As part of our Artist Spotlight, we bring you the artists and bands that you haven’t heard of…yet. DimiHub brings you the best from around the world that are on the way to greatness, and this time we give you an exclusive Q&A session with the women from Australia’s best rockers, LIPSMACK.
Q: So how did this current Lipsmack group form?
A: Lipsmack formed as a consequence of the tightly knit Greek community here in little Adelaide City. Adelaide is pretty much a sensationalized country town, so there’s essentially two degrees of separation between one “stranger” and the next, so within the Greek community, that separation is even less! All us Greek kids knew each other’s families somehow, so once we all hit high school, it didn’t take long for our paths to cross.
Initially the band consisted of four young chicks, Sundy (guitarist/vocals), Shivon (bassist), Ange (ex-keyboard player) and Anjo (ex-drummer), who all shared a mutual love for rock n’ roll and running a muck during class-time. Afternoons were spent jamming in the drummer’s garage – scorching hot in the summer and blistering cold in the winter. As a result of endless hours jamming in the shed, in 2009 they began gigging as Lipsmack in venues all over Adelaide and in 2010, did an Australian tour as the feature act of an independent music festival called Scorcherfest. By 2011, they disbanded for a few months. Sundy and Shivon were still keen to continue the band, so in those few months, Shivon’s cousin Paraskevi offered to fill in on drums as we searched for new members… and she’s been “filling in” ever since. Now a permanent member, Lipsmack as it currently stands is a three-piece female Progressive rock/Grunge rock trio: Sundy (Guitar/Vocals), Shivon (Bass/Vocals) and Paraskevi (Drums/Vocals).
Q: How was the name created?
A: We didn’t take too long coming up with our name. In high school we had started the band as Venom, but felt it was a little too cliché. We went through a couple of options until Sundy (Guitarist), ex-keyboard player (Ange) and ex-drummer (Anjo) had come up with the name Lipstick. Shivon was a little apprehensive because at the time, she was a metalhead, and Lipstick didn’t sound “metal” enough. To maintain diplomacy, she suggested changing the name Lipstick to Lipsmack, so that it wasn’t too different from the initial idea but also gave the name a little more edge. Everyone was complacent enough to agree!
Q: Your debut EP titled Kinsvictim released in 2013. Is one in the works?
A: Kinsvictim is a completed 6 track EP. We recorded, produced and designed the entire EP ourselves and had a friend master it for us. We did an amazing EP launch at an Adelaide venue called the Promethean and we sold out the show. It was a very humbling experience having so many people dig the music and engage with the performance. Unfortunately, shortly after the show we went on break and still haven’t released the EP electronically or toured it, so there are only 200 physical copies circulating around Adelaide at the moment.
Q: Songs like “Monster” and “Who Said?” were hits, what’s the band’s thought process behind developing the writing and sounds of a track?
A: We’ve kind of developed a pretty organic songwriting process. It starts with one of us bringing some sort of riff or melodic idea accompanied by a rhythm to band practice, and then we each put forward arrangement ideas. Then we just trial-and-error the ideas until we grasp a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
We’ve put a lot of attention toward the tone of our songs, so that no matter what we write, there are tonal elements that give the songs their characteristic “Lipsmack sound”. By “tone”, we mean things like guitar effects and overall ensemble tone – the overall mix of each instrument when playing together. That kind of happens naturally as well, because we all seem to share a similar vision of how we want the songs to build and develop.
Q: Saying the group’s style is “different” may be an understatement. What inspired the grunge-prog rock style?
A: It’s hard to say because when we stop and think about everything that has influenced us, we can’t precisely pin-point what was responsible for the characteristic Lipsmack sound. Sundy and Shivon had always had a passion for the 1990s Seattle sound and the Grunge movement, however Lipsmack throughout its high school days used to play original songs more suited to the standard rock/pop rock genre. Paraskevi loved her hard rock and alternative rock music, so when she stepped in on drums the Lipsmack sound naturally morphed into what it always should have been. Bands like Black Label Society, Porcupine Tree, Tool and Alice in Chains are what we listen to mostly when we’re cruising around the city together! Otherwise we also chuck on a lot of Greek music when we hang out.
Q: The group has played some big shows, but explain what you guys were feeling when you first stepped on stage together?
A: It’s hard to describe. The word “overwhelmed” is probably the best way to describe what we were feeling. We were overwhelmed with a sense of achievement, overwhelmed with a sense of companionship, overwhelmed with a sense of energy and just generally on a massive adrenaline rush! Our first show was in a factory shed outside the city, and was surprisingly pretty packed out. It was thrilling playing to a big crowd for our first show!
Q: With the rock genre being historically male driven, what challenges have you faced as an all female group?
A: Honestly, not many. The music community here is so respectful and our fellow musicians, male or female, have never made us feel that there is competition or that there is a sense of hierarchy. Additionally, we have made so many female fans that get inspired by seeing us rock out on stage and similarly male fans that find it cool! Otherwise, the only slightly challenging thing we’ve experienced by gigging as an all female band is trying to deal with the odd seedy drunken dude that approaches us after gigs, but to be honest I think every band, male or female, experience “that guy” or “that girl” at their gig. So it’s no big deal really.
Q: What do you want for the future of Lipsmack?
A: Honestly, we just hope we can reach out and communicate to as many people as we can through our music. Somehow inspire and engage people through the art we create. That, to us, is success and the kind of success we hope for!
Q: What has been the best experience that has come from forming Lipsmack?
A: There are so many memories we’ve made that are purely and indescribably amazing. One of the best experiences we’ve had has been making connections with people through music. Music has this beautiful way of bringing people from different worlds together, because it provides this common ground for people to communicate, exchange ideas and share a beer.
More than that though, our best experience has been developing such a beautiful companionship between us girls in the band, and developing a trust within each other that’s made our musical tastes grow together as a single unit. That to us, has been the most unique and unexpected experience that we will treasure forever.
Q: Lipsmack has taken over Southern Australia and have done shows in Melbourne and Sydney, what’s it like to see your fan base grow as the show’s spread across Australia?
A: It’s beautiful! We played a gig in Sydney in 2011 once and we had a punter tell us that we made their day and that they’ll be following our progress. That person has since been a fan. We feel so blessed that our music is accessible to crowds outside of our hometown! It also gives us a sense of pride that we’re able to successfully deliver a taste of Adelaide music to a wider audience and demonstrate the lively music scene Adelaide has to offer to musicians abroad.
Q: Where can fans find your music and event dates?
A: Fans can follow our progress, music and events through these links!
Website: **Under reconstruction**
Q: When can the U.S. expect a Lipsmack show!?
A: It’s always been an absolute dream of ours and we have been talking about it for years now. Hopefully in the very near future… we will keep you guys posted!
Q: What’s next for Lipsmack?
A: A video release is on the cards and we’re also looking to create new music and perhaps redefine the way we present our new music at shows… deliver it in more artistic and expressive ways. Until then, keep rocking and see y’all soon!