Rock trio Lola Montez is bringing their female-fronted heavy sound from Nashville to Kathy’s Saturday. Despite the Tennessee address, don’t expect country music.
“People pre-judge a lot because you’re from Nashville, they think you’re country or country rock,” said guitarist Blake Scopino.
In fact, it’s probably best not to bring any assumptions to the show.
“Lose all your expectations,” he said. “You’re in for something unique.”
The band’s stop in Rochester is part of a weekend tour as they wrap mixing of their latest album.
“It’s getting heavier,” Scopino. “It’s pretty much a hard-rocking album.”
Scopino is mixing the album while the band is on the road. The songwriting, which is the hard part, he says, is done.
“There’s not a lot of creative decisions left to make,” he said.
Playing shows keeps the band energized and funded — essential for their upcoming tour in England next month.
“It’s momentum,” said Inga Rudin, lead singer and frontwoman.
“If you gig, you get more gigs,” Scopino agreed. “We have to keep playing.”
Momentum and energy is what has been behind the band’s success, they said. While the album is being tweaked and polished, every live performance has room for improvisation or reaction to the crowd.
“It’s definitely more of a warrior mentality,” Scopino said about performing live. “You’ve got leave 10 percent of your product up in the air.”
That also keeps things fun for the performers.
“Part of the fun of playing music in a band is the excitement of every passing moment,” Scopino said.
Responding to those moments mostly falls to Rudin.
“I don’t want to be background noise,” she said.
For some crowds, that means winning them over with high-energy music or just calling people out for sitting on their hands.
“I will get in their face,” she said, adding it’s not in a mean or aggressive way.
“I don’t make fun of anybody in the audience unless they’re my friends,” she said.
Most of the group’s original songs start out with Scopino finding a guitar riff he likes and building off it. He and drummer Kurt Pietro then arrange the song. Rudin writes her own lyrics to it.
That collaboration lets each of them add what they want.
“Basically, the music that we write is designed to excite us,” Scopino said.
“How can you excite a crowd if you’re not excited playing?” Rubin said.
That doesn’t mean they love everything they create. The group’s first EP was distilled from four albums worth of songs.
“We’re pretty hard on ourselves in terms of product,” Scopino said.
The band’s sound has evolved some since then, but Rudin said she likes what she hears from the new album.
“That’s a good sign,” she said. “If we actually like it.”
If you can’t make their Saturday (May 11) show, Lola Montez will be back at Kathy’s Pub June 21 fresh off their United Kingdom tour.