Lionize is an American rock band based in Montgomery County, Maryland (Silver Spring). The sound of the band is steeped in hard rock but they frequently experiment with varying sounds from reggae, dub, Go-Go and funk The band met while in middle school and high school and officially became Lionize in the summer of 2004. The band line-up consists of Chris Brooks (Hammond organ, Rhodes piano, piano, synthesizer, clav, lead and background vocals) Nathan Bergman (vocals, rhythm and lead guitar), Henry Upton (bass and backing vocals), and Chase Lapp (drums and percussion). Lionize has released five full-length studio albums and one E.P. Tim Sult from the band Clutch appears on several albums as an additional guitar player. Other collaborations on albums include Jason Marshall, Neil Fallon, Jean Paul Gaster, Dean Frasier, David Hinds, Selwyn Brown, Sidney Mills, Cha'Mane, Squidly Cole, J. Robbins, Eric Oblander and Larry McDonald. The band is signed to Weathermaker Music, a label owned and operated by the band Clutch and Jack Flanagan.
The band started gigging heavily around the Maryland, DC and Virginia areas at bars, local venues and house parties. On October 26, 2005, the band opened for Steel Pulse at The Recher Theatre in Towson, Maryland. That evening started a long-time friendship between both bands which eventually led to members of Steel Pulse bringing the band to Jamaica to record the album Space Pope and the Glass Machine at Harry J. Studios in 2008. By 2006 the band had supported Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Yellowman, Groundation, Israel Vibration, State Radio, Fuel, Hoobastank, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, The Pietasters, Concrete Blonde, and The Bakerton Group throughout the East Coast of the United States.
Starting in 2008 the band supported H.R. (Bad Brains) and The Human Rights band across the U.S. eventually leading to the band opening for the Bad Brains in 2011 and 2012. The band began touring extensively throughout the United States and Canada supporting acts such as Authority Zero, Wino and Clutch, Ozomatli, Chali 2na, The Wailers and Steel Pulse. In January 2008, Steel Pulse musical director Sidney Mills invited the band to Harry J. Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, to make a reggae-infused album called Space Pope and the Glass Machine, which features a horn section directed by Dean Frasier and Sidney Mills. The album was recorded between Harry J. Studios, Boot Camp Studio (Digital Paul) and Portmore Studio 100 (Squidly Cole). The band was joined in Jamaica by Tim Sult on additional guitar. The album also features Eric Oblander on harmonica for the opening track "Space Pope" and Larry McDonald on percussion throughout. The album was released on the Pietasters record label, Indication Records. In 2009-2010 the band was hand picked by Lee Scratch Perry to tour the United States as Perry's own backing band and support act. This led to group performing at several festivals, including Reggae on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver, Colorado. These two years also included the band supporting Kylesa, Red Fang and the Saviors, Galactic, Sublime with Rome and CkY. In 2010 the band recorded and released the album Destruction Manual, which was recorded and produced by J. Robbins at Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore, Maryland. It had a heavier sound than the previous album Space Pope. Destruction Manual features Tim Sult on guitar, J. Robbins on percussion and backing vocals, and Donnie Williams on percussion. In 2011 the band returned to the Magpie Cage to record the album Superczar and the Vulture with Robbins at the Magpie. This album continues to find the band experimenting with heavy riffs, dub and funk. Guest musicians include Tim Sult, Nadav Nirenberg and Jim Conti from Streetlight Manifesto The album was released on Tomas Kalnoky's "Pentimento" label. In the summer of 2011 the band was the only band to ever perform Bonarroo Music Festival and the Vans Warped Tour in the same summer.
The band continued to tour across the United States and Canada, continuing to build their fan base among music fans and bands alike. In 2012 the band supported Fair To Midland, Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and a performance at the Gwar-B-Q in Richmond, VA. In the summer of 2012 the band shared three dates with The Company Band in DC, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, NY. 2013 Lionize supported Clutch, Orange Goblin and The Sword on the Earth Rocker World Tour across North America. and began to write and record their newest album "Jetpack Soundtrack" which was produced by Jean Paul Gaster and Machine at the Machine Shop in Bellville, NJ.
In 2014 the band released "Jetpack Soundtrack" on Weathermaker Music and toured extensively in North America and the United Kingdom to support the album with Clutch, Pepper, and the Vans Warped Tour 2014. It is the band's best received and best selling album to date. This year the band also found themselves in the UK supporting Clutch in April 2014 and again in November as a co-headliner in the Classic Rock and Metal Hammer Magazine's Lords of the Riff 2 Tour. Both magazines have given the band high praise on the most recent Weathermaker Release.
2015 started with a short American tour supporting Clutch and Torche. The band is currently in Beltsville, Maryland, writing the follow-up to Jetpack Soundtrack and will continue to tour into the spring and summer.