Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too.
Who? Back in 2010 Lotus Effect was on top of the world as Houston's best rock act, coming off the release of an excellent and existential EP, Rabbits and Royalty. Since then, the band has been plagued by lineup changes, but singer Dre Giles still pulls them forward into an ever-widening fanbase. His voice is pure raw power, utterly sincere and capable of an almost operatic storytelling ability when he completely lets loose.
Lotus Effect has been working on a new album for over a year, taking the process very slow and carefully to ensure they live up the accolades heaped upon their previous work. They do have a new free single out for Christmas, "Bad Rudolph," with plans for a video to follow in the future.
Check it out, and if you