|For all you that thought Canada was famous for just Mounties & moose here's a band that shows there's another "M" this country is big for... METAL!! Yes, February's Featured Artist Of The Month, LIXX, will ROCK your world with their distinctive brand of red hot metal mayhem. SkidMcSkidder talks to Ryan Ziegler & Jason Sabbe, founding member's of this seasoned four piece band, about the independent rock scene North of the Rockie mountains!|
SkidMcSkidder: Hi Ryan, Jason! A big welcome to February's "Virtual Interview". Before I start, I must say you've the honour of being the latest night interview I've ever done! (it's ~1am GMT here at SkidMark central!).
Jason: Get the coffee out
SkidMcSkidder: Heh heh - I'm already tripping on the amount of Caffeine I've drunk!
SkidMcSkidder: Okay, LIXX have been together for 6 years with the current member line-up right?
Jason: Current? Yeah you could say that
Ryan: You still awake over there Skid? Hehe
Just! So how did you guys all get together?
Jason: Long confusing story......... Ryan and I met via friends of girlfriend's friends or something or other.
Ryan: Want me to tell it Jay?
Jason: Word got through that we were both musicians and Ryan figured out a way to get a hold of me and it took off from there
Ryan: Basically yeah, hehe
Ryan: I was looking to start a band and I had heard through an ex girlfriend that she knew of a guy that played drums...
Ryan: I phoned Jay up out of the blue, asked if he would be interested and he ended up coming out to my place to see if I measured up to his standards, (Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: (Laughs Out Loud)
Ryan: Don't take that the wrong way, (Laughs Out Loud)
Jason: Yeah I took him on anyways.....(Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: So, how big is the live scene in Alberta? Is heavy metal a strong presence in your area? - I know other SkidMark listed bands Esoteric Mind & Indifference have played in your locality..
Jason: Actually they both opened for us in October
Jason: We do many shows with esoteric mind and we are to do one in Regina with indifference in the near future
Ryan: That would be Regina Saskatchewan Canada
Jason: Basically, the independent scene is difficult out here. It's much easier do shows as a collective of two or three bands than to do one individually
Ryan: It's cool though, Esoteric has a bit different style than us but it still is cool that different bands get together to put on these shows to help each other out
SkidMcSkidder: Yeah, I've noticed from all of your sites that the gigs always seem to be in pairs or triple acts - is that down to a lack of venues?
Ryan: More just to draw a larger crowd, we each have our own following and by bringing 2 or 3 bands together you get all the more people there which helps all the bands to get more exposure
SkidMcSkidder: That's a good idea that I bet works well
Jason: It's more marketing I think than anything. If we draw a few hundred people and the other band on the bill draws a few hundred people, now we have twice as many people who get to like both bands
Ryan: Generally it works great
SkidMcSkidder: Talking of band styles - you all have your own distinctive sound - who takes the driving wheel when it comes to song writing or is it a joint effort?
Ryan: It usually starts with an idea one of us has, I write 99% of the lyrics but musically, it starts with a riff and then goes from there
Jason: Whoever comes up with the best idea gets it
SkidMcSkidder: So who's got the most credits to date then (starting a little inband rivalry! (Laughs Out Loud))
Jason: I take credit for the drums in every single song
SkidMcSkidder: Ha hah ha
Ryan: (Laughs Out Loud), well, like I said, I write the lyrics, someone's got to, hehe, and so far most of songs started out from my head but they always get put through the blender by the rest of the band, hehe
SkidMcSkidder: You've had plans to record a full length album for a while now - when will you be hitting the studio to start recording?
Ryan: Very soon we hope, we have all the material basically ready to go,now it's just coming down to finding the best place to do it as far as money, as always, but also getting the right people to record it, etc
Jason: The right combination of the best guy for the best price.....and as all would know, self financing is always tough
SkidMcSkidder: Yeah, 'tis the bane of all us independents - I myself tried to cut corners by buying an 8-track digital recording studio!
SkidMcSkidder: Heh - the paradox is, the music web writing and stuff takes up so much of my time nowadays I haven't had the time to finish recording anything!
Ryan: Anyway that you can get it out there is cool
Ryan: The technology is out there for someone with a small studio to put out a fairly cool sounding CD
Jason: Ideally we'd like to play enough that it would pay for itself, but I don't know if I can wait that long anymore
SkidMcSkidder: So, once the albums recorded, mastered, mixed and mass produced - will you be supporting it with some extensive touring?
Ryan: We plan to, basically starting in Western Canada and then go from there, we have wanted to get down into the states for awhile now so hopefully that happens soon as well
Ryan: We hear there are some very cool crowds in the States so we want to check that out, I think they would be into what LIXX does
SkidMcSkidder: Which direction would you head? East or west coast??
Jason: Personally. West would be the way to go I think.
Ryan: Probably west coast right now, gotta love the west coast girls, hehe
Jason: It's much easier to branch south from the West coast
SkidMcSkidder: Oh yea.... nice an' warm too!
Ryan: Yes they are
SkidMcSkidder: I've visited LA, Vegas & Frisco - all cool places
Ryan: And the weathers nice too
Ryan: I think as far as heavy or rock music goes there is more of a market in the west
SkidMcSkidder: Ever thought about jumping the pond and playing the UK?
Jason: All the time.
SkidMcSkidder: Again it's the curse of the folding green stuff huh?
Ryan: That would be an awesome thing to do, obviously there would have to be some financial backing there but if we get the album out and things take off then definitely
Ryan: As long as you would take us out and show us the sights then we are there, (Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: It'd be wicked to hang out at a UK gig with you guys - yeah a bit of the ol' tourism stuff would be good to!
