Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lilia Rezai (singer/guitarist for Manix) Interview


What were some of the first bands/artists that you started listening to and how old were you when you started listening to them?

Well, I got into music at the age of 12 when I bought my first cassette. Damn, that makes me feel so old just saying that word, cassette! It was Nirvana's Nevermind and I was really big into them. Kind of a gateway music "drug" for me that opened the door to hear bands like Hole, L7, Sonic Youth, Babes in Toyland, etc. Really grunge stuff.

How old were you when you started playing a musical instrument and what was the first instrument that you played?

I was 12 years old when I picked up a guitar. It was an acoustic. My mom finally bought me an electric on my 13th birthday. It was a Fender Squier Strat!

Why did you choose that particular instrument?

At first, I wasn't sure between guitar and drums but guitar felt really powerful and just took alot of my anger out and I just knew it was the one for me. I still play drums and I love it almost as much. I play guitar, drums and bass in that order. I find bass a bit boring but sometimes I'm in the mood.

As a musician/singer and as a songwriter, who are some of your influences and why?

I'll always really be inspired by Bob Mould and Grant Hart of Husker Du, Courtney Love for her raw vocals - no one in the '90s generation could top her, in my humble opinion. She was actually a pretty great guitarist back when she used to play guitar. I think Hole was very underrated and was given a bad rap because of
Courtney's image. When I was growing up, I didn't really have many females to look up to, so when I got into music, it changed my life and I really could look up to these women. Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland is another influence of mine. Donita Sparks (L7) was and is a terrific lead guitarist too.

What kinds of reactions has your band Manix gotten from the audiences that you've played for?

I don't know really, haha. People look scared sometimes. I'm not sure. I know when I've jumped into Emerson's drumset at a few gigs, we did surprise a few people. We like surprises.

Discuss your experiences (good and/or bad) being a female musician/artist.

I think it's just one of those things that will never change as far as the sexist thing goes. The world gets older, technology advances but people don't necessarily get wiser. I feel like I have something more to prove when I tell someone about my band versus if I was a guy. I think I wouldn't get that "YOU'RE IN A BAND?" look. It's just annoying. Also, I don't have any tattoos and I'm not knocking anyone that does but it's like if you're a woman and you don't look a certain way nowadays, people look at you weird. What's wrong with blending in? I don't like labels really. It's just like, why is there a certain way a female musician is supposed to look to be taken seriously in the industry? I'm not going for that. I do what I like and I play what I love and if I can inspire people along the way, then that's really cool. I was told that I play guitar like a man once. And I took that as a compliment!

When and how did you discover Riot Grrl?

I used to read. ALOT. Whatever I could get my hands on - old Flipside magazines I could buy used at an old book store off Melrose, Kerrang!, Circus, Spin, Rolling Stone, etc. So I read about alot of bands and I got myself into them. I didn't have a brother or a sister to tell me about bands so I found out about alot of bands just by reading. Back then, there was no internet, so it was harder to find out about bands. But yeah, just reading lead me to some of my favorite Riot Grrl bands: Babes In Toyland, Hole, L7, some of the older ones like Frightwig, The Pandoras, stuff like that. I like some Bikini Kill but I was never a big fan. Kathleen's voice kind of hurt my ears. I know that I'll get alot of crap for that one.

Is the Riot Grrl movement still viable in 2012? Why or why not?

I think it's great. I mean, I think the essence is still around. Sometimes I can sense it. There are some people in this great town that still got it, the feeling and the spirit of Riot Grrl. Some great lady bands out there. Las Cochinas, who we're playing with at the Riot Grrl show, they're definitely in your face and punk! Sketch Monster is a trio with two girls and a guy, they're new and exciting and I like them. I get happy when I see younger chicks that actually have good taste in music and not into Lady Caca or whatever. It's refreshing that there are some young kids out there, boys and girls, that do research and listen to some of the older stuff. :)

Feel free to mention any of your other endeavors here.

We're playing a Riot Grrl show that I put together on Thursday, January 26th at The Airliner with some awesome female bands from Los Angeles. I hope everyone can come out and support, it should be fun. Headline Records will be there selling vinyl and some merch. There will also be a full bar, food, jewelry and clothes for sale. And, of course, the female bands. It's $5 to get in and 18 & up.


Anonymous said...

Love it!! I need some new Manix songs asap!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love you Lilia, your an amazing guitar player!

Anonymous said...

You certainly have a nose for business

Unknown said...

Miss you Lilia! Your tower ex FLASH a.k.a. BAD JUST:-)

Unknown said...

Aw dude, your famous!!!:-) wish you the best Lilia! Your old ex, flash a.k.a. BAD JUST!

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