Lioness
Gig Seeker Pro

Lioness

| INDIE

| INDIE
Band Alternative EDM

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


By Conan O’

Continuing our quest to delve into Toronto’s music scene we came across a band that will take you into the catacombs of darkness within a pinhole of light shining through it to nonchalantly guide the listener back….this is Lioness!

The trio consisting of members Vanessa Fischer, Ronnie Morris and Jeff Scheven (who have been friends since high school) formed Lioness in 2007, and have been getting much praise not only in their native Toronto, but all over the blogsphere. Our friends Mansion did a kick arse remix of their standout hit ‘You’re my heart’ from their recently released self titled EP.

Speaking of which………..if you haven’t brought Lioness’s EP, I suggest you get this EP as we rated it absolute tops.

To best describe the sound of Lioness, I would probably say if we were to take 50 parts Sneaky Soundsystem with 120 parts of Ozzy Osbourne, Saturday night fever, Tina Turner with a hint of goth and disco, and in a nutshell that is Lioness

We got to talk exclusively to Lioness after their support gig for The Cult and here’s what they had to say Lioness: The Interview

10/21/2009 by Jasper Gape | 0 comments

By Conan O’

Continuing our quest to delve into Toronto’s music scene we came across a band that will take you into the catacombs of darkness within a pinhole of light shining through it to nonchalantly guide the listener back….this is Lioness!

The trio consisting of members Vanessa Fischer, Ronnie Morris and Jeff Scheven (who have been friends since high school) formed Lioness in 2007, and have been getting much praise not only in their native Toronto, but all over the blogsphere. Our friends Mansion did a kick arse remix of their standout hit ‘You’re my heart’ from their recently released self titled EP.

Speaking of which………..if you haven’t brought Lioness’s EP, I suggest you get this EP as we rated it absolute tops.

To best describe the sound of Lioness, I would probably say if we were to take 50 parts Sneaky Soundsystem with 120 parts of Ozzy Osbourne, Saturday night fever, Tina Turner with a hint of goth and disco, and in a nutshell that is Lioness

We got to talk exclusively to Lioness after their support gig for The Cult and here’s what they had to say






Hey Lioness thanks for taking to us. So First question is how did all of you converge into the band Lioness, and were you from various different bands?

I (Vanessa) played in a band called No Dynamics, and Jeff and Ronnie played in a band called controller.controller. One day their band broke up, and mine disbanded. Jeff and I always wanted play music together, and he couldn’t imagine playing without Ronnie. One day the stars aligned and a constellation in the shape of a Lioness formed before our very eyes.

What about the origins of your name Lioness?

Lioness reminds me of my mother. She is a Leo. She would collect small lion statues and zodiac cards, and place them around the house. It represents power, strength, and magic to me.

A singular description of your sound if you may?

Loud soul psych n’ roll. Is that singular? LOUD.

Now let’s talk about the self-titled EP which you just released. How has the reaction from your fans in regards to the EP? Cause it rocks.

Thank you. It has been good so far. It is slowly reaching more, and more people, which is fantastic. People always say nice things to us, and seem excited about the future of the band. We look forward to making more music and hopefully playing it live to the rest of the world – like Auckland!

Most of the songs on the EP are very dark in tone and harmonies. Is that the theme that you guys took for most of the EP?

I think there is something dark about all of us that translates naturally in our music. The songs on the EP are the first songs we wrote together as a band. There was no specific theme in mind, they just happened. There is something that happens when people’s minds connect musically. It’s magic. In our case, dark magic.

Let’s talk about the oblivious hit from your EP ‘You’re my heart.’ How did you guys come up with that song and would you pigeon hole it as a dark love ballad?

You’re my heart was the first song we wrote. It was something about the repetition that made it an easy way to start. The repetition is like a heart beat. I believe love comes from a dark place in all of if us. It can make you do crazy things, things you thought you were never capable of.

Another favorite of mines from your EP is the track ‘Harder they fall.’ Tell us about this track and its meaning towards the listener?

