Calli Joiner – Interview

Guitarist and singer Calli Joiner of rock band Lilakk is interviewed about her Australian roots, the balance between her family and business life, the lack of big stages in Savannah, and much more.

What are some of your earliest musical memories?

Singing actually came from my love of theater and getting into musical theater. The first musical I ever played in was our high school musical production of, “The Wiz” in which I was lead role, Dorothy. But the first instrument I ever learned to play was a clarinet in middle school band. That kind of opened the doors for me as far as music theory. Then later I learned bass guitar before transitioning to guitar.

Who are some of your musical influences?

I really appreciate story tellers and voices that don’t sound cookie cut. Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Lzzy Hale, Tracy Chapman just to name a few. Then I have a lot of male musical influencers. Chester Bennington from Linkin Park was a big musical influence on me on an emotional level. That’s the amazing thing about music is, the connection.

We try to separate our personal life and business life as much as possible

Talk a bit about how you ended up in America from Australia …

I have dual citizenship, I was born in Sydney, Australia and then moved to America right after I was born but when I was 15 I moved back to Australia to live with my Aunt and go to school in Melbourne. I met Kirk in 2010 and haven’t been back to Australia since then. We hope to tour there one day and reunite with friends class mates, etc.

Talk a bit about the challenges and advantages being in a band with your husband …

Haha well… we try to separate our personal life and business life as much as possible. Sometimes that is hard to do though. It’s funny cause I look really girly but I act like one of the guys sometimes. The band mates are like my bro’s and when I say I don’t get special treatment, I really don’t. Lol No one carries my amp or gear except me and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m part of the band and I want to be treated like a band mate!

How is America’s music scene, or more locally, Savannah’s music scene compared to your hometown and where you went to school? And have you incorporated or adopted any aspects of that into your music?

Honestly a lot of our music stems from our influencers and the music that we grew up listening too. So we generally have to travel out and really look for that fan base that is seeking that LILAKK Grunge sound cause our style is very different than what is popular to the people around us. So we love that we are accepted by the Savannah Music Scene and feel like there is a level of understanding from a Artistry perspective. You meet other bands and musicians and there’s that connection were you feel, “accepted” and “at home.”

How did you get your start in the Savannah music scene?

”The Wormhole” brought us in when some venues shut us out and we’ll always be dedicated to them. Because they believed in us before anyone else.

Who are some Savannah artists you admire and would love to collaborate with?

We love Ember City! They are our friends and super talented, we’d love to collaborate with them! Also some of our friends just started a metal band called Steel Circuit and I think it would be kind of badass if Laurin (lead singer) and I did a song together! ??? I’m obsessed with The Runaways and Joan Jett. I’d love some gnarly girl punk attitude!

I think we need more Music Performing Venues with larger stages

What are some of your favorite local venues to perform in?

We love The Wormhole (Savannah), The Highlander (Augusta), The Masquerade (Atlanta), Furnace 41 (Jonesboro), Cross Eyed Cricket (Vidalia).

What are your thoughts on the current state of the Savannah music scene?

I think we need more Music Performing Venues with larger stages. When we were starting out we played at “The Stage On Bay” which I thought was a Fantastic venue, stage. etc. except the limited parking. But it was nice to have a venue that was dedicated to concerts of all genres and was large enough to cater to that. It’s unfortunate it was shut down.

Any upcoming projects?

We are trying to organize a tour for 2021!

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