Jason: And by sights we mean stripper bars
Ryan: (Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: That's what I meant hur hur!
SkidMcSkidder: How long has LIXX had an internet presence in the form of the ultra cool website, www.LIXXworld.com?
Ryan: How long now Jay? about 4 and a half years?
Jason: since January 2000 I think is when we started it
Ryan: That could be, seems like longer
Jason: It was right after our Halloween show for local charity we did it
SkidMcSkidder: Who wrote the site?
Ryan: Jay started it and I kinda took over, (Laughs Out Loud)
Jason: It actually started with me doing a fun project, but with limited resources. Ryan had a lot better access to technical stuff
Jason: We still both input the ideas though
SkidMcSkidder: Ah, a collaborative effort! So you're both jacks of all trades!
Jason: Jack off? (Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: (Laughs Out Loud)
Ryan: well I am an IT guy when I'm not bashing on my guitar so yeah, I kinda was elected. Jay always has input though as far as what goes into the site
SkidMcSkidder: Webcasts - Apart from the likes of MP3.com, have you ever got involved in live broadcasts over the net through web radio shows?
Ryan: Not really, we've had a few offers from guys with Internet radio stations to play our stuff but we've never done anything live...Yet.
SkidMcSkidder: You ought to check out www.bumpskey.com - they've a real cool show on 24/7 with plenty of live slots in - I've done two myself!
Ryan: That sounds cool, another great way to get music out to people without the need for major labels, we will definitely check it out
SkidMcSkidder: Do you find the internet has helped promote the LIXX scene to a much bigger audience?
Jason: Without it.... We'd still be playing Tuesday nights for free to bar staff
Ryan: DEFINITELY, we get people into our band from all over the world, it definitely has got us out there. We had quite a bit of success on MP3.com with one of our songs which also helped get a ton of exposure for the band so the Internet has been all good for us.
SkidMcSkidder: Wow! The site has had that big an influence on your whole scene? Excellent
Ryan: Big time effect on us, it's opened a ton of doors for us but there has to be something there besides just having a website and I think we can back it up, hehe
SkidMcSkidder: Heh heh Talking of gigs - What's the most bizarre thing to have happened at a LIXX gig?
Ryan: (Laughs Out Loud), Do you have a few days?
SkidMcSkidder: Go on...!
Jason: There's always one drunk chick to make an ass of herself in front of the band
Ryan: Well the Jello wrestling gig comes to mind
Ryan: We played a gig in a strip club, full of bikers, naked women, and us. It definitely was a memorable show, (Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: Sounds like my kinda night out!
Ryan: yeah, just a little more fun than the average person should be allowed to have
Ryan: There've been one or two hotel room incidents along the way too, (Laughs Out Loud)
Jason: I think the most bizarre night was having a chick r&b band open for us
Ryan: Yeah, that was different
SkidMcSkidder: And in the same vein - what's the most bizarre thing YOU'VE done at a LIXX gig?!
Ryan: Hmmm, Jay will have to take that one
Jason: The most bizarre thing I've done? Holy shit!
Ryan: Jay's the dog of the band, (Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: Ruff ruff! (Laughs Out Loud)
Ryan: it's a drummer thing
SkidMcSkidder: Spill the beans then dude!
Ryan: His nickname is "Animal" like the guy off the Muppets
SkidMcSkidder: Do you chain him up too???
Jason: Probably should....women would be safer
Ryan: Sometimes it's been necessary, but we always forget the chain, (Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: Heh heh
Ryan: There was the one show where the security was a little slack and a female fan made it onstage and eventually made it back to Jay where she proceded to stick her tongue in his ear between songs
SkidMcSkidder: Very nice....(Laughs Out Loud)
Jason: Many a time playing with broken snare springs, or just being drunk ...either which way, I usually end up playing with one hand
Ryan: And that's offstage
Ryan: (Laughs Out Loud)
Jason: No...she wasn't that nice
SkidMcSkidder: (Laughs Out Loud)
SkidMcSkidder: Well guys I'm running a little dry now anything you wanna talk about before I ask my final question?
Ryan: Well, hmmmm, not sure, there is the whole "new members" thing but I don't know if we want to give that away yet, what do you figure Jay?
Jason: Not much to really say about it right now....Things are in the works and it's a pretty easy ride for whomever gets on board
Ryan: Yeah, I guess that's about it other than music stuff, whatever you want to ask is cool
SkidMcSkidder: Okay - perhaps you can give me an exclusive for the "Hot off the press" section neaerer the time?
Jason: When we know...you'll know
Ryan: Sure, that sounds cool , we will have an announcement on that VERY soon
SkidMcSkidder: Wicked - So to wrap up this VI, what are the band's main priorities for 2003?
Ryan: Well, get out and play to as many people as possible, as always, hopefully hit the studio at some point, likely this summer as it looks right now, basically just get out there in one way or another and kick people in the ass
Jason: We need to record. And make sure we stay busy through out the year
Jason: A LIXX gig is always the best party and the more people that realize that.. the better the party gets every single time
Ryan: We put on a SHOW when we play and leave everything on the stage, if people come out to see us we want to make sure they will leave thinking "Holy shit." We don't want to be easily forgotten.
SkidMcSkidder: Sounds like a busy but fun year ahead! Thanks for talking to us Ryan, Jason - good luck with the new album recording and keep on rockin'!
Ryan: Thanks man, any time
Jason: Thanks duder
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Virtual Interview conducted using MSN instant messenger ™ 06-02-2003
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