Frequently Asked Questions
About Lilys

 
 
1) Who are Lilys?
For the most part, Kurt Heasley and whoever is playing behind him. Lilys are a fabulous band whose only consistent member is Kurt Heasley...who also writes all of the songs.
 
2) What kind of music do Lilys play?
That depends of what album you listen to. Lilys have played in a wide variety of styles, from My Bloody Valentine-ish shoegazing, to distorted indie-pop, to heady trip-music, to 60's style pop, and even a lot of places in between. Currently the Lilys are pumping out brilliant songs in the vein of the Kinks, The Beatles, The Doors, The Monkees, The Zombies, Pink Floyd, and The Beach Boys.
 
3) Why do they call Kurt "Wally?"
Here is the story, as told to me by an old friend of Kurt's:

"Had to laugh about this one. I'm a friend of Wally's from High School. We've been good friends on and off for about the last ten years even though I haven't talked to him since '93. His birth name is Kurt Heasley. He picked up the nickname "Wally" the first day he started his Freshman year at West Springfield ( my sophomore year ) because someone thought he looked like Wally from leave it to beaver fame. He liked the name so much he stuck with it for years. Back in 86-90 we called him "Big Wally" because we new another Wally and then later the affectionate "Mr. Wally"."

This has been confirmed by former members of the band.

4) Was Kurt trying to sound like My Bloody Valentine on In The Presence of Nothing?
Well, we hate to say trying...that sounds like he was ripping them off! In truth though, judging from comments in interviews it can be safely said that Kurt was a very big MBV fan, and did want an MBVish sound for the album.
 
5) What is Lilys relation to The Apples in Stereo?
Kurt once lived with Hilary of The Apples In Stereo in Denver, Colorado, and is also a big fan of their music. The Apples song 'Touch The Water' was a b-side for 'Returns Every Morning,' and has been a staple in Lilys live shows for a couple of years now. The two bands remain friends to this day, with members of Lilys appearing on the last Apples LP, and the bands have considered touring together.
 
6) Is that Ginger I hear at the start of one of those CK-1 commercials?
Yes, yes it is...the commercial has not aired in several years, however, so if you haven't already seen it, you most likely won't.
 
6a) Is that Levi's thing for real?
Yes it is, and the spot earned them a good deal of attention in the UK, and throughout Europe. The spot aired throught January of 1998, leading to a number of pieces in various UK music publications. A Nanny In Manhattan was the featured song. (For those who do not know, in early 1998 Lilys had a song featured in a Levi's commercial in the UK for several weeks, leading to some nice exposure overseas and a nice jump in their popularity)
 
6b) Any other spot's like those listed above?
Actually, yes. I am informed that Lilys also took part in the Volkswagon series of ad's a few years ago, which featured Lush and Velocity Girl. I'm told that a bit of Any Place I've Lived was played. ("where are you going today?"), and as recently as March of 1998 a ten second or so clip of 'Pookah' was heard in a Nike commercial.
 
7) Is it "Lilys" of "The Lilys?"
If you look at the releases of Lilys and at how Kurt himself refers to the band, they are Lilys (no The). However, their SubPop release-Which Studies The Past?-has the band calling themselves The Lilys. I believe that this was a one off thing...maybe it was because it was a one shot, or maybe it was just because it made the logo look nice. I dunno... Some people have informed me that the band went by The Lilys in their early days, but Kurt is pretty firm on the issue - they are "Lilys."
 
8) Do Lilys ever tour?
Indeed. Keep your eyes focused on the main page of this website for the latest tour dates.
 
9) What albums did they tour for?
They toured quite a bit previous to In The Presence of Nothing, as well as for that album. I believe that they also played in support of A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns, though I am unsure if they toured for Eccsame The Photon Band. They played all over in support of Better Can't Make Your Life Better, and even headed overseas in support of the album.
 
10) Will they be playing again soon?
Yes, yes they will. See #8.
 
11) Do Lilys have any non-album tracks?
Yes, quite a few actually. February Fourteenth never appeared on an album, and neither did Eskimo (on the Tone Bender single). They had a cover of The Apples in Stereos' Touch The Water on their Returns Every Morning single, and a song called More Than That is Deserved was on the A Nanny in Manhattan single, both of which later appeared on the re-release of Better Can't Make Your Life Better. They had a one-shot SubPop release called Which Studies The Past, which had two non-album songs on it. They also have (at least) two compilation tracks, Any Several Sundays and Excelsior Plainslide.

