Friday, August 12, 2011

Jillian Riscoe and the 21st Century on girlsROCK!, the awesomeness of female-fronted bands

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 12:06 PM

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Jillian Riscoe and the 21st Century play RecordBar on Saturday as part of girlsROCK, a series celebrating female-fronted bands. We spoke to Riscoe, a co-creator of the series, about the show and the genesis of girlsROCK.

The Pitch: How did girlsROCK come to be?

Jillian Riscoe: girlsROCK was created after Jesse Atwell of Sony Nashville and I were throwing ideas back and forth on creating a concept show. When we created the show in spring of 2010, I had just recently been sponsored by Daisy Rock Guitars. girlsROCK is meant to support female-fronted bands and artists as well as giveaways from "rock and roll" establishments (businesses that support the music scene). The music and giveaways are all local to the city that the show is in. We wanted girlsROCK to be a whole experience in itself.

How will this event be different from the previous two?

The girlsROCK Anniversary Show is our band's homecoming show - we've been busy traveling for shows, writing, rehearsing, and have a few tricks up our sleeves for this one. Plus, after this girlsROCK show, our band will be taking it on the road for the girlsROCK national tour, which will kick off in early 2012.

Are you involved with any other organizations that support women who rock? What are some lady-fronted bands you really admire?

Daisy Rock Guitars is my guitar sponsor - they are an amazing company. Their product, staff and message are all top-notch. We had the opportunity to be represented by them and selected to play/attend NAMM in Anaheim, California, this past January, which was great to be a part of. As far as female-fronted bands? There's so many! I support women who are fearless enough to get up onstage and do their thing - whether in a band or solo.

How did you get involved with Daisy Rock Guitars? I assume the organization has helped you a bit.

My previous business manager, Jesse Atwell, now of Sony Nashville, talked to DRG, and they offered me the sponsorship. The company (and their great A&R Jennifer) has been very supportive online and offline, which is really nice to see. They are very connected and supportive of all of their sponsored artists.

You started performing at a young age.

Seven years old. I had a love for it. When you're inspired as a musician, it seems to come from a whole mix of emotions, people, situations — that's how it was for myself. I began taking piano first then switched over to voice lessons after suggestion of my teacher. I began writing at 11, then played guitar at age 12 - always performing as a singer-songwriter and really got back into guitar/piano as well when I was about 16.

You have an album, eleven:eleven, available at stores in the area. It's your first album, correct?

Since I was 10, I've been recording demos that were a mix of covers and originals, but then released eleven:eleven as my first all-original, full-length album and had the opportunity to record with producer Dave Percefull, who has recorded hometown Idol David Cook, the Nixons and Bowling for Soup. The collection of songs that were placed on eleven:eleven were a mix that I wrote over the six months before we began producing/recording the album - mainly on confusion on heartbreak in love and music business situations and the resiliency of coming out of those situations and moving forward. The album was a solo release; one month after it was released, I formed the band, and we are beginning to write for a follow-up, which will release sometime next year, and yes, the band will join me on the next one. It will be a collaborative effort, which I'm very excited about.

I suppose this is a silly question as you're a composer and a writer, but why'd you decide to join ASCAP?

As a songwriter, I wanted to make sure my songs were protected, and I went with ASCAP as my society choice. No crazy story there really, but I did go to the ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo three years ago in Hollywood and got to see some of my favorite writers and producers speak and host workshops, which was a cool learning experience.

Will it be a full band performance at RecordBar this weekend?

Yes. We've been busy traveling for shows, rehearsing and writing, and we're stoked to have a homecoming show in KC - especially with it being a girlsROCK show! ... We're excited for everyone of our friends and fans coming out to the show Saturday.

Any new tours coming up? New music? New projects?

We have several we're creating, planning and booking for. We're really excited for the girlsROCK national tour, which will kick off in 2012. Always writing - those who come out to our shows over the next few months will hear new songs throughout our sets - we're playing a couple this weekend actually. Currently, the single is "Beautiful Mess," which I had the opportunity to co-write/record with Capitol Records' rock/power-pop band Runner Runner. We'll have giveaways from Megan Marks/Hair Spray Cafe, Nicole by OPI, the bands and more ... and I can't give away everything! People will just have to come check out the show and experience it for themselves. ;)

Are the supporting bands (49 Stones, the Prolific) friends of yours?

49 Stones are very good friends of ours. We play together quite frequently. They've been a part of girlsROCK for all the shows so far, and we've traveled together for shows such as Rock 4 Heart & Home (our series of Joplin benefit concerts in Joplin, Missouri) over the summer. We're stoked to have them once again - they put on a great show! This will be our first time playing with the Prolific. We're excited to have them on the bill as well!


Jillian Riscoe and the 21st Century, 49 Stones and the Prolific play RecordBar Saturday, August 13. Show starts at 10 p.m. and goes until 1 a.m. Cover $7. 18-plus.

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