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Wed09202017

Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

In 2015, Monreaux was on a roll. The local band’s live performances were becoming increasingly impressive, and the group’s fan base was growing.

Then the band had to hit the brakes.

Last year, before front man Giorg Tierez’ annual Burning Bash, he announced that Monreaux would not be playing at the show. Bassist Chris Dub had a newborn child, and his work schedule made practices and gigs hard to schedule. Meanwhile, guitarist Marcus Bush had stepped away from the band due to personal matters.

While Monreaux remains on hiatus, Tierez is pushing on and will be throwing the sixth annual Burning Bash, on Friday, Aug. 25, at Bart Lounge. On the bill will be DJ Skyhigh, Stevie Crooks, Ocho Ojos, Cakes, Killjoi, Robotic Humans, and Bass Nurds. Reggie Martinez, the owner of California Barbecue Company, will be onsite with a barbecue stand.

Tierez said during a recent interview that he decided to change things up this year.

“I wanted to keep it fresh, and I think I have fewer bands this year because of bringing equipment on and off,” Tierez said. “At Bart Lounge, it’s upstairs, so all that equipment going up and down the stairs makes it difficult. I think we’re going to have one drum set for everyone to use, so all the bands have to do is bring up their amps and stuff.

“I’m not going to be stage-managing this year. Last year, I was back and forth, and we started way too late. We just had too many acts, and I trimmed it down this year.”

On the subject of Monreaux, Tierez said he and drummer Ryan Diaz have been ready to go.

“I actually talked to Marcus (Bush). … He’s doing good, and I’m going to be visiting him soon, and we’re going to talk about Monreaux. … Chris (Dub) is still busy being a husband and dad. Ryan is ready to go and is like, ‘Let me know!’

“I’ve been writing, and I have about 15 to 20 songs right now. The bass ideas are there, and I think I’m going electronic with keys and synth, but still keeping it dark and desert.”

Tierez said Monreaux’s hiatus doesn’t bother him, because, well, life happens.

“I think everyone had an outside issue at one point,” he said. “We all deal with that, and you can’t get away from it. You can’t be like, ‘Excuse me, life. I’m trying to be in a band right now!’ Life will fuck you anyways, no matter what, even if you decide that it’s going to be 100 percent about your band. You can be on a successful ride, and all of a sudden—bam! Something happens. You can’t fuck with life.”

Tierez said chemistry concerns have kept him from recruiting new members for Monreaux.

“I’ve talked to a couple of people about coming on and playing with us, but it comes down to chemistry,” he said. “You can have a bad-ass guitar player join the band, but he might just be doing it because he’s not doing anything else, and might dig it or might not dig it; that’s why you need the right chemistry. It’s hard to find that mix of people where everyone likes what they’re doing. That’s the hardest part about making a band—finding people who are equally excited while writing the songs.”

Tierez has played a gig or two solo, but didn’t care for it.

“I’m able to do it, but I don’t know if it’s my thing,” he said. “I know there are some locals who do it every week, and they’re hustling, which is great, but that’s not me. I like the group environment and feeding off my band members—having that energy back and forth and working off of it.”

Even though Tierez will again not be performing at this year’s Burning Bash, he said he still loves putting it on.

“We started it back in Burning Bettie, because it was my birthday and the first show we ever played as a band,” he said. “But I’m able to bring in a mix of people and a mix of bands in one night, and not many people can do that. I pride myself on that, and maybe I’ve just made the right connections and the right friends. Maybe I’ve made the right impressions. But these people are willing and are like, ‘Fuck yeah! Let’s do it!’

“All of the bands who have performed want to do it every year. I love that I can do that, and that it’s successful. It’s always a great show and tons of people.”

The Sixth Annual Burning Bash will be held at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 25, at Bart Lounge, 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Cathedral City. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/445848675773077.

Published in Previews

Giorg Tierez has thrown a “Burning Bash” to celebrate his birthday in each of the past for years.

This year, Tierez had big plans for the Burning Bash—but when those plans fell through, the party was nearly cancelled. But after a quick regrouping and some help from Bart Lounge, Burning Bash V is back on, and will take place at Bart on Friday, Aug. 26.

During a recent interview, Tierez—formerly of the now-defunct band Burning Bettie, and currently the frontman of Monreaux—explained why his party is still called the “Burning Bash,” even though Burning Bettie broke up more than a year ago.

“I guess the name just stayed,” Tierez said. “It’s summer; it’s hot; and it’s a birthday bash. So … it’s burning. This year, we took the birthday part out of it and are going more toward an event instead of a birthday bash.”

