[Article courtesy of Kaylee Harter: Harter.firstname.lastname@example.org with The Lantern - Feb. 28, 2018]
Without the internet, psychedelic blues-rock band Lily In The Weeds probably wouldn’t exist.
Vocalist Alex Burnsides and guitarist Mike Furman met on Tinder and later connected with drummer Matt Bailey and bassist Andy Bailey, whom are twins, on Craigslist.
Burnsides said she was skeptical of Furman’s musical abilities when they first matched on Tinder in January 2016.
“When someone on Tinder says they play guitar, you never really know how it’s going to hash out in real life,” she said.
At the time, Burnsides was singing backup for Columbus band Zoo-Trippin’ and Furman was, and still is, the guitarist for local band Gold From Grief. The two took their time dating before considering playing together.
“Ok, yeah let’s maybe date for a while and make sure we like each other before broaching that subject of like ‘OK, you’re in a band, but what kind of band?’ Because that could be a deal-breaker,” Burnsides said.
But hearing each other play was a deal-maker, and the two decided to form Lily in the Weeds — a name Furman derived from an Oscar Wilde poem — in fall of 2016.
Then, they found the Baileys who both typically played in jam bands, which are typically rock groups that play music with sections of improvisation within their songs. The group started writing songs together, but hesitated to book shows in the the first few months playing together.
Lily in the Weeds consists of frontwoman Alex Burnsides, Mike Furman, Andy Bailey and Matt Bailey. Credit: Courtesy of Dan Mitchell
“We were all on the same page of ‘I don’t want to play out until we’re ready,’” Burnsides said.
The group played its first show in November at Ruby Tuesday, after releasing three songs in July.
The group’s dynamic, bluesy songs usually begin with a riff, then Burnsides writes the lyrics — often in her car.
Burnsides said that although she tends to be goofy — “If you just look at her, you can make her laugh,” Furman said — most of the songs she writes are about things that make her mad.
Some, she said, are about things she’s seen in the headlines this year and others are about her own experiences.
For example, the song “Unsatisfied,” which will appear on the group’s debut EP late this summer, is about men who have approached her in bars, expecting her attention.
“I don’t actually owe you anything,” she said. “You just decided to come over here and talk to me and I’m going to be really nice until you say something offensive or disrespectful and then it’s not going to be great for you.”
Also appearing on the EP is “Brown Liquor.” It has more major chords and a happier tone than Burnsides typically writes, which posed a challenge for her.
So, she dug through old college journals hoping to gain inspiration from a time when she was less cynical, she said.
“It was about a time on The Oval where I saw a guy I had briefly dated and I waved at him and his friends pretended not to see me,” said Burnsides, who graduated from Ohio State in 2012 with a degree in Italian and globalization studies. “I had some scathing journal writings about that.”
The EP is being recorded by a fellow Columbus musician, bassist Cameron Reck of The Turbos, at Songcatcher Studios.
“It’s such a personal process and you have to do multiple takes and you have to be told that you’re doing something wrong or that you’re not getting it right,” Furman said. “So [Reck] has managed to balance that really well.”
Reck’s enthusiasm has kept the group moving throughout the recording process, Furman said.
The drums and bass were recorded all in one day and without a metronome.
“It helps when the rhythm section was once in utero together,” Burnsides said, laughing.
Lily in the Weeds will be performing at The Shrunken Head Friday as part of the Wonder Doug Variety Show benefiting the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO). The show will feature music, comedy, burlesque and poetry. Tickets are $5.