It’s been a great couple of weeks for Aussie releases: Tame Impala’s Jay Watson is back with GUM, and his other band Pond surprise-released the nuclear ‘30,000 Megatons’ yesterday (November 10) because it “seemed like the right time”. All that emphasised how quiet King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard have been since they last released an album – April’s metal-drenched ‘Nonagon Infinity‘ – because prior to that they’d been releasing two full-length albums per year. But now it all makes sense, because it turns out they’re planning on putting out five next year.
The 2017 Gizzard bonanza will kick off with the pretty casually named ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’, released on February 24, 2017 via Heavenly, and from which today’s new single ‘Rattlesnake’ is taken. It’s a seven-minute, desert-set freakfest with the same rollicking rhythms that graced ‘Nonagon Infinity’ – thanks in no part to the two drummers, Eric Moore and Michael Cavanagh.
On this first 2017 album they’ve been experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar – for sound nerds, that means it plays in even smaller intervals than semitones, and it also means they all had to modify their instruments to be microtonal so they could play together (you can expect to hear a Turkish horn called a Zurna on the record, too).
“We built a studio in an old warehouse late last year,” singer Stu Mackenzie says of the beginning of their five-album endeavour, “so it felt like a good idea to give it a test run. We went from three albums, to four, to five.”
So how’s he feeling about the mammoth task ahead of them right now? “I’m scared – I think I’m going to lose my mind by the end of the year. We finished the first one, ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’, a couple of months ago and have been working on two others since then. One’s kinda jazzy and is a collaboration with our buddies Mild High Club. The other is kinda heavy and has some ties with ‘Nonagon Infinity‘. Four and five are too far in the future to think about right now!”
King Gizzard play the following UK dates in 2017:
Manchester, Albert Hall (June 14)
London, O2 Forum Kentish Town (15)