When Jupiter native Julian Cires started Lavola in his bedroom as an avenue for musical experimentation, he always knew the band had to have a violin. But, as Cires explained to New Times, it never quite worked out. “At our very first live show we were supposed to play with a violinist but she flaked out right before. Then we had another one and she flaked out too.”
Enter Emily Dwyer, the classically trained violinist who, thankfully, didn’t flake out.
Finally equipped with a violinist, Lavola released its full length album last year, This Book Is My Cowardice, an album which this publication listed as one of the ten best local albums of 2014, describing it as having “an ethereal quality that gives its more aggressive moments an epic timbre.”
A year later, Lavola is back to working on new songs, which Cires says are not as abrasive or dark as that debut album. He’s still figuring out what exactly those new songs are about. “I’m too close to them right now to know what is inspiring them. The way I work is I write the music first. After they’re arranged, I see what they’re showing me lyrically.”
Cires grew up around music. Both his mother and grandmother played guitar. “There was always a beat up guitar laying around my house, but it always had one on those classical necks that were too thick for my little hands.” After hearing Smashing Pumpkins on the radio as a first grader, a pint sized Cires knew music was in his future. “My parents bought me that Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album for my birthday. My next gift was a toy guitar.”
But even after years of playing, Cires was still too timid to sing in front of people. It wasn’t until he completed some Lavola demos in 2010 that he felt comfortable enough to open his mouth onstage. It didn’t take long for Lavola, through many personnel permutations, to find devoted fans. Few were bigger than the aforementioned New Times writer Alex Rendon, who chose Lavola's This Book Is My Cowardice as one of last year’s ten best Broward-Palm Beach albums.
Rendon passed away recently and Cires feels the loss. “Alex had been a big advocate for us and the scene as a whole. He was always pushing us not just in the New Times but in other publications. He was almost like an icon, but it was more than losing a supporter, he was also a friend.”
With one less friend present, Lavola will play a show Saturday night at Kreepy Tiki Tattoos & Boutique with other local acts Octo Gato, The Riot Act, and Tame the Lyons. The show was originally planned to be an acoustic duo set, but when former Lavola drummer Jeff Rose said he’d be in town from Nashville, they decided to have him sit in with regular bassist Paul DeFilippis. “We’ll play maybe one of the new songs, but it will be mostly songs we haven’t played in years like ‘Pearl & Rust’.” When asked what else fans can expect at the show, Emily Dwyer chimed in. “Down and dirty crabcore stances from the violinist.”
And now we know why Lavola needed a violinist.
Lavola with Octo Gato, The Riot Act, and Tame the Lyons at Kreepy Tiki Tattoos & Boutique, located at 2606 S. Federal Hgwy, Fort Lauderdale. The show will go from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, March 28. Lavola will be playing at 11:30 p.m. There is no cover and the show is 18+.