Lipstick & Cyanide are an up and coming gothic and industrial band from Northern CA, USA. Their debut release is called ‘White As Death’ and is available at Bandcamp for free HERE
I got to ask them a few questions about their music and their views on the music industry:
Lipstick & Cyanide have a unique, original sound though I could hear various possible influences such as Joy Division, Depeche Mode and the industrial electronic rock of Nine Inch Nails. Would you say these bands were influences on your music and, if not, who would you say are some of your major musical inspirations?
“You more or less hit the nail on the head. L&C is very much influenced by all the music being turned out by the alternative culture of the 80s. Joy Division, Bauhaus, the whole nine yards. When I dove head first into the goth scene in the 90s I also discovered industrial music and fell in love with it as well. Hanging out at a club and getting influenced by bands like KMFDM and Skinny Puppy as well as Ministry.
It’s kind of funny that you mention Depeche Mode, because when I was in high school and in my ‘I’m too cool for (insert thing here)’ phase, I couldn’t stand Depeche Mode! Why? ”Cuz they are’nt a thrash band, maaaaaaan! *That* ain’t punk rock!’ I fell in love with them later on, of course….”.
How do you assess the current state of the music industry and do you feel the internet has had a positive or deleterious effect, or both? On the one hand, music is expected to be presented to the listener for free, yet there is the potential for a relatively unknown band like yourselves to reach many more people than an unknown band could have in the days of the traditional music industry. What are the pros and cons?
“It’s a double-edged sword, to be certain. Hell, I’m old enough to still remember how Metallica over-acted towards Napster back in the 90s. But I think it’s great to be able to, from the comfort of your own home, hear about some band and be able to hear them instantly.
Honestly, I see a lot more pros than cons about the situation. I mean, I remember back in the day when you REALLY had to struggle to get people to notice your band, and now it can all be done with the click of a button.
But there are drawbacks. The days of physical media are more-or-less done with except as a novelty. The kids growing up in this new age of instant music will always have their thing, but mine was being able to hold a copy of, say, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and really get a sense of history and a feeling of, ‘This record changed the world’. I have no idea what the digital equivalent of that would be.”
Is there a band or artist out there who would be ideal for your band to support on tour, whose audience would be the most receptive to your music?
“Anyone in the gothic or industrial category will work. But if we’re naming names for a dream tour? The first band that comes to mind is Blutengel. That audience would for sure like our sound and I think we’d compliment Blutengel nicely if we opened for them. And I certainly wouldn’t turn down an offer to play with Ramstein! Hell, just plain playing a show anywhere in Wave Gotik-Treffen would be a dream come true! There is also a German goth band I would’ve enjoyed supporting whom aren’t around anymore: Ghosting. If you’ve never heard of them before, they’re seriously worth checking out!”
Your lyrics have a distinctly poetic quality, who are your favourite lyricists or do you derive the most inspiration from non-musical sources like poetry and literature or even film?
“Thank you for the compliment! This is where a curveball gets thrown, because my cultural foundation is punk. No matter where I go or what I do, I’ll always consider myself part of that culture. Why do I mention this? Because the one lyricist who really inspired me and got me to think about how to make my writing better? Darby Crash from The Germs. If you ever get the chance, look up the lyrics to anything on The Germs first album. It’s absolute poetry against adrenaline pumping punk.”
What is coming up in 2020 for Lipstick & Cyanide in 2020 in terms of releases and performances? Where can people learn more about you and your music?
“Live shows are on the horizon for L&C in 2020, of course. And wow am I looking forward to that! Nothing like a good show at a smokey, dark goth/industrial club. We’re currently working on our first official full-length album to be released sometime later this year as well as looking around for a label. And stop on by the L&C Facebook page at fb.me/fleshrot. Don’t be shy! Come and say hi! One of the big reasons I started this was to meet new people and make friends while having a blast playing music!”
I’d love you to tell us a little about the four tracks on your White As Death E.P., what each song is about etc.
1. The Bridge
“There’s a railway bridge near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant where people gathered to watch the plant burn. What they all didn’t know was that they were also getting a massive dose of radiation that would kill them all within a week. Just like the people on the bridge that night, the listener has no idea what they’re really looking at….”.
2. Guinea Pigs
“That one is more-or-less a protest song. It was me venting about the frustration I feel any time I hear about someone’s human rights being violated for the ‘greater good’. Unwilling and/or unsuspecting human medical experimentation is something I consider beyond vile. And the scary part? It’s still going on right now. We just haven’t heard about it yet.”
3. Kill For Peace
“Y’know…when my friends read the lyrics to that song, they told me it sounded like a prayer. Maybe in a way, it is. Peace is something I want so much. Not just world peace and such, but peace in my mind and heart as well. I suffer from chronic depression and other things I take boatloads of medicine for. I’ve been seeing therapists/psychiatrists since I was 13. And let me tell you, sometime just wanting to get out of bed in the morning is an internal war. We all want peace, we all want strength, we all want love. This was just my way to verbalize it.”
“Hoo boy! Totentanz was something I just did for fun when I was in a real goofy mood one day. It’s just a morbid little nonsense song about someone on a goth/industrial dance floor getting possessed by who-knows-what and dancing themselves to death. We can all relate to being in a club and then the DJ will put something on that makes us go, ‘I love this song! Time to hit the dance floor!’. Well, picture an EXTREME case of that.”