Earlier in 2015, Burning Bettie parted ways with frontman Giorg Tierez. His former bandmates began a new band called Hollace, replacing him with Deadend Paradox frontman Alex Antonio.
Meanwhile, Tierez has also bounced back—with a new band called Monreaux, with Deadend Paradox bassist Chris Dub.
During a recent interview in Indio off of Monroe Street, Tierez joked about the interview being “held on Monroe about Monreaux” while describing the issues he had after he was fired from Burning Bettie.
“It was a struggle to find players again that I was compatible with—people who were interested in a similar style and similar goal,” Tierez said. “I’ve always linked up with our bass-player, Chris Dub. We’ve always talked, and we’re really good friends. As it happened, at the same time, we were removed from our bands. It’s funny, because when you get around the local music scene, you sort of have a kinship sometimes. I looked at Alex (Antonio) as my friend as well. Deadend Paradox was one of my favorite bands when I looked at local music. Those guys were my friends, and the guys from Burning Bettie were my friends, too … .”
“I actually started Burning Bettie and got kicked out for whatever reasons, and I got replaced by a friend of mine.”
Tierez talked about playing at CV Weekly editor/publisher Tracy Dietlin’s birthday party, and the awkward feeling he had when he saw his old bandmates. “They were all there and were going to do an acoustic thing. The first guy I saw was Alex, and he was like, ‘Hey! What’s going on?’ like nothing. I was like ‘Hey … .’”
The early practice sessions for Monreaux included Bri Cherry, formerly of Machin’, as well as a couple of other people Tierez couldn’t nail down.
“Bri was going through a rough time, and I was going through a rough time,” Tierez said. “My friend Abe, he had two jobs and got into his own business, and that halted quickly. I was back to square one, but I like to think it’s not over with those two, because there might be some things coming up.”
Tierez eventually recruited Chris Dub and picked up multi-instrumentalist Ryan Diaz. Diaz has proven himself to be a phenomenal drummer during Monreaux’s live shows; add in Chris Dub on bass, and you have one of the best rhythm sections in the valley.
Tierez explained how Diaz joined the band.
“For Burning Bash, there was no band yet,” Tierez said about his annual concert and party. “But I was still dead-set on playing and booked all the bands. I had seen Ryan perform at an open-mic one time, and he has great skills. When I saw him playing drums, I was like, ‘Holy shit! Where did this guy come from?’ He’s a total human metronome and a studio drummer as well; he’s quick to pick up on anything, and he’s already putting together what I’m thinking about for a song. Chris was a little iffy at first before I brought Ryan to jam at his house in Desert Hot Springs, but it worked out.”
Tierez said he’s struggled to bring on a permanent guitarist.
“I hit up multiple guitarists who I had for leads, and I hit up a friend of mine who I jammed with before I started Burning Bettie, and he happened to be doing nothing in the moment and a month before Burning Bash; we wrote four songs,” Tierez said. “We had the set for Burning Bash.”
“The guitar player left for personal reasons. I had multiple other names who are super-talented and we did two more shows, and once again are in search of lead guitar.”
Tierez said he thinks Monreaux has come a long way in a short time. He believes that a house party in Coachella the night before a gig at Schmidy’s Tavern has been their best yet.
“It was us, Fight Like a Girl, Kill the Radio, and Venus and the Traps. There were about 100 kids there, and we had the crowd moshing, which is the first time I’ve seen anyone moshing to any music I ever wrote,” Tierez said. “The crowd was a lot edgier. I know we were playing for high school kids and maybe a little younger than that, and I was like, ‘Wow, holy shit!’ We were told we were the best (bands) of the night by them.”
Tierez said he’s finally put Burning Bettie behind him.
“When we first started, it was great. But then it turned into a lot more chill and alternative,” Tierez said about his former band. “My original plan is what I’m doing now: rock ’n’ roll, a lot heavier, catchy and fast. That’s what I’m excited about. It’s dark and dirty—and that’s what I wanted.”
Tierez said Monreaux plans to compete in some battle-of-the-bands competitions in 2016, as well as come up with new material—and tighten the screws.
“We want to have full sets to play, do some recording and definitely play out of town, because I’m done relying on local shows, given it’s boring, and you get burnt out,” Tierez said. “Chris and I have been doing it for years, and I hate to say I don’t want to play with my friends’ bands, but it’s so saturated, and everyone is playing every fucking week. It’s not big enough here to play every two weeks or even once a month. If you do shows locally, you’ll be opening for someone mainstream who’s coming town or playing with big local bands like Mondo Generator. I’d rather just go into the studio or write new songs to make us better.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/monreauxmusic.