“Harder they fall” is about how lucky and fortunate we are in life. “We eat while they starve.”

Are there other avenues of subjectivity that you use as possible song themes?

My dreams. I see such detail and remember them for weeks. They are often strange and haunting.

Lioness: The Interview

10/21/2009 by Jasper Gape | 0 comments

By Conan O’

Continuing our quest to delve into Toronto’s music scene we came across a band that will take you into the catacombs of darkness within a pinhole of light shining through it to nonchalantly guide the listener back….this is Lioness!

The trio consisting of members Vanessa Fischer, Ronnie Morris and Jeff Scheven (who have been friends since high school) formed Lioness in 2007, and have been getting much praise not only in their native Toronto, but all over the blogsphere. Our friends Mansion did a kick arse remix of their standout hit ‘You’re my heart’ from their recently released self titled EP.

Speaking of which………..if you haven’t brought Lioness’s EP, I suggest you get this EP as we rated it absolute tops.

To best describe the sound of Lioness, I would probably say if we were to take 50 parts Sneaky Soundsystem with 120 parts of Ozzy Osbourne, Saturday night fever, Tina Turner with a hint of goth and disco, and in a nutshell that is Lioness

We got to talk exclusively to Lioness after their support gig for The Cult and here’s what they had to say






Hey Lioness thanks for taking to us. So First question is how did all of you converge into the band Lioness, and were you from various different bands?

I (Vanessa) played in a band called No Dynamics, and Jeff and Ronnie played in a band called controller.controller. One day their band broke up, and mine disbanded. Jeff and I always wanted play music together, and he couldn’t imagine playing without Ronnie. One day the stars aligned and a constellation in the shape of a Lioness formed before our very eyes.

What about the origins of your name Lioness?

Lioness reminds me of my mother. She is a Leo. She would collect small lion statues and zodiac cards, and place them around the house. It represents power, strength, and magic to me.

A singular description of your sound if you may?

Loud soul psych n’ roll. Is that singular? LOUD.

Now let’s talk about the self-titled EP which you just released. How has the reaction from your fans in regards to the EP? Cause it rocks.

Thank you. It has been good so far. It is slowly reaching more, and more people, which is fantastic. People always say nice things to us, and seem excited about the future of the band. We look forward to making more music and hopefully playing it live to the rest of the world – like Auckland!

Most of the songs on the EP are very dark in tone and harmonies. Is that the theme that you guys took for most of the EP?

I think there is something dark about all of us that translates naturally in our music. The songs on the EP are the first songs we wrote together as a band. There was no specific theme in mind, they just happened. There is something that happens when people’s minds connect musically. It’s magic. In our case, dark magic.

Let’s talk about the oblivious hit from your EP ‘You’re my heart.’ How did you guys come up with that song and would you pigeon hole it as a dark love ballad?

You’re my heart was the first song we wrote. It was something about the repetition that made it an easy way to start. The repetition is like a heart beat. I believe love comes from a dark place in all of if us. It can make you do crazy things, things you thought you were never capable of.

Another favorite of mines from your EP is the track ‘Harder they fall.’ Tell us about this track and its meaning towards the listener?

“Harder they fall” is about how lucky and fortunate we are in life. “We eat while they starve.”

Are there other avenues of subjectivity that you use as possible song themes?

My dreams. I see such detail and remember them for weeks. They are often strange and haunting.

Now this is for the instrumentalists in the band (Jeff Scheven and Ronnie Morris), what makes the Lioness sound in regards to instruments and arrangement?

Ronnie and I always liked the sound of just bass and drums. When we started this band we knew that it was what we wanted to do, but we also wanted to figure out a way to make it more then just bass and drums. The answer was more amps and layers. While it is still basically bass & drums, we now have each filtered through FX and blasted through a wall of bass amps. We control everything with pedals while we play. We think its pretty rad, but it does leave our ears ringing.

Hey Vanessa Fischer this question is for you (well two of them). How did you get into singing? I mean that beautiful soulful rawness in your voice is sooooo captivating you know.

I think I’ve always liked the way singing felt. I was really shy most of my life. I would sing in school as part of the curriculum and participate in choirs. When I was 19 I decided to start a band. I really had no idea what to expect or what would come of it. I never thought singing would bring me such passion. My voice comes from deep within me.

Second question for you Vanessa, tell us about the other band that you’re involved with before Lioness?

I played in a band called No Dynamics. It was drums, guitar and organ and I sang. It was really raw. I would often drink a lot and do things like step on glass or dance on a bar. I think it was a way of handling my nerves. It was a fun project and we we lucky to play shows with the Gossip, The Gris Gris, Chinese Stars and Love is All. Most of the songs I would write would be about Jeff, so Lioness was an obvious step for me.

What albums/bands/or groups did all of you grow up with when you were young?

Wow, that would be quite a list. I’d say that if each of us had to pick the one band from our youth that defined us it might go something like this:

Ronnie – The Misfits / Jeff – Led Zeppelin / Vanessa – Billie Holiday

We love a lot of music, though.

Any standout influences (musically or otherwise) that you look up to?

Josephine Baker, Busby Berkley, Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Tina Turner, Antoine de Saint Exupery, my mother.
- Nerdy Frames (NZ)


Heads up on a new production team out of Toronto calling themselves CCENTURIESS. Their first remix is for Lioness (members include ex-contoller.contoller), and it’s a show stopper. CCENTURIESS layer Vanessa Fischer’s thick vocals onto an epic disco track. This one is reserved for dark nights with lots of stars. Brilliant. Made me fall in love with both Lioness and CCENTURIES in less than one minute. - Big Stereo



lioness is a new band from toronto consisting of jeff scheven and ronnie morris from controller.controller with vanessa fischer of soul-punk quartet no dynamics. and while they have just recently stepped on the scene, they have already supported acts like !!! and hercules and love affair.

what's even better for us disco addicts is that lioness got some remix love for their track "you're my heart" by pilotpriest (who provides a melodic synth epic turning into a distorted electro banger), ccenturiess (who give us pure disco noir beauty) and mansion (who are turning the tune into straight pumping electro house), all from toronto as well. choose your favorite flavour!

lioness - you're my heart (pilotpriest remix)
lioness - you're my heart (ccenturiess remix)
lioness - you're my heart (mansion remix)

lioness are definitely a band to watch out for this year, so show them some myspace love already! - DiscoDust


True to its name, Lioness is all about stalking and overpowering you.

The Toronto trio likes it dark, likes it loud and really, really likes its low end, so one can understand why the band prefers to unleash its black, buzzing death-disco infernos only upon those rooms it can properly overwhelm.

"We want to play dark, dirty parties or a giant stage with a massive sound system," says drummer and resident electronics maestro Jeff Scheven.

"Somehow, in between, the aesthetic doesn't work," concedes bassist Ronnie Morris.

That aesthetic is both minimal and toweringly huge, a wall of determined rhythm and pure, engulfing electronic sound cooked up by Scheven and Morris and topped off by the knife-edged vocals of Vanessa Fischer. Not quite rock, not quite dance music, no guitars. And that's exactly the way Lioness would like to keep it.

Onstage and on its recent self-titled debut EP – released late in the fall by upstart local indie label New Romantic Records – the band comes off as remarkably self-assured for a project that, by its members' own admission, is still in the developing stages.

This might have something to do with the highly respected pedigrees that led to Lioness's creation: Morris and Scheven were the sturdy rhythm section behind mildly notorious local outfit controller. controller until their vocalist quit and the band splintered in late 2006. Fischer was the prowling focal point of recently defunct crypto-punk crew No Dynamics.

