Canada seems to be the place to go if you want to find enough bands to form an army and smash the patriarchy. The feminist, lgbtq+ scene is growing, and Lilim have everything to be one of its symbols. The band, born in 2016 in Toronto, is everything we like: bits of punk, bits of hardcore, lots of self-confidence, a few men yelling indistinctly in the distance that you can’t hear over Kirsten’s vocals…and apparently no intention to stop after a first EP available here.
Nothing is forgotten: equality, female pleasure, racism, colonization, rape, anger… The tone is undeniably angry, and it feels good to listen to people who are as angry as you. Lilim is a sane, justified wrath that needs to be unleashed on the whole world. Sadly, they’re in Canada at the moment but we’ve talked to them and you’re in for a shot of good news.
AL: First things first: how’s life?
Miranda Armstrong -Life is beautifully complicated. This year more than ever I've been dissecting and re-evaluating my values and it has been painful, exciting, awkward and liberating all at the same time. But the whole process has made me more confident which has resulted in more music writing which is awesome.
Kirsten White - Big transitions right now. Headed into the fall, which means starting school for my Masters in Psychotherapy. Its a 6 - 8 year program and will most likely rebuild me from the ground up, so I am a little anxious with anticipation.
Just signed on to a production agency full time as well so my freelance lifestyle has become a little more grounded.
Music is feeling really good, both bands are fulfilling different needs right now. My cat is currently not licking holes in her legs from allergies so it’s going well!
Adam “Skellator” McGillivray - Life is the usual series of ups and downs, though I do feel that slowly but surely I’m getting a bit better at navigating it all.
Martin Poulin: Im ok in general. I don’t get enough sleep these days, so I’m probably tired.
AL: If I remember my Talmud, Lilim are the incubi/succubi kids of Lilith who wasn’t created using Adam’s rib but using the same dust, hence my question: what does Lilim mean to you (all of you!)?
MIRANDA- I love the name Lilim - it's very fitting for this band. Kirsten chose the name so I'm sure she'll be able to speak to this more articulately, but for me Lilim represents both darkness and femininity -- which I think are two words that describe the band well.
KIRSTEN - Correct, LILIM is the first incubi/ succubi child of Lilith, the ones that came after are the Lilin. In the jewish folklore story I pulled this name from, LIlith had just been kicked out of the garden of Eden and had married Cane. One of the night’s of the underworld. He promoted her to get her retribution against men who had caused wrong in the world. Rapist, murderers, pedophiles. So she would hunt them in the night and steal their seamen and birth them these demon children ( The Lilin) that would haunt them their entire lives, reminding them of the wrong they’d done.
MARTIN - Kirsten (singer) found the name. It sounds like she found it from where you’ve heard of it. To me it sounds evil, so I like it and it works.
Surprise, Lilim is the most appropriate name you could expect. If the topic of Satanic Feminism is becoming popular-in fact, it is argued that Lucifer was the first teacher of science, tried to offer knowledge to the
first second woman and, well, you know what happens next-but Lilim are about retribution, about calling out all the
assholes in the room and letting you know it’s ok to hold them accountable. Lilim want you to know you can be who you want to be and want you to kick ass when needed.
AL-Maybe I’ve got shit in my ears but I think I couldn’t find anything about the band’s first steps. How was it when you started, did you get help, was it hard or did people acknowledge your awesomeness right away?
MIRANDA- I joined the band I believe a year and a half (?) after it first started. I was filling-in for a short tour but the bass player left not too long afterwards and I stepped in permanently. It has been about a year now since I joined and I've noticed a real increase in people attending our shows and it's exciting meeting new people who are there just to see your band - lots of whom are women which really fills me with joy.
KIRSTEN - 2016 - I was tired of going to shows and not seeing myself represented or hearing topics I felt were important to discuss. I complained enough about it to Marty and he told me to shit or get off the pot. I asked him if he wanted to start something and he agreed as long as I got the rest of the band. I approached two friends of mine, and great allies to the feminist cause Eryn Wynd and Brenton Pedler and we started to jam. My first band was born. It took about a year of playing a lot of shows and hustling hard before we started to get any attention or finding our like minded bud bands like Digest and Vile Creature. With practice came better music, once we started playing tighter and writing more rippers folks started to like us not just for our message but I think for our music. We changed our rhythm section as well with the sweet addition of Adam and Miranda, which is leading to a new, heavier sound. I’m stoked.
ADAM - As the most junior member of the band, I don’t really have any input on this. I’ll defer to Kirsten and Marty on this one.
