So, it’s another year of P R I D E, and as you know, I am going to be out here, “Black-Auntie’ing” all the children, thus sayeth the LordT! Hahaha! ….and considering that Stonewall 50th is THIS YEAR, and was kicked off by QTPOCs, it’s only righteous that I break you all the way off with this bit of heat! So, to get you further prepared to lose your damn minds to some dope-ass jams, I want to introduce you all to one of our headliners for the Seattle PrideFest, The Txlips!
The TxLips Band is a dynamic group of diverse Black women across the U.S. whose mission it is to challenge the boundaries set for women in the music industry as well as to inspire girls and women worldwide to be an unstoppable force.
Meet three of the members of the band from Atlanta, GA: MoDrumma, Guitar Gabby, and Armani Swayze, and check out their answers to my hella inquiries! And so you know, I may pop in and interject with some “Mmm-hmms” and snaps for days!
Adra Boo: (This is my favorite question to every band I meet) If you were to compare your sound to late night hangover food, what would it be and why?
Mo: Late night hangover food would be Triple X Buffalo wings w/ chilli cheese fries on the side… I say that because the sound I create with my drums is full, it’s HOT, packed with spice and definitely brings the BOOM! Lol
Gabby: Hmmmm…..I would say we are an organic taco because it’s always nice to have something organic and healthy late night ☺.
Adra Boo: What made each of you get into the instrument you play, and what brought the band together?
Mo: For me, I was always attracted to the sound of drums and the musicianship of the performer. I remember growing up listening to Old School R&B, Swing, and Jazz and duplicating the drum beat on any surface I could find. My parents saw my tunnel vision focus on sound…music…its artistry…etc and I began nurturing my passion.
Armani: I felt there weren’t enough women playing bass in music. I remember seeing this black woman with locs on YouTube playing bass and she was so bad ass! Anything that a woman does and excels in, in this male dominated industry is bad ass in my eyes.
Gabby: I started playing guitar because I wanted to play what I was hearing in my head. My mom bought me my first guitar and I taught myself how to play and the rest was history.
What brought the band together? Years later, I was approached by Diamond (Crime Mob) mgmt. team for needing a guitarist for a music video. I said yes. I later called Mo to join us for the second video. After that video I noticed a continued gap in the music industry of black women playing instruments in rock ‘n’ roll not being represented as we should be. (This is Adra Boo inserting HELLA SNAPS!) So, I created and started the TxLips Band and pushed the boundaries the music industry initially presented us with. I wanted to make sure that black women’s voices were heard and so I vowed to take our place in the industry, not ask for it anymore. Along the way, I met all the wonderful women of the Txlips band (there are 11 of us in total across the U.S.), and I built a model that would enable all of us shine no matter what city we are in or come from because I knew that longevity of the band was the most important thing. We each bring our own uniqueness to the band which is one amazing thing about us. We inspire different women and little girls of all kind, no matter what background or sexual orientation, to shine in their own light and to find their spark and greatness and use that to lead in life. (YAS LAWD!!!)
Adra Boo: What is the best song you have put out so far and why?
Mo: I would say my FAVORITE song we put out for the world would have to be “Another Tear”. It’s really driving! Its tone always gives me this mysterious vibe, like you don’t know where the song is going to go and just brace yourself.
Gabby: 100% “Another Tear”. I wrote this song in my college dorm room when I was 19 out of a toxic relationship I was in. I remember feeling every feeling possible, from anger to hatred to love to sadness to joy. This was the best way I could capture all of that energy and put it into a song that I would teach the ladies of the TxLips later. I love this song because there is SO much energy and so many dynamics in this song and I love the different variations of expressions throughout the different women of the band.
Armani: Another Tear because that song is powerful when you LISTEN to it but when we play it live…it’s like “look you gone listen to what we about to say..periodt!”
Adra Boo: What are you currently listening to (when you’re listening to music), and who would you say is the band’s overall muses? (this is definitely a 2-part question)
Mo: 1) I’m currently listening to various artists more so Travis Barker as he is definitely one MAJOR influence in my playing. He’s wild, his sound is booming and amazing, his skill is very inspirational.
2) For the band has gone through evolution, I’d say it’s overall muse is a combination of elements of Nirvana, Beyonce, Foo Fighters to name a few and others.
