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A Mix of Metal: Getting heavy with Lexx Luther

Lexx Luther and Boneyard will play Ziggy’s this Friday night. Courtesy photo

Lexx Luther and Boneyard will play Ziggy’s this Friday night. Courtesy photo

What’s better than seeing all of your favorite bands come together for one awesome, classic metal-shredding night? Nothing. What’s the next best thing? Lexx Luthor.

It would be a dishonor to label them a cover band, being that the title seems to have a negative connotation. Seeing as they tackle some of the greatest classic metal songs with ease and style, Lexx sounds like something better.

Lexx has a killer lineup, including Tony Rock (lead-vocals), Danny O’Rourke (guitar), Todd Jackson (guitar and part-time lead vocals), Scott Davis (bass and part-time lead-vocals) and Greg Evans (drums). Together they play extremely well-executed, heavy-metal covers—songs from Iron Maiden, Metallica, Motorhead, Metal Church and Megadeth. It’s like the perfect playlist on shuffle.

Like the groups they cover, Lexx has a heavy stage presence. Danny O’Rourke’s animated antics only make his guitar solos all the more captivating. Pair it with the talent of Todd Jackson, and the duo build off each other in songs like “2 Minutes To Midnight,.”

The rhythm pulsates to new heights with Scott Davis and Greg Evans. encore talked with Todd Jackson and Tony Rock about the origins of Lexx and where they’ve come since then.

encore (e): How did the band get started?

Todd Jackson (TJ): The band was formed in Kingston in 1984. We started playing in 85 in clubs and bars all around the East Coast. We were in South Carolina, Virginia and North Carolina back then. We got turned down a lot back then because we were too heavy—because of our set list. Now it’s more accepted as the ‘80’s metal but back then it was the heaviest stuff out. A lot of bars didn’t want that kind of show, but the ones that did loved us.

e: What’s your take on comparing music today to classic ‘80’s metal?
TJ: Energy in musicianship is different; modern rock doesn’t do it for me. Not that there aren’t good bands, but the musicianship isn’t like it was during the ‘80s. The things that people remember about the ‘80s are the big hair and the metal bands, but it was so much more than that. We play what we like to play, and this is the music we listen to. Eighties’ metal is known for its showmanship. The artists put on a show.

e: Who are your favorite artists? Who can we expect to hear at the show?
Tony Rock (TR): My two biggest influences were AC/DC and Kiss.

TJ: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica … we consider ourselves a B-side band. If you bought a Judas Priest record, we’d be playing the songs that were less popular. We try to be a little different and on the heavier side.

e: What’s your favorite part about performing live?
TJ: When the crowd is singing the song you’re playing—that’s awesome. A good crowd reaction is the best part of it all. If I can play what I love, and there’s 10 people out there singing along and appreciating what we do, I’d rather do that than play in front of 10,000 people who are just there to get drunk or something.

e: How has the lineup changed over the years?
TR: Danny isn’t the original drummer, but he’s been with the band at least 13 years, when they were doing sporadic shows in the ‘90s. Soley Urna from Godsmack was the second drummer. Neil Dennis was the original drummer. I’ve been with the band for the past three or so years.

TJ: We also had Robert Sledge from Ben Folds Five on bass for a while.

e: Thirty years is a big chunk of time. Was there ever a point you were doing this for a living?
TJ: We started playing and writing our own stuff; we had the dream, too, man. We don’t make a ton of money or anything now, but I started to think that was the best. If we did start playing all the time, it would turn into job. It would be like work and not something we have fun doing. For me, it’s a great break from the real world. Now, we pretty much stay inside North Carolina, and play a few weekends a month when we can. We get to go out and have fun and play what we love.

Lexx Luther with Boneyard
Ziggy’s by the Sea
208 Market Street
Friday, Nov. 29th 9 p.m
$7 •

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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