Lacey-Lee Evin of female rock-pop group Lillix doesn't consider herself a role model.
But with her passion, talent and professional musicianship, maybe she and the other ladies of Lillix should because they are certainly giving aspiring musicians a reason to watch and learn.
They are only in their late teens and early 20s but the women of Lillix, Lacey-Lee Evin (keyboards/vocals), Tasha-Ray Evin (guitar/vocals), Louise Burns (bass/vocals) and newcomer Alicia Warrington (drums), are already gearing up to release their sophomore album.
Inside the Hollow is the follow-up to 2003's international success,Falling Uphill and since the girls were only 13 to 15 when they wrote most of the songs for their debut album, fans can expect an even more sophisticated touch this time around.
"There's been a lot of change from the first album to the second album," says Lacey-Lee Evin. "One very apparent one is a new band member, obviously, Alicia Warrington is now on drums. She's really brought the band together musically."
Evin says the new album also reflects how the girls have grown over the past five years.
"We've all matured as writers and you can definitely see that influence on all the songs," she says.
To add to it all, Lillix also had the opportunity to work with a new producing team: Jeff Saltzman, who produced The Killers and James Michael who worked with the likes of Alanis Morissette and Motley Crue. The results are a mix of new wave, pop and classic rock combined with Lillix's own unique sound.
"We've just got a big combo of different elements in there. If you listen to the album, you can hear it. We've got the rock influence, we've got lots of ballads on there and lots of dancier songs," says Evin.
But Lillix certainly didn't sit back and watch when it came to producing Inside the Hollow. In true rocker form, the girls took a hands-on approach. Evin says she and her bandmates took part in every aspect of the album process, from writing the songs to picking out which ones made the album to selecting the art for the album. And sometimes that meant going up against their label.
"We just want the control because it's our band, it's our music and we just want to market it the right way and make it us," says Evin. "It's hard, you gotta fight."
With that kind of drive, it's no surprise that Lillix is where they are today. The girls began when they were in their early teens. Evin recalls learning the ropes back in Cranbrook, B.C. at a local studio and knowing that their band would go places.
"I don't know maybe we were cocky about it back then or something but I think we were just more really dedicated," says Evin.
"We tried to make our band unique. We had the intention to get far, we wanted to do this as a career and that was our goal."
And their determination turned dream into reality.
"We always had this dream and it's amazing that we got this far considering where we came from, a tiny town," she says adding, "It's such a huge accomplishment."
Being in the limelight hasn't stopped the women that make up Lillix from staying the course when it comes to their music or their image. With the pressures of body image and appearance that plague so many female artists today, this girl band focuses more on showing off their talent than their bodies.
"It feels like nowadays it's all how you look and it's not fair," says Evin. "We don't really pay attention to that. I can't live up to those expectations, it's not realistic."
And to those who say women can't rock?
"It doesn't bother me at all. I don't care what they think. It's not true."
While Evin may not care what skeptics say, she does care about the fans. She says she appreciates how they have stuck by them and waited patiently for the new album to come out. And when Inside the Hollow does come out at the end of August, Evin is pretty positive that it will be worth the wait.
"I'm pretty proud of this album. It's got a little bit of everything for everyone, every mood you're in there's a song for that," she says.
"I like to sit and listen to the album as a whole because we didn't put any bad songs on it," she laughs.
Lillix will be heading across Canada with Yellowcard this September before heading off to Japan. And playing in front of a crowd is where all the hard work really pays off.
"It's pretty much the best feeling ever," she says. "That's the highlight of all of this, playing the songs that you wrote in your basement and people respond to and that is definitely the best feeling you can get from this career."
You can listen to and watch the video for their new song "Sweet Temptation (Hollow)" among others on their MySpace site or you can visit their official website at http://www.lillix.net.
Inside the Hollow comes out Aug. 29 in Canada.
Writer: Meghan Wubs