Lionize | The Roar of the Jetpack

lionize sqThe band delivers a baroque sound that is uncommon, yet relevant and highly enjoyable.


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With their newest release, Jetpack Soundtrack (Weathermaker Records), Lionize are back with their funkiest album to date. Long labeled reggae or R&B rock, Lionize defy any real label, filling their newest effort with funk, soul, hard rock, and many other flavors. After Superczar and the Vulture, Lionize do not just put these genres together; they do so seamlessly and naturally. Their influences come through quite clearly, while leaving plenty of room for their own originality.

Hailing from Silver Spring, Md., the band is touring the United States on the 20th anniversary edition on the Vans; Warped Tour, on which Lionize are considered alumni. I recently sat down with lead vocalist Nate Bergman and asked him how the tour is going so far.

“It’s really good. A great tour…a fun one. You can come out and see all different bands. We’re having a great time.” Bergman, along with his band mates Henry Upton (bass/vocals), Chris Brooks (keys/vocals), and Chase Lapp (drums), are playing all of the tour’s 42 dates—which brings to mind the question of how one stands out on such a tour. I posed the query to Bergman, who replied, “We don’t have to try very hard. We have a Hammond organ onstage. No one sounds like us on this tour, or in general, really.”

Lionize does, indeed, stand out due to its blended style. Based in rock ’n’ roll with swirls of R&B, jazz, ’90s hip-hop, and reggae, the band delivers a baroque sound that is uncommon, yet relevant and highly enjoyable. Influences like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple shine through, while the jazz-fusion and R&B tastes take the music in new and unique directions. This makes for an incredibly diverse sound, and a very exciting record. Their newest single, “Reality Check,” provides an exciting hook and a great tune.

I asked Bergman who he was listening to right now, and who his main influences are. “I’ve been on an ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ kick lately. Lots of classic rock…lots of Deep Purple.” This is a band that could literally tour with just about any act in the rock ’n’ roll arena, including The Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, and even Fishbone and Motörhead, all bands with which Bergman and the boys would love to tour. After Warped Tour, Lionize are planning a small headlining tour in September and October, focusing on the U.S. and the U.K. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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