Mellow Lizard is a Greek 4-piece band. They are Thodoris, Grigoris, Odysseas and Alexandros. It’s really one of my favourite bands of this year, tracks like ‘Blue’ or ‘Flowers’ are so beautiful. I don’t like comparing a band with another because each group has its own sound even if there are musical influences. Here, we can hear influences from psychedelic rock groups for our pleasure. ‘Some Kind Of Magic’ is their first EP with 6 tracks and I am happy to present you this one.
Meeting with Thodoris Tabakakis from Mellow Lizard.
How was the group born?
Thodoris Tabakakis: This project was born one year ago, a friend gave some recording equipment and I immediately started recording! At first I was recording only instrumental songs different genres, weird ones. I was not sure what I was actually doing at this time, but I was slowly going in a direction what I wanted to do and what to record. I started recording vocals as well and I recorded some songs for an EP I self-released and I guess this is how the group was born.
Who is ‘responsible’ for the composing?
Thodoris Tabakakis: Well Mellow Lizard started as an one man band and still is in the recording sessions. It’s always good to record on your own you know you do your thing and nobody is telling you I don’t like this part and change this and that. Also it’s something from just you , you give everything you’ve got for just one song and when it’s finished it makes you feel complete, but it’s always good to share ideas with someone too. Especially if you have musical chemistry with other members, then it makes something even better! The thing is since it was a solo project I wasn’t able to do live shows so I decided to ask some friends if they wanted to help me play live. We did some rehearsals and then some live shows.
How many are involved in the band?
Thodoris Tabakakis: There are 4 people. It’s me on guitars and vocals, Grigoris on bass guitar and vocals, Odysseas on percussions and Alexandros on guitars and vocals as well.
Which are your musical tastes and influences?
Thodoris Tabakakis: I really really love psychedelic rock from the 60’s era onwards!!I would say I get a lot of inspiration from The Brian Jonestown Massacre lately, Anton Newcombe is such a great musician and we’re all lucky this guy still makes music and loves to make music. The Beatles always inspire me to write music, Pink Floyd, The 13th Floor Elevators, Sonic Boom, Spacemen 3 … I’ll never stop if I continue there are so many amazing bands!!Also I think it’s good to get influenced by newer bands too. The Black Angels are really amazing they always inspire me to record something with a “darker” vibe and also a lot of stuff I found out on soundcloud, I heard so many amazing songs from unknown bands and I feel lucky I found out about them!!
Any other Projects you are involved in?
Thodoris Tabakakis: My favourite project besides Mellow Lizard is 420 Floors High. I have this project with a really good friend of mine George and I really enjoy working with him. We’ve got a lot of chemistry in music. I send him a song and he records what I’ve already pictured. We’re currently working on a new EP and we released one about three months ago. Another project is The Pink Elephants with Peter McNestry and Art Pegis. We released an album called ‘Liquid Illusions’ and are currently working on a new one as well.
Any gigs planned so far?
Thodoris Tabakakis: We’re gonna be touring around Greece in July and possibly in August too we’ve booked 2 gigs one in Athens and one in Corinth and we’re currently looking for more places to play live!!
Why did you choose the name “Mellow Lizard”?
Thodoris Tabakakis: Once I asked a friend of mine to draw for me for an unborn project an Indian that was half human half lizard.
She drew an awesome drawing I used it on some songs and you can also find it on my facebook page too. So I was thinking naming this unborn group something with Lizard in it when I came up with the idea Mellow Lizard. The “Mellow” came out from the music I was recording back then the sound was so mellow and still is, so it fits perfectly. So this is where the name came from.
Photo credits: Eugenia Patsouridou, Mihalis Kaplagiozis