a press (none of which are making me money or getting me a better job).

      Vive rock and roll!

      • And in the immortal words of Serpentuh at the end of our last song on our last concert on the Quad, “I’m fucking movin’!”

  5. I was listening to my rough mix of I Hate Everybody and I can say this:
    – it’s a catchy tune
    – the wood block is GENIUS!

  6. Don’t worry about it, Gordon. If you want to be involved with something, you can let us know.

    • You might be happy to know that we have 3 pretty cool and completely different tracks that will be coming out soon. You might be unhappy to know that I sing on 2 of them.

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