(This interview was originally published in 2018)
Hey guys how have you been since our last interview? Anything new happening since then?
S: Yes! We played some great shows with our label mates on Distortion Productions, and finally got to play in Toronto Canada. Although we may individually have played in outside the U.S, that was the first time for Spider Lilies. We got a couple more songs into production to fill out our next album. It's coming! Eventually!
T: have to admit our show in Toronto was the first time I have traveled outside the United States. I’m really happy Spider Lilies gave me an excuse to finally do that. We met nTTx and played a show with them in Toronto. I’m looking forward to seeing them again at this year’s Darkside of the con. We also attended a fantastic wedding! Stacey got married! I think we should use the wedding photos for album art and promotional material.
C:Toronto was a big high point for me as well. That show was one of the handful of Electronic Saviors benefit shows that we played over the summer. Tom & I have a side project called This Hollow Machine and we shared a bill with Spider Lilies for the first time for an Electronic Saviors show, we call this “Pulling a Mike Johnson”. I love it when Electronic Saviors rolls around because we get a chance to play with a lot of great bands and raise money for a good cause, it’s grown into quite the music family.
I must ask this! Stacey! I hear you are going to be talking about corporate goth fashion and giving tips on how to navigate the corporate world as a goth at Darkside of the con III. How exciting! Would you be willing to let us in one of your secrets?
S: In general, be optimistic about how much of your goth style will be accepted in a corporate or office environment. People can surprise you! They may really love your look and appreciate your creativity! The key is finding the right balance, so that you feel like yourself, but also have appropriate clothes for your job. And by appropriate, I mean 1) You meet their dress code if there is one, and 2) you can actually physically do your job safely.
Do you guys have anything new coming out for this year?
S:We hope so! We have a few more songs to get ready for the next album, and then we're good to go.
C: I’m really excited about the new material we’re writing. There is a remix on Electronic Saviors 5 of one of the songs that will be on the next album, called “Fight Song”, so that’s a taste of things to come.
What is the meaning behind the band name? Yes I know haha i asked the same question last year. But, hey it’s a new year a new interview, and one repeated question I promise!
S:I think I told you last time that the name "Spider Lilies" was chosen by myself and Rogue of the Cruxshadows, when he and I created the first Spider Lilies song. We were looking for something feminine yet dark, for a project name. So, I researched actual flowers and found the spider lily. Initially the name felt right because it matches my initial. Not only that, I learned that red spider lilies are associated with death and resurrection. They are traditionally planted on graves in China and Japan, where they sometimes refer to them as the "flower of death" and "hell flower." It's also called "hurricane flower," since it grows in late summer or autumn after heavy rain, which spoke to me because I studied meteorology.
T: Stacey won’t let me change the band’s name to Shih Tzu Marmalade.
M: Wait! You mean it wasn’t referring to Lilies that got bitten by a radioactive spider and gained amazing powers?
Are you excited to play Darkside of the con III again?
S:Absolutely! The lineup this year is crazy good!
T: What she said!
C: Very yes!
What bands have you felt excited about being on stage with? Like you couldn't believe you share the stage with them?
S:I never thought I would share the stage with Stabbing Westward, so that's pretty cool! I'm also excited to finally play with Assemblage 23. I've been wanting to meet Tom Shear in person!
T:I’m going to be a total dork and say the band Spider Lilies. The band had been around for quite a while before I joined it. For some reason I hadn’t made the connection that Spider Lilies had written one of my favorite goth songs (“Lucy”) until after I was already in the band. As soon as I realized that, I insisted we add it to our repertoire for live sets. Otherwise, I’m very excited to be playing with all the great bands at Darkside of the con this year.
C:I had an ill-fated trip back in college to go see Stabbing Westward. We arrived at the venue and the show was sold out, so not having gotten tickets beforehand we were out of luck. I’ve never seen them live so getting to be on the same bill with them is pretty amazing for me. The bill this year is really amazing all around, I’m very thankful that Spider Lilies is included. Outside of Dark Side of the Con, we got to open for Project Pitchfork when they came through the DC area back in 2013, that was very exciting!
