Every Rose Has its Thorn

Every Rose Has its Thorn

Every Rose Has its Thorn

With Bleach-Blonde Ambition and A Personality To Match, Liza Thorn Of L.A. Band Starred Is Ready To Rewrite the History Of Rock-and-Roll Infamy In Louche Looks and Fall's Sumptuous Furs

With Bleach-Blonde Ambition and A Personality To Match, Liza Thorn Of L.A. Band Starred Is Ready To Rewrite the History Of Rock-and-Roll Infamy In Louche Looks and Fall's Sumptuous Furs

Photography: Karim Sadli

Styling: Beat Bolliger

Text: T. Cole Rachel

Meeting Liza Thorn in person for the first time instantly reaffirms the notion that some people are simply meant to be rock stars. Showing up for our mid-afternoon coffee date in giant sunglasses, a tattered sequined top, torn fishnets, and scuffed heels, Thorn is a blurry, bleach-blonde mess—what would happen if Courtney Love and Sandra Bernhard spawned a San Francisco love child (with the former’s growl and the latter’s rapier wit). Having made a name for herself with her previous band, Bridez, and collaborated with the likes of Girls’s Christopher Owens and Cass McCombs, Thorn is poised to make a splash with her new band, Starred, when they release their official debut EP, Prison To Prison, later this fall. Though she has been touted as a fashion figure, Thorn is mostly concerned with talking about rock music and the importance of making it. But before we can chat, she has an urgent request: “Can you get me some aspirin and a water? I feel like I’m dying.

How did you end up in L.A.? 

LIZA THORN I grew up in San Francisco and I love California so I decided to move to L.A. a couple of years ago, kind of as a way to finally move away from home, but also because I was going to maybe make a record with Cass McCombs. I moved into this weird basement place that I found on the Internet. Our project kind of fell apart after I got to L.A., but then I ended up playing with other people. I’ve played guitar since I was 14, but I always played in bands and I never took it quite as far or as seriously when it came to just writing and recording on my own. Then I met Matthew Koshak, this amazing producer and engineer, and he started working on this record with me and we basically became Starred. Pendu Sound—this label based in New York—is putting out our six-song 12″ EP this fall. We’ll put out a 7″ record this summer.

Did you always know you would make music? 

LT Yeah. It’s kind of like a curse, actually. I mean, I wish I wanted to do something else. I wish I wanted to be a dentist or something. Even when I was a kid, I always wanted to be in a band. I remember reading Please Kill Me when I was 15 and just fantasizing about being in a rock band. Then I had a succession of very self-destructive punk-rock bands. Our sets usually ended with me throwing myself onto the drums…that sort of thing.

How is Starred different from your previous band? 

LT I don’t know…it’s more melodic, a little more subdued. You know, I’ve done the whole crazy screaming thing. This music is powerful in a different way. And it’s not just the Liza Thorn show. Starred is very much my and Matt Koshak’s band.

Fashion photographers seem to love you. Why is that? 

LT I don’t know. I get approached to do fashion things a lot, but unless it’s with a friend or something related to the band, I don’t usually do it. You know, I don’t really get it. I shop at Goodwill. I don’t have money to buy lots of expensive shit…but expensive shit isn’t necessarily what fashion is all about, that much I know. But generally I don’t pursue that stuff at all. Jennifer Herrema from Royal Trux is a good friend—she was my teenage idol, actually—and I did some stuff with her denim line. It’s fun doing fashion stuff with friends, particularly women like Jennifer, but I have no interest in being a model. Let the 14-year-old Russian girls do that job, not me.

So what’s the ideal career then?

LT Just to play music. I just love to write songs and play music. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is what I’ll be doing whether or not anyone else cares, whether I’m broke or making money. Whatever.

So when you were a teenage girl just starting to make music, who inspired you?

LT Well, bands like Royal Trux. Just a totally legit, no bullshit rock band with a fucking badass woman in the front, you know?

Starred’s Prison To Prison EP is available September 11 from Pendu Sound Recordings

Credits: Makeup Hannah Murray for TopShop Hair Akki Manicure Bernadette Thompson (The Wall Group) Set Design Stefan Beckman (Exposure, NY) Digital capture Dtouch NY Photo assistants Antoni Ciufo and Anyka Asin Stylist assistants Lindsey Hornyak, Rasaan Wyzard, Olivia Kozlowski Makeup assistant Jennifer Lombardo Hair assistant Reona Den Set design assistants Fletcher Chancey and Kelsey Hall Retouching Imag’in Productions, Paris Location Ten Ton Studios, Brooklyn


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