By Joe Bachman
The City Times spoke with Jamie Bruhn from The Lizardz in April. They will be playing in the 3:00 p.m. slot in Rapids Music Fest on June 17.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — For nearly three decades, ‘The Lizardz’ have been tearing through the state of Wisconsin, and show no signs of slowing down.
Formed in 1989, the Wisconsin Rapids treasures have played all around the state. While the band released an album in 2013 with all original content, catching a Lizardz show means hearing some well-known favorites, along with a unique blend of their own material.
“We’ve billed ourselves for years as ‘British classic and original rock’,” said bassist Jamie Bruhn. “If you come to a Lizardz show today you’re going to get a lot of Pink Floyd, some Stones, you’re going to get The Who — but we’re working some more modern stuff in like Cage the Elephant.”
The band averages over 30 nights a year in gigs, which blends nicely with the always hopping Wisconsin Rapids music scene. According to Bruhn, it’s the city’s support that keeps the scene so vibrant compared to surrounding areas.
“You have a large amount of club-owners that are very supportive of live music,” said Bruhn. “You have a wealth of talent in the area, and I don’t know where it comes from, but in any given night in Rapids you have six different bands playing.”
Not only does the Wis. Rapids music scene bring talent and support, but diversity that few areas in the state match-up with. It’s a diversity that the Minneapolis native has appreciate since he moved to the area long ago.
“Wausau has a pretty big music scene, but a lot of it’s blues-based,” said Bruhn. “You come to Rapids and there’s a country band playing some place, a metal band playing some place, a rock band, etc — there’s a variety. You can choose instead of being stuck with one genre.”
In fact, music in the area reaches farther than the city, and has even impressed the likes of Richie Castellano.
“Richie Castellano from Blue Oyster Cult, who lives out in New York City, was at the Marshfield Fair last September, and a couple of us were hanging out with him and he said ‘It’s the nexus of rock & roll in Central Wisconsin’,” said Bruhn. “‘He said ‘this is it — this is the crux of the music scene’.”
The Lizardz Lineup:
Milo Plante: Guitars/Vocals
Mark Larson: Keys/Vocals
Jeff Gauss: Guitars/Bass/Vocals
Travis Plantico: Drums/Vocals
Jamie Bruhn: Bass/Guitars/Vocals