North Carolina-based band LYLVC takes home Rock Band of the Year title at the 2022 Carolina Music Awards.
If you haven’t yet heard of Raleigh-based band LYLVC (pronounced lilac), well, they’re about to be everywhere.
With only two singles and an independently debuted EP—Perfect Drug—under their belt, the six-piece genre-defying band just took home the Rock Band of the Year award at the 2022 Carolina Music Awards… making this sweet victory only the beginning of a long and successful road.
Referred to by Hollywood Life as a group that “delivers an emotionally-fueled anthem for those who are doing their best to keep it together despite all the demons living behind their eyes,” LYLVC artistically blends powerful female vocals with rap and rock music, managing to be edgy and feminine, rough and profound with a one-of-a-kind sound. And we’re here for it.
Raleigh Mag recently got the chance to chat with lead vocalists Alyse Zavala and Oscar Romero about their group’s comeup, music-making process and what’s next for the band. Take a beat to read our conversation. Rock on!
For starters, how did LYLVC bloom into the band it is today?
Alyse: When the pandemic happened, I wanted to start a band to combine multiple genres and break standard rock music. I’ve always loved the band Linkin Park and how they combine hip-hop and rock, so I wanted to create something similar—but with female vocals and more modernized choruses. Once I started auditioning members, I found Cam (keyboardist) through a mutual friend; Oscar through Craigslist; and the other members through Craigslist, Bandmix or on Facebook. We quarantined together and wrote songs, then, before we knew it, we were sending out demos to different producers to be considered for recording. Grady Benson, Howard Benson’s son, expressed interest in our sound and in recording us. We ended up working with Mike Plotnikoff and John Rickard from West Valley Studios in California to record our first EP, Perfect Drug.
What was it like packing up and hitting the road to record your first EP?
Oscar: It was an incredible experience. All of us were fortunate enough to be able to take the trip out to California together as a band, and we spent the whole week in a confined space working toward our goal of writing the EP, and the entire energy around us musically was such an amazing high. It was a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience to spend a week away and focus on our music, writing songs and putting together the idea of what we wanted to accomplish.
Recording in CA with such a prominent recording studio must’ve raised the bar for your band.
A: If you haven’t heard of West Valley, they’ve produced people like Three Days Grace, Seether, Halestorm and My Chemical Romance. We were pushed and pushed—the standards were so high. If you miss a note, some other studios might edit it, but we were held to crazy standards. If we missed a note, we might have to do the whole song over again. I would sing at all these different keys, and it really pushed me to be the best vocalist I could possibly be, and the same was true for everyone else in the band.
And what was it like to work with Plotnikoff?
A: Plotnikoff actually gave us a homework assignment two weeks before we had to go to California. We already had five songs we were planning to record, and he wanted us to write two new songs because sometimes the best hits are written when the pressure is on. We were still writing the song and the chorus up until the last day we were there for Perfect Drug. The moment we were supposed to record, the song wasn’t done and we were freaking out and racking our brains over the last lyric. Then the internet went out, and we finished the song and it sounded perfect. Mike loved it; we loved it; and right when that happened, the internet came back on.
Talk about fate! So how would you describe LYLVC to people who have never heard of you before?
O: LYLVC is a mix of hard rock, electronic and hip-hop—and there’s some metal vibes in the music as well. That’s what’s been so cool about finding and building our fan base… people who find flavor in different things we do, who love strong female artists—and just to see how wide our reach has been.
What’s your goal when it comes to songwriting?
O: I think what we try to do with our music is create personal stories. We want our songs to be stories people can grasp. Our new song ‘Undertow’ is about feeling overwhelmed and drowning in a new life stage and the process of overcoming that feeling. I’ve felt that way sometimes, and I’m sure others have too. We really want to create a personal connection with our music to remind people they aren’t alone.
Did it rock when LYLVC won Rock Band of the Year at the 2022 Carolina Music Awards?!
O: We were all shocked but crazy excited. … We had some explosive feelings when we found out we won it. It was just a great evening because we got to connect with artists of all genres from all over the Carolinas. We were just super excited to be there.
What’s next for LYLVC?
A: We are going on tour with New Year’s Day starting Oct. 8 in CA! Our tour will go through Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and then back up to North Carolina, where it ends Oct. 23. We are very excited. This will be our first nationwide tour from the west coast to the east coast. We are also planning a release of our new upcoming single and music video for the song ‘Undertow,’ and we’ll be announcing when we do the full EP release very soon. There will be a lot of music coming at people, and we’re writing a lot of music right now too.
Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.