SPOTLIGHT ON LILLY
Rock’s teenage vanguard with over 1 million views on Youtube are proving the hype is real. From the Valley to the stages of Europe’s Hard Rock Festival circuit. Egos not included.
A mix of still in (or barely out) of their teens, the hype around LA rock band LIILY is no fluke – their video for debut release ‘Toro’ has already amassed over a million views on Youtube alone. Rapidly gaining ground in the rock scene for their high-energy, no-holds-barred live shows, these boys from the Valley are poised to go far, fast.
Straight from a heat-drenched (“stupidly hot”) gig at Download Festival in Madrid, 4SEE spent an afternoon with the boys from the band scouting out the strange terrain of Berghain on a Monday afternoon for a shoot. In the midst of skaters, down-and-out Berliners and the odd bemused tourist, 4SEE and LIILY talked touring, the incontrovertible lure of LA, and what’s it’s really like to be 19 and on the bill with headliners as iconic as Weezer, Slipknot and Beck.
LIILY is comprised of Maxx Morando (drums), Charlie Anastasis (bass), Dylan Nash (vocals), Sam Delatorre (guitar) and Desi Scaglione (guitar, was present but did not particiapte in the interview). Their newest EP ‘I Can Fool Anybody in this Town’ was released March 8, 2019.
Interview: 01/07/2019 with LIILY at Panorama Bar Biergarten.
LIILY, Hello! Welcome to Berlin. Is this the first time you’ve been?
All: Second time. First time was last month.
Charlie: We like it here a lot.(All agree: “I like it; yeh, I like it”). It has some similarities to LA, especially where we’re at right now… it’s like a city vibe…
The general vibe of Berlin?
Charlie: Yeh, the general vibe.
Where does the name LIILY come from?
Dylan: Ooh,great question, Maxx loves that question.
Maxx: Uh, it’s literally when Sam and I were trying to think of a band name, it was our friend, and her name was Lily.
With two ‘I’’s?
Maxx: No, well it was because it was just us (two) in the band at the time. So two I’s.
There was another band though wasn’t there, The Lillies?
Charlie: My ex-girlfriend’s dad was in that band…
Dylan: Woahh…that’s crazy. Put that in the interview.
You guys just came from playing Download Festival Madrid with Slipknot and Tool. What was that like?
Dylan: We played the day before, Papa Roach day. It was so hot. We didn’t get to see anybody, it was stupid hot, it was insane. They have a heatwave over there, so… the sun was right on us when we started playing. It was like 103 degrees probably. We were fine going back to the hotel, I don’t think we really wanted to see anybody.
So you didn’t really get to talk to the other bands?
Dylan: No, I was impressed with even the people who were there early in the day to see us. Running the stage…the people running the stage, that would have been miserable.
Sam: They had their cargo shorts on, though.
Would you say you’ve been influenced by bands like Slipknot and Tool, those 90’s harder rock bands?
Charlie: No, no. I like Tool, Tool’s cool, (but) I think Download Festival was like, reaching the demographic that isn’t usually what we would be associated with. But it put us in that area, and we had some positive response from the audience. And we had some hecklers.
How do you respond to hecklers?
Charlie: Just yell at them. Dylan? Dylan got em..
Dylan: I…that’s happened before and I don’t usually say something, but when it’s 105 degrees and you’re literally playing a normal show, and someone’s being, you know (“a dick”) you tend to, you know, not fancy that. Last straw.
So what did you guys listen to growing up? What were influential bands?
All: It changes all the time.
Sam: Growing up though, what our parents were listening to, so like, my mum played me a lot of Massive Attack and Zero 7.
Portishead as well?
Sam: Yeh, my dad put me onto Portishead. And the first album I listened to was The Wall.
Someone has a cousin in The Walkmen?
All: That’s Maxx. Yeh that’s Maxx.
Were they an influence?
All: Yeh, absolutely.
Maxx: I think for me… well, our Manager too is Peter Matthew Baeur, he’s in that band.
But I think for me personally the reason I play drums is because of Matt (Barrick), and I think we all enjoy the Walkmen, they’re a great band. Definitely an influence.
How do you guys manage being on the road? Do you have any group traditions already, or any pre-gig rituals?
Charlie: As a band we’re still pretty new to it, but it’s getting a lot easier. We used to burn incense, but that’s not a tour thing…
Like sage cleansing?
Dylan: No, it was just this whole thing that we had when we were 15 and we’d burn incense. But anyway. Not really. It’s getting a lot easier. We tend to not want to do that much.
It is quite a physical thing when you guys play.
Dylan: We’re boring. It’s really exhausting to play, I mean, it’s exhausting being on tour no matter what music you’re playing, but I just think for us it’s a little more intense.
Maxx: Especially when you’re in Europe, cos we left for Europe for two weeks then we came back home, and we were home for maybe two and a half weeks, then we’re back in Europe, and it’s like the time, and it’s a lot of…
Dylan: If we don’t have two days off, I’m not going to go out. I don’t tend to go out before a show.
