As the artwork of their debut album, We’re Already Inside Your Mind, will tell you, Welsh proposition Lacertilia embrace the trippy side of high-octane rock’n’roll. Led by a raucous lead singer in Matt Fry, the five-piece are the architects of a visceral form of heavy rock, informed by 70’s rock but infused with hefty doses of 60’s psychedelia, alongside the desert-fuelled riffs of stoner rock, the expansive sound of doom, the energy and attitude of punk and the grooves of funk.
In a healthy scene brimming with quality acts, the quintet manage to stand out, with a sound that boasts an irresistible retro vibe and yet sounds modern and fresh. Lacertilia’s sound is infectious and instantly loveable, but it also wields a deep message and an expansive multi-faceted sound that revels in its energetic nature. Keen to learn more about the band’s debut album, and the origins of their innovative sound, we spoke to Matt about all things Lacertilia.
We’re Already Inside Your Mind centres around a theme with a strong societal message, could you tell us more about it?
People are walking around like zombies, glued to their phones, striving to create an alternative, better version of themselves in the virtual realm they now live in. Every move is calculated and trust is disappearing because nobody knows what is real anymore. Celebrities are worshipped, selfies are everything and all aspects of life have a cost attached to them. We’re spiralling downward into a weird technological nightmare where social interaction in the flesh will soon be a thing of the past. The theme of the album focuses on challenging human concepts that imprison us within our own minds, empowering ourselves and bringing forward a shift in collective consciousness where truth, love and understanding are commonplace and governments, corporations and monetary systems are no longer.
Where did the idea for the theme originate?
Its an observation on society mixed in with a few ideas thrown about from me challenging myself and my place in the world. It’s also more than likely been influenced by all the sci-fi and futuristic/apocalyptic movie stuff I grew up with as well as the ideas that permeate the free festival scene.
The band’s name comes from the suborder of reptiles that lizards belong to, what’s the significance of this?
It’s a pretty weird, exotic and awkward sounding word which we think sums up our sound. It represents the ‘lizard brain’, our primal instincts and urges and the raw energy we tap into when we play. It also pays homage to The Doors, the Lizard King and hints at conspiracy theories involving shape-shifting humanoid lizards hahaha…
The trippy artwork ties in with the theme (and the band’s name), where did it come from?
We got chatting to local artist The Dead Hand and gave him some ideas to work from. We also sent him the tracks and lyrics and he got cracking with it.
You have quite a varied sound, who/what are your influences?
We’re influenced by a broad range of stuff – blues, funk, heavy rock, punk, psychedelia, doom . . . bands like Hawkwind, Sabbath, The Doors, Kyuss, Electric Wizard, MC5, The Stooges, Ozric Tentacles, Pink Floyd, Can . . . we could go on all day. We don’t aspire to be like any other band we just soak it all up and spit it out in our own way. Besides the obvious punk, psychedelic, metal and rock stuff there’s the influence of different cultures like the hardcore punk scene, biker culture, 60’s counterculture, the free festival movement. The mountains of Wales and the tribal parties we have on them also play an important part.
Despite an energetic style of rock ‘n’ roll, your sound also tinkers with stoner, psychedelia, punk, doom and more, is innovation musically something you strive for?
To be honest, we just do what comes naturally to us. It is a bit of a strange melting pot of styles but that’s us. We don’t see ourselves as innovators, more torchbearers for proper rock n roll music. We’d never want to be a boring copycat band though so thinking about it, yeah, innovation is important.
Can it be hard to mix the various elements of your style?
We have a lot of disagreements and we seem to be on a different page a lot of the time. We’re all involved with different movements and scenes and we’re not always into the same thing. That said, there is a lot of common ground. When we get together, we jam until we hit on something that strikes a chord with all of us. These are the ideas we work with, and it all seems to come together.
Do you think doing something new is important in modern rock and metal?
It’s important that we don’t rehash the same thing over and over but it’s fine to draw on our influences, of course. We talked about innovation earlier and I reckon you need to push some boundaries to keep things fresh and relevant.
What does Lacertilia have planned for the future?
We have lots of shows lined up, a load of underground festival dates. We’re looking into touring Europe with Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters and we aim to record a new album. There’s a few surprises coming too… all will be revealed!
Pick up a copy of We’re Already Inside Your Mind here.
Words: George Parr