The Sweet Smell of Stinking Lizaveta

It's like you're trying to fit into this zone that's just about a foot off the ground, and you're trying to step on it and stay there. It's a feeling like levitating.

-Yanni Papadopoulos on performing live


Scream of the Iron Iconoclast was recorded at Electrical Audio Studios with none other than Steve Albini, whom the trio has the utmost respect for. "He works really hard. He never seems driven. He's never bitchy. He got the best drum sound I've ever had," lauds Agusta.

Alexi Papadopoulos
Each of the tracks from Scream were laid out live-in-the-studio from beginning to end. Yanni lays out Stinking Lizaveta's bare bones songwriting blueprint, "I'm one of those guys who sort of picks up the guitar and in the first five minutes I'm going to hit something if I'm going to hit anything at all that day. Then I develop that."

"Yanni will bring riffs to the rehearsal studio and then we'll learn chunks of it," Agusta adds. "He's really good at thinking about what a composition means. We'll be like, 'Okay, we got this part and got that part' and 'What is this thing?' and 'What should we do with it?'"

The final compositions are a mixture of what is already mapped out with space for improvisation built in, according to Yanni. "We always leave a little bit of room somewhere in the song. And that's the hardest thing about when you get in the studio because the part in question is no longer in question anymore."

Shortly after releasing Scream, Stinking Lizaveta embarked on a tour of Europe with The Hidden Hand before making an appearance at this year's Roadburn Festival this past 4/20 in Tilburg, Holland along with the likes of Pelican, Clutch, Blue Cheer, An Albatross, The Sword and The Melvins.

Yanni Papadopoulos
When it came to grading the reception of touring the European mainland, it passed with flying colors in the eyes of Stinking Lizaveta. Agusta declared the basic word of mouth among their fans to be a "functioning organ." Yanni was impressed with the more congenial side of the promoter's business acumens. "In the States there are good promoters and great people running some of the clubs, but in the States you hit the ceiling real fast if you're not involved in the 'corporate rock dream.' In Europe it seems like a lot more people act more independently. There isn't some remote corporation running the venue. You're going to actually meet the person that runs the club, and they're actually going to tell you what they thought of your band and if they're going to have you back or not," says Yanni.

As far as tour stories go, Stinking Lizaveta has more than they can count. There was a weekend encounter with a mysterious figure known only as Dr. Fly in Ridgeland, South Carolina that remains at the tip of their tongues. Dr. Fly wasn't a medical doctor but a "doctor of something" remembers Agusta. An ex-garbage man and Vietnam vet who drove around without a driver's license and almost played for the San Francisco 49ers, Dr. Fly spent a few years selling whippets at Grateful Dead shows. "He's the only guy that ever tried to get into our tour van with a shot gun stuffed in his pants," recalls Alexi of the man whose regular outfit was a leather jacket while shirtless.

"He had a wife in Ohio, and he had just gotten done building their house but his wife was running around on him," Agusta continues. "So, one night he said, 'Woman, if you don't come home tonight then I'm plowing this house down.' She didn't and he actually bulldozed the place and split."

Dr. Fly was always keen on sleeping with his gun but Yanni is one of the few people who ever talked him into leaving it behind. "We got along because I kept playing 'Dust In The Wind' on the guitar. It all ended with a big birthday party at a K.O.A. I hope Dr. Fly is doing well."

Stinking Lizaveta - Live at the Northstar

JamBase | Philadelphia
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[Published on: 7/10/07]

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manjotar starstarstarstarstar Wed 7/11/2007 08:07AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


hell yeah, i can dig it.

deadpig79 Thu 7/12/2007 01:04PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!



EVILFUNK starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/12/2007 02:33PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!



Jam this, PAATNUH! ...I was stopping by the old club six there in durty downtown SF a year ago, trying to see about some tickets to see Cool Herc and Africa Bambatta later that night when I heard absolutly the loudest and sweetest music bellowing from the little club next door as parts of the building broke off and smouldered away into the night sky and onward into space. "whoa...what the fuck is happening to us, captin?" i ask the doorman ...he just shoves me in the door like he was saving my life or some shit ...I MAY NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN AFTER WHAT I SAW! you think my smelly hippy ass was impressed? we needed heavy machienery to get Herc's jaw off of the ground by the time Stinking L was done playing.


kyuss1313 starstarstarstarstar Fri 7/13/2007 09:14AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Stinkin' Liz is something I thought I'd never see on Jambase. What an outstanding group of musicians. First time I witnessed their madness was w/ Clutch a few years back. As much as I was craving the pro-rock juggernauts, I could've watched the Liz all night long. Prog-noise never sounded so sweet...

QuantumTuba starstarstarstarstar Sun 7/15/2007 07:03PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


These guys rule! It appears that Philly has a fantastic prog metal scene, what with Stinking Lizaveta, Dysrhythmia, and Behold...the Arctopus! Those bands should tour together.