Vegas Lounge Lizard is an Alternative band from Newfoundland. The band members are Dean Lundrigan – Vocals/Guitar, Chris Martin – Guitar/Lap Steel, Nick Walsh – Bass, Ryan Dinn – Drums and Kelle Rhoads – Piano / keyboards.
1. How is the new Vegas Lounge Lizard album coming along with Kelle Rhoads?
VLL: The album is coming along extremely well. Kelle Rhoads has added a whole new dynamic to our band and we are really looking forward to it’s completion.
Kelle: It’s also working out for me. It’s inspired and encouraged me to start developing music for my new album. It’s been a very inspirational experience for me.
2. How was the trip for Kelle Rhoads from Los Angeles to Newfoundland?
Kelle: It was a little confusing in Toronto, when connecting to another flight, but overall it was ok. I’m not giving anyone any money for food on a plane. Here’s an interesting fact. It is actually less miles from Newfoundland to Ireland, than it is from Newfoundland to LA, I find that absolutely crazy.
3. For the band it must have been a great treat to get Kelle Rhoads to work with the band?
VLL: The experience of having Kelle record an album with us has been amazing. We are very pleased with how it is starting to shape, and it’s really been an honor to have him be an integral part of it all. Every time you make an album, you can never be sure if people are going to enjoy or even listen. All you can do is create this artistic thing that when you get older, you can reflect on and truly be proud, rather than just banging around in a band with a few guys.
Kelle: It was a mutually pleasing experience that I will not soon forget, and it undoubtedly will be repeated in the near future.
4. Will there be any concerts in the future outside Canada?
Kelle: We are actually working on that right now. Vegas Lounge Lizard will be coming to LA early next year to promote their album a little and to perform with me possibly in Kathy’s wine room and at other various venues.
5. How long has the band been playing for?
VLL: The band has been playing for a little over a year, and this is our debut album. We released an EP back in December of 2012 and have had a number of member changes since then. So I think this album has taken a completely different direction than that EP. The band has really evolved since then.
6. How is the musical economy for Newfoundland compared to the rest of Canada?
VLL: The Musical economy is quite different in Newfoundland than it is in the rest of Canada. Newfoundland music is traditionally Irish or Celtic influenced, and with the exception of maybe Hey Rosetta and The Novaks, there aren’t a whole lot of popular rock acts in the province.
Kelle: We actually played a gig with an old-school rock and roll band called the Bedlam Beggars. They’re singer, Suzanne Power, exudes an energy that I haven’t experienced since I saw the Rolling Stones. There is great potential in Newfoundland if it continues to produce bands like Vegas Lounge Lizard and Bedlam Beggars. In fact, this gig we played was the best gig I’ve been apart of in the past 10 years.
7. What would be the bands influences?
Our lyrics are mostly rooted in spirituality, philosophy and social conscience and we are really into bands like Wilco, Sonic Youth and Low, who are very avant-garde and experiment with noise and effects. As a matter of fact, we actually recorded a rendition of a Low song entitled ‘Death of a Salesman’ for the album. We are also majorly influenced by the work of German-American author Charles Bukowski.
8. Would you say the Internet is opening new opportunities for the group?
VLL: Definitely, interest is growing daily. Having Kelle Rhoads as a part of this project has created new interest, and the band is starting to gain momentum. The Internet has been a huge part of that.
9. When will the new album be released?
VLL: We do not have a definite date planned for the release, but we are hoping it will be released early next year, maybe sometime in January.
10. Do you see your music in general expanding to another dimension of genres?
VLL: That’s a great question. The fact that we are currently recording with Kelle Rhoads, a classical artist, has helped to expand our musical journey.
Kelle: During my time in Newfoundland, I was actually inspired to write a classical piece and we recorded it for the album. I am going to call the piece, Sea of Labrador.
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