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Thursday 2nd December, 2010 12:13PM

Rebecca Reilly and Tim Berry make up the songwriting team of Lilycove, a richly textured teenage symphony to pop. In the studio (their bedrooms), their sounds are coated in a sheen of percussion, sentimental wordplay and (heart)string arrangements. Live, they’re joined by an overwhelming array of performers from different projects. Online, they’re joined by UTR – who found out what gets them going.

How’d Lilycove start off (also explain name change)?

R: I met Tim at a bus stop when the shuttle to Camp decided not to pick us up and we were stranded in Bulls for a few hours. At some point in the next few days he stumbled into our tent and told us how his girlfriend had broken up with him in sixth form and that his electronica solo project played a gig with Princess Chelsea (not true) all in a weird Jamaican hybrid accent. Then on the bus back we got talking about The Brunettes and two days later he asked me to form a band with him. It took us a few months to decide on a name (Tim wanted Them Crooked Moltres) which we did via constant texting during lectures, that’s how we ended up with a name no-one could pronounce and didn’t find out that neither of us liked it for ages. Then we were playing Pokemon on emulators and decided to change to Lilycove, like Lilycove City in Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. It’s got a museum and a department store.

Current line-up?

R: I play glockenspiel and do vocals.

T: I do anything I can lay my hands on.

R: But live we have help from Jess Dew (Fatangryman, Kitsunegari), Michael Garelja (Bio Med, Garelja Strawberries) and Michael McClelland (Milkshake Cowboyz, New Zealand Music Awards), Alex Grant (Grass Cannons), Ary Jansen (Fatangryman, Gutter Kid) and Tane Pamatatau (Walking Through Birdland). Does it make things more difficult having so many members?

T: Yeah, especially seeing as almost everyone is in his or her own band as well. Finding time for this away from outside projects is hard. Teaching everyone the parts I’ve written instead of everyone writing their own part is also difficult.

What other bands/projects have you been involved in?

T: Nice Birds where I was bassist and The Happy Rainbow Band and Fox in French while I was at school.

R: I was in a punk band called Proscription of Optimates in third form. We never wrote any songs but we talked about it a lot and had a back up dancer. And my Robbie Williams’ covers solo project, which I have also never done anything towards.

Lilycove and Nice Birds sound very different – why’s that?

T: Nice Birds was very much focussed around being a live band and we decided early on what we wanted to sound like. With Lilycove I was much more free to write songs for any instruments or styles.

R: It was pretty noisy.


T: The Magnetic Fields. Smiths. Bowie. Chills. Pastels. Zombies. Beach Boys. Belle & Sebastian. Lil’ Chief. Elephant 6. Also ponies, bunnies, and cats.

R: That Blondie B-side that you have, but that was unintentional. Um, the Shangri-Las. And I love Princess Chelsea.

Favourite Bowie album?

T: (Bursts into song) Sometimes you get so lonely, sometimes you get nowhere!

R: Oh god.

T: Low. It’s such an original album with a very varied sound. Awesome pop songs like ‘Be My Wife’ and ‘Always Crashing The Same Car’ but it’s still so different and innovative. First of the Berlin trilogy. Iconic album cover. A side, songs, B side ambient timez. Mix of live and synth is ftw. Lovelovelove. Great. Excellent.

R: One time when I was fourteen I was watching Alt TV late at night in the dark and the station froze on one of the opening shots of Life On Mars for ages. The next two times I turned the television on it was the exact same shot and it freaked me out and ever since then I’ve been scared of Bowie.

What is your writing/recording process?

T: Usually a rough idea is sketched out on guitar and then I’ll record a rough of it with like seven guitar tracks and a stupid vocal. Then I’ll work out which instruments to arrange it for and Rebecca will write lyrics. Recording is all done in my bedroom and lounge.

R: You forgot the part where you hate the song and add ten tracks of bells to it until you’ve decided it sounds okay again. We recorded Short Fiction vocals in your bathroom, I remember because we didn’t know each other very well then and talked about how it would be decidedly awkward if one of us had to actually use the bathroom. When’s your next show?

T: We’re opening for Glass Owls on December the 9th at Whammy.

R: It’s pretty mysterious, there’s a picture of a wolf and some mist on the poster and we’re in small print at the bottom.

When do you think you’ll release something?

T: We’d like to have played a few more shows and be at least slightly more well known before we release something proper although we should have something Christmas themed to give out to anyone who wants it before the 25th.

If you could share the stage with anyone (band or person) who would it be?

T: Morrissey so I could give him a great big kiss.

R: Megalex/Snowfield. But I’m imagining sharing the stage to mean that we get half the stage each so he’d be rapping or playing crazy synths and we’d be just singing and stuff. I don’t know if anyone would be into that. Well if we wanted everyone to be into us we’d just play chill wave and it would be fine.

Most overrated band at the moment?

R: John Williams.

Most underrated band at the moment?

T: WILBERFORCES, their album was heaps sweet (Haunted). All our friends who were cruelly rejected by the Camp bill, aka FATANGRYMAN, Buttshake Assboyz, and Grass Cannons.

R: Mount Pleasant. Why isn’t everyone just talking about him all the time. I don’t know.

The future for Lilycove is:

T: An album by mid next year.

R: What?

T: Yeah, it will be good.

R: I just want a hundred fans on Facebook. We said we’d start endorsing products if we got a hundred fans and we got up to 96 and then we changed our name and now we’ve got 32.

The state of music in NZ is:

R: I think we need more pop bands. Like Wham. Or The Paris Sisters.

T: Chill. Improving all the time with better live scenes and new albums by people like Street Chant and Surf City helping to be awesomeawesome.


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