M: While I have played the same stage with a number of these bands in the past, it will be great to hang out with all of them again. Looking forward to some chats with Chris Hall of Stabbing Westward.
Tell us about your collabs with assemblage 23 and with Imperative reaction? Your remixes? That must have been fun!
S: Everything for the remixes was done remotely, since Tom Shear and Ted Phelps both live FAR away from where I am. They were both fantastic to work with. Everything went smoothly and very professionally. It's such a joy to hear what such talented artists do with our tracks! I'd love to work with them again, if possible.
What is behind Cyclogenesis?
S: Cyclogenesis is the title of our second album. The word means the development of a cyclone, like a hurricane or tornado. It's another reference to my meteorology studies, but it's also personal. I used to have nightmares about storms and tornados. I still do, sometimes. But it also represented emotional turbulence for me. The follow-up album of remixes was then named "Eyes of the Storm."
I really am interested in the "mirror in the dark" on your "eyes of the storm?' Can you tell us about that?
S: I was very pleased with how our producer at the time, Dave Murphy, worked with Rachel McDonnell to get those beautiful violin tracks! We loved the remixes on Eyes of the Storm too. It was exciting to work with Ronny from Clan of Xymox on one of those remixes. He was so nice to work with, and he really worked hard to make his mix perfect. As far as the lyrics, I'll leave people to interpret the meaning of the lyrics as they wish. Like reading tea leaves, where different people see different things, everyone might hear something different. The lyrics to this song were written in a kind of "stream of consciousness" way, where the words just came through. I wish I could do that more often, honestly. The meaning I get from “Mirror in the Dark” changes, but today I'd describe it as "a conversation with death."
T: Turn off the lights and stare into a mirror, then chant the name “Bloody Mary” thirteen times.
What is some advice you can give other bands that are new and just starting out?
S: Don't be afraid to ask for advice from other bands and musicians. Many of them are extremely helpful, and will share details about how they do stuff. Ask Steve Archer! Learn to recognize and accept constructive criticism, but don't let it get you down if some people just aren't into what you do.
T: Building on what Stacey said, find yourself a supportive community of musicians. The best thing I ever did for my music career was move to a town with a vibrant scene full of bands. Work together, play together, help each other out. Try not to make it a competition.
C: Some of the best advice I received was to just keep making things. It doesn’t matter if they’re good or if they ever see the light of day, just develop discipline. Waiting for inspiration is unreliable and can be very disappointing.
M: Make music for the love of the creativity, not for money. Put in the hard work, and the boring work. Practice, practice, practice, so that you are ready when opportunity knocks. And everything Tom, Chad and Stacey said above.
Can you guys each tell us one of your favorite quotes, and one thing you each stand by or stand for like a cause or movement?
S: I’ll be cheesy and go with "Be excellent to each other," haha! Which I guess goes along with the progressive causes I stand for right now - Planned Parenthood, fighting climate change, protecting the environment, and Medicare for All. I hope this doesn't make people hate me, but oh well.
T:Protecting the environment has been my number one cause and it shapes my position on numerous other issues. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are also movements I stand for. Finally, I feel very strongly that the company that makes those New Year’s novelty eyeglasses should have died before New Year’s eve 2011. Here’s a quote, “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
C:“So it goes”. I believe Environmental Protection and Human Rights are two of the most important issues to address, there’s a lot of room for improvement in both.
M:“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stranger” – The Joker. The thing I stand behind is connective, personal interactions with people. Not internet based, but real, supportive relationships. The world is becoming too splintered, too tribal, too antagonistic these days, and that will destroy our ability to survive.
Anything you would like to leave us with?
S: I hope everyone has a fantastic time at Dark Side of the Con III! I can't wait to see friends and make new ones!
T: I wouldn’t like to leave you at all!