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Fake Tears
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Fake Tears Create Femme Fatale Synth Pop

Veteran singer songwriters unite to form deadly supergroup of two.

You know when you love someone and they love you, but it's a bit destructive for both of you...?

By Scott Wood

Larissa Loyva and Elisha May Rembold are fixtures of the Vancouver music scene and their combined resume includes an astounding number of bands. They have combined their talents with a new project called Fake Tears. The new Fake Tears record Nightshifting came out in August from Vancouver’s legendary Mint Records.

My favorite Fake Tears track “You Want the Light” makes me imagine I’m being haunted by mythical sirens calling me out to enjoy Main Street nightlife on a Thursday night. I should stay in, but I can’t ignore the sirens’ song. Here is my chat with Larissa and Elisha.

Scott Wood: Hello guys! Let's start with a Fake Tears track! I'd love you to introduce a song to get people into what you do.

Elisha: This is our song “Second Wind.”

Larissa: You know when you love someone and they love you, but it's a bit destructive for both of you? Your first instinct might be to run away, but maybe you can work things out and be stronger because of it! That's what's going on here.

Interview Show
Hello folks, Scott Wood here! I’m the host of The Interview Show, which is a podcast and syndicated radio program you can find on several campus community radio stations across Canada. Each month here on Earshot!, I profile one of the “hidden talents” in my local Vancouver scene. Basically, I am going to give national campus community radio readers the chance to get to know some of Vancouver’s most interesting, up-and-coming bands.

Scott Wood: Both of you guys have been in a whole bunch of bands. Reading your long resumes, your work includes local indie legend Destroyer, How to Dress Well, Lost Lovers Brigade and Shimmering Stars. I'd love you to quickly describe one or two of these acts and what being a part of this other group taught you about what you do in Fake Tears.

I always say a tour is 10% playing music and 90% getting along with others.

Larissa: Playing with acts like Destroyer and HTDW taught me how to work efficiently and kindly with my bandmates. I always say a tour is 10% playing music and 90% getting along with others. It's also taught me how to be really professional when it comes to playing live and working with the venue staff to put on a great show.

Elisha: I love playing in a bunch of different projects like Lost Lovers Brigade and Shimmering Stars because I play many different instruments and this allows me to stay sharp and super creative, which are definitely qualities that Fake Tears uses to create its magic. 

Scott Wood: You guys started this band about three years ago as an all-female collective. If I told you I was going to start a band/collective tomorrow, what advice would you give me to try to keep things together?

Larissa: We'd probably tell you not to start a collective—Hah!—and to just have a clear vision that people can agree or not agree to be a part of. It's a bit confounding to create something out of nothing. Realistically, the other members had to leave because of other obligations, music and otherwise. It's really hard to get more than 2 people in a room together a few times a month. Everyone's so busy these days.

Scott Wood: This collective eventually reduced to two. Given how many bands you work with, what is special about your working relationship that works? In theory, you guys each could have formed a project with any of the many many band members you've worked with over the years.

Fake Tears

Larissa: We call ourselves Sweet Singing Soul Sisters! The power of our voices will keeps us together! We love hanging out over cocktails at a show or at the beach. Also, we have played with a total of 15 male musicians in Destroyer, HTDW, Shimmering Stars and Lost Lovers Brigade! We needed a change.

Scott Wood: Larissa said that when forming the Fake Tears collective "I thought I’d make an all-woman supergroup." If you could be the ringleader of your own Vancouver musician supergroup, what would the line-up be and why? (Let's allow all genders in this imaginary supergroup.)

Larissa: Crystal Dorval from White Poppy; Jeremy Schmidt from Sinoia Caves; and Quinne Rodgers from Myths. Hit me up, folks!

Elisha: Shane Turner from Shane Turner Overdrive; Jack Jutson from No Gold, Pender Street Steppers and Jack J; Patrick Geraghht from Gal Gracen; and Rory McClure from Shimmering Stars.

Building songs with electronics can really open up the creative flow and enable you to build great sounds and layers from very small ideas.

Scott Wood: My favorite Fake Tears track is "You Want the Light." Can you tell me how you guys came up with this one?

-- Fake Tears - You Want the Light at Bandcamp

Elisha: "You Want the Light" is one of the first songs that was brought to the table in Fake Tears. There was something so lovely about how it just came together so quickly and carried our voices. I have always liked the idea of having an intro and an outro for a musical set, kind of flowing in and out of a dream and "You Want the Light " does that for me. Close your eyes and float while you listen.

Scott Wood: When I talk to artists who write for multiple projects (you guys both do solo work and Fake Tears) I'm always fascinated how their creative mind decides "oh this song idea is for Fake Tears and this song idea is for my solo work." How does it work for you?

Larissa: I have generally presented some of my more upbeat songs to Fake Tears, as well as songs that could work well with harmonized verses and choruses. In my solo work as Kellarissa, I use a loop pedal to harmonize with myself, but it usually only works in repeated lines, like choruses, because of having to match up melody and lyrics. With Elisha, I have a built-in harmonizer!

Elisha: For me, it used to be much more difficult to separate my ideas but as Fake Tears grows, and I become more in touch with the sound we desire, it becomes more clear which ideas are for which project. Our voices act as the base of the music, and for me a Fake Tears song idea will usually start with a vocal melody or drum beat that we can build on. Building songs with electronics can really open up the creative flow and enable you to build great sounds and layers from very small ideas.

Fake Tears

Scott Wood: It's been three years between forming Fake Tears and releasing your debut full-length Nightshifting. You've said in interviews that there was a bit of a learning curve. What are you the most proud of on this record?

Larissa: We're very proud of how these songs are rather disparate, having been written over the course of a couple years, but they all fit together quite well. It results in an interesting and varied album. The biggest learning curve has been finding the right balance of keyboards and voices and beats, etc., especially live. I know that sounds really basic, but when you're dealing with mostly electronic elements, and layers of sounds, it can be tricky to create a balanced sound that works across all the tracks. We're also really proud of the record! That cover by Sian Hislop and the Mint green vinyl are hot!

Scott Wood: Fake Tears is the new best band name I've hears in a while. Fake Tears is also a non-damaging attack move in Pokémon. The move lowers an opponent’s defences. If you are a Pokémon-er, tell me your favorite Pokémon and why.

Larissa: Larissa is not a Pokémon-er.

Elisha: My first bass guitar had a Pikachu sticker on it back in 1998. My little brother used to watch Pokémon and the only character I thought was super great was Jiggly Puff who sings a pleasing melody that lulls foes to sleep!

The power of our voices will keeps us together!

Scott Wood: In real life, when was the last time fake tears were used against you?

Larissa: I keep a pretty balanced emotional life; I don't think I've made anyone fake-cry in a long time.

Elisha: All the kids in my life that fake cry and then laugh hysterically after you bust them for fake crying will always have a soft spot in my heart.

Scott Wood: Thanks for answering my questions, Fake Tears! Please introduce your favorite Fake Tears video.

Elisha: Our video for “Nightbox,” directed by Jessica Delisle, will be out shortly! We are very excited!

-- Fake Tears - Night Box at Bandcamp

Find more about Fake Tears online.


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