Vanity Theft

Vanity Theft

 Dayton, Ohio, USA
BandRockAlternative

Vanity Theft produces a fun indie/alternative rock sound with a unique blend of riveting guitar riffs, catchy drum beats, and explosive keys and effects. They use two female lead vocalists to give an intense, inspiring rock sound and an ear-pleasing melody simultaenously.

Biography

The ladies of the Dayton, Ohio, indie-pop band Vanity Theft are young and pretty. Their songs are mostly about past romances. And when they talk, guitarist Brittany Hill, singer-keyboardist Alicia Grodecki, drummer Elyse Driskill, and bassist Lalaine Paras tend to giggle a lot. However, Lalaine, 23, would like to clarify one thing: “We may have vaginas, but we’re not pussies.”

With a moniker that sounds like the name of a Joan Jett B-side, the foursome—who’ll drop their full-length, Get What You Came For, in February via Vigilante Music/Adamant Records—fit right into the storied legacy of all-girl bands bent on debunking benign all-girl conventions. For instance, “we’ve gone through a lot of breakups,” says Elyse. “So for me, a lot of the lyrics are really sarcastic.” The melancholic “Missing Teeth” messes with Auto-Tune to detail an ex’s shortcomings; the highly danceable “Trainwreck” is about finding sexual empowerment in a dysfunctional relationship; and “Bit by Bit” uses stabbing riffs and retro synths to soundtrack being obsessed with the wrong person.

Not surprisingly, the group takes pride in churning out an ear-drum-beating live show. This is not lost on their loyal, grassroots following. In 2009, the group ended up playing the testosterone-centric Warped Tour when it swung by Cincinnati, after their fans rallied to get them the local-band slot. Meanwhile, Vanity Theft has also won over media in the heartland through sheer tenacity.

For five years, the women have booked their own tours, during which time they’ve picked up some critical life lessons while paying their dues. First, don’t try to carry your food in a cooler: “It ended up growing algae. So we got rid of that,” says Elyse, 23. “A lot of times people you’re staying with will cook for you instead.” Speaking of, try to crash with friends whenever possible. Says 21-year-old Alicia: “In Chicago, I literally gagged when I entered the hotel room because it smelled like stale cigarettes and curdled milk. I think it was just a rust stain in the shower, but everyone insisted that was blood….” Lastly, beware older dudes offering you weird favors. “This one guy wanted to put our music in pornos,” says Alicia. “That’s just creepy.”

Though their front is unfailingly united, it took a while for Vanity Theft to get its footing. Forming in 2005, the band—then with a rotating bassist slot—formed in high school, practicing cover tunes in Brittany’s parents’ living room. “My mom was always trying to feed us sweet stuff,” she says. “It was pretty cute.” They graduated to writing original songs (the first being “Professional Hands,” off their first EP, Symptoms) that mixed their two loves—guitars and synths—and assembled enough material to ultimately self-release a 10-song debut, Postscript, in 2008. They landed their first show on the fly, filling in for an absent band at a charity event to help the homeless. Notes Brittany, “It was kinda like we went from thinking we weren’t going to play a live show for months, to playing one the next weekend.”

Lalaine first met Vanity Theft in the studio while the group was out West recording their October 2010 EP, Anatomy, and early material for Get What You Came For with her acquaintance-friend, producer Josh Binder. A former child star who played Lizzie McGuire’s best friend in the eponymous Disney show starring Hilary Duff (How could I not be proud of Lizzie?” she says. “It was a training ground for me to learn everything”), Lalaine was keeping busy by doing vocal work around L.A. When Vanity Theft’s bassist quit, her name came up as a possible replacement. The band asked her if she could play, and though she’d never actually picked up a bass before, she proved a quick study.

Flown out to Ohio as a chemistry test, Lalaine and her future bandmates went to clubs, messed with a Flip cam, jammed, and basically hung out. Within a month, she moved from L.A. to Columbus to prove her commitment to the act. “I was willing to

Lyrics

Symptoms

Written By: Brittany Hill

That's quite an interesting approach.
I don't just think, I know so.
But something's just not adding up.
I'm losing track of every thought.
There's only so much space left in my head for you to take up
Make obsolete the concentration that I need to wake up.
Yeah I've got symptoms baby, I'm obvious as can be, I follow cars resembling yours and I get lost in the streets.

My clarity comes in the form of you and me,
It's taking shape, I'm shaping up, I'm SHAKING!
And my philosophies are changing daily,
This straight line's not taking me from A to B

This state you've got me in holds you at every shore, dock, and bridge.
You line the coast, you are my ghost, you are my undying wish.
I pour my hopes into this basket, it's intricately woven craftsmanship is all I seem to invest all my time into these days.
Yeah I've got symptoms baby, tear me apart at the seams, I'm keeping you in mind as I adjust this heart on my sleeve.

