Koizilla: Prolific psych-rockers

30 September 2017 by Fraser Thompson

interview koizilla

For the third time in a year Dunedin’s one and only surfadelic riff monster ‘Koizilla’ is releasing an EP.

This one’s titled ‘Clean the Kitchen. End the World’, a follow up to June’s ‘doomsurfdoom’ and September’s ‘Blunder Brother’. This prolific release schedule brings to mind the Australian psychrock band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, possibly not a coincidence since Koizilla’s singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Zac Nicholls is apparently a huge fan.

Koizilla are the sort of band who can froth up a crowd of drunk freshers at a ReFuel pint night, but hit enough technical buttons to open for the likes of Mermaidens and measure up pretty favorably. They’re one of the most consistently enjoyable live acts I’ve seen in Dunedin.

Part of the reason for their universal appeal could be Zac’s highly relatable lyrics which evoke hazey memories of drunken nights and hungover mornings, forcing you to consider whether you would prefer “a spicy curry or a chicken kebab”.

Musically they sit somewhere between surf-rock and psychedelic-rock, but aren’t afraid to diverge.

Half way through the song “Escape Rope” on their second EP doomsurfdoom for example they casually drop in some heavenly Brian Wilson-esque vocal harmonies before plummeting straight back into the riff filled land.

Their first single from the new album ‘Haze’ has about three tempo changes in its four minute playtime. A bold choice for a single, but it works. At the time of writing it’s at number one on the Radio 1 top 11.

Fans shouldn’t expect another doomsurfdoom though.

“It’s sort of more of like a party album… It’s sort of upbeat” explains drummer Josh Nicholls (Zac’s brother). Bassist Connor Blackie concurs, “It’s just a bunch of riffs, thrown together”.

Most of the songs are written by Zac, who apparently has a bank of songs distributed about his phone and his head.

“I mean it’s mostly Zac, he does like 90% of it and we do the last 10%” explains Josh.

“We just pull his songs apart and make them songs we collaboratively put back together from his songs” adds Connor.

This EP was recorded over a weekend, produced and mastered by Steven John Marr at Radio 1. They’ve worked with him on all of their albums, and they all sound excellent as a result, with production subtleties which enhance the recordings without getting in the way.

As with all good modern physical music releases it’s cassette only, and you can pick one up tonight (with a sticker) at the release party in The Attic. Also playing are The Rothmans, Bathsalts and Terrified. Josh promises it’ll be a “classic attic party”.

“We’ll go round all the $2 shops and buy more fairy lights”

In other fizzy doings around Dunedin, DIY art space YYY are holding an afternoon gig featuring an array of exciting acts: Drorgan, Negative Nancies, The Hoolie Buzzes, Mud Death.