He originally hoped to throw this year’s party at Sol’s Night Club in Coachella.

“We were going to get a big headlining act and do it really big,” Tierez said. “We were going to charge at the door and have ticket sales, but it fell through, and we couldn’t find an artist that the venue liked. We weren’t even going to do it after that. But I’ve been seeing a lot of Bart advertisements and doing a lot of little things, so I said, ‘Fuck it; I’ll just ask them if they want to do it.’ It happened pretty fast, and within a couple of days, I had Bart booked.”

Despite the late change of plans, Tierez assembled a solid lineup featuring some of the valley’s best musicians.

“I have EeVaan Tre, The Flusters, CIVX, Upper Class Poverty, and I have Derek (Jordan Gregg) from the Hive Minds. It’s actually a pretty big well-known local group of artists, three of whom performed at Coachella, so it’s pretty good. It’s the first time they’ve all been on the same event. I’ve always taken pride in doing stuff like that. It’s a whole bunch of really good bands in one spot, which rarely happens.”

Tierez also managed to collaborate with the producer of the Comic Con Palm Springs to make this year’s bash an official after-party. 

“We booked it, and I realized it was the weekend of Comic Con,” Tierez said. “I had already met Chris Spellman, who is producing that. He was a judge at one of the Battle of the Bands at The Hood, and I hit him up. We thought it was a good idea to make it an official after-party for Comic Con. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and pretty big. Even some of the artists are telling me they’re going to dress up in makeup and costumes.”

However, one thing that will not be at this year’s Burning Bash is Tierez’s current band: Monreaux is on hiatus, although the group plans to play a show in Anaheim later during the weekend of the Burning Bash

“Our bass player, Chris Dub, he just had a kid, and his day job is air conditioning. He’s working 16-hour shifts a day,” Tierez said. “Marcus Bush, our guitar player, he also just had a kid, too. He lives up in Anza. It makes it difficult when life catches up with you, and kids come into the picture. It was basic common sense, because we needed a break.”

This year, Tierez isn’t planning on performing at the Burning Bash at all; instead, he wants to kick back and enjoy the show.

“I don’t want to repeat last year,” Tierez said, referring to Monreaux’s debut performance during the Burning Bash IV. “We had a lack of practice and sounded like shit. I just want to be a part of the audience and enjoy my friends performing. The people I have performing are great bands that have their own crowds, so I just want to enjoy it like everyone else and have a good time.”

The Burning Bash will be held at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 26, at Bart Lounge, 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Cathedral City. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/241482292874098.

Published in Previews

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.

The members of Burning Bettie have distinctly individual personalities and different musical backgrounds—and all of those differences have served the band well, as it’s become one of the Coachella Valley’s most popular bands.

The group is holding is third “Burning Bday Bash” on Saturday, Aug. 23, with a daytime pool party at The Curve Hotel in Palm Springs, which will include The Hive Minds, Femme A, Synthetix, Independent resident DJ All Night Shoes and others. The party will then move to Bar, also in Palm Springs, with performances by Thr3 Strykes, Spankshaft, Deadend Paradox and, of course, Burning Bettie.

During a recent interview, frontman Giorg Tierez, lead guitarist Frank Michel and drummer Josh Ballard remembered when they were trying to develop bands via Craigslist.

“Giorg had a posting that I originally responded to,” said Michel. “I saw his influences and all that, and saw that they matched up to mine. I thought, ‘All right, well, I think I can work with this.’ I had been searching for months, and I think he had been posting for a while as well. So I called him up; we talked and set up a practice—and we already had a couple of songs that day.”

Tierez had previously met Ballard, also through Craigslist.

“I had known Josh a year prior, because I had responded to one of his Craigslist ads,” Tierez said with a laugh. “He wanted to put together a comedy rock band, like Tenacious D, Adam Sandler, and that kind of rock stuff. I like that stuff, and no matter what anyone says, they’re awesome musicians. We got together one time, and it was kind of weird. He brought this keyboard-player, and I had a guitar-player. It didn’t work out, and I didn’t talk to him for a year, basically.”

Tierez and Michel reached out to Ballard and soon picked up Shawn Fisher (bass). The rest, as they say, is history.

Each of the members, led by Tierez (rhythm guitar and vocals), can play multiple instruments. Tierez mentioned that Michel’s college education at Riverside Community College was based in music.

“Frank started off as a percussionist, which is amazing, because he plays guitar like a fucking maniac—but he’s really good at drumming, too,” Tierez said.

