Adam Rankin - Vocals
Jayson Davis - Trumpet, Vocals
Dallas Fisher - Trombone, Vocals
Dave Siebler - Tenor Sax, Keyboards
Bill Hamilton - Guitar, Vocals
Paul Hughes - Drums
Gary Bolena - Bass, Vocals
The 2Tone Lizard Kings formed in 2004 in Tempe, AZ. Founders Gary Bolena and Dave Siebler
worked together to staff a full ska band for the purposes of writing new, original ska influenced material.
In 2004, Phoenix was an outpost of Ska. Bands that carried the Arizona scene, Dave’s Big Deluxe, Kongo Shock and Warsaw, were either gone from the scene altogether, or in the case of Warsaw, constantly touring. Nationally, the 3rd Wave of Ska that had brought so much great music to the people, was now completely over. Rudies and Rudettes were forced to wait for the occasional national or internationally touring band to come through Phoenix to see any good, live ska.
As ska disappeared from the scene…so did musician’s who were interested or willing to play it. As you can imagine, the prospect of playing in the 2TLK was not an easy sell to a lot of musicians. “No gigs, no money, no thanks” was a popular sentiment among the multitudes of musicians we approached with the idea in the early days.
It was in this bleak landscape that we embarked on our journey to build a big, beautiful ska band that we could use to rock people’s faces off (collectively). It took time, it took patience, it took energy, money and iron man endurance.
Conceptually, at the beginning, the idea was to build a large set of covers for a couple of reasons: We wanted to get our band comfortable with grooves of first, second and third wave Ska AND we needed to book the band and make money so we could pay the musicians as well.
Ideally, this would allow the band to survive and hopefully thrive while we wrote and recorded our original material.
To date, we have two full length releases: Bombs Away (2008) and Primeval Itch (2010) . Also a self titled EP which was released in early 2014.
Bombs Away was released independently, while Primeval Itch and 2Tone Lizard Kings EP were released via Megalith Records. Thanks Buck!
There have been some great gigs too. Some not so hot. I still remember the biker bar where the bartender sent the band a round of shots. Unfortunately the shots were not Jameson - they were an abomination from Hell known as the Prairie Fire. On that fateful night…we nearly all vomited on stage. Simultaneously.
On the good side, we have been blessed to tour with the world famous Toasters throughout the southwest. Playing shows in places like San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Durango, Albuquerque, El Paso, Austin, Houston, New Orleans etc..
We’ve played large festivals and we’ve played small dive bars (Pat Murphy’s).
Over the years, there have been some highs, some lows, some laughs and dare I say it? Yes, even a couple of tears. Oh there was blood too…and some mucus, eyedrops and a LOT of Jameson. Wow.
But more than all of that, there has been a line of musicians who have joined in to help push this reptilian ska beast along it’s beautiful trajectory. Oh yes. Men like John Schminke, Anthony Pozun, Grant Mitchell, Chappy, Casey Block, etc… it’s a very long list, but they have all joined us at one time or another to take the stage and play the ska.
No matter the lineup, the Lizard Kings are all about having a good time. We have been referred to as a “Keg Party with Horns”, that’s pretty spot on.
Check out our “Shows” page, pick a show and come hang out with us. The 2Tone Lizards Kings - we are: the other white meat, the bald eagle of ska, the push up bra on your hot girlfriend, the smell of a baby's freshly shampooed hair, a fresh pot of coffee on a cold winter’s day, a firm handshake, puppy breath, but mostly, we’re just like you…we are carbon based life forms, hurtling through space on a spinning rock. We just play ska while we’re doing that..
Good talk. Now get back out there!