The Nashville-based band Lola Montez has been together for only a short time, but has developed a top-notch sound and style that is truly different from what currently permeates the airwaves and music charts. Having recently released a new CD, Dissonant Dreams, they will perform at Dingbatz in Clifton, Aug. 24, and at John & Peter’s in New Hope, Pa., Aug. 25.
“There’s always an edge to our music, lyrically; it’s dynamic,” says guitarist Blake Scopino. “You can’t be a jackhammer for 50 minutes on a CD. You have to go up and down. People say it’s punk, but it’s not. It’s raw with a progressive element to it, but especially with the new album there is a lot of audio candy. … Sometimes we’re hard rock that borders on the edge of what people think is metal; it can be very heavy, but can also have a very new wave ’80s British rock kind of sound. I wouldn’t say that’s a harder edge sound, it’s a little bit more diverse than a straight hard rock record.
“There’s some jangly things. Guitar-wise, I pull a lot of (different) riffs that could go from heavy, like a Metallica-sounding riff, to The Smiths, in terms of jangle guitar. So it’s sort of the spectrum, musically. We do have some four on the floor. We’ve got a little bit of everything, but it’s a rock record.”
Singer Inga Rudin agrees, but acknowledges that their songs have been labeled by some as “pissed-off punk.”
She adds: “All of our songs are so individual. Some are drawn from past relationships, so many times our music is described as dark, maybe a bit angry-sounding. In my opinion, we even have a song that’s a disco jam, so I think it’s also dance-able.”
Rudin, formerly from the Morristown area, explains how the band came to be and took its name.
“I came down to Nashville because I just wanted to sing,” she said with a slight laugh.
“I was in another band for a really long time and then some of the members started moving away and we kind of broke up for a while, so I started searching for a guitar player. A friend of ours hooked all three of us up together but we couldn’t do much until we had all the pieces in place. We’ve been together for about three years now and actually our relationships are really great. There’s never any fighting and we’re always very conscious of each other’s feelings, and if there are problems, we talk things out. Communication is important in any relationship and usually when there are problems with bands, that is the main reason why.
“Lola Montez was a dancer in the 1800s and I came across her name and when I looked her up I discovered she was free-spirited, risqué, wild yet looked up to by others. And I thought, this is totally cool because it describes our music and captured us. Or maybe just me (laughs). Everybody agreed and liked it so we went with it, and that’s one of the things that’s hard to do: name a band.”
Dissonant Dreams is a 10-track full length disc, full of rock ‘n’ roll goodness. So why the title?
“Basically it’s a more artistic description of the internal chaos of many people,” said Scopino. “It was me getting poetic because I knew there was an element of dissonance that was interesting to me and I wanted to say it in a way that was a little bit more eloquent than just harmonious noise.”
Scopino, who writes the majority of the band’s music, elaborated on their song-producing process: “I write a lot of the guitar riffs myself and then take those to Kurt (Pietro), our drummer, and he and I basically arrange a lot of our songs and then we take it and give it to Inga and she works out her melodies and lyrics off of that.
“I’ve been recording as long as I’ve been writing, which kind of helps with the production element. Sometimes when I’m writing, and if I’m demoing it out on Pro Tools at the same time, there’s sort of a draw from various influences.
“When I first got into music, I listened to The Beatles for about five years. so I like a good pop song. I have those pop sensibilities in my writing, so that’s kind of always there.”
For more about the band, visit lolamontezband.com.
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