Lizard formed in 1993 with the original lineup featuring Keith Wright (vocals, guitar), Rod Morgan (guitar, vocals, piano, viola), Gwyn Morgan (bass, vocals) and Mark Brightwell (drums). The band competed in the 1996 Contact 89FM Battle of the Bands, and the same year had the track Leave me alone released on the compilation In Love With This Town. In 1996 they released their first EP, Rumours, followed by their debut album Dave - Once a Lizard, Always a Lizard in 1998. They subsequently released one other album, Credito Experto in 2000, before disbanding in 2001. Lizard reformed in 2007, and released an EP titled ZFS in 2011. In early 2012, following the departure of Wright in late-2011, the band changed its name to Nest of Lies.
Early Days 1993 – 1996: Lizard formed in 1993 and played around the Waikato, Auckland and Coromandel extensively for the next eight years. Gwyn Morgan and Keith Wright formed Lizard while they were both studying at Waikato University. Their previous projects had recently split up, they had a few jams, and looked for a drummer and guitarist to join them. Regan O’Conner (Cut to Pieces) was bought in and he suggested good friend Chris O’Rielly to come in on guitar. The original line up was therefore Keith Wright (vox, gat), Gwyn Morgan (bass, vox), Reagan O’Conner (drums) and Chris O’Rielly (gat). This line-up jammed for six months before Chris left, and Gwyn’s brother Rod Morgan came in on guitar and vocals. Gwyn and Rod had been together in two previous bands (Less Than Zero and Rumpy Stiltskin) and he was a natural fit. The addition of Rod saw Gwyn, Rod and Keith gel musically. Regan O’Conner left after another six months in early 1994 and Mark Brightwell from Th Clap joined on drums. Th Clap had released their first album Clunkfuzz and then split up shortly after. Gwyn and Mark had jammed previously, and Th Clap and Rumpy Stiltskin had played many gigs together.
By this time Lizard had built up a following in the Waikato playing regularly in Hamilton, Raglan, Whangamata and Waihi Beach. Lizard released a limited cassette of 4 demo songs called Rumours in 1996, and had two songs Rumours and Walkin Out on You playlisted on Contact FM. They sold all that were made. Lizard had a third track, Leave Me Alone, included on the Hamilton music compilation CD In Love With This Town (1996).
1997 – 2001: In early 1997 Lizard were about to undertake a summer tour and start recording an album when drummer Mark Brightwell broke his arm badly surfing and Lizard had to find a replacement at short notice. Long time friend Paul Hindrup came in on drums for the tour but could not commit to Lizard due to commitments his own band Datura. With this delay Lizard re-released the Rumours EP, with one new song from the upcoming album, and renamed it Lizard Bitz. In late 1997 Matt Farrelly was confirmed as the new Lizard drummer. In 2008 Lizard found their style with Matt had altered and wrote new material to suit his style. Lizard continued to grow their following playing Hamilton, Raglan and Coromandel and also extended up to Auckland and down to Palmerston North.
Lizard entered the studio in 1998 and recorded the album Dave - Once a Lizard, Always a Lizard. They released it in 1999 and sold 1000s of copies, continued to build a following, and played all over the North Island. The video to Something Not Right was released in 1999 followed by the single Take Me Away. Their popularity grew with several radio stations, including The Rock and Contact FM, playlisting songs from the album. Lizard had a track Take me Away included on a music compilation CD Keen As for up-and-coming New Zealand bands in 2000.
In early 1999 Lizard had just finished their album release tour when the current line-up split up. Lizard recorded their last practice as that line up on ‘Valentines Day 1999’, as a record of the new songs that were to be the next album. Keith Wright released another album of his new material, titled Credito Experto, with a new Lizard line-up. In late 2001 Lizard split up.
2007 – 2012:
After a six year hiatus while band members pursued other projects Gwyn and Keith put Lizard back together for a one off to play Gwyn’s birthday party in Whangamata at the Surf Club. Rod Morgan and Paul Hindrup were on guitar and drums, respectively. Long time friend Wade Nicholls was singing in another band Medicated Joe that also played at Gwyn’s party and jammed with Lizard that night. After the party Gwyn and Keith decided to reunite Lizard and asked Wade if he would sing in the new line-up. Rod Morgan decided not to join Lizard as he was moving to Melbourne, Australia. Richie Allen (guitar; formerly of Role Cage) had played with Gwyn and Paul in a side project band The Butchers while Lizard was on hiatus and was an automatic choice for guitar to replace Rod. Paul Hindrup played with Lizard on drums until June 2010 when Emerson McCreedy (formerly of Subliminal Warfare) joined as the new drummer.
Lizard got back into writing new material in June 2010. After eight months of writing and practicing Lizard was ready to go. Six new songs were recorded in January at Red Room Studios in Hamilton with a new EP, ZFS, released in 2011. They also competed in the Band Experiments, but Keith Wright had left the band between the EP release and this performance. As such, the band featured completely different members than had appeared on the Credito Experto album, with only Gwyn Morgan from the original band remaining.
In 2012, with Gwyn Morgan the only original member remaining, Lizard renamed themselves Nest of Lies, dropped their back catalog and wrote 100% new music.
In 2018 Gwyn Morgan and Rod Morgan released the Morgan Brothers Band "Kin" EP through Digital Rights Management (DRM) on many digital platforms including Spotify, ITunes & YouTube. On the back of this in 2020 Lizard remastered and re-released "Rumours", "Dave Once A Lizard Always A Lizard" and "ZFS" through DRM as well as these albums had never been digitally available on any platforms.
Influences: Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Faith No More, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots, The Offspring
- Keith Wright: Gat & Vox (1993 - 2001, 2008 - 2011)
- Gwyn Morgan: Bass & Vocals (1993 – 2000, 2007 – 2012)
- Rod Morgan: Gat & Vox (1993 – 2000)
- Mark Brightwell: Drums (1993 - 1997)
- Paul Hindrup: Drums (1996 - 1997, 2008 - 2010)
- Matt Farelly: Drums (1998 - 2000)
- Regan O’Conner: Drums (1993)
- Chris O’Rielly: Gat (1993)
- Lisa Charman: Bass (2000 - 2001)
- Daryl: Drums (2001)
- Graham Clarke: Harmonicas (2001)
- Wade Nicholls: Vocals & Guitar (2008 – 2012)
- Richie Allen: Guitar & Vocals (2008 – 2012)
- Emerson McCreedy: Drums (2010 – 2012)
- Rumours E.P. (1996)
- Lizard Bitz E.P. (1997)
- Dave - Once a Lizard, Always a Lizard – Album (1998)
- Credito Experto – Album (2000)
- ZFS E.P. (2011)