MARTIN - I remember Kirsten wanted to start a band. I agreed to play guitar. We didn’t know exactly what kind of band it was going to be other than probably be a metal band of some sort. We started by playing small shows opening for bands. Well, we still do actually. We have a lot of friends that book shows in Toronto, so getting started wasn’t too hard. I think people knew we were awesome right away. :p
-What is it like to be you? (everyone) What would you like to achieve, how would you like to do it, what would you like people to realize?
MIRANDA - Haha hmm.. I suppose without over-thinking I would say that it's pretty awesome being me, which I recognize my privilege to say that because for a lot of people that is not the case. Lately I've been trying to live more in the present so I haven't been focusing on "big picture" stuff but I'm looking forward to finishing up and recording Lilim's sophomore album and also continuing to educate myself and others on issues of inequality. I would like people to realize the power of kindness.
KIRSTEN - Love what Miranda said. Being me day to day is flying mostly by the seat of my pants as I like to have a stacked plate. 2 bands, full time job, upcoming school, arts collective, pets, wives and a great partner it often feels like a world wind + add in an attempt to stay active in supporting the many great feminist initiatives in our great city of Toronto. Goals: Taking the time to stay present and be grateful for my position in life is something I think about daily and is part of my personal self practice. I’d like to keep striving for a better understanding and acceptance of others, improving on my empathy and my delivery of my honesty.
ADAM - I’m lucky, in that I live a life of privilege, being a white male in North America. If anything I’d like to get better at using said privilege to make life better for those without. I don’t know exactly what that entails, but I think that we could all be better at helping each other out.
MARTIN - I think the planet is going to probably kill us all soon. I fear things like melting ice caps in the north. Also there’s a lot of forest fires around here. The weather is pretty hectic here.
AL-It seems like feminism is doing better in Canada than in Europe, what should we do to catch up?
MIRANDA - To me Feminism means representing and supporting all marginalized groups of people -- intersectionality is an important part of my feminist identity. I'm not sure what the statistics are regarding Europe vs. Canada so I can't really speak to that but I would say that we've all got A LOT of catching up to do. Educating yourself and recognizing your own privilege is a good start, and then finding out ways to use that privilege to elevate others.
KIRSTEN - Education and understanding privilege seems to be running behind in Europe. I’ll have to piggy back off Miranda here and say I’m not really sure of the stats. When I talk about it on a surface level with friends who live over there ( German/ UK/ Portugal/ Romania ) sometimes they blame deep ingrained religious bias, lack of education on what patriarchy even is or even the stability of the country. If the basics of a hierarchy of needs aren’t being met en mass ( shelter, safety, access to food), it’s hard to move onto large social issues like feminism and convince the masses it’s worth working towards.
ADAM- I think that a good place to start is to realize that just because things have been done a certain way for a long time, does not mean it can’t change. Woman (or anyone who is part of a marginalized group) are more than capable of doing all of the things that men can do. Tradition is a terrible excuse to carry on outdated, backwards ideas.
AL-In your songs you address rage, you address colonization, but you also talk about pleasure…are you optimistic about the future? Or how do you see it?
MIRANDA - I'm both optimistic and pessimistic about the future. I have faith in humanity but we've also really fucked up the planet in an irreparable way.
KIRSTEN - Positive for sure. With all this work that women/ trans/ NB/ and allies are doing, things have to get better ( look at me being a positive pattie ) Social change happens faster and faster now because of social media. Like minded folks can find it each and support each other. Hopefully we can keep wiggling our way into the bureaucracy that truly holds us down. Not sure I’ll see the shift I want ( true equality with white cis het men) in my lifetime, but I’ll keep working towards it.
AL-What are your plans for the next months/year?
MA - Finishing up writing and recording the second album and playing lots of shows, hopefully a tour soon.
K - Figure out how to ride my new schedule with school as best I can. Keep writing our second album and get into the studio. Tour would be cool too, looking at a little jaunt in November again up the east side of Canada (school and our schedule permitting). I mean if I could throw a wishful plan out there, 2 week euro tour in the summer of 2019 to support this album which will be PRINTED ON VINYL!!! Keep active in our intersectional feminism and make sure to keep our voice loud, but also supportive. Do our leg work as privileged folks to help support and lift up the marginalized communities around us, especially in our own music scene.
A - We’re currently writing a new album and just working away on being a better band. Oh, and having fun doing it. That’s really the whole point.
MP: For LILIM, I just want to keep writing music I love to play and record. Everything else I take it as it comes. I just like playing music so that’s all I worry about. We are currently writing new songs with our new drummer and newish bassist. We should have another album late this year or early next year. Hopefully more music videos and things like that as well.