music

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Down to an Acceptable Number of Drummers

September 7, 2020

Maddison Moore

No, this isn’t satire. 

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard drummer Eric Moore announced his departure from the band in an Instagram post on the 25th of August. Moore is stepping back as member and manager to one of Melbourne’s most prolific bands to focus his attention solely on growing his independent record label, Flightless Records. 

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce Eric’s departure as a member of King Gizz to focus solely on Flightless Records.” King Gizz posted on Instagram. “Over the last decade as both member and manager, from airport to soundcheck and from tour bus to stage he was there each step of the way. Eric made an immeasurable contribution to the band and we’re sad to see him go!” 

Moore has been with the band since its formation in 2010, but his involvement in the recording process has been decreasing over the past few albums, with fellow drummer Michael Cavanaugh taking the lead. It will be interesting to see how Cavanaugh’s playing will develop following Moore’s departure. Will Gizz source another recording or touring drummer from their Flightless family to fill the gap left by Moore in their live shows? Fans on Reddit have put forward The Murlocs drummer and Beans frontman Matt Blach as a candidate, while others favour the female addition of Stonefield’s Amy Findlay (who happens to be Cavanaugh’s partner). Perhaps this will signify another shift in King Gizz’s stylistic choices where Cavanaugh’s drumming develops into something more unique and ambitious without needing to factor in another drummer, although having two drummers does separate Gizz’s live shows from other acts in the scene. Watching two drummers play in perfect unison to complex songs or listening to two separate, overlapping drum rhythms in an overpowering drum-off made their live performances distinctive and contributed to the creation of their musical style. 

“Life goes on however, and I’m excited to keep growing the label and continuing to champion new artists and business endeavours until the lights go out,” Moore stated.

Flightless Records had humble beginnings. It initially released music by King Gizz and their associated acts, shipping its first releases to fans via pizza boxes. Since then, Flightless has come to represent some of Melbourne’s best alternative bands including the likes of Tropical Fuck Storm and ARIA Award winners Amyl and the Sniffers. 

Through Flightless — and under Moore’s management — the band was able to organise their own recurring Gizzfest music festival, release 5 albums in one year, release Polygondwanaland (an entire studio album) for free, produce a concert film, make a documentary with proceeds going to various Indigenous charities, and release three live albums in five days so that proceeds could be donated to animal and wildlife charities following the Australian bushfires earlier this year. No wonder Moore needs to step back to focus his energy solely on developing his record label. 

Although the departure of Eric Moore has devastated Gizzheads, it is exciting to see how this affects the trajectory of the Flightless Records empire and helps to further expand the Gizzverse.