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10 Quick Ones with LARISSA VIENNA of LARISSA VIENNA AND THE STRANGE – September 2017

According to a recent press release: “Denver, CO based Alternative Rock Band LaRissa Vienna and the Strange has revealed the Official Music Video for their single, “Haunted,” off of their upcoming, debut LP Neptune VII, out September 1. Influenced by David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and Shirley Temple (with a tattoo on her shoulder to match), LaRissa Vienna is a force to be reckoned with. Her somber, ghostly rock tunes will entrance you and run chills down your spine while the melodic, story-telling guitar mixes perfectly with the melancholy tones of her voice and the bass stays loyal to the hard-hitting drums.” We get LaRissa herself to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, her influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest release is our first full-length album, called Neptune VII. I do indeed have a few hidden nuggets in the album. For die-hard fans reading the lyrics, I do have references to some old songs in there. An exciting touch that we haven’t done before is that every band member sings on this album.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My first inspiration was Shirley Temple. I’ve been singing since I learned how to make sound, and I’ve been performing since childhood. I started writing songs when I was seven and I never stopped. I started playing shows when I was 14, and once I learned how to play guitar and produce my own songs, that natural high has kept me going today.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

In no particular order: David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Lady Gaga, Courtney Love and Stevie Nicks. I absolutely love the greats who defined a genre, a movement, and made a huge statement.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

David Bowie would have been my first choice, but realistically, I’d be entirely too intimidated. I’d love to work with Eric Nally, former frontman of Foxy Shazam. His songwriting skill is a level I’d love to achieve someday.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

I tell people that it’s violin-driven rock music, but my guitarist likes to tell people that our music is “like a big hug”. He’s very sweet, and I think he means that I write about dark, personal things and it helps people to know that they’re not alone with having inner demons and having to pretend that they’re okay on the outside.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Performing. For me, there’s nothing more exciting than interacting with the crowd. Singing to them, having them sing back to you, talking to them and connecting. There’s nothing else in the world like the feel of a live concert. The energy in there is so uplifting, and it makes me feel so fearless.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

My guitarist always has his guitar in hand, naturally. He can play absolutely anything, but it’s likely going to be an unexpected cover of some 90s R&B. Everybody drinks except me. I’m pretty sober and I go to bed early. They call me “Grandma”.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I have no other interests outside of music. I’ve never thought about doing something else, if I’m being honest.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

There was a time when I put a lot of emphasis on being a female in music, and over time, I’ve realized that my gender isn’t what makes or breaks my music. Even if I were a man, I’d still be doing the same exact thing. My goal was to encourage more girls to pick up guitars and start bands, and I continue to support and push that idea, but overall, I’d love for the term “female-fronted band” to disappear, simply because it’s redundant. There’s no “male-fronted” bands, they’re just called “bands”. I’ve learned to stay empowered as a female musician, but I’ve learned to focus on being good at what I do, throwing gender concepts out the window.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’d love to go back and be a part of Nevermind by Nirvana. That era in music is so iconic, and it was the start of something huge and timeless. I’ve watched and read so many interviews from people involved in the process of the beginnings of Nirvana, and how they all had that feeling that they were onto something special. I’d love to go back and be a part of that magic.

LARISSA VIENNA AND THE STRANGE LINKS:

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10 Quick Ones with LARISSA VIENNA of LARISSA VIENNA AND THE STRANGE - September 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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