Lately, Lori Garrote, formerly of the New, has been grinding away on some solo stuff up at the Shack North recording studio and rehearsal space. She's wrapping up her latest EP with friends George Evans on bass and Eddy de la Cruz on drums.
The lovely Garrote, a longtime and active contributor to our loyal South Florida scene, was asked to perform at Churchill's Pub's CBGB blowout this Saturday. We thought we'd take a break from asking her about what it's like being a "girl in a band" or whatever and find out what kind of music she's crafting these days. She also shared with us the story of her first time playing Churchill's and even what it was like being onstage at the now-defunct club that inspired the upcoming rock-laden evening.
See also: The New's Lori Garrote Begins Anew
New Times: Are you totally solo now?
Lori Garrote: Yes, I am.
And how does that feel? Being solo?
It feels right. The music truly sounds how I intend it to. It's the most honest work I have ever put out.
Are you enjoying it?
To an extent. I haven't performed much since being solo, but I do know I miss the deep connection that comes along with being in a band. Luckily, I share that same connection with my current bass player, George Evans.
Last time you talked to New Times, you were looking to get back to the simplicity and rawness of earlier music you'd made. What made you want to move in this direction?
I was getting tired of releasing music I felt didn't represent me well. I decided to immerse myself in every aspect of the songs, including the production. I hope it comes across to listeners exactly how I hear it in my head. I want my music to sound honest and real.
How did you and George meet?
I met George through my old drummer. He has been in the music scene for a long time. I love his style and his overall approach to music.
Awesome. And how did you get involved in the upcoming CBGB event at Churchill's?
I was asked by Ian [Michael] and Cosmo [Ohms], and I didn't even hesitate to say "of course." I can't pass up celebrating one of the most historic venues for music! I'm honored to be a part of it.
So, also, how do you feel about Churhcill's maybe closing?
I am saddened by it. This is the only place you can walk into and know you will hear original live music. You don't have to wonder if you will be walking into a place with a DJ, not that there is anything wrong with that, but sometimes you just want to listen to a good band. I just hope the owner has the same intentions for the venue as Dave Daniels did.
When was the first time you played there? Any favorite memories of the place?
The first time I played Churchill's was in 2004. It was my first show playing original music. I was terrified until the moment I stepped foot onstage.
I have so many favorite memories from Churchill's, from meeting and conversing with Marky Ramone to crowd-surfing and moshing to punk rock. But there is one memory that sticks out above them all. It was the day our band played Battle of the Bands, and Churchill's was beyond packed with five other bands and their fans. Nicky was the MC, and when he called our name, people were shouting our band name over and over again. I hold that moment close to my heart. It was priceless.
Did you ever go to CBGB?
Yes! I was lucky enough to perform there twice.
How was it performing there?
Well, what can I say? Rocking the same stage as most of my idols was very surreal. I remember thinking of how it reminded me of Churchill's.
Tell me a little about the upcoming album. Any details, songs, stories?
These songs are different from what people are used to hearing from me. The songs touch heavily on my personal life experiences. When you listen, you'll hear an unvarnished and pure side of my songwriting.
Visit lorigarrote.com for more music.
CBGB & OMFUG Music Festival. With Birdman's Clambake, Lori Garrote, Fireside Prophets, Dyslexic Postcards, Scraping Teeth, Kenny MIllions, and more. 5 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. 18 and over. Visit churchillspub.com.