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Obsessed With The Master Of Disguise: An Exclusive Interview With LIZZY BORDEN

By Wendy Jasper, Black Metal Aficionado
Thursday, January 23, 2020 @ 8:30 AM

"I want digital backdrops, props, costumes, lights; I want it all and it’s going to be the best show I can offer!"

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Photos By Wendy Jasper

The ship is sailing for shock rocker Lizzy Borden...the Monsters of Rock Cruise ship, that is. However, that is not the only thing on the horizon for Lizzy and company. He and drummer Joey Scott, guitarist Julian Salas, bassist Steffan Salas and guitarist Gray Trainer have a lot in store for 2020.

This next year is going to be busy with touring plans, writing new music and continuing to promote My Midnight Things, the first of a trilogy of offerings Borden will release via Metal Blade Records. Riveting videos for "Long May They Haunt Us" and “Obsessed With You” have racked up thousands of views on social media outlets and show us that Borden is as dynamic as ever. There is also a lyric video for the title track, “My Midnight Things”. Borden even gave everyone a Christmas surprise this past holiday with a hauntingly beautiful version of “Silent Night”. The Master of Disguise has not been idle the past couple of years.

Launched in 1983, the band shocked and titillated audiences with their outrageous stage show and bloody antics. Aptly named as a tongue in cheek ode to the notorious 19th Century axe murderess, the band released their first EP, Give ’Em The Axe, on Metal Blade Records in 1984.

The EP received glowing reviews and the band’s growing notoriety led to full houses at venues across the country by the time their first full-length album, 1985’s Love You To Pieces, hit the shelves. Next came Menace To Society and the Terror Rising EP and somewhere along the way, the live album, Murderess Metal Road Show, hit the shelves.

The hits continued to roll out in the form of 1987’s Visual Lies. “Me Against The World” embodied the angst of a generation of metal heads who identified with the feeling of disenfranchisement from the world in general. Borden played a pivotal role in the cult classic documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years and contributed a cover of “Born to Be Wild” for the movie soundtrack. The band’s extensive fandom exploded with each of these successes and this paved the way for the release of the band’s most commercially successful album, 1989’s Master Of Disguise. Borden’s catalog continued to expand with Deal With The Devil and Appointment With Death.

Summer 2019 was an opportunity to showcase not only music from the new album, but from the entire LIZZY BORDEN catalog as the band trekked across the country with the Jon Shaffer/Hansi Kirsch collaboration of DEMONS & WIZARDS and Metal Blade labelmates TYR. It was actually an odd bill of symphonic power metal, straightforward heavy metal, and an ode to Vikings, but Borden loved the peculiarity of the tour because it offered something for every type of fan.

“It seemed strange that we would be asked to go out on this tour but when you think about it, there is something for all types of metal fans,” he said. “People who may have never heard us or seen us live will be exposed to our show and I think that is amazing. We have truly made new fans while getting out there to play for those who have been with us from the beginning.”

In addition to making new fans, Borden also felt like he wanted to start from the beginning with his band as well; other than his brother and drummer, the entire line up was new. Steffan and Julian Salas were introduced to Borden by photographer Stephanie Cabral and he took an immediate liking to the pair and he also tapped the talents of Trainer to add to the depth of the band’s onstage sound.

“For the past several albums and tours, we have had seasoned players; some of the best in the business and they have been wonderful and brought so much to the music, but I wanted to start from the beginning. This is a time of reinvention and when Stephanie (Cabral) introduced me to Stefan and Julian, I had never seen them play and their audition was amazing to me. They learned every song note for note, the way they were written! There was no deviation, no adding their own touches. It was pure LIZZY BORDEN and exactly like the recordings,” Borden exclaimed. “I was in awe. They went straight to work and brought me exactly what I asked for. I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting that is for me.”

So, what does this mean? It means that fans at shows will hear pure LIZZY BORDEN music from start to finish. It also indicates that an entire new stage show has been partially revealed to rabid fans.

“We have new costumes, new banners, new lights! Its all emerging from the depth of my imagination and coming to fruition the way I envisioned,” he said. “I wanted a fresh start and that is what I got. I worked with the label on the new album and it was just a few songs that I played for Brian (Slagel) and from the strength of those songs I signed a three-album deal but even then I think there will be more. I will be constantly working. Everything has changed so much when it comes to stage design and props and all the things that I have always used in a full LIZZY BORDEN show. That three-band tour, with us in the middle slot, meant that a huge theatrical show will have to wait until we have a headlining tour, but we were still able to use quite a bit of imagery onstage. I have some new costumes as well as some that will be familiar to longtime fans. I want digital backdrops, props, costumes, lights; I want it all and it’s going to be the best show I can offer!”

And will there be blood? Of course! No LIZZY BORDEN show is complete without it and the fans have gone wild this past year waiting for the chance to see the band.

“Loyal fans have will always be there but something that has been intriguing to me is the number of young, new fans who have been earned out of touring with bands who don’t play the same kind of metal we play,” he said. “Also, we have reissued some of the albums on vinyl and people are buying them up! The new album is selling well too, and I think fans are really happy with what we have done. The chance to do a headlining tour is, of course, something that I will be working on and I would like to get out as much as possible in the United States as well as other countries. We always do well in Europe and I think we will get the chance to bring the new and older music out as much as possible.”

The Monsters of Rock Cruise sets sail on February 8th and go to Cozumel and Belize and Borden will be in good company with the cadre of bands on the boat. Once that returns to shore, he will be announcing many bloody good surprises for anxious fans! Make sure you find Lizzy on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Reallizzyborden/

And on Youtube at:

See the Video for “Long May They Haunt Us” on KNAC.COM HERE

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