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The best kept secret in music


"LOURDS inadvertantly writes a new sports anthem"

Lourds Lane: VICTORY (3:26)
Billboard Magazine: Friday, July 28, 2006
Producers: Lourds Lane, Ray Cervenka, Sherrie Fell
Writer: L. Lane
Publisher: Supergirl Music, ASCAP
Breaking Records
Billboard Underground headliner Lourds Lane inadvertently wrote a new sports anthem when "Victory" scored some prime exposure. The track caught the ear of ESPN, and the sports conglomerate has licensed it. A thick, heavily distorted bassline leads "Victory," while the remaining instruments are covered with a scratchy, industrial coat. Rousing hand claps and chants of "Get up now and fight" make the song a primal chant for domination, and it's a catchy anthem that will fit any sports stadium. Lane adds to the kick-ass quotient by sawing off an electric violin solo that whines as nastily as a guitar.
Whether it's played in a concert or being used to cheer a team on the defense, "Victory" will get fists pumping and feet stomping.-CLT
- Billboard Magazine

"LOURDS Have Mercy"

LOURDS Have Mercy
Inside Connection: Friday, June 9, 2006
Rock Debut with Classic Elements
by Barbara Bales

LOURDS is a rock band from New York City. It is also the name of the band's founding member, who, at age 6, dazzled audiences at Carnegie Hall when she did a violin recital. "I was in a bunch of youth orchestras as a child," the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist says. "At Carnegie Hall, it was the New York Symphony Youth Orchestra, I believe. I was the youngest member of the orchestra by far, so that was a big deal. I practiced symphonies by Mahler and Elgar incessantly as a child, so I believe I played them at the Carnegie Hall performance. The solo I was known for then was Pablo Sarasates' 'Malaguena.' All of this happened between the ages of 5 and 8, so details from one performance to the next are truthfully a blur." Since then, LOURDS has not stopped performing.

The band's current lineup has been together for about one year. In April 2006, Breaking Records released their self-titled debut. Both parties have developed an excellent business relationship. "There's nothing like trust," says Lourds, who had worked with the label's executives before the band signed with them.

"I recorded, sang and played all the instruments on a song called 'Goodbye Losers' that I wrote a couple years ago at a production house run by the label president, Bernadette O'Reilly," she says. "It's a sports arena anthem, and through the efforts of executive producer Sherrie Fell [vice president of Breaking Records], we got interest in the song from ESPN. As a result, I did another version of the song, 'Victory,' specifically targeting the sports market. Over the past two years, Bernadette, Sherrie and I have licensed the song everywhere, getting placement in movies, on ABC football, ESPN and women's basketball. We have made a decent amount of money for ourselves and for Nelson-O'Reilly Productions on this one song. From doing business with this one track, our morals and business ethics were apparent and it was clear that we are all trustworthy, go get'em and cut from the same cloth."

A relationship formed, based on "mutual respect, honesty and handshake agreements," Lourds maintains. "It began feeling like family to me, so when Breaking Records wanted to sign our band to their label, it felt natural and right when the rest of the band met the label, they immediately shared my sentiment"

Rounding out the quartet are guitarist Gene Blank, drummer Sarah Vasil and bassist Joey Sagarese. Prior to joining Lourds, Gene played in the bands Bile, Supermassive and Uranium 235. His influences range from Jimi Hendrix to Dave Matthews. Sarah took up the drums in grade school. (At the time, she was entertaining thoughts of becoming a golf pro.) Sarah had been in the bands Sarastatic and the Drive before relocating to New York City, where she met Lourds. Among Sarah's influences are Keith Moon, John Bonham and Samantha Maloney. Upon hearing Rancid for the fast time, Joey was catapulted into what he describes as "a lifetime of punk rock and hardcore." Among his favorite groups are Bad Religion, Metallica and Led Zeppelin. Lourds describes their new CD as rock with classic elements. 'That's what we hope people will feel about it," she says, "a timeless rock record with distinct and memorable songs, like those classic records from the 1960s and 1970s that never get old."

In 2003, Lourds (the band) had been performing regularly in different clubs, most notably CBGB's, which resulted in the release of Basement Tapes. "CBGB's has always been packed with diehard fans for many years and that's why Basement Tapes was released," she says. "It was just a collection of lo-fi basement demos recorded at different times that sold thousands of units."

The band was handpicked to play the Billboard Digital Music Awards in L.A. and recently performed at the Whisky-a-Go-Go. They have also been performing in clubs across the country. Signing with Breaking Records allowed them to record with Ed Stasium, whom Lourds describes as "the greatest producer of all time, who produced and recorded records for rock legends like my hero, Freddie Mercury, as well as Mick Jagger, the Ramones and Living Colour."

She describes the current lineup as "amazing musicians who started playing when they were young, all trained but not classically trained. We left the gate running, playing out with existing songs of mine. But we have newer songs we're really excited about, where we're collaborating more on the songwriting."

