One good Reason

Lapse of Reason is making a name for itself in the Reno music scene

Clockwise from top left, Lapse of Reason is bassist Bill Knight, rhythm guitarist Kevin Lazar, drummer and lead vocalist Chris Wilson and lead guitarist Michael Wilson.

Clockwise from top left, Lapse of Reason is bassist Bill Knight, rhythm guitarist Kevin Lazar, drummer and lead vocalist Chris Wilson and lead guitarist Michael Wilson.

Photo By David Robert

Lapse of Reason will open for Original Sin Feb. 10 at the Baron Lounge, 1483 E. Fourth St.; they will also play at the Little Waldorf Saloon, 1661 N. Virginia St., Feb. 24.

An inevitable task that all new bands encounter is making a name for themselves. For Lapse of Reason, that included playing in “Tent City.” Tent City, otherwise known as Harley Days in Bridgeport, Calif., will forever be known as their first real show (besides a high school talent contest).

“There were a bunch of drunk, sleeping bikers,” says drummer and lead vocalist Chris Wilson.

Rhythm guitarist Kevin Lazar described the stage area: a wooden shack, with coffee cans nailed to the walls, and a lot of dirt.

“They kept saying, ‘Do you know any Lynyrd Skynyrd?’ “ he laughs.

The answer, of course, was no. Lapse of Reason is about 30 years too late for the ‘70s rock giants. Instead, the four band members draw upon acts such as Metallica and Creed for inspiration. Wilson even sounds remarkably like Creed’s lead singer, Scott Stapp.

And Creed comparisons don’t end there. Wilson began his musical career, like Stapp, singing in church. Many Lapse of Reason songs seem to lyrically hinge on spiritual values, but not as much as Creed’s often overtly religious songs do.

One aspect of Lapse of Reason’s music, which distinguishes it from Creed, is that the former is harder, especially when it comes to bassist Bill Knight’s driving bass lines. At a recent show at the Blue Max, Knight tore through the set with blistering speed, but somehow seemed as if he wasn’t even trying that hard. This style is shared by the entire band and is extremely rare for a group that’s only been around for eight months.

Not only can the group play well together, they handle crisis together as well. At the Blue Max show, the band experienced technical difficulties from using the opening band’s equipment. After four songs, the band stopped and quickly broke down the equipment, and within 10 minutes was up and running with its own gear.

This effortless cooperation can probably be attributed to the fact that the band is made up of lifelong friends, who all hail from Walker, Calif. Lazar now lives in Reno and attends the University of Nevada, Reno, and Knight goes to school in Carson City. But Chris Wilson and his brother, Michael, make the 1 1/2-hour drive up US 395 every time the band plays in Reno, their unofficial hometown.

The members of Lapse of Reason also know everything minute about their music, joining the ranks of a new breed of self-produced bands. The Internet and the affordability of computers have made bands like Lapse of Reason self-sufficient, not relying on record companies and producers to have their music heard and sold.

Michael Wilson, when not playing lead guitar, mixes all the recordings in his bedroom studio. The band sells its CDs on a Web site, And Lazar, living in Reno, promotes the band to local clubs and bars.

So far, this style of publicity is working for the band. Largely on the basis of one song, “The Reason,” Lapse of Reason is the 13th most-downloaded band on out of 2,600 bands, according to the band’s Web site.

As of yet, this Internet success has not transferred into large live audiences for the band. But band members say they hope that as they play more shows, more people will recognize their talent besides fans in their hometown.

“We’re like the Beatles in Walker,” Lazar says.

One of the problems the band is running into is that the group’s fan base is mostly under 21; in a town like Reno, this translates into small shows. But Knight says that no matter the crowd size, they will still go out and put on a good show.

“If there are 200 or two people, we play as hard as we can," Knight says.