A couple of years ago I was tagging along with blues/roots fave Genevieve Chadwick, as she prepared to play at Bands for Bears, a very notable cause endorsed and organised by Peter Northcote. It was a night of incredible talent and the cream of the crop of Aussie rock graced the stage at Notes to do their bit to put an end to bear bile farming in Vietnam and China. About halfway through the night out walked a very sexy woman, dressed tightly in black and sporting the tallest quiff I had ever witnessed. Backed by Northcote and band, Virgina Lillye exuded presence, charisma and matched P!NK in the quality and power of her voice.
She had captured our attention and not due to the quiff, that gave her extra height, for it was her voice that sang volumes and left me wondering why Virginia Lillye isn’t the most famous rock singer in Australia. When I discovered she was about to release an EP with her band “Lillye“, I immediately chased her up for this interview, cos people, this is one hard rock talent you just have to know about!
As i come from a musical family, the desire to sing came quite naturally at a very young age. Progressively through the years my taste in music broadened and with that, my voice developed more character and style.
I knew what i wanted to do and followed the inevitable road to try and make a career of it.
What song for you represents your childhood years the most and why?
Oh.. that’s a tough one! Anything by Sergio Mendaz. Mainly because my mother was, and still is, a great support in my life.
Growing up there was always Sergio playing.
When I first saw you at Bands for Bears Fundraiser, your stage presence was electric and your powerful voice captivating. I admit I don’t watch TV, so missed your stint on The Voice, but was surprised I didn’t know of you. Why is it you’re not the biggest female name in Oz music? (You should be!)
Because I’m too short? :)) haha.. Thank you for the compliment. Let’s see what we can do about that huh?:)
What’s the biggest risk you took and did it pay off?
I moved to Germany without knowing the language, anyone there or what to expect. I originally was going for a year but it turned into 11 years. They were the best years of my life so far.
I met Christian our bass player at a recording session at his studio. We had a chat about what I wanted to put together and we started from there. Matt, guitarist, had been a long time pal of Christian and had been writing together for sometime. They had a couple of tracks which I started writing melodies and lyrics too. Andrew, also guitarist, came on board not long after that and started contributing songs and ideas. Bennet, our drummer, threw down some patterns and away we went. We all contribute to the writing process and we all have varied tastes of music and hopefully thats what makes it interesting yet still directional… in some way.
What has the been the highlight of this year and what’s up next in the exciting life of Lillye?
The highlight so far is seeing how quickly we have progressed as a unit.
It’s hard to find band members that all are on the same page! We have had a great bonding period and are now ready to release the EP with gusto!
Our shows have been well received and we have been enjoying getting out there and playing at different venues and with different bands. Hopefully we will be hitting Europe next year and looking at recording an album at the end of this year. In the meantime, we look forward to the EP Launch and connecting with more people on our journey.
Join LILLYÈ and be witness to the lifting of the veil, with scintillating live performances at the launching of their debut “Lillye” EP.
3rd July @ Frankie’s Pizza, 50 Hunter street, Sydney
5th July @ Tattersals Hotel, Station Street, Penrith
10th July @ Collector Hotel, 100 Geroge Street, Parramatta
11th July @ Selina’s Coogee Bay Hotel, 253 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee