The band members would find themselves naturally drawn to the world of vintage heavy metal. Abigail embraced the showmanship of Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, and Samuel built his playing style around shredders like Richie Kotzen and Racer X’s Paul Gilbert. The kids started to incorporate metal standards by the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss and Metallica into their sets. Still, it would be singer Melody’s fascination with Ronnie James Dio that would cement Liliac as a metal band proper.
“We put out our cover of ‘Wild Thing’ by the Troggs,” Abigail says. “That’s when things started getting heavy. And then in 2019 we put out ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ and we got on the World’s Best TV show. After that and putting out our first original EP, “Chain of Thorns,” we got a whole U.S. tour — 30 dates.”
Liliac relocated to Atlanta during the pandemic. The band plays an abundance of East Coast shows and relocation to this side of the country made logistical sense; another factor was the cost of living.
Despite their meteoric rise to stardom, the members find themselves confronting the inevitable, namely that with advancing age the novelty of kids playing stellar renditions of classic metal songs would ultimately wane and continued public interest will come on the strength of their original material.
“Chain of Thorns” rose to Number One on Amazon’s rock music sales chart and their subsequent full length release, “Queen of Hearts,” was warmly received by critics and audiences alike. Nevertheless, children and father alike are all aware that their original material is still heavily rooted in the metal stylings of yesteryear. “Liliac has captured people my age,” explains Florin. “How do you get the young generation? Probably the production is going to change a lot.”
The Liliac songwriting process is borne out of Florin’s background as a music producer for film and television whose credits include music for the A&E, Lifetime and MTV networks. He is aware that his own pop background contrasts with the process of writing metal music. “Their teacher was also a studio musician in my studio,” continues Florin. “We tried, before they became more of a rock band, to write songs for them. I was a pop producer for many years. With pop, you just write songs for the artist. Rock and metal doesn’t work like that. I mean, you don’t have Metallica telling a songwriter, ‘Hey, write me a hit song.’”
The band plans to begin work on the next full-length album soon. With that in mind Florin set about encouraging the band members to come up with original ideas on their respective instruments that would ultimately be crafted into actual songs.
“Everything is brought to the table,” he says. “I even encourage the little ones to come up with something.”
Liliac opening for Stryper
7:30 p.m. May 12. $27.50. The Masquerade, 75 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW, Atlanta. 404-577-8178, masqueradeatlanta.com.
Jordan Owen began writing about music professionally at the age of 16 in Oxford, Mississippi. A 2006 graduate of the Berklee College of Music, he is a professional guitarist, bandleader and composer. He is currently the lead guitarist for the jazz group Other Strangers, the power metal band Axis of Empires and the melodic death/thrash metal band Century Spawn.
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