Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Although they haven't released many songs yet, Lily Waters has been one of the fastest rising acts in Los Angeles over the past couple of years. Centered around Gabbi Green, the future looks bright for these young musicians.
Photo by: Joshua Taylor
2019 was a good year for Gabbi and the gang. They embarked on some tours, released a couple of singles with music videos to go along with(check them out on YouTube), had a few residencies(including one at Alex's Bar in October), made appearances at Echo Park Rising &
Happy Sundays in Long Beach and, above all, put their names up there among top bands in LA. The perfect blend of wavy beach tunes and some gritty Rock N Roll really resonated with kids in the scene.
Just like every other band in the world right now, 2020 has been a slap to the face. The ongoing pandemic still makes the future of live shows unclear at the moment. Especially here in Los Angeles, where tons of hungry young artists had huge plans for the new year after breaking out strong in 2019.
With that being said, Lily Waters looks to come back harder than ever when it is safe for bands to get back out there and do what they love most. To all my fellow music lovers & concert goers, keep that hope alive for 2021 and beyond. You can find Lily Waters music on Spotify and on SoundCloud as well where they just put out two new unreleased singles.
I had a chat with vocalist/guitarist Gabbi Green to discuss life in a band and coping with the times.
Photo by: Andrea Jimenez
Here's what she had to say:
Q: Did you have a supportive family behind the idea of playing music for a living?
A: Overall, my family has been pretty supportive of my playing music. My mom put my sisters and I in music lessons for a little bit when we were younger; I started with piano. I then joined my elementary school orchestra on cello. I wanted to continue playing it after I graduated so my mom enrolled me in a performing arts charter school despite the fact that it meant a rather lengthy daily commute for us. She would deal with my hectic schedule of rehearsals, even when that meant returning to the area multiple times to get my twin sister home before me. All that being said... Are they supportive of me making a living out of music? Haha I’m not so sure. I’m sure they want me to be happy and living out my dreams though.
Q: Where do you find the most inspiration when it comes to writing new music?
A: My main source of inspiration is definitely my past. Songwriting helps me work through my feelings; it’s the best form of therapy (for me). I’ve got songs about my failed friendships and relationships, losing my dad, struggling with my first major in college, doing long-distance, shaming creeps in my life, etc.
Q: Out of all your tattoos, which one is your favorite?
A: It’s hard for me to pick my favorite tattoo. Since they’re permanent pieces of your body, mine all mean a lot to me. I guess I’ll choose the word “Live”, which I have on my left wrist. The “i” is stylized as a semicolon instead, reading “L;ve” in full. Readers can look more into Project Semicolon if they’d like, but basically a semicolon tattoo is meant to signify continuing forward despite adversity mentally. There was a time in my life where I idealized and eventually chose a hard stop, or a “period”, to my life. While others may think the semicolon is cliché at this point, it and word in which I have it are daily affirmations for me. Three little birds perch atop the word, referencing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” singing “don’t worry about a thing” as well as Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” where they similarly tell her she “don’t need to worry”. This whole tattoo is placed somewhere I used to self harm, so it’s a good place to have these reminders.
Q: What has been your most memorable show played so far and why?
A: Just as with the tattoos, it’s hard to choose my most memorable show. I love playing live! I don’t want to sound like a broken record because I’ve mentioned this in another interview and on my social media, but one of my fave shows was in Malibu last September. We played 25 songs at a family friendly event and kids were legit running through our stage setup. They had so much energy and danced along to each and every song. Afterwards, they all wanted autographs. It was SO wholesome. I love playing for the youth. I want to inspire girls to pick up a guitar, write some songs, and fearlessly share what is often the most vulnerable parts of you on stage. This show was also outdoors, under a full moon, and the businesses in the Trancas Country Market treated us so well. 10/10, I hope to do it again.
Q: Besides giving a good performance, what do you hope to accomplish by the end of every set you play?
A: I aim to encourage women and girls to carve out space for themselves in this
male-dominated scene. I don’t want to be the token female-fronted act on an all male lineup. I don’t want to be on the “all girl” stage as if that’s some progressive measure on behalf of the booker or the fest. Music is music is music. Everyone should feel free to explore the medium, regardless of their gender.
Q: What was the first record you ever owned?
A: The first record I ever owned was The Pretenders’ self-titled/debut album. It was my mom’s. I couldn’t and still can’t get enough of it. Christie Hynde is such a badass. She’s still going at it, I hope I can be that cool when I’m almost 70.
Photo by: Red Heart Media
Q: If you had to pick a favorite place to go exploring, what would it be?
A: I'd have to go with the Los Angeles National Forest. I feel like I’m there every other weekend, especially during this pandemic. I also feel like my friends never go, and that it’s generally underrated. We have a forest in the middle of LA guys! Go there for a hike, drive, or off-roading if that’s your thing!
Q: How did you pass the time during the first couple of months of quarantine?
Photo by: Red Heart Media
A: During the first couple of months of quarantine, I’m grateful I actually had a schedule to stick to since I was finishing up my final semester of undergrad. The minute I graduated in May though, we finally got around to shooting our music video for "Big Star" which I released this July. Plans for it had fallen through back in March when the pandemic first hit us and we had to go through concept changes in order to get it done safely. Other things I’ve done to keep busy include throwing a series of streamed shows via Instagram that I called The Quarantine Stream, which was SO fun to host and to play with my friends. With a majority of these shows- I got nifty with the flyers on Photoshop, which is something I didn’t really have time to do (and would typically outsource) pre-pandemic. That brings me to another thing I’ve been doing to stay busy during this time which is learning more of the Adobe Creative Suite- specifically Illustrator and InDesign. I’ve also been working on my website design skills, making my own website from scratch and posting it live. Also been riding and fixing up my new bike, going to the beach a ton, and learning lots of covers that I probably have no business learning. Now that I’m reflecting, I guess I’ve done more than I give myself credit for during this pandemic! But not going to lie, I’ve also played a LOT of Animal Crossing (have the 5 star island rating to prove it haha). I’m excited to get back to recording my music now and hopeful that we can continue forward smoothly. Even if it isn’t so smooth (i.e. our plans keep falling to shit because of COVID), I promise we’ll continue pressing forward and get tasty new tunes out.