More details have emerged about King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s ambitious five-album plan for 2017. For those playing catch-up, the band plan on releasing five full-length albums in the new year, starting with their ninth, Flying Microtonal Banana.
Fans of the Melbourne outfit will likely recall that they originally planned to release four albums in the new year. Apparently, they decided this figure wasn’t impressive enough. Not even after considering that they only recently unveiled their eighth album in four years.
“I figured I’m no good at chilling,” frontman Stu Mackenzie recently told The Guardian. “Over the years I’ve tried to keep myself super busy so I don’t go insane. If I’m going to be a musician and a creative person, I may as well be a productive creative person.”
According to Mackenzie, the other four albums are already simmering away in that hyperactive brain of his, though he wouldn’t reveal any further details. Only that one of the records will follow the same “trajectory” as this year’s Nonagon Infinity and another will be a collaboration with some “jazz dudes”.
However, speaking to NME, Mackenzie has shed a little bit of light on what we can expect from the rest of the albums, revealing that one of the records will in fact be a collaboration with Los Angeles-based project Mild High Club, who are playing Gizzfest 2016.
“I’m scared – I think I’m going to lose my mind by the end of the year,” Mackenzie told NME. “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!”
Mild High Club is the brainchild of Alexander Brettin, a Chicago musician now based in Los Angeles where he is signed to the prestigious Stones Throw record label. He’s worked with the likes of Ariel Pink, R Stevie Moore, and Silk Rhodes.
As for Flying Microtonal Banana, King Gizz built their own instruments to make the new album, crafting modded guitars with extra frets that gave the band access to microtones – the spaces in between the classic notes that most ears are familiar with.
“We were messing around with microtonal tuning,” Mackenzie told The Guardian. “Without getting too technical, it’s like dividing the musical notes so there’s one extra space: 24 notes an octave instead of 12. It opens up a bunch of possibilities.”
“Everything you do sounds wrong,” Mackenzie said of the three guitars and the bass they had purpose-built for their new songs. “You’re culturally attuned to a certain set of frequencies. Our challenge was to make music that didn’t sound too wrong within those parameters.”