Interview with the coolest guitarist in Neopia
The Twisted Roses play in the Tyrannian Concert hall on the first of every month and have a strong following from teenage Neopets from across Neopia. We are chatting with the lead guitarist, known by her stage name Ix, about all things goth and girl power.
As I set up for the interview, Ix is getting changed for the photoshoot. She is at ease and friendly with the make-up artists although she does say that usually she just does that herself for concerts as she gets bored quickly if she is just sitting still. That is very obvious: she bounds around the studio and never stays in one place for long, if she is required to be still (such as in the make-up chair) she instead talks non-stop, her mouth doing the moving that her body can’t.
Finally we settle down with a cup of cocoa in hand, Ix has remained very young and energetic, it is hard to believe The Twisted Roses have been around for 16 years, making their debut in the world famous Tyrannian Concert Hall in the Month of Storing, Year 5 just one year after their formation. This just gives you an idea of their dedication, natural talent and popular appeal.
When asked what makes their music have enduring appeal Ix replies, “I suppose we have such a different vibe and musicality to all the other bands across the years – although there have been a few similar ones popping up occasionally they have not been able to consistently make new music and so the band dissolves. Me, Z and Slay have always been able to write new songs and have stuck together through thick and thin. We also appeal to teen Neopets who are going through lots of changes and might feel like they are alone in their feelings, we help them see that they are not, of course as each generation grows up they find us and older pets keep coming back for nostalgic reasons, so our audiences are really mixed with regards to ages! Although the older pets are always keen to hear the classics, and maybe don’t keep up as much with our newer albums, so creating a set list to appeal to everyone is always tricky.”
Apparently the key to being able to keep working closely with the same people for so long is making sure to have plenty of time away from one another. Although they have sometimes had their differences, they’ve taken time off from each other and come back stronger. “That is the key to making it work long term – making sure you have some alone time away from the others, and with fresh faces, even if you are working with your best friends having time away is key. It also means we come back together with fresh ideas when we meet up in the studio after a break.”
Goth music has dark undertones often with a romanticised, soulful feel to the lyrics which are cleverly written to evoke deep emotions that everyone has thought, but maybe not voiced out loud. All three band members contribute to song and lyric writing, and the majority of the music they play is their own. However it has become a bit of a tradition for the band to cover at least one song on each of their albums but remaster it in a goth style – the most memorable of these has been Groovy Flowers and Summer Madness, the Year 10 B-side track by Chomby and the Fungus Balls. Of course there are some neopets who think Goth is just dreary, sad music but this doesn’t bother Ix. “Of course not everyone likes our music, it would be crazy if they did! Goth music isn’t sad or dreary, despite the lyrics there is often underlying hope and love. It allows the expression of emotions which you can often bury and leaves you feeling much happier and unburdened after a good singalong.”
The Twisted Roses were the first all-girl group to manage to get a regular spot at the Tyrannian Concert Hall, and they have remained the only all-girl group after all this time. Ix reminisces that they were so excited at first and got so much support from other female musicians who play as part of other bands at the venue – they are still firm friends with many of them today. They were seen as trailblazers of their time, but sadly no one has followed in their footsteps as there have not been any all-girl bands signed up for regular shows since. A fact that clearly frustrates Ix, “There are plenty of mixed bands and all male bands, but how are we still the only all-girl band?! There are so many good female musicians out there, what is going wrong? We are all so keen to support young talent – we regularly host music sessions at local schools and help talent scout at amateur events and there are heaps of pets with massive talent. I think they need to be supported in finding other, like-minded musicians in order to form new bands and get touring. Of course, there is a heavy financial cost for start up bands, and The Twisted Roses have just started a scheme new bands can apply to help get financial and other benefits, such as introductions with venue managers and equipment hire, in order to promote new music and support young artists.”
Her advice for young female musicians who are keen to make it to the big time is to work hard, make new music every day, have new experiences and meet new people – these will make song-writing easier and also you might find your new bandmates! Lastly: don’t be afraid. Lots of neopets will not like your music – find those who do, don’t be afraid of trying new things or making mistakes – it is all part of the learning process and you will be stronger afterwards. Keep trying and never give up!
Quick fire round :
What is your favourite place to eat? The Golden Dubloon. It has such a cool vibe and great food.
Dream holiday destination? Neovia. Always Neovia. I spend most of my time there. I love the aesthetics and it has some great shops.
What book are you reading right now? I’m reading the newly released ‘The Galaxy Book’ it’s pretty interesting and has great pictures of space.
What is your favourite game? Korbat’s lab. It is great to zone out to after a gig and you can play for as long or as short as you like, or have time for, between sets. Plus the Spyders are cute!
What's the one thing you can't live without? My guitar. Obviously.
Weirdest situation you’ve ever been in? On our last tour we got lost backstage and accidentally ended up in Lord Darigan’s chambers. It was super awkward!
What was your Favourite school subject? I didn’t really fit in much with studying, music was always my passion though so those lessons were the best.
What is your go to accessory for a quick outfit refresh? Gothic Shoulder Armour is great for adding some drama to a monotone look. It instantly makes it look like you’ve changed your entire outfit, and I always have it in my bag.
What do you do when you aren’t making music? I am ALWAYS making music. No, honestly! If I’m not with the band, I’ll still be playing my guitar, from old favourites or making up new riffs. I guess my other hobby is reading. But mostly music!
Favourite make-up? Gothic Inspired Makeup. I wear it every gig and never get bored. It’s such a classic look and totally me.