The internal tensions that blew those bands apart before they could really crack wide shouldn't be a problem for Lioness, though. Scheven, 31, and Fischer, 25, are a couple who've longed to make music together for some time and, as Scheven puts it, "just needed a kick in the ass" to do it, while he and Morris, also 31, have been chums since their high school days in Brampton.

"With all the drama that went on in controller," says Scheven, "Ronnie and I were always pretty much okay."

"No matter what, when there was that point when you started butting heads, Jeff and I were fine," says Morris. "Even if we had an argument on the road, we could yell at each and then it'd be like, `Let's go get some Chinese food.' ... It doesn't take a lot of intellectualizing, what we do. It's pretty organic."

Lioness is already packing rooms to bursting about town, landing prime opening slots with folks like Hercules and Love Affair, and they've been MySpacing up quite a tizzy online.

The next logical step is, of course, getting a proper album together to take to the people. They're shooting for the fall.

"We've got a fair amount of stuff that we've been playing out live for a while and we're kind of itching to get that recorded," says Morris.

"But we've got a bit more to do. We're trying to find some way to build on what we have without adding guitars or something like that. ... Our most consistent criticism that we keep hearing is, `It's good, but you've gotta do something else, too.'"

Fischer laughs. "Lioness says: `New moods and rhythms for the new year!'" - Toronto Star


Some bands sound like they were meant to be — the sum of their parts is so strong, you can’t imagine their music not existing. This is how I feel about Toronto trio Lioness, a powerhouse dance-rock project whose parts happen to include the former rhythm section of controller.controller — bassist Ronnie Morris and drummer Jeff Scheven — and vocalist Vanessa Fischer of now-defunct soul punks No Dynamics.

Both of those bands were widely adored for their ability to draw crowds from a variety of scenes, but dance-punk buzz band controller.controller had, in particular, surprised and saddened fans two years ago when they announced that they were parting ways.

“I think the thing about being a band, especially in Canada, is that touring is really hard,” offers the soft-spoken Morris. “We really did burn out.”

During the controller.controller days, high-school buddies Morris and Scheven had talked about “doing something that’s just pure dance — bass and drums, with none of the guitar-rock stuff,” says the bassist. Given that Scheven and Fischer are a couple who’d also discussed making music together, the three came together naturally. The chemistry between them is audible. But will Lioness suffer from comparisons to earlier projects or feel pressure to arrive fully formed?

“It actually hasn’t been as much of an issue as I expected it to be,” chuckles Morris. “It’s one of those things where you realize that music is so fashion-driven that if you were in a band two years ago, most of the people buying music and going to shows now haven’t heard of you. They were in high school then. Although, judging by some of the feedback, some people do think it sounds like a controller.controller record, only without the guitars. That’s been one of the most common criticisms, and it’s been a really frustrating one, like ‘Oh, it’s 2003 again.’”

While there is a signature sound to how Morris and Scheven play and Fischer’s voice is remarkable, such comparisons are shortsighted. Lioness positively growl with a richer, tougher and leaner dance edge. Their grooves are more pronounced, with Morris pounding out incredible bass hooks over Scheven’s beats while Fischer’s heart-stopping vocals soar. She also plays a mean synth.

I became an instant fan upon following a link to the Lioness MySpace page and hearing the single “You’re My Heart.” Now it’s finally available on the self-titled EP that Lioness recorded last December with producer Rob Sanzo.

“When we first started, we were just going to try and do something super cheap, as a demo, and record it over a couple of days live off the floor,” says Morris. “It didn’t turn out like that at all. We ended up spending a lot of money on it and we were in there, on and off, for most of that month. Part of it was because it was the last project that Rob was going to be doing at Signal to Noise and I think he was considering retiring at that point — although now I think he’s still going to work, but freelance — so he was trying to put as much as he could into it.

“I think Rob started pulling out all the stops for it and we had a lot more time to play around so we recorded things in layers and did stuff that nobody does, certainly with bass guitar at least. In the past, I was always done recording my sessions in one evening for a full record and then they would do guitars for two weeks. I got my time,” he laughs.

