After years in Germany performing in stage productions and singing in rock bands, Virginia Lillye returned to Australia in 2008. A stint with a funk band was followed by an appearance on The Voice, and that’s when Virginia set her sights back on the hard rock scene. It wasn’t long before she had gathered a willing group of co-conspirators and formed the hard rockin’ 5 piece band LIllyè. Lillyè has already recorded their debut EP at Machine Men Studios, and now this heavy-hitting hard rock beast is ready to be unleashed onto audiences worldwide. Seething and soaring hyper-powered tunes with dynamic hook laden melodies delivered with an unbridled passion and skill, Lillyè is the real deal in rock. Lead guitarist Andrew Lilley (no relation, different spelling!) sat down for a quick Q&A with Australian Musician.
What was your first guitar?
A Hondo H-77 black Strat copy, it had a humbucker and I could make distortion and it was awesome.
What’s your main guitar now?
A 1999 PRS Custom 24 in Grey Black, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever owned and I couldn’t imagine life without it.
Through what amp and why?
Currently an Engl Powerball, I love the density of it and I use very little gain. I’ve also been using a Marshall JVM which I’ve really warmed to, chunky and crunchy.
Which pedals are your standards?
A wah, delay and tuning pedal, I like to keep it simple.
What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
Lillye just released our debut self titled EP (http://lillye.bandcamp.com/releases). It’s heavy rock with a seriously killer female singer (the rest of the band’s alright too!). About to release an album with my other band Daemon Pyre (https://m.soundcloud.com/daemon-pyre/08-misanthropic-parallels). We were called As Silence Breaks though with a few line up changes and big change in musical direction, we decided that we needed a fresh start.
What gigs have you been playing lately?
We just finished 3 months of shows during which we released the Lillye EP. On the Daemon Pyre front, we head to QLD in 2 weeks and a few more shows being booked throughout August. Lots of really exciting things coming up with both bands.
Most memorable gig?
Daysend at Metal For The Brain 2005, I flew up from Melbourne 36 hours before the show, learned 10 songs and played a killer show. It was a pretty amazing feeling (for me anyways!)
Worst stage nightmare?
At Metal For The Brain in 2000, the power went out and killed the PA halfway through our set in front of a few thousand people. It was the longest 20 minutes ever! We were doing solos and jumping into the crowd, jamming and doing whatever we could to keep people enthusiastic.
Album that changed your life?
Michael Jackson Thriller, it was the first TAPE I ever bought and it introduced me to Eddie Van Halen. After I heard that guitar solo I had to know how that sound was being made, Eddie still is my favourite guitarist.
What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
Just did QLD with Daemon Pyre. A few Lillye shows in September including Leather & Leopard in Sydney on the 26th.
A guitar tip for the kids?
Keep an open mind with music, listen to and learn from many as many different styles as you can. Practice hard, stay focused and make sure you enjoy it!