In addition to what she refers to as "great music and an awesome live show," the band uses "nontraditional instrumentation peppering a classic rock backdrop with the distorted electric violin soloing like a guitar, as well as the mandolin. We work hard, we play with all our souls, and we rock hard, period."

- Inside Connection

""Truly incomparable... Innovative and yet accessible, [LOURDS] breaks the rules, while poised to break into the big time.""

Billboard Underground headliner Lourds is all fire and brimstone in a live setting, and the act's 12-track self-titled CD, the debut project for New York-based Breaking Records, is an emphatic companion to the red-hot vim that lead singer Lourds pitches and provokes.
The band's namesake howls, growls and teases, but she is actually a musical prodigy who played violin at Carnegie Hall when she was 6.
Highlights abound, including obvious launch single "Astropop," as well as anger anthem "Erased" and fun, fervor-charged "You Suck the Life Out of Me." Innovative and yet accessible, Lourds breaks the rules, while poised to break into the big time. - Billboard




Feeling a bit camera shy


A photographer can always crop an image, leaving out what he doesn't want seen, manipulating an audience to focus just where he wants.

When LOURDS (the band) takes the stage, there is no cropping, no hiding anything. Their pain, their solace, whimsy and joy, their liberation: everything is there for all to see. On the smallest or largest of stages they take on the world - and interact with their fans across the world. It is give and take, but they own the venue for the evening. It is not just a band playing to an audience, it's a show - and founding band member Lourds would not have it any other way. She decided this at the tender age of 6.

Playing violin from the age of 3, Lourds was considered a prodigy, classically trained by her strict Russian teachers and expected to follow in the footsteps of the greats like Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman. By age 7 she was playing Carnegie Hall. Then she rebelled, and it's been a pattern ever since.

Lourds, the lead singer-songwriter says, "I remember it was Pablo Sarasate's, "Malaguena" and the piece had a lot of zing and personality in it and instinctively I wanted to not just to play the song, I also wanted to PERFORM the song. When my solo was introduced and I stepped onto the stage, people naturally cheered loudly because I was a teeny spunky-looking pigtailed girl. I saw the audience smiling at me and instead of standing with my back straight, one foot in front of the other, with my violin held high in perfect posture, I was bopping, swaying and smiling. During the climax of the song, I broke that elusive "fifth wall" and jumped off the stage, which was only a step off the ground. The crowd stood up and clapped loudly as I walked and played my violin up and down the aisles.

I had been playing violin for 4 years and never FELT as connected to the music as I did when I connected with the few hundred people who were listening to me that day. I finally GOT IT. I finally felt immense happiness playing violin.

The unfortunate thing is that my conductor at the time did not approve what I did at all. He told me I was making a "mockery of classical music." I remember this vividly because at the time I had no idea what the word "mockery" meant so I had to ask my mom, who shook her head in disapproval. I remember feeling so sad. I didn't understand why there had to be so many rules.

From then on, I instinctively rebelled against classical music. I didn't play concertos as they should be played. I would play the first half as is and then write my own endings. I remember pressing down harder with my bow to simulate a more guttoral and distorted sound on my acoustic violin. My teachers were getting frustrated. I started slinking in my chair in the back of the orchestra and falling asleep during practice. Eventually, I quit the orchestra altogether and joined the school band playing the French horn, just because the band needed a French horn player. I never picked up the violin again until I discovered the fancy electric violin model that could DISTORT in my early teens.

Music became my life again when I created my OWN RULES... when I was doing the songs I wrote, the way I wanted to perform them, when I could embrace a crowd and be embraced by a crowd, and not be scolded..."

LOURDS' music is driven by the interplay of distorted electric violin, mandolin and guitar, varied by Lourds' multiple instrumental talents, swirling above a potent, rumbling rhythm section. Above it all ride Lourds' dramatic, spellbinding vocals, augmented by group harmonies . Think: Queen, Concrete Blonde, Pretenders and Guns N' Roses, filtered through Hole, Alanis Morissette and Velvet Revolver, with the hooky songwriting and diversity of classic Who. The music pulses through a stage performance of magnetic style, wild abandon and the occasional smashed violin. Long ago, Lourds realized a concert could be more than a recital - this is PERFORMANCE

On guitar is Gene Blank, who picked up his first guitar at age 6. His father was a drummer and his grandmother an opera singer, so he feels music was "in his blood." Gene is from the Ukraine and came to America when he was eight years old. At the age of 12, after seeing and hearing Slash play a solo in a video, he felt it was like a ray of light that was telling him what to do the rest of his life. His other influences include Hendrix, Dimebag Darrel, Dave Matthews and David Gilmore. He enjoys watching anyone play with heart and soul while displaying technical prowess. His former bands include Bile, Supermassive and Uranium 235. It was in the band Bile that Gene perfected his stage performance, they were a national touring band, supporting major bands year round. You can't miss Gene on stage with his disheveled but somehow sexy Mohawk, tattoos and constant aggressive movement.

On drums is Sarah Vasil, who was raised an hour north of Pittsburgh and started playing the drums in fifth grade, but did not get her first drum set until