punch in the gut

It’s just… it’s just like a punch in the gut, you know? I’ve lost so many people over the years that were dear to me. I’d just gotten back on my feet after losing Isa and Precious. The scars on my heart are still very fresh and they still ache when I think of all the beautiful, wonderful people I’ve lost over the years. Not just these two… but also Anna… Lya… Forest, Daniel, Laura… countless of people that I still miss every bloody single day.

I was just getting back on my feet, goddammit. And then this happens. Three people with that vacant look in their eyes. And not just some people. Not acquaintances that have brightened up my life.

Maritza, who is my bandmate, my friend. The one who offered me a chance of salvation while behind me the ship that was Rebel Justice was still burning. She and I were born on the same day, we’re both from Los Angeles, we’re both Modern Rock bassists. I suppose the fiercest differences between us is that she’s monogamous and she speaks Spanish fluently. For the rest, she might as well be my sister. My sister, my bandmate. My friend. My lover, if she’d let me.

Walter, who is like the brother I never had. Who gave me monkey slippers when June was born. Who was the one person responsible for me picking up a frigging bass guitar in the first place. Whose drum solos are still inspiring me to this day. Whose outlook on life has made mine so much sunnier. Who always managed to make me laugh, even when things seemed at their darkest. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for him. There aren’t even any words. Losing him is like losing Isa. Losing my adolescence, losing the last part of the 10 dB’s – which is what shaped me, what made me a musician. He’s one of the few people that still remembers me as Sweetling, dammit. He still calls me Sweetling, too. And he still gives me monkey slippers when he sees me. At least, when he recognises me. June told me she went to visit him the other day, but he hardly recognized her. She was heartbroken. Walter is like an uncle to her. He’s one of the main reasons she plays drums these days. It’s just so unfair.

And Jean. Oh, Jean. I never thought this would be such a punch to the gut. You’re such a bright and blessed free spirit. I feel lucky to know you, to have been in a band with you. You’ve pushed me to become a better musician than I am. One of the three major musical influences in my life, next to Walter and Stephen, I suppose. Definitely one of the main MALE influences in my life. I mean, shit, he gave me Reece. And despite the hell I went through, I don’t regret anything. If there’s anyone else, next to Steph (or Walter) whose child I would have gladly carried- it’s Jean’s. Knowing and hanging out and getting drunk and making music and playing poker with Jean is a life experience that everyone should have. And I don’t know what to say about it, but this is a profound ache I had not imagined to feel. I always knew he’d leave me… us… some day. It was never me and him like it was me and Steph. But there was something, and it was something so different. I was devastated over losing Isa- but this is a completely different kind of pain.

They could still wake up. For the love of Kobe, please wake up.

I’m not sure I can go through this again, dammit.


it is like a curse

To see those empty, vacant eyes on someone you love very much. It creeps up on all of us, like a cancer or a disease. It starts without even noticing. Absent mindedness. Missed phonecalls. Missed shows. A bit of a depression. And suddenly they go quiet and start wandering aimlessly, drawn to graveyards and ghosts.

And then you know that the end might be near. Some stay in that state for years. For others, it’s a lot shorter. It’s shite and I hate it.

Please wake up, Maritza.
Please wake up, Jean.
Please wake up, Walter.


a room with a view

This hotel room has a great view. I’m sitting on the edge of the railing of my balcony with a glass of whiskey in my hand. If I look to the east, I can see the old Festival Grounds.

They’re all but forgotten. I just did some counting, and it’s been fifteen years since some of the best memories of my life were created. Since the intense love I felt on that stage. Since playing my heart out for Stockholm and all the party people. Since dancing in the rain and singing along with every band that performed. Since mudfights with Isa. Since Senna was conceived.

Fifteen years.
I don’t often feel my age, but tonight I do. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.
My memories give a golden glow to the clouded evening. And tonight, all is good.

sundaymorning in copenhagen

Sara and me and a hotel room in Copenhagen, entangled in sheets.

“You go talk to that journalist, I’m way too comfortable,” I murmure with my eyes closed.

“No, I did it last night. You go talk to that journalist.”

“You’re bandleader, they’ll be more inclined listen to you.”

She laughs softly. “We’ve been away too long for those kinds of things to matter at the moment, Lianne. They’ll listen to you too.”

She’s leaning up on her elbows, looking down at me. I look up at her and smile. The sunlight from outside makes her sleep-and-snuggle-tousled blond hair look like a halo. I give her a kiss and stand up from the bed. The airco gives me goosebumps. “Alrighty then, time to shower. But only because you’re too pretty to refuse you anything. Ice is a lucky man.”

She laughs behind me as I walk into the bathroom. “I’ve heard that before.”

I look over my shoulder and smile at my bandmate. “Of course you would, pretty girl.”

The water of the shower is hot and scalding on my skin. Another day, another press meeting. We’re back on the road, alright.

mesmerizing kids

I caught up with Reece during lunch this morning. It’s getting weirder every day; he’s such an attractive, reliable quiet young man. Despite being still a teenager, he radiates this feeling of trust, of getting things right. Wildly talented and artistic of course, with is not strange, when you consider who his father is. But to look into his hazel eyes and just see him… he’s such a weird mix of Jean and I. More Jean than me, I suppose. Completely different from his half-siblings too.

I found myself asking if he could keep an eye on June when he said he was going to join up with her Heavy Metal folk band. He’s ten years her junior for crying out loud! But June is all fire and ambition and intense emotions, she needs an anchor after she lost Vijole’s quiet, steady presence. Even if it is her half brother that’s nearly ten years younger.

