I just sat down with Mel Randolph, the drummer for reggae/rock band LIONIZE. Check it out!
Ryan: How would you explain what it means to Lionize something?
Mel: To celebritize…I mean that’s pretty much it (laughs).
If you were to explain your music to someone who has never heard you before, what would you say?
I’d say we are classic rock, bluesy, with a tiny bit of spread of reggae.
Would you mind telling what some of your influences are?
Sure, Coltrane, Led Zeppelin, Steel Pulse (international reggae band)
I read that you guys did some recording in Jamaica. What surprised you or stood out about that experience?
The whole thing was very laid back; very relaxing environment. We were really surprised and shocked at the fact that we recorded in Kingston, which isn’t the area where the tourists are…it’s the real heart of Jamaica. So with that said, we were surprised to see that when we got there, there was this beautiful hotel. That’s where we stayed…we had a guy down there that was cooking food for us, so altogether it was a wonderful experience.
Any reason you went to Jamaica other than the obvious reggae vibe?
We got invited down. Do you know Steel Pulse? They’re an international touring reggae band, from Birmingham (UK). Their keyboardist, who has developed a relationship with us, he’s from down there.
Your most recent record is titled The Superczar and the Vulture. Any particular meaning behind it? Or not?
Yeah! Its just the whole, you know, comic book superhero thing.
Any standout experiences from this tour thus far? Any highs or lows?
It has its ups and downs, its perks. You either get enough rest, or you don’t. You eat right, or you don’t. It’s been really good so far.
How far back do you guys go (friendship with Maylene)?
This is our first time touring with them. It’s where we met them.
The music industry is very much in a paradigm shifting stage at this point. From your point of view, what’s one positive thing thats going on right now and what’s one frustrating thing that’s going on right now?
I’ll start with the positive; the thing about the music business is that, of course, you are dedicated. It’s fun getting your name out, especially at a pace where it’s gradually happening. There’s just so many other bands trying to do the same thing. For example, the Warped Tour for us was a huge, awesome experience. The downfall is being broke – you really have to have it set in your mind that this is your passion.
Metal influenced southern rockers Maylene and the Sons of Disaster took their powerhouse live show into Columbus, Ohio with support from Lionize recently.
Local group The Ordnance opened the show with their brand of impassioned hard rock, which at times seemed a bit forced and perhaps not mixed well. However, it is likely that any band with this level of passion and musicianship will only age well, and I’ll be keeping my eye on these guys in the future.
Lionize of Silver Springs, Maryland followed with their unique brand of jam-rock. The quartet played as a unit, no question about it. They kicked things off appropriately with the first track off their latest record, Superczar and the Vulture. They showed off their musical ability gradually, building up things to a point that was impressive but not overindulgent. Lionize was appropriate direct support for Maylene – they kept the overall mood of the evening consistent, allowing fans to simultaneously enjoy some solid jams and save energy for the headliners.
With a name as over the top as Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, one would expect a band’s performance to reflect that. Vocalist Dallas Taylor opted not to say much, instead putting his all into the rock. Southern tinged metal vibes came from the stage, venturing out into, or rather on the welcoming pit. “Caution: Dangerous Curves Ahead” first assaulted the tiny pit and surrounding bystanders, segueing into “In Dead We Dream” off of their newest effort, IV. Highlights of the set included fan favorites “Dry the River” and “Tough As John Jacobs” and their encore, “Step Up (I’m On It).” Taylor dryly acknowledged the mixed reception to their newest record, cracking “post some negative comments on the wall” at one point. All in all, the bands played a show that made the 12+ hours of ear ringing I experienced worth it.