A magical chat with Wizards

Wizards-4Wizards’ recently released SDRAZIW is the same surf-infused garage rock that we’ve come to love from the band – only better. So we decided to chat with Wizards about what made the album so great.


Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): First off, who are Wizards?

Wizards are: Thomas Seibel (a.k.a. Cid Vishnu) on vocals, guitar, sitar and violin; Aron Zacharias (a.k.a. Shirley) on bass, vocals and acoustic guitar; Dave Kitter on guitar; Duncan Pickard (a.k.a. Cpt. Pickard) on keys and electronics; and Cody Pauls (aka. Sea Pea) on drums and electronics.


RMM: What have you guys been up to since the release of Loser Surf Death?

Aron: We’ve been keeping pretty busy trying to play shows and jam whenever we can, but it can be difficult with 5 people… After LSD was released, our original drummer (James McKnight) left the band, so we recruited Duncan (keys) and Cody (drums) to fill out our line-up. A lot of the last year was spent practicing songs and learning to groove with each other.

Wizards-3Thomas: To be honest, we are still in the exploratory stages of this transition. SDRAZIW is really the result of a hangover (in the best hagard-party way possible), of older ideas, waking up naked with next morning’s wake-me-up caesar and cheesy eggs served in some stranger’s futon by a benevolent, though mysteriously absent host. When one finds oneself in this position, what choice does one have other than to lace up your underwear, make a typo-ridden post about missing blundstones, and roll in to your minimum-wage parking garage job two and a half hours late? These are the kinds of questions we’ve been busy with.


RMM: Why did you want to collaborate with The Faps on your split release? And how did plans for that come about?

Thomas: We said to ourselves, “What band do we really f—ing hate? We should do a split with them!” and The Faps naturally came to mind.

Aron: The Faps are actually really good friends of ours (to the point where we basically live with each other). They’re also one of the best bands in Saskatchewan right now! They’re releasing a new EP in like two weeks and I highly recommend everyone check it out.


RMM: How was writing this album different or the same from the last?

Wizards-2Thomas: How many cooks does it take to change a soup?

Aron: LSD was mostly written by Tom and Dave, whereas SDRAZIW was more of a collaborative process, we’d all contribute songs. I think that was the main difference.

Thomas: And substantially less sleep. Inversely proportionate amount of pizza.

Aron: LSD was also recorded in one day, completely live off the floor at The Recording Arts Institute of Saskatoon (RAIS). We recorded it in October 2012 and it was released three months later. The whole process was pretty swift. SDRAZIW took a lot longer to piece together… The first sessions were  recorded with our original drummer at RAIS, pretty much right after LSD was  released. The song ‘Karma’, from our split with The Faps, came from those sessions, too. About a year later, and with our new line-up, we decided to record some new songs that we’d been practicing. We recorded these songs ourselves in Tom’s basement over the course of three or four days last April. Originally our plan was to release two EPs with all this material we had, but once things started coming together we realized it all sounded surprisingly cohesive together, so we said, “Fuck it! Let’s put all this stuff out as a full-length album!” We mixed and mastered it all ourselves too, which was quite painful at times, but also a good learning experience.


RMM: Your sound seems to pull so many sounds together. What influences do you draw from to achieve that?

Aron: I think it comes from having so many people in the band. We’re all really into our own things, but have a common love of psych-rock, dream-pop and stuff like that… Tom listens to a lot of traditional Indian music, Duncan and Cody are really into electronic music, Dave knows everything about classic rock, country, blues. I’m more into experimental music, drone, noise-punk. Our old drummer was really into metal… We try and bring it all together so it makes sense. Sometimes it works really well, sometimes it doesn’t.


RMM: Are you planning a tour for the album?

Wizards-1Aron: We had originally made plans to do a Western-Canadian tour in late June / early July, but Tom got accepted to study in India for two months, so we’re gonna postpone things and do a more thorough tour later this summer. We’ll have more details soon!


RMM: What’s next for Wizards?

Aron: We’ve got some new songs in the works and some really cool shows lined up… But mainly, we’re just in rehearsal mode right now.

Thomas: We’ve got a music video coming out soon too, so that should be pretty neat!


RMM: Finally, what have you been listening to lately?

Broadcast, Allah-Las, Foxygen, Connan Mockasin, Braids, Pond, Thee Oh Sees, Viet Cong, etc.


For more on Wizards, visit wizardmusic.ca.

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