Liphemra is the project of drummer and vocalist Liv Marsico, who was a member of LA band Gothic Tropic and has drummed for Cold War Kids as well as various other bands. Marsico formed Liphemra in 2013 and has since released a mixtape entitled Part 3 (2014) and the 2015 single “did u cry.” Liphemra now includes members Trey Findley, Miles Gray and Chris Parise and will release a new single “feel nothing” in April.
Artist and curator Adi Rajkovic founded Los Angeles art gallery Sunday with partner Teryn Brown in 2014. The space, located in their living room, showcases the work of friends and emerging artists in the LA art community. Sunday has drawn acclaim for its exhibits, including Hot in Here which featured work from nearly 50 female artists such as Arvida Byström, Molly Soda and Signe Pierce.
Swedish photographer Arvida Byström is known for her feminine-themed, pastel-heavy imagery that openly addresses sexuality, body image, gender politics and body positivity. Her work, which often features self-portraiture, has been shown worldwide. Based out of Stockholm, Los Angeles and London, Byström runs her own gallery in East London called Gal.
Bay Area rapper G-Eazy, born Gerald Gillum, produced his own music from 2007 until 2014 when he signed with RCA Records. He has toured with Drake and Shwayze, and released two studio albums: These Things Happen (2014) and When It’s Dark Out (2015).
From Orange, CA, twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears founded the experimental punk duo The Garden in 2011 at age 19. Fletcher (drums) and Wyatt (bass and vocals) are known for their quirky and darkly sarcastic lyrics. The Garden has released Rules EP (2013) and haha (2015).
LOW END THEORY
Low End Theory is an experimental hip-hop and electronic club founded in 2006 by producer and Alpha Pup Records head Daddy Kev. Located in LA’s Lincoln Heights neighborhood, Low End Theory was the launchpad for the beat scene and various popular electronic artists, including Flying Lotus.
Los Angeles-based artist and musician Liv Marsico is the founder, vocalist and drummer of Liphemra—a portmanteau of Marsico’s first name and “ephemeral.” Marsico has been drumming since age 12 and has played with a range of bands including Cold War Kids, Hanni El Khatib, Deap Vally and Peter Buck of R.E.M. More recently, Marsico put out a B-side with rapper G-Eazy and contributed backup vocals on The Neighbourhood’s newest album.
Marsico began Liphemra in 2013 to write, produce and play her own music. The project fuses her rock background with electro-pop, hip hop influences and glimpses of jazz. Featuring her fractured hooks and bewitching vocals, Liphemra is underpinned by a quintessentially female-driven aesthetic and DIY merchandising. The former solo project recently gained three members and released the 2015 single “did u cry” as a fully-formed band.
Marsico’s friend Adi Rajkovic is curator and co-founder of Sunday gallery, an art space run out of her own living room in Los Angeles. Rajkovic interviews Marsico about her career as a drummer, why she insists on having a band over a solo project and what’s behind Liphemra’s imagery.
Adi Rajkovic: Where are you from?
Liphemra: Los Angeles. The Valley.
AR: When did you start making music?
L: I started playing drums when I was 12 years old, and before that I played classical piano. My mom’s a classical piano player so she was like, “You guys need to start playing.” At some point I was tired of that, and my dad’s a drummer, so I was like, “Okay, Dad.” I started playing drums and got really into that and then did a lot of jazz, big band and jazz combo stuff in school.
AR: What was your first band?
L: I was in Stone Darling, which was the first band I started playing with in LA that wasn’t a jazz group. It was an all-girl band. I was 18, and that lasted for a few years. I kind of got over that because it was just girly, happy folk stuff, but I learned a lot, and we traveled and did a lot of cool things. Then after doing that with several different bands, I wanted to push myself into writing more because, as a drummer, you don’t really get to write music. You kind of just play what other people want you to play.
“I’ve been a fucking beat-heavy
jazz weirdo for so long. I’ve never been
able to fit into any trends.”
AR: Who influenced you growing up and who influences you today?
L: When I was younger, I was influenced a lot by surrealism—André Breton and all the early surrealists—as well as Rilke and a lot of authors. I’ve never had a very logical intellect when it comes to art. I try to feel it more than think about it. I could relate to those artists because it was all stream of consciousness. I felt like I didn’t necessarily have to be a master to create. I could just feel it.
AR: Is that how you transitioned from jazz? I feel like jazz is so taught, and the music you make now obviously isn’t. But I also don’t know anything about that, so I don’t know if someone would see your band and say, “You can really tell that she has influences from jazz in her early years.”
L: I’m lucky that I was forced to play and be disciplined in a craft like classical piano and jazz, especially drums. It was pretty hard growing up because it was just me and a bunch of guys. I had to be really disciplined in order to be as good as the guys and taken seriously. Because if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have been included in their clique.
AR: Do you have any contemporary influences? Who do you think is really cool?
L: Honestly, it’s been really hard for me to find my group in LA. I have a lot of friends who play different styles of music, but it’s hard for me to find something comparable. The Garden is one of the only bands that I’m really, really into. They’re avant-garde and weird. Their songs are short and mini, more like concepts than fully-structured songs. They just do whatever they want. I am also inspired by electronic producers and always went to Low End Theory growing up. Other than that, I’m inspired by a lot of [visual] artists. That connects with me more than just another band because I’m not super into band culture.