Charlie: You say to yourself you want to go out, explore, but it just gets too exhausting. But this is nice right now (the beer garden of Panorama Bar). It’s nice to be out here.
How much downtime have you had between Madrid and Berlin?
Dylan: Actually a lot; well, so we played Madrid, then we flew from there to Berlin the day after, and we had yesterday off, and then tomorrow we go to Hamburg. So we’ve had a couple of days off.
And you’re playing with Weezer in Hamburg. How does that feel?
Dylan: It’s pretty cool. Its kinda like…it hasn’t hit me yet. It’s not real until we get there. Its a band that we all grew up listening to. Its a band I feel like everybody in my childhood listened to. Weezer’s like one of the biggest bands. It’s like crazy nostalgia. It’s gonna be cool to meet them.
What would you ask them? Do you have any burning questions for Weezer?
Charlie: No. ‘Hi’.
Sam: I think if you do that you just end up sounding like an idiot, cos’ you can’t get the words across.
You guys have a very candid, real instagram, which I actually really like, it doesn’t feel quite so filtered…
All: Thankyou. We don’t get that a lot. We get a lot of shit for our instagram.
Who updates and runs it?
Sam: All of us. We just take pictures as much as we can, that we think are cooler than just what we’re eating. Or art. We post a lot of art.
There’s no schedule, like we need to have a post a day?
Charlie: Well there’s people around us that try and instill that, and it’s just… well, I personally hate it, and I hate using it. We all do. We try and use it as a tool more than anything else. But you know.
Maxx: I think part of the reason why instagram is hard for us is because none of our personal instagrams is like…we’re not constantly posting things all the time on our personals, so when it comes to a group instagram nobody’s really like ecstatic to update everybody on what’s going on. But it’s part of what we have to do so we have to adjust.
You’ve spoken in a past interview about intending to remain in the LA area. Is that still the plan for you as a band?
Charlie: Yeh. Well if it works out I’d love to live in LA forever. Its home. It’s just the best place to live, and it’s just home.
Maxx: And it has a part, has a piece of a lot of things in the world I think, there’s a lot of pieces put together there. It’s like we said about coming here (Berlin).
Charlie: We see parts of LA here. We see parts of LA everywhere. It’s also home.
Maxx: It’s also probably because that’s what we’re used to, we see sort of through the lens of things related to LA. I think LA is just, for what we’re doing, there’s not really many places that are better to be. I mean, maybe in America, its LA, New York or Nashville for music I think, but we’ve been to those places and my opinion is just LA has got the scenes that suit us the best.
Charlie: I dont think its even a music thing though, I think its an atmosphere, honestly.
Maxx: Yeh. Above all, its an atmosphere.
I’m interviewing for 4SEE, which is primarily an eyewear style magazine, presented through the lens of fashion, art and culture. I’m going to ask the question of glasses – who in the band wears glasses? Sam, you wear prescription?
Sam: I wear prescription. I have horrible eyesight.
All: The worst eyesight.
Does wearing glasses come with unique challenges playing in a band that does have such a physical way of playing?
Sam: Actually, no, I never wear them onstage. Well, there’s been times that I’ll, like, forget, just cos I don’t realise that they are on my face, I’ll forget to put my contacts on, but 95% of the time I’ll put contacts on before we play. One of my favourite things is like playing a crazy show where people think that we’re just absolutely hectic, and then after the show putting on my glasses and just being peaceful.
Is there a specific West Coast style that you guys draw from?
Charlie: I think what’s pretty popular now with our age group is thrift stores, vintage clothes, anything that’s cheap that you can get 70’s, 80’s…
Sam: I think at one point we were all more concerned with the clothes that we were wearing but now, it’s different, we don’t care anymore. We don’t have the money to spend on clothes.
Maxx: Hence why we go to places where it’s five dollars. There’s a place in LA called Jet Rag and it’s got a one dollar sale on Sundays where they just put a bunch of clothes in a parking lot and you just grab stuff, and everything’s a dollar.
Dylan: I got this (Dylan is wearing a pale vintage yellow 70’s style shirt)
All: Yeh, he got this there.
Sam: But also around the United States, it’s a thrifty tour, there’s a lot of thrift stuff and its dirt cheap.
Charlie: LA is probably the most expensive.
Dylan: But it’s unique pieces too.
Finally, last question: What drives you guys to create?
Sam: Cool question.
Maxx: What drives us to create? I think it’s something that’s natural. It’s like a dissatisfaction with what we’ve done. It’s like, whatever we’ve done in the past, just improving from that, what’s the next step, what’s the next level, moving forward, not really looking back.
Dylan: It’s also what do we have to say, you know?
Charlie: Which changes all the time.
Maxx: But I think we have a better idea going into the next album. I think all of us have a completely different grip on life and what it means to make music, creatively, through life experience.
Sam: Especially too when we made the songs that were on the EP, for a couple of those songs I was 15, 16 years old, it was a long time ago. A lot happens. There’s a big difference between a 16 year old and a 19 year old.
Maxx: When the next thing comes out, it will be… it’s a way further to who we are currently, and what we want to say, and the kind of music we want to make.