Lola, the frontwoman for Lola Black, has been carrying brass knuckles since she was a teenager. So far, she hasn't had to use them. "Sometimes coming out of a bar, I'll put them in my back pocket, just in case," she says. "You never know..."
Since the band's 2008 inception, its logo has been brass knuckles, and Chris Dellinger, Lola Black guitarist and husband of Lola, says the significance of the logo was "always to show that Lola was a badass -- because she can hang, and she'll knock you out if you lip off."
It's hard to think anything less seeing the singer belt it out with fury and vengeance behind a massive copper microphone stand that looks like a pair of brass knuckles. The stand was made by a devoted fan, Josh Saucier, who's a machinist. While Lola clearly has some mighty pipes, she's stepped it up on the band's new album, Till Death Do Us Part, which was produced by Sid Riggs (his other credits include Seether and Saliva). They'll celebrate the release of the album this Saturday at Summit Music Hall. There are some brutal screams on the disc, something that she's recently mastered.
"At first I was doing it wrong. I was blowing my voice out, and at the end of the show I had no voice, and it was painful," she says. "I couldn't get it. And then, after a while, I just started practicing in the car, practicing to Deftones, practicing to any kind of screaming I could possibly try to master. Then one day something just clicked."
Figuring out how to scream properly helped her singing, too, she says, and made her voice more powerful.
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Not only are Lola's commanding vocals front and center on Till Death Do Us Part, which took nearly three months to make, but the act's overall sound is thicker than on previous efforts, when the bandmembers leaned more on their punk roots. As they developed their style, Dellinger says, they got more polished and radio-friendly, which is partly the result of working with KBPI's Willie B., who has championed the band for several years now. Dellinger credits a lot of Lola Black's success to Willie, who has introduced the group to record labels and helped it get on last year's Mayhem Festival bill.
The concept for Till Death Do Us Part, Dellinger says, came from his relationship with Lola and how it's "based on this twisted band, married to rock and roll and married to each other, and it's kind of a do-or-die-type thing."
Their relationship predates the band. Dellinger was playing guitar in Slapstick Dynomite, and Lola was singing backup vocals. They got together, Lola began fronting the band, and from there, Dellinger says, Slapstick evolved into Lola Black.
Lola jokes that after she and Dellinger got married, they married the rest of the guys, too. "Every day is a challenge," she says. "I know it's a challenge for us and a challenge for the band, as well, because some of the band problems will bleed into the family. A couple of the family problems will bleed into the band, too, and so that's why I'm like, 'We're all married.'"
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