LILAC: HERE FOR ETERNITY.
By Gabe Connor
This article was contributed by Gabe Connor, founder of THICK FOG. The second issue of THICK FOG will be out early this summer.
You might remember Will Ivy (guitar/vox) and Kirsten Knick (keyboard/vox) as your 24th St. neighbors, but they have fled the fog and are now live in Los Angeles. The band’s other members, Chrys Nodal (bass) and Jon Wujcik (drums), still reside in San Francisco. The NorCal/SoCal divided Lilac are reunited in SF to play a show in support of Noise Pop Festival’s 20th Anniversary Festival on Friday.
Gabe Connor: Is there an intentional homage to some patron saints of music in your song titles? “Cathedral” is also a Felt song, “So Young” a Suede song, “Cease to Exist” a Charles Manson song, “Christine” a House of Love song. Or are some of these actually covers layered in slaying blissed-out grunge and I haven’t noticed?
Will Ivy: “Cease to Exist” is in fact a Charles Manson cover. But I feel an overall sense of “there’s nothing you can sing that hasn’t been sung” so I feel like it is with good intentions that I give my respects to the bands and songs that inspire me. This is especially relevant with the title “Christine”. I was first drawn to the name in the House of Love song, and then realized the name is in so many other songs (Siouxsie and the Banshees, etc). So the name became a way for us to write love songs to music without just outright saying “I dig music.”
GC: Has moving to LA marked anything new for you guys as a band? Do you think the songs will be less sludgier and overcast now that the weather isn’t like painkiller grey?
WI: New territory, new inspiration, new challenges, new everything. I feel like we were getting a little burnt playing tons of SF shows and practicing the same songs over and over (the songs are still always sloppy too, haha). So now when we get together it’s more invigorated. Who is to say what our next record will be like…dreamier?
GC: I know you recorded your last EP (Lilac, out now via Omega Records) with Different Fur Studios in SF. What’s it like working with them? Do you expect to record the full length with them and release it with Omega as well?
WI: Working with Different fur is amazing, and we are very lucky to work with the very talented Patrick Brown. We actually already recorded the new LP there, as well as material for two 7” releases. During the EP we were still getting acquainted, and the band was so new, but I think the listener will be able to see our development as a band and the growth our confidence in the studio. I don’t want to talk about release details yet.
GC: I notice there seems to be a trend in your band image and in your lyrics regarding religious and spiritual themes. Whenever I see you guys you’re likely to be bearing eternal ankh pendants (essentially the Lilac trademark).
WI: We are by no means a religious band, but we are spiritual and moved by concepts like eternity. Kirsten especially is always adorned with rings and crosses and emblems and she decorates the house as such. We are also narcissistic artists that want to live forever. Ha.
GC: Do each of you have a particular style icon? I know people say Will’s Doppelganger is Russell Brand, but I beg to differ. He can’t dress like, at all.
WI: Who is Russell Brand? Kirsten is really inspired by the Yeh Yeh French girl scene: Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot. I’ve also seen her looking at a lot of pics of Liv Tyler lately. Will is constantly confused about his style.
(Kirsten Knick of Lilac)
GC: Have their been any sonic or process differences between the writing and recording of the full length v. the EP?
WI: For one we were broken up during the writing and recording of the LP so it’s full of tension, angst and longing. At just a sonic level, both Kirsten and I did mostly all the writing on the EP, and I recorded most of the instrumentation (drums, bass, percussion, guitar, etc). But on the LP we were more established as a band so it was definitely more of a collaborative group effort as far as writing and recording.
GC: As a band you recently joined the Twitteverse. How do you feel about it? I struggle with it every day. Do you have a tweeting mentor?
WI: It’s just a fun place to send all these free flying jokes in our heads. I can’t believe it when I see people with literally thousands of tweets. We are two people contributing to one Twitter and we STILL only have 200 something tweets. It’s fine; no real opinion.
GC: Anything concretely in the works for Lilac? Can we soon expect new releases, videos, and a tour or do we have to wait for armageddon?
WI: “Nothing’s concrete, except for you and iiii”
Tour: Soon maybe
Video: Really soon
Lilac play alongside Veronica Falls, Bleached, and Brilliant Colors tonight at the Rickshaw Stop. Tickets are $12 adv/$14 dos. Lilac are on first at 9 on the dot, so get there early.
Also see: Lilac video for “So Young”