Strange, how these things go.

why did we ever call it studio survival?

It’s great to be back in the studio again. It’s a joy to have my Rainbow in my hands again and to play those tunes for keep, in the best way possible, so it is recorded for eternity. I’ve always gotten such a kick out of good recording sessions. It’s one of the reasons why I picked up production in the first place.

To do whatever you do perfectly, and when it works out… oh, there’s magic in that, too.

With my bass guitar I shall pierce the darkness, indeed.

i made the frontpage!

Don’t freak out when you grab the new It’s Pop Los Angeles from the news stand, it features my mug quite prominently. Eek!

Also, it has an interview – the first one in two years so I’m probably way too honest and vulnerable. That’s been a while, honesty with the press… Guess my media skills have gotten a bit rusty.

Oh well. Enjoy 😉


Person of the Week

Greetings Los Angeles!

As many of you might already know our city now has a brand new Modern Rock University, so today we’re here to talk to its owner. I bet you all have heard her name, as she’s one of the most famous and active members of Modern Rock community. A hardworking and talented musician, a mother of eight and one of the hottest ladies out there – meet Lianne Brantley!

Full name: Lianne Brantley
Height: 1.74m
Weight: 60kg
Favorite Food: Pasta carbonara
Favorite Hot Drink: Green tea
Favorite Confectionery: “The chocolates that go in the heart shaped boxes, yum!”
Favorite Liquor: Tequila
Favorite Animal: Bunnies
“Once upon a time I had about twenty of them but I’m not home enough to make sure they’re properly cared for”.
Favorite Vehicle: “I have a fierce love for Kawasaki’s. They’re fast, gorgeous, and the feeling of the open road while driving a Kawasaki is just heavenly”.
Hobbies: Rocking out and having fun.
“You can say that I’ve turned my hobbies into work…”

Our readers should already know that you are one of the most famous Modern Rock artists out there and an active member of this genre community. And yet… why a university?

Perhaps a question might be: why another University? Some of the readers might know that there’s already an established MR University running in London. It’s a highly successful place that we set up back in the day for young and upcoming Modern Rock artists. It’s specifically designed to teach all the things that young Modern Rockers would need on the stage. Within the community we all felt like we needed a homebase where we could hone our skills and teach the new generation, and initially London was accommodating our wishes the best.

And recently we’ve branched out over the ocean, so we have another MR University for all the Modern Rockers in the United States.

Is there any special reason why you chose Los Angeles?

Dirk Bekkering (the mayor) approached me, asking whether we’d be interested in purchasing a university that would be privatized. He was kind enough to point me in the direction and I just kind of jumped at the opportunity. I’m a Los Angeles girl myself – born and raised. I didn’t move to Europe until I was twenty-four or something. Since then I’ve lived in Amsterdam and London, but LA has always been my home. There are a lot of high profile Modern Rockers who hail from Los Angeles as well, so it just felt right to spread the love a little more.

What are your plans for the future?

This question comes at a bit of a strange moment in my life. I’ve toured the world for nearly thirty years straight. First with the 10dB’s, then with Rebel Justice, and eventually with Symphony of Agony. It never got old, until I had to bury three of my dearest friends within half a year time… and then I just broke down. So currently we’re on a bit of a hiatus with the band. I’ve been using the University as a bit of a distraction to keep being busy while we were not touring or playing shows. Sara, Maritza and I are just getting back to our feet again and are planning a new tour.

So what are our plans? Right now, I’m a bit tentative. I’ve already seen the world and done everything possible, but making more music and enjoying life to the fullest seem to be my first thing to do now. Life is short, so let’s make it count.

We are truly sorry for Lianne’s loss and can’t help but admire her strength and optimism. Life’s too short, indeed, and this lady’s a great example of taking it all out of it. Keep on the good job!

Let’s get to our traditional questions. As we all know, lives of celebrities are always full of stress, so what is you way of handling such issues?

The stage has always been my place to unwind and recharge. Even during a setlist that is honed to perfection, I’m able to let it all out. Even during my darkest times (and Kobe knows there’s been some drama) the music and the cheers of the crowd have always made me smile. That smile you see when I’m on stage is never faked. It’s always true. I love the stage, I love performing, I love that hour with the fans. It’s what I live for.

Paparazzi, media conferences, broken tourbuses, messed up sleep schedules and jetlags… well, that just comes with the package. I gladly pay that price.

Such spirit and dedication leave us at loss of words…

What is Lianne Brantley like off of the stage?

There’s not much difference between on stage and off stage life. If there’s one thing I could say about myself is that I can enjoy very intensely. So just sitting on a sunlit terrace with a cold beer and some good company can already make my day. I hang out with friends, I go on dates, I drink too much tequila, I party like crazy, I miss my boyfriend Stephen when he’s not around. And there’s the kids of course. I sit in parks, I write music, I laugh with friends. It sounds very generic, doesn’t it?

A bit generic indeed, so to say, and yet it’s just another reminder that no matter how famous, successful, rich or powerful we are, we still remain nothing but human. Generating happiness from little things is a real art, the skill each and every of us should master to perfection.

Somehow the answers we got from Lianne made us lose our ‘common sarcasm’ somewhere along the sentences. We are eternally grateful for the time she’s taken to give us this interview and for the great opportunities she’s granted to our starting Modern Rock artists.

We wish Lianne good luck, fully-booked shows and lots and lots of happy moments!

Previous Older Entries