Lillye is a powerful, female-fronted rock band based in Sydney, Australia which features the talents of Virginia Lillye on lead vocals.
Imagine if Led Zeppelin and Heart had a child that grew up with a passion for the likes of Halestorm, Skunk Anansie, and Sevendust. They would give birth to a new voice, that of Virginia Lillye; one that sings like the true greats of rock music history.
Virginia Lillye is no ordinary rock vocalist. Since her early childhood, she was schooled in singing, dance, and theater. She was a clear talent unlike that of her classmates, and as her love for the arts grew, so did her passion for the stage. In her early twenties, that passion would see her travel to Europe where she earned major roles in the hugely popular musicals; Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, Grease, and Fame… but her real voice was not to be on this kind of stage.
During Virginia’s ten years in the theater circuit, she spent her spare time tapping into her true calling, that of being a rock vocalist. She perfected her craft while fronting numerous bands at corporate events for Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and Christian Dior all over the world. The experience was enlightening and paid extremely well, however it was a chance encounter back home in Sydney that would lead to the formation of the award winning Australian hard rock band, Lillye.
In 2012, Virginia had been recording at bass player Christian Lauria’s Machine Men Studios where she blew him away with her hard-edged style and infectious personality. It just so happened that Christian and guitarist Matt Ellis, were looking to start a new band and fortunately for them, so was she. With the combination of Christians’ deep running bass lines, Matts’ melodically intricate guitar prowess and the addition of drummer Bennet Livingstons’ rhythmic back bone, the band quickly started writing original material and in 2014, self-released the Lillye–EP.
By 2017, the band played many shows across Australia’s East Coast such as the Brewtality and Wallapaloozafestivals, the international campaign Rockin’ For West Papua and supported Gilby Clarke (Guns ‘n’ Roses/ Heart/ MC5/ Slashs’ Snakepit). By the end of the year, the band had won numerous local and international music awards, including a Global Music Award, and having been nominated twice for an Australian Independent Music Award. They’ve performed on Foxtel’s national television program The Music Room, have been featured on The Void AU, and were even brought to The Middle East to perform for the Australian and US Troops. During this busy year for the band, they also recorded their debut full-length album entitled Evolve which they started shopping to labels all over the world. In January of 2018, Lillye signed to the US-based record label Eclipse Records (Mushroomhead, A Breach of Silence, Bobaflex).
Evolve grew its’ roots at Christians’ Machine Men Studios with the drum tracks then being laid down at REC Studios in Sydney with engineer Tom Garnett (Wolfmother, Art V’s Science) behind the wheel. The album was then mixed by Shane Edwards (Northlane, Thy Art is Murder) at Karma Sound Studios, and finally mastered by Steve Nagasaki at Nagasaki Sound in the U.S.A. The album captures the band in full flight with powerfully perfected moments that reinforce their effortless ability to dig deep into the hard rock arena that they will surely one day own.
The newest album “Evolve” was released in May 2018, via Eclipse Records.
And now, the Interview-
IPM: What inspired you to write music like you do?
It’s an organic process which is derived from all our influences. Once we all come together, what happens in that room fortunately is our own sound.
IPM: Tell us about the other members of the band.
The synergy that flows between us is electrifying and natural all in one spark.
Christian, whom we call Pop, is the know all of the group. It’s within his walls of his studio, Machine Men Studios, where the magic begins.
Matt, whom we call Matty, is the most placid of the team, he has a super neutral grounding and brings a calm to our storm.
Bennet, whom we call B, is the methodical one. Always double checking everything and questioning details.
And me… well , I’m known as V, the boss.. the lady boss who brings direction and energy to everyone.
We find these elements create a balance for this band.
IPM: What are or were some of the challenges for you in producing or performing while keeping true to your vision of your music.
Fortunately we haven’t been met with too much challenges. We have never had the vision of caving into anyone’s expectations apart from our own. One of those is to be as perfect as we can live as we are in the studio. Our main aim is to be as professional at all times and give our best to any performance be that live or studio.
IPM: Tell us about some of your recent shows?
We recently released our debut full length album and we are currently out playing shows which are going great. A highlight for us so far was traveling to the Middle East to perform for the Australian, American, English, Dutch and Italian troops. One show saw Matt borrowing a white guitar and playing it that hard that blood was drawn and splattered across this guitar. He was taken off to first aid where he was bandaged up and offered a cigar for his hard work. Pure rock and roll!
IPM: Tell us about the New Album.
Our album Evolve has just been released and we are stoked with the amount of great reviews that are coming in. We are supporting Canadian rockers Theory of a Deadman, joining festivals Psycho Circus and Amped Festival, along with other great shows in between.
IPM: Any “strange tales”?
I guess the strangest moment was at a show in Melbourne where one guy stood directly in front of me with eyes closed in a trance for the complete set. Swaying away and obviously connecting on a level that we weren’t aware of. After the show I asked him where he was transported to when he was watching the show and he said he was contacted by the higher devil and was ordered to absorb our energy by being transported to an outer realm.
IPM: Where do you see your music going, where would you like to be in the near future, goals, dreams and passions?
We see our music still staying true to who we are and how we sound, just a more refined version of it. Goals, dreams and passions almost all fall under the same umbrella of wanting to tour the world, reaching as many people as possible and being able to continue what we love to do. . . . music.
IPM: What would you like our readers to know about you?
We are all incredibly passionate about what we do, it’s the place our music is built from and also where the energy of our shows derives. Sharing this onstage has helped us connect with our audiences, make them feel they are part of our journey. . . . music is an intimate experience, so you can’t just get up there and perform, you must give it your all.
IPM: Where can our readers find your music?
Google Play http://bit.ly/2I1dMhc
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