Gabby: I am currently listening to a lot of Nirvana (of course), a lot of Beyonce, and Sound Garden. I would agree with Mo that the bands overall muses are def. elements of Nirvana, Beyonce, Foo Fighters, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam etc. 90s grunge theme.
Armani: Right now I’m listening to Baby Rose. I would say the bands overall muses definitely has Bey vibes all day.
(Go check out Baby Rose, also from ATL… voice is super unique and smooth, but full… damn, okay then! “Borderline” is my cut!)
Adra Boo: If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be and why?
Mo: Quest Love, Eric Moore and Travis Barker, hands down. All of are genius on the kit. Their articulation of their music is so precise, so intentional and always grooving no matter the genre. They are so incredibly versatile they are my inspirations and if I ever get the chance to meet them and hit the kits with them I would be so honored. So much I want ask them and learn from them.
Gabby: Ummmm def Beyonce, Kurt Cobain, Steve Vai and Jimi Hendrix. Vast mixture but those are some artists that inspire me a lot and I would love to work/have worked with them in my music career.
Armani: Robert Glasper and Erykah Badu because they do what they do effortlessly. (AGREED!)
Adra Boo: Tell me about the kind of impression you want to leave on live attendees ofyour shows… what’s a live show experience like? (Or in general for listeners)
Mo: The live shows are always of EPIC PROPORTIONS. The impression I want to leave on our fans is the feeling of being able to do whatever is in their hearts to do, to feel FREE to feed their souls and spirits and have fun while doing it transcending beyond their current mind state.
Gabby: I want to leave a lasting impression that even though the world puts you in a box, you don’t have to stay in that box. You can break the boundaries of that and evolve into a new light, a new you, and a new perspective in this world. We want to leave the lasting impression that you can do it even when the world tells you that you can’t. (ADRA CHIMES IN WITH THE RCRC/LRC THEME: ROCK IT LIKE WE TALK IT!)
Armani: The live shows are jaw droppers. I just want folks who have never seen an all-black woman rock band to leave with a lasting impression that they will want to come to all of our live shows.
Adra Boo: It’s pride season- are you boo’d up or on the market?
Mo: I’m proud to say I am happily married to my best half, my Queen Kendra Williams.
(Now, why the others have went silent, I do not know, but, and don’t quote me, THEY AIN’T DEAD YET, Hahaha!)
Adra Boo: Tell me about your connection to Girls Rock Camp ATL!
Gabby: We got a chance to play for the campers of GRC as our first introduction to the Girls Rock nation of camps across the world. At the time, we had 2 old members that were amazing in their perspective lanes. This performance and interview with the campers opened up the doors for us to later open up for the indigo girls and eventually tour with them. This also opened up the doors for us to partner with many other GRC’s around the world including: Jacksonville, Montreal, Portland, Asheville, Chattanooga, St. Pete, London etc. We love GRC’s and their respective mission to uplift and change the lives of these youth forever.
(Here’s to hopefully setting up a super mash photo smash with our Rain City Rock Camp folx!)
Adra Boo: LAST QUESTION: How should new fans BEST prepare for a Txlips show? What songs should we HELLA EXTRA LEARN? What should we wear? What are we going to feel??
Mo: 1) Bring good vibes, Dope energy, bad-assness and some throat lozenges/hot tea bc you’ll scream so loud your throats just gonna give up….in a good way lol.
2) You should hella extra learn them all! My faves tho: “Another Tear” and “Your Addictions”.
3) Wear whatever makes feel good! Be free! Or rock a Txlips Band Tee!!
4) I’d say as far as what you’ll feel, have an open mind and get ready to have a Txlips Black Girl Magic Experience!
Gabby: Drink lots of water, come ready to jam and give us some of your amazing energy and be a good vibe, don’t just bring it, be it! Def learn Another Tear, The Lost One, and our rendition to Smells’ Like Teen Spirit! (I see y’all- #NIRVANAVIBES) Wear whatever you want, just don’t throw your draws on stage! Lol. You’re going to leave our performance feeling like “wow…them bitches really turn this shit out”. And that’s what we want to inspire in all of our amazing fans.
So, basically, this is going to be all of us after The Txlips slays us to filth:
See you at the Mural Stage at Seattle PrideFest, June 30th!- Biiiiiiiip!