Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

LA-founded hard-rock hellraisers L7 are coming back Down Under in December 2023 as part of their ‘Bricks Are Heavy and More’ tour.

L7 were a formidable force in the 1990s, courting controversy wherever they played, due to their ‘take no shit’ attitude. After a separating in the early 2000’s the band reunited in 2014 and released the album Scatter the Rats in 2019.

Now, one of the most influential girls in rock are set to hit Australia with their original line-up, and to find out more about it, we had the chance to chat with the band’s legendary singer & guitarist Donita Sparks, who also gave us sneak peek at their new song ‘Cooler Than Mars’.

SR. How are you girls getting ready to take over Australia?

Donita. We have some shows in the US in September, so we need to start rehearsing for that. Then we have shows in South America and we will be doing some headline shows, and some shows with Black Flag, smome festival dates…and then in December we need to rehearse the ‘Bricks are Heavy’ stuff, before we go to New Zealand and Australia…We will be performing the album front to back.

SR. Will you be including other songs as well?

Donita. Oh yeah! Bricks are heavy is like 40 minutes long, so after doing the album we perform another 40-50 minutes of other songs, from all our other albums.

“…we can do wherever we want, because we are f** L7!”

SR. One thing people love about L7 is the fact you girls don’t fit into one style of music: You are punk, you are grunge, you are hard rock. How do you girls keep the style going by not falling into current trends?

Donita. Within our style, we have a lot of room to play. We just don’t do one thing. We might have an L7 sound, but within that sound we play different kinds of stuff, we play fast songs, pretty songs, ugly songs, heavy drawn songs that have the lack of melody, we have songs with very serious lyrics, and songs with light funny lyrics, and combinations of all those things together.

So you see, we have a very big playground under the umbrella of L7, so we can do wherever we want, because we are f** L7!

SR. You girls are timeless, and there was no surprise fans here in Australia are grabbing tickets like crazy for your shows. How do you feel about knowing that no matter the time between tours and albums, your fans are still there, supporting you?

Donita. It blows my mind, we never even thought about longevity when we were starting as a band. But since we come back as a reunited band, we feel that kind of respect, even more respect than the one we had 30 years ago.

I feel people feel that…maybe we have some kind of authenticity. I’m not exacly sure why, but people really like the songs. For all the other things L7 are and what we represent for the people, i think it boils down to the songs, because if we had all the other stuff, but not the songs, we would never have that impact, so the songs are what matters.

That’s why people listen to us, that’s why people is buying tickets, because they want to see us live playing those songs.

SR. I was checking some of your recent set-list and ther is one song from your most recent album named ‘Burn Baby’ that I personally love. Just wondering why you girls stopped playing that one live?

Donita. Do you want it on the set-list! you got it…I’ll make a note right now to add it, we will bring that one back in, because last time we were in Australia we had not put out the album Scatter the Rats.

SR. Speaking about Scatter the Rats How mind-blowing for you is to think you released the album right on time before the world went to hell with the pandemic!

Donita. Well, Scatter the Rats came out in 2019, we toured it in the US, that went very well, and we were getting ready in 2020 to go to Europe and got cancelled, then a couple of Australian dates got cancelled, but we got to play in the US at least.

I’m just proud we made that album, and it gout out just in time you know…crazy, crazy times.

During that time, we did not play together at all, Suzi (Gardner) does not live in LA anymore, we live in different parts of town. It’s like L7 gets together to play when there is a project, tours, new music, rehearsing for special events…We are not signed to a record label, we don’t have a recording budget, so there is no label saying “you got to release an album”, so there is not that pressure, although it would be nice to have that pressure sometimes (laughs)….but we are not worry about it at all, I mean we are playing sold out shows in Australia, and that’s enough for me…It’s just gratitude man.

SR. Any new music in the horizon?

Donita. We have a new song coming out next month called ‘Cooler Than Mars’ and it’s gonna be released in flexi discs, and there will be only 2000 copies out there, and each band member will have their face printed on them, so you can collect each band member, and put it on the wall.

“We have a new song coming out next month called ‘Cooler Than Mars’ and it’s gonna be released in flexi discs, and there will be only 2000 copies out there”

It’s a collectors item, same song, but different faces, so its an art piece and looks cool. We are doing that, and I kind of feel as a songwriter I fell like writing a song, and put it our in an interesting way instead of just releasing stuff as a single or as an album.

SR. Gotta love all the things you did back in the 90’s. Looking back to those “per-internet/social media era”. Looking back to those days, what are your most fond memories?

Donita. The most insane, unbelievable was when we play Brazil in Rio and Sao Paulo 1993 and was with a bunch of other huge bands like Nirvana and the Chili Peppers. We played in those huge stadiums, and we were chased by fans, so that was such a wild experience as we got a bit of taste of “Beatlemania” for a week (Laughs).

You know, it was kind of amazing to be on TV, on the radio, and magazines, it was very exciting for a band of punk rockers that didn’t think they will amount too much, so we were there in for the experience, but as the time went on, we wanted to become better songwriters.

We might not have those big super crazy fans right now like in those days, but we have great fans very loyal, and that’s what keep me writing and creatively I’m happy with my output.

SR. Does it bother you that now so many people get their phones out during concerts to film or take pictures, or do you rather the old “mobile phone-free” days?

Donita. You know, in my experience people dont take their phones that much in our concerts, they might take them out for.a song or two they really love like ‘Shitlist’ or ‘Pretend we’re dead’. I think, because at our shows there is much bumping and shoving and dancing, there is too much dancing going on, so I think that helps for avoiding people to take their phones out too much.

I doesn’t bother me very much unless is right at the front and constant, I feel like saying to that people “come on, put your phone down and enjoy the show”. I also don’t like, when I see online some people posts our entire concert, it’s not like I’m offended by that, but I think it’s a spoiler, because we dont change our set that much if we are on a tour, and if somebody post it, it kind of ruined it for everyone, which is kind of a bummer.

SR. Just to finish, any message for your Australian fans ahead of the tour?

Donita. We cannot wait to see you Australia! We are gonna blow your mind and we will play ‘Bricks are Heavy’ back to back!

We are gonna be dancing, you are gonna be dancing and singing along and thank you so much for appreciating us, it means a lot. You re very loyal, and you like to rock and we are very happy about that, so thank you very much!.


#Interview #L7s #Donita #Sparks #Talks #Australian #Tour

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