Chorus (my clarity)

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
I just want to get some sleep tonight, I just want to get some sleep tonight, I just want to get some sleep tonight.

Teeth and Bones

Written By: Alicia Grodecki

Well aren't we looking oh so, so wrecklessly extravagant.
With cancer clenched between your teeth,
those amber eyes and porcelain skin, porcelain skin.
Slow down, I want out.
Slow down, I want out.

You're nothing more than all the rest.
Just teeth and bones, teeth and teeth and bones
Enclosed in flesh.

And just like the smoke that billoughs from your lips,
your words have a way of causing me to choke.
As they move from your mouth and dance across your fingertips, meticulously work their way around my throat.
Slow Down, I Want Out.
Slow Down, I Want Out.

You're Nothing More Than All the Rest.
Just Teeth and Bones, Teeth and Teeth and Bones,
Enclosed in Flesh.

You had me (you had me), you had me going.
You had me (you had me), you had me going
(that's quite the story baby).

You're Nothing More, Than All The Rest.
Just Teeth and Bones, Teeth and Teeth and Bones
Enclosed in Flesh.

Where's the Action?

Written By: Alicia Grodecki and Brittany Hill

No, I don't think this is a joke,
but if I took it to heart it might explode.
And do you want the debris scattered methodically around your favorite places?
No recollection of tonight,
I will wake up and I'll feel fine,
Without the slightest concern about my etiquette for the names and the faces.

Can you get us in the club
where those who've got it all figured out meet up?
Can you get us in the club?

CHORUS:
It's not my favorite thing to do,
But I guess I will indulge you.
I'll hear you talk about your plan
On how to get in on the action.
It's not my favorite thing to do,
But I will spend the night with you,
And though you talk a lot it's all
Talk talk talk talk talk talk.

Empty handed and open mouthed,
Well you may not have much, but you've got us figured out.
And, by god, when you're on you're on.
Cutting corners and crossing lines,
Well, you will have us there in record time.
Just like you knew you would all along.

Can you get us in the club?
We've got the passwork, hook us up.
Can you get us int he club?

CHORUS:
It's not my favorite thing to do,
But I guess I will indulge you.
I'll hear you talk about your plan
On how to get in on the action.
It's not my favorite thing to do,
But I will spend the night with you,
And though you talk a lot it's all
Talk talk talk talk talk talk.

Well it's a wonder you've got clothes left on your back,
So what's your new plan of attack?
Well it's a wonder you've got clothes left on your back.

And, by god, when you're on you're on.
By god, when you're on you're on.

Limb From Limb

Written By: Alicia Grodecki and Brittany Hill

Tongue dripping with disdain, I wake
And I'm rising to my feet.
I've got a taste for blood and it's only yours
That's gonna do it, do it, do it for me.

Chorus:
I'm gonna feed those lions;
Watch them tear this limb from limb.
You'll spend your whole life trying
To forgive yourself for what you did.

Well they don't know you like I do;
You are the back of my hand.
But in this light they might still be
Mistaken, taking you for a man.
So I suggest you grow a spine before you lay yourself to sleep.
Cuz god forbid you wake to find that you have sown nothing to reap.

Repeat Chorus

And when you're traveling the coast,
I hope the wind is at your back,
Cuz you'll be carrying my ghost
And nothing, nothing will save you from that.
Carry it, carry it, carry it on your way to bury it, bury it, bury it
Carry it, carry it, carry it, gonna have to marry it marry it marry it

Repeat Chorus

Those who give up only get what they deserve,
(Carry it carry it carry it, marry it marry it marry it)

And you don't even want to know how little I have got to lose;
Cuz everything ends just where it begins and this one began with you.

Anatomy

Written By: Brittany Hill

Verse 1:
I’m concise, professional, I get my advice from the manual, I don’t waste time in confessionals I don’t take handouts but my hands stay full, gotta make that first impression count, gonna show you what it’s all about, I just don’t want to waste my time

Chorus:
The left side of my brain is telling me that I’m way too unlike you, but I like you, and besides maybe I don’t want you for your mind, I can’t decide, and besides maybe I don’t want you for your mind, I can’t decide

Verse 2:
I’m polite, this will be consensual, but my love is conditional, so don’t strike out when the count is full and when the pressure’s on you better get what you came for, read back through the red-back hymnal, in search of things subliminal, instead of writing down something scriptural, I wrote a proper hook and still had time for tea

Repeat Chorus

Bridge:
Make it align, make it align, make it align, don’t waste my time, make it align, make it a rhyme

Repeat Chorus

Discography

Vanity Theft: Rattle Rattle Digital EP
Vanity Theft: Get What You Came For
Vanity Theft: The Anatomy EP
Vanity Theft: PostScript: Pace Yourself
Vanity Theft: Symptoms