Here is another interesting tidbit for you. Former Lily Mike Hammel was kind enough to provide me with this information:

"One thing you might find interesting as a Lilys fan: pre-Lilys shares some history in a way with what later became the band Fudge. There is a double 7" out there on the now defunct Brilliant Records featuring one 7" by Technical Jed and the other by a pre-Fudge band (the name escapes me now, I have the record at home). There are 4 songs on it. 2 penned by Kurt. He doesn't play on the record but they are the earliest known written Kurt Heasley songs. VERY Dinosaur Jr, great songs. Just thought you'd like to know."

12) Do Lilys have any tracks never officially released?
Yes they do. Apparently Kurt writes quite a bit, but records infrequently. Some songs from early studio sessions include I Think It's Safe No More, Falling In Astralight, Lire, and Give A Little Distance. Early Lilys shows (from 1991 and 1992) also feature a large number of songs that did not appear on any album. The titles of these songs can only be guessed at (two in particular are probably called Salad Bar and Tra-La La-la), though for those interested, the songs are very good. (there seems to be approximately ten such songs from this era, maybe more) It should also be noted that the "Bliss Out" thing that was supposed to be done was apparently recorded, and may never see the light of day.

Here are a few more Lilys song titles. What these songs are I cannot say, but needless to say, they are songs written by Kurt Heasley at some time or another. It they are old songs never released, the songs from Bliss Out, or songs from the upcoming LP, I do not know:

Coby
Elsa
G Cobalt Franklin
Hymn
Night
Timber
United Motorcycling Stunt Persons

13) Who has been in Lilys?
That's hard to say...there has been a lot of members. Known members of note include: Kurt "Wally" Heasley-guitar/vox, Alex Hacker-Bass (The Ropers), Archie Moore-guitar (former Velocity Girl), Mike Glasgow-drums (short stint in The Ropers), Mike Hammel (The Ropers), Harold "Bear" Evans-drums (Poole), Michael Deming-organ/bass/other, Art DiFuria-Guitar (The Photon Band),Rich Costey-loops/synth, Dave Frank-drumkit, Robert Andreano-horns/cello/slideguitar, Thom Manahan-bass (Monsterland), Aaron Sperske-drums, David Shuman-keys?.......and counting. (I aoplogize to anybody I missed)
 
14) Just how many people have been in Lilys?
The number is currently at twenty-seven members in about five years. Word has it no less that 17(!) people were involved in the recording of the new LP
 
15) What labels have Lilys been on?
Lilys have had official releases on Simple Machines, Slumberland, Summershine, SpinArt, SubPop, Che, Elecktra/Primary, and JiffyBoy. The new LP will have the Sire logo on it in the US.
 
16) When is a new Lilys album coming out?
The tentative release date is February 23rd, 1999, though it may slip back into March.
 
17) What would I like if I like Lilys?
It depends on what era of Lilys you like...early Lilys fans should check out My Bloody Valentine, Velocity Girl, and Swirlies. Later Lilys fans may want to look out for The Apples in Stereo and Olivia Tremor Control. There are, of course, many more, but these are a good few to start with.
 
18) What are the words to (insert song here)?
Only Kurt knows that for sure, as Lilys do not publish lyrics. One can, however, guess. The Lyrics section on this page (if it is done) may steer you in the right direction. The lyrics for 'Better Can't Make Your Life Better' and 'Which Studies The Past?' are in fact the official lyrics, so those should be 99% accurate.
 
19) How do you play (insert song here)?
Check out the guitar section of this site. There are a few songs there, with more waiting in the wings.
 
20) So Did Kurt really have a kid?
Why yes, yes he did. Kurt had a daughter, named Tayt. Yes, Tayt of the "Tayt Overture." She's a wonderful little girl, if you must know. In fact Kurt now has two children; son Aeroll was born on Feb. 15th.
 

 

If there are any questions that you feel should covered here, let me know...I'll do my best to take care it! If you have any corrections or additions to information presented here, please inform me so that I can fix it. Thanks.

 

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