It shows. The bass rattles and rouses, with the makeup of the band lending itself both to remixes — PilotPriest has created a strong reworking of “You’re My Heart” — and to playing shows alongside a wide variety of acts. To date, the versatile Lioness have shared stages with bands including You Say Party! We Say Die! and Hercules and Love Affair. Just don’t expect them to spend a lot of time on the road.

“For the 40 minutes you’re on stage, this is the best job in the world,” says Morris. “It’s just that the rest of the time can be really tough. We’re definitely going to do less mindless touring and try to make the shows we do play more of an event. We always enjoy it when gigs are much more of a party than just a performance.”
- Eye Magazine


By Lauren RahamLioness are bound to receive a great deal of buzz, being that they’re the offspring of two defunct Toronto mainstays: Controller.Controller and No Dynamics. Vanessa Fitcher belts out predictably domineering lyrics to the pounding backbeat of Jeff Scheven and Ronnie Morris. It’s like the music that haunted every Canadian venue back in 2005: lots of bass, elements of disco and punk, and sex-fuelled aggression. If the Mars Volta decided to put out another De-Loused in the Comatorium-era album with a female vocalist, Lioness’ self-titled debut EP would be, for better or worse, the fruit of their labour. Oddly enough, Lioness also borrow heavily from the sound and aesthetics of Controller.Controller. Even the artwork for their release looks a lot like the cover of Controller.Controller’s debut EP, History. Some originality would have been nice but who can blame them for banking on one of their previous bands’ past success? Controller.Controller, a band that earned their praise, were with us for only a brief while; it’s nice to see them resurrected.
(New Romantic) - Exclaim


Discography

Lioness - "Lioness"; 2008
Lioness - "Omens, Oracles & Signs - Vol. 1"; 2009
Lioness - "Omens, Oracles & Signs - Vol. 2"; 2010
Lioness - "The Golden Killer"; 2012

Photos

Bio

The Golden Killer is a child of the night. Born from dreams and raised on sweaty after-hours adventures, this debut album from Toronto trio LIONESS sounds like a basement dance party, stadium-sized by its powerful roars and rhythms, by the power of three.

Formed in 2007 by bassist Ronnie Morris and drummer Jeff Scheven (former rhythm section for controller.controller) and vocalist Vanessa Fischer (ex-No Dymanics), LIONESS released its self-titled debut EP in 2008, followed by Omens, Oracles and Signs Vol. 1 and 2, featuring singles remixed by Pilotpriest, Mansion, vitaminsforyou, Kids On TV and others. Now, the band’s sonic voodoo is fully realized on The Golden Killer. Produced by Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett, Holy Fuck) in the midst of a summer heat wave, it’s 12 tracks that capture the Lioness sound and vision: heavy jams draped in mystery and magick, Daft Punk meeting Black Sabbath.

“The title came from a wildlife documentary I was watching, looking for trippy background visuals,” explains Scheven, (who has directed videos for the band as well TV on the Radio, Diamond Rings and Death From Above 1979) “The narrator said ‘lioness…the golden killer!’ and I thought that was cool. Also, we think it’s a pretty killer record.”

From the first single, the hypnotic, haunting ‘The Night” to the infectious grooves of “Electricity” and “Temptation” through the slow doom burn of “They Clip the Wings of Birds,” and the mournful closer “Stay Awhile” (an homage to two dearly missed friends, Devon Clifford of Vancouver’s You Say Party and Toronto art provocateur Will Munro) The Golden Killer swings between ecstatic dance and heavy rock moods, but always summoning the dark side, thanks much to the mystical nocturnal musings of Fischer.

“A lot of the lyrics are about my dreams,” says the singer. “And I really feel the most exciting things happen in the night, you can do anything, and be anything. I like the aesthetic of the darkness, the stars. I find living in the city, when there’s a clear night and you can see stars it’s really inspiring. It puts me in this place that the world is so big, you’re so small, you really get a desire to make your mark.”