- Their group the Sillyettes also includes their father, bassist Rippy Williams.
- Their first CD “The Bologna Sandwich Album” is now available.
- The girls caught the attention of TV writer / producer Donick Cary and Grammy-winning rocker Tim Armstrong.
FARMINGTON – Lily Williams is 16, just a sophomore year at Navajo Prep in Farmington. And yet she and her sister Lola, 14, have already been playing in a band together for five years and have just released their first album.
Despite her youth, she seems like a veteran of the salty music industry when she gives wise advice to parents whose children, like her, show an affinity for music from an early age.
“If there are kids like that, I really encourage you (parents) to help them get in,” Lily said. “… Music is my best friend in a way. Music has always been there for me. It’s my journey. I’m glad my dad introduced me to it. He played in different bands when we were there. were small and watching him always made me want to do that. “
Lily and Lola are two-thirds of the Sillyettes, a Farmington-based trio that includes their father, Rippy, on bass. The band had a big summer, seeing the release of their single “One in a Million” on the B-side of a vinyl recording by Rancid singer and Grammy-winning new band, Tim Armstrong, and releasing their own. first CD, “The Bologna Sandwich Album.”
Lily plays the ukulele and takes care of the vocals for the band, while Lola, a freshman at Navajo Prep, plays the drums. The two girls also write songs, and most of the songs on their new album were written by them.
Lily wrote “One in a Million,” a song the band recorded in August 2019 at a Hollywood studio previously owned by Red Hot Chili bassist Peppers Flea. The shoot took place under the watchful eye of Armstrong, who had met the girls a year earlier when performing on the same bill at the annual Rock n ‘Roll carnival. This event is a fundraising music festival presented annually by Musack, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 that raises money for music programs for schoolchildren.
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Armstrong arranged the rushed session, which took place early in the morning because the Williams family had a flight later that day back to New Mexico. He was so pleased with the results that he used “One in a Million” on the back of a vinyl recording of his new band, The Crew.
The single was originally slated for release last summer, during the 2020 Rock n ‘Roll Carnival. But that plan was scrapped when the festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Armstrong released a small, limited pressing of the vinyl recording earlier this month, and all 100 copies sold out in just over 30 minutes, Lily said, prompting Armstrong to order a second edition. which will be released soon.
The Sillyettes were invited to play at the Rock n ‘Roll Carnival after meeting one of the founders of Musack, writer and television producer Donick Cary (“Late Show with David Letterman”, “The Simpsons”, “Parks and Recreation “) while performing at a festival in Window Rock, Arizona. He took an interest in girls, becoming the first of what has now become several players in the entertainment industry to give them a career boost.
Lily said she only met Armstrong by accident at the Rock n ‘Roll Carnival. While waiting for the Sillyettes to take the stage, she said the guitarist from another band asked to borrow his tuner, then disappeared without returning it. Lily tried to borrow a tuner from one of the other musicians backstage, to no avail. As her band’s niche approached and knowing that her instrument was severely out of tune, she felt a growing sense of panic and dread.
“I was literally on the verge of tears,” she said.
Fortunately, one of the musicians lurking backstage noticed his distress and graciously offered his tuner. Lily gratefully agreed without really looking at him, noting only that he was bald, had a full beard, and had a lot of tattoos.
Later, when she asked her father to help her locate her mysterious benefactor so that she could return the tuner, she spotted him and reported it to her father. Rippy took her aside in amazement and informed her that the man was none other than Armstrong, the guitarist and singer of Rancid who has also worked with artists ranging from reggae performer Jimmy Cliff and Billy. Joe Armstrong from Greenday (no link) to Pink and Joe Walsh from the Eagles.
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A friendship developed between the girls and the veteran rocker, and a year later he invited them to the recording session after a second appearance at the Rock n ‘Roll Carnival. Lily said she decided to perform “One in a Million” during the session because writing the song had helped her get through a particularly difficult episode of teenage anxiety a little earlier.
“It’s basically because I’m having a bad day,” she said. “I was frustrated and sad. It was midnight and I was trying to fall asleep, but I couldn’t.”
Struggling with her emotions after a male classmate she barely knew started an ugly and false rumor about her, Lily decided to take her father’s advice and channel her anxiety through a creative outlet. She took out her ukulele and began to try singing what she was feeling.
“He said to me, ‘When you’re really sad about something, don’t let it get to you, take it off on something else,'” Lily recalls.
The result ultimately took the form of “One in a Million”, a catchy and loaded alternative pop track that perfectly showcases the girls’ emerging talent. “The Bologna Sandwich Album” is filled with these tunes, proving to be a promising start for a pair of young musicians who are probably starting to tap their reservoir of potential.
Lily’s soft-spoken sister, Lola, said she approached music the same way her older brother did, using the physique and focus needed to play the drums to overcome her doubts, fears and difficulties. worries.
“I don’t really speak much,” she said, explaining that few of her classmates and friends even know her status as a performer who has already shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music and attracted the attention of the wheels of Hollywood.
The two girls say they haven’t given much thought to where their musical journey will take them and insist that they are just enjoying the experience for now. But the brief taste of stardom they’ve enjoyed so far has left them at least considering the possibility of making it a lifelong pursuit.
“Playing in a band is just for fun right now,” said Lily. “But if we make a career out of it, that would be pretty cool.”
The Sillyettes’ next scheduled performance will be at a festival in Page, Ariz. In November. “The Bologna Sandwich Album” can be purchased by sending an email to email@example.com. The group can be followed on facebook.com/rippyandthesillyettes.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.