[Questionnaire & Write-up courtesy of Ray Cobra with TUNED UP - Jan. 7, 2019]
When I think of Columbus, the first thing that pops in my head is music. Columbus has one of the best scenes I have had the pleasure of knowing, and I have lived in places such as Chapel Hill, outside of Nashville, and close to Philly as well. All these places have incredible scenes but, in my opinion Columbus tops them all. There is something going on here that a lot of people don’t know about and that is changing. Why is it changing? It’s changing because of groups like Lily in the Weeds. Lily in the Weeds are a Psychedelic Blues Rock band that are swiftly making a name for themselves. Be it the hypnotic vocals of Alex Burnsides or their live show, this is a band on the rise and one that is helping shape the music scene here in Columbus. They show no signs of slowing down either, so if you get a chance, I would highly recommend checking them out.
TUNED UP: Can you please introduce yourself?
I’m Alex Burnsides, and I sing for the band Lily in the Weeds.
What made you and your band want to take part in this festival?
It’s such a unique concept and such a cool way for Columbus bands to both support and show admiration for one another. I really see it as Tony’s love letter to Columbus music. He has always been such a champion for local musicians, and I think the way he’s turned it into an event like CCC is cool. I’m thrilled to be a part of it this year!
What is next for you and your band?
We are heading into the studio this January. We released our first EP, High Road last August, and in 2019 we’re going to focus more on releasing a steady stream of singles. We’ve seen other Columbus bands like The Turbos and Yellow Paper Planes have success with this kind of release schedule, and it seems to be more in line with how people tend to consume music these days. We’re going to try to play a few more out-of-town shows, hopefully Cincinnati, maybe Akron or Cleveland.
What is your favorite venue to play in Columbus? Hidden gem?
I honestly love Ruby Tuesday Live. On a superficial level, I love the history and the dive bar feel, but it’s also always such a pleasure to work with an owner like Scott, who is always enthusiastic and welcoming to local bands no matter how new or small the draw is. Dan Mesnard always does a great job with sound too. Our first show was there, and I’m looking forward to coming back!
If there were a Columbus Music Hall of Fame, what three acts would you induct?
1. Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons – They’ve been so successful without compromising their style or sound, and they just always make me think of Columbus festivals. They’re a staple for me. 2. The Ragoons – They are sadly no longer a band after Lew Walter moved out west but their energy and grit has been a huge inspiration for me and one of my favorite Columbus bands for a few years now. I’ve always felt they didn’t get the praise or attention they deserved. They’re so talented. 3. Damn the Witch Siren – Their sound and their performance is all-encompassing and so impressive. Their shows are an experience you can’t get anywhere else. They are a treasure to this community.
Who are some local acts our readers should be listening to?
1. Bourbon Train – They have a classic rock inspiration with some heavier, sludgier edge to it, one of my favorites in Columbus. 2. Dani Harness – She is an amazing songwriter, and has one of the most soulful, beautiful voices. She’s incredible and plays so many cool, community-oriented events.
What is your favorite winter activity?
Sleeping. I feel as though it’s my natural right as a mammal to hibernate through the winter, and I take it very seriously.
What is your favorite winter drink?
I love a nice warm mulled cider.
I’m a huge fan of covers, what is your all-time favorite cover?
Nancy Sinatra’s cover of Cher’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”
I have a few songs that I feel should never be covered, do you have any songs that you feel should not and if so, what are they?
I feel like basically all of Jimi Hendrix’s catalogue is off-limits. His playing was so personal, and I just feel like it’s unattainable. To me it doesn’t feel like something that should be played by anyone but him.
If you had to eat one sandwich for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A Wendy’s Spicy chicken sandwich.