Laena Geronimo is bassist for LA band The Like and a multi-intrumentalist in her own right. On March 20, Laena will perform with one of her many side projects, Raw Geronimo, for an LA Fashion Week event in support of Popomomo. (You can also catch her around town performing in Swahili Blonde and Dante Vs. Zombies.)
IFDaily: You play violin, bass, guitar, drums, and sing, so obviously you’re a “musician’s musician.” What draws you to fashion lately, or has it always been an interest?
LG: Fashion is a form of artistic expression to me. I’ve always had a strong sense of my own personal style, and often it’s related to the music that I’m obsessed with at the moment; there was a two-year period when I only listened to punk music recorded before 1983? I fully dressed the part, with short white hair I cut ‘n bleached myself. As a kid my mom worked at boutiques and was a total art punk. My first job was at a vintage clothing store and, other than being a musician, I’ve always worked in fashion. So fashion has definitely always been an interest.
IFDaily: I don’t know much about Popomomo, being newly transitioned from music to fashion myself. How did you get involved with them?
LG: Designer Lizz Wasserman actually found my profile as a total stranger on a modeling website! We met at the shoot location for this Fall 2011 line, and throughout that day we did a lot of talking about art and music and realized we had a lot in common. So we decided to work together.
IFDaily: The Popomomo press release cites you as the “muse” for the current collection. What do you think that’s referring to? How did you work to inspire (either wittingly or unwittingly, in your opinion) the Fall-Winter looks?
LG: I think that this reference is not to me as a specific individual, but more to what I represent as an ambitious female artist. The Popomomo Fall collection is inspired by unashamedly sensual women in music and literature: like Patti Smith and Eva Babitz. And I think when we met, perhaps she saw what she had been referencing in me, and retroactively cited me as muse? It is an incredibly huge compliment.
IFDaily: Tell me about Raw Geronimo. Who’s in the band. What’s the muse for the new music?
LG: Well I’ve been playing various instruments in other people’s bands for years, and all the while writing and recording my own songs sort of secretly / shyly. The time just seems right to take the plunge and start my own band. I’ve assembled an incredible group of amazing musicians: Andrew Scarborough (Black Apples), Ellie May Carpenter (Some Days), Michael Rudes (Cactus Pricks), Lauren “Feather” Fay (Amanda Jo Williams), and Marty Sataman (Upsilon Acrux). (Dante White-Aliano of Dante Vs. Zombies will be filling in for Marty at the Popomomo show.) I’m just going to front the band and sing. I’m very very excited.
IFDaily: Tell me (wait, am I starting every question with “Tell me”? I suck) about the upcoming event. What would you like us to know?
LG: Raw Geronimo is really looking forward to playing this Popomomo event. All of us are excited about Lizz’s awesome clothes, and it will be interesting, especially as a first show, to be doing a slightly more stripped-down set in such a unique setting. It’s also building the anticipation in a healthy way for us to really get crazy and let loose at our first fully electrified show: Friday, April 8th at The Bootleg Theater.
IFDaily: Anything else fun or noteworthy coming up? Any fun personal plans?
LG: This band is my heart and soul, and I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got! For me, “fun personal plans” is to get the Raw Geronimo ball rolling with live shows and recordings and keep the momentum building with videos and tours asap. Art is life for me, and performing songs that I’ve written is the most exhilirating and rewarding experience possible.