Thessaly Lerner, The UkuLady (Comedy/Indie)
Thessaly Lerner, The UkuLady
Posted Feb 5, 2007.
What is your website? www.TheUkuLady.com is coming very soon! Until then, www.ThessalyLerner.com
What is your MySpace? www.myspace.com/TheUkuLady also, my side project, Special Occasion Music at www.myspace.com/SpecialOccasionMusic
What genre is your music? comedy/novelty/indie
What are some of the shows you have comming up? I have a show on February 16th, 9:30pm at The Pig 'n' Whistle in Hollywood CA on Hollywood Blvd, next to the Egyptian Theater
How did you come up with your band name? Good question....I can't remember. A friend must have said it....
What venue would you like to play the most that you haven't played at? The Echo, The Troubadour, Spaceland, The Warfield in SF, The Greek Theater in Berkeley CA.
What makes you strive to be heard? A desire to entertain and make people laugh, cry, empathize. Also my songs are political and sociological protests! Rage and mockery of the Bush regime and the shallowness of Hollywood and western society.
What inspires most of your lyrics? The newspaper, US magazine, the New Yorker mag, my handy rhyming dictionary, boys i have crushes on, anger at the bush regime and distaste of Brittney spears and such...
What brought your band together? Me and my ukulele, Maple, started together because my former comedy partner had a baritone uke and the uke is the instrument of the clown. We were writing comedy songs and I needed an instrument.
Where have you been playing lately and how has your response been? Besides my living room and recording closet, I've been playing at the Pig 'n' Whistle and the Rainbow Room in LA and at The Darkroom Theater in SF and I've been getting great responses. The peeps like the funny! Who doesn't love to mock the rich? Who doesn't love to talk about Jenna Bush's cooter and Delta Burke selling underpants?
Do you have any advice to starting bands? Buy an mbox and a good mike - makes all the difference to have your own recording closet/studio at your fingertips
What is the worst thing about music? The publicity machines that generate crap for teenyboppers and the non-sharing of the riches available...the in-group/cool kids thing - same as in the rest of life...it's all about who you know.
What do you want to see happen thru music in the future? I would like to see musicians be able to make a living from their art!
What are you doing to progress those ideas? I'm developing music for cartoons that will hopefull sell and I'm actively campaigning for The Downfall of Evil!
What other instruments can you play? I've been playing with my toy piano, my fisher price toy xylophone and my toy accordian! They are adorable!
What religion are you? No religion
Does your religion effect your music? My distaste of organized religion certainly effects many of my songs - particularly Sunday Worship (on my myspace page) speaks volumes on how I feel about religion.
Any funny or interesting stories? Yesterday I was in a waiting room at a recording studio for a vo session and Alice Cooper came in and offered me a strawberry licorice whip and we discussed how it is the same color as Brittney Spear's ugly lingerie she was wearing in the US magazine I was flipping through. He was very nice and wore cool cowboy boots. The blog of Thessaly Lerner has the full story.
What do you think about UFOs?
I saw a UFO when I was camping in New Mexico. I think they are real and I definitely think peeps from other planets and such have visted us, are perhaps here now.
What do you do for work right now, other than playing music?
I do voiceover work - Ican be heard as the Teenage Girl on The Sims 2 and all it's expansion packs, as well as hundreds of other things.
What advantage do you have above other people because you play music?
I am able to let my emotions out in my music, so I am not all pent-up like other people. Too many performers are waiting for someone to cast them, and it's great to be able to have control over when I perform. I'm also able to express myself and get out whatever i need to, so superior communication skills with the boys i have crushes on, is a plus.
What were some of your favorite bands growing up?
The Beatles, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, the indigo girls (shut up, they are totally amazing!), musical theater (i'm a total self-loathing musical theater nerd) - I was a child of the 80's. Now I'm into the indie rock - love neutral milk hotel, belle and sebastian, architecture in helsinki, antony and the johnsons, flaming lips, the mountain goats are my favorite band.
How old were you when starting to play ukulele? It was right after college, so I was about 22, 23...
Every bands music changes over the years, but do you like playing and the style of the old stuff?
I like to play my old stuff now and again. memories of how much I was in love with so and so; and also it's amazing to note my growth. I've actually done most of my ukulele growth in the past 8 months. I've written about 35 songs in the past 8 months. The past 8 years, I wrote probably 10 songs.
Anything you would like to say to your fans reading this interview? The UkuLady is going to launch a song of the week video podcast veryvery soon at www.TheUkuLady.com, so keep your eyes out for it! Also, let's raise a toast To The Downfall of Evil!
Do you ever get/find groupies?
I have fans from a cult videogame I was a voice in, called Silent Hill. It's pretty famous
What's your latest cd?
Latest and first...I'm working on my album right now with my awesome producer, Pau (he's on my top 16)l! I think it will be called To The Downfall of Evil. Or perhaps something to do with ruffleponies and seasparklesmuffins...
How did you come up with the title?
To The Downfall of Evil was a toast created by me and some dear friends at a bacon-themed brunch before we all decorated my 1960's aluminum xmas tree and created Nativity City, a nativity scene made from vintage fisher price toys. We were raising toasts and all agreed that toast says it all. In addition, Special Occasion Music is writing a canon of music called To The Downfall of Evil 1 - 10 and more...
How long did you wait from start to finish making the CD and how did it feel? (did it take to long, or go by fast)
Ahhh...We've been working on the album for a couple months. Paul is graceously donating his time and studio, so I am at the whim of his work schedule and availability... My EP should be finished very very soon...I have 4 songs finished, all mixed and I'd like at least 6 on the ep. I feel like i've been trying to get an album out for over a year...
What do you think about it? Me and my ukulele maple and Paul my producer, are pretty excited! I also worked with my awesome drummer pal, Jon, and I think he is excited for me, as he is my friend and friends are good for being excited for their friendsies...
Where can we get it? Good question...It will eventually be available at cd baby and hopefully other places, like ameoba and sea level records - when it comes out we can do another mini-interviewy and i can re-plug it!
What do you want people to get out of listening to ""?
I want people to laugh! I want people to join in raising a glass to The Downfall of Evil! I want girls especially, to know it's ok to be whoever you are! It's ok to say what you are feeling and ok to not be skinny, rich and famous. As long as you are happy! I want Jenna Bush to hear my single, Jenna Bush is My Myspace Friend, and use her wealth and power for good, not evil. I want George Bush to go to jail for the rest of his pitiful life; while there, I hope that lying, cheating so-called president, becomes a lot of people's bit*h.
What did your fans say about it?
the fans I have now are my myspace fans and apparently people think my stuff is somewhat amusing. see my myspace comments..
Any advice for anyone thinking about making a CD? If you can't do it for free, seek a rich patron or be very prepared when you go into the studio so you're not wasting your producer's precious time.
What do you think of Big Smile? I think it's fabulous that you guys are publicizing the little peeps who don't have clive davis on their side yet!