Michel explained how he became such a gifted multi-instrumentalist.

“I went to school and studied percussion,” Michel said. “My teachers always expected a career from me in percussion in classical music, Latin music and all that stuff. I think that stuck with me as far as me being a guitar-player now, which is about keeping time on my own.”

After getting to know each other, they agreed on mutual influences such as Led Zeppelin, Sublime, Foo Fighters and Muse. When they each added in their own influences, they come up with a unique sound, with hints of desert rock.

So … what happened to Ballard’s love of comedy rock?

“I keep some of that stuff in my own writing and in a side-project kind of thing,” Ballard said. “With Burning Bettie in the present day, I don’t really do any comedy stuff and have kind of separated it. But it’s not that we don’t like to throw a few laughs together here and there.”

Recently, Tierez moved primarily to vocals when the band brought in James “Hollis” Eaton from Reno, Nev., to take over rhythm-guitar duties. Eaton’s wife and daughter still live in Reno, he said.

“Me and (Ballard) have been in a couple of different bands in the past, and we’ve been best friends for years,” Eaton said. “He shot me over a recording of music they were doing, and I thought, ‘Oh man, I love this music!’ I listened to it all the fucking time, and then they said they were looking for a guitar-player, and I said, ‘Let me try out!’ I came down; we started jamming together; and we started writing songs.”

Hollis said his family has been supportive.

“I miss Reno. My wife and my kid are up there, but they’ve come down, and I’ve gone up there a couple of times,” he said. “It’s a big commitment, but my wife and my kid have said, ‘Hey, go live your dream.’ … If there would have been some kind of bullshit going on in this band musically, she would have said, ‘No, you’re staying here!’ But she believes in the music, and she loves Burning Bettie.”

Not too long ago, Burning Bettie went to Hollywood and played a show at The Viper Room on the Sunset Strip. It was the band's first appearance outside of the desert, and the members said it’s been their most memorable performance to date.

“You’re right across the street from the Whisky A Go Go,” Michel said. “It almost feels for the moment that you’ve made it—and then afterward, it was, ‘Eh, at least we got out of the desert heat,’” he said with a laugh.

Tierez said the Viper Room show paid instant dividends.

“I thought we did really well, and I got a lot of good feedback,” he said. “Immediately the next day, we got hit up by Whisky A Go Go to do a show there. Obviously, we did something right. We aren’t metal, punk or hardcore rock like the other bands were, but a lot of people still liked it.”

The Burning BDay Bash is held around Tierez’ birthday each year and has become a tradition. The first one was held at Tierez’s house in Indio about two months after the band formed, and the event included a pool party. The second bash was held at Schmidy’s Tavern, but this year, the band wanted to return the event to its pool-party roots.

“It started off on my birthday a month and a half after we were a band,” Tierez said about that first event. Dead End Paradox played with us, and F13, which was a reggae band. It was about 70 people at my house in Indio. It wasn’t that big of a house—and it was crazy. The music stopped, and then it turned into a pool party.”

The Burning BDay Bash will be held on Saturday, Aug. 23, at The Curve Hotel, 333 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, from noon to 7 p.m. It will then move to Bar, 340 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit the band’s Facebook page.

Published in Previews

Indio native (and current Coachella resident) Giorg Tierez, 31, is a paraeducator at an elementary school—and a member of Burning Bettie, a band which touts itself as playing good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. You can catch some of that rock this Friday, May 31, at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio. The music kicks off at 9, when Burning Bettie, Boycott Radio, DJ Guy Worden and DJ J Sizzle will open for Dirt, a band which plays the music of Alice in Chains. Tickets are $5, and you can get ’em at www.dateshedmusic.com. To learn more about the band, mosey over to their Facebook page.

What was the first concert you attended?

Korn.

What was the first album you owned?

(An album by) R&B group Shai.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Queens of the Stone Age, and Muse.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

The Harlem Shake.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Queen … or Queens of the Stone Age.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I’m not sure … lol.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Whisky a Go Go (in West Hollywood).

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Give me something good to die for, to make it beautiful to live,” Queens of the Stone Age, “Go With the Flow.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Incubus: To be so different and influenced by so many genres and to put it together to make a unique sound is what blew my mind. It's what I would like to think Burning Bettie has to offer!

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I dunno. I'd ask myself a couple of questions, I think.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Sleep Walk,” Santo and Johnny.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Songs for the Deaf, Queens of the Stone Age.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Sweet and Bitter” by Burning Bettie. We’re still in the recording process … but you can watch it live this Friday at The Date Shed.

Published in The Lucky 13