Dim lighting, candles, wine and beer set the mood for the intimate house show put on by Bad Bad Lola for close family and friends this past Sunday night. Wearing gold glitter heels, a sultry black wig and red lipstick, singer Simone Irwin belted out four soulful tunes, while guitarist Julio Miranda, and bassist Monty Conner, jammed out beside her. Unfortunately, drummer Chad Black could not make the house show, but the fabulous threesome didn’t let that stop them from serenading their intrigued neighbors, family and friends. After their short performance, I sat down with Simone, Julio and Monty of Bad Bad Lola to ask a few questions about the band’s name, their music and their future plans. Here’s what they had to say:
How did you come up with your band name?
Simone: “We tried out a whole slew of names and a lot of things go out by shouting things out at the top of your lungs and somebody goes ‘I like that!’ So I said ‘Lola Wants’. Somebody had taken that name and someone had taken ‘Bad Lola’. So we said ‘Bad Bad Lola’. We wanted to have a theme. We want to have the comic book, the draw-ins, the style of having this whole idea surrounded by Lola. Not really write the songs as I would, personally as Simone, but as a character.”
Julio: “If someone doesn’t like something, just blame it on Lola.”
How did your band form?
Monty: “I wanted to play in a band with Chad and with Julio. I said, ‘Well we’ll just write some songs and put together as much material as we can and in the mean time be looking for a singer.’ We auditioned some people and thought we had the right girl, but it wasn’t working out. I contacted Simone through Facebook and she was trying to finish up her graduate studies. After a patient wait of four, five, sixth months, she came out. I’m glad we waited.”
How would you describe your music in one word?
Simone: “We made up a genre which is called Dark Dance Pop Rocks!”
What are your musical influences?
Simone: “Toto is his favorite band [referring to Julio]. Monti loves Iron Maiden.”
Monty: “I pretend I do, but I like the older 80’s electronic, synthpop. I like the old Duran Duran boys.”
Simone: “Chad loves Rush. I come from a very eclectic background. My dad owned a record store when I was growing up so one of the first bands I ever went to see was Tower of Power. I grew up on a lot of soul and then Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and Janis Joplin. I’m very influenced by Jazz. A lot of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, very influenced by Jazz.”
How do you get the audience involved while playing a show?
Simone: “I like to take my clothes off!…I’m kidding! Totally joking. No, I’ve always been a ham. I do a lot of facial expressions. For me, I like to make eye contact and be really animated and to show that I’m having fun.”
Julio: “There is an honesty too, in the music, where we’re really enjoying what we are doing. They will sense the honesty that we are really doing something that we enjoy.”
Beyonce’s alter ego is Sasha Fierce. Is Lola your atler ego?
Simone: “I honestly don’t feel that Lola is much different from Simone. She’s a scapegoat. I do feel like when you take on another character you get to do and say things that are a litte bit beyond.”
What is your dream gig?
Monty: “Next Saturday [at Smith's Olde Bar]. That’s our dream gig at the moment. You make the best out of wherever you play.”
Julio: “We would do this for a living, that would be my dream gig.”
Simone: “I would like to open for Prince and him have my babies in his butt uterus. That wasn’t dirty that was real. Butt uterus is something that I came up with so Trademark it.”
Make sure to check out Bad Bad Lola’s website! And don’t forget to go to the show at Smith’s Olde Bar, Saturday March 16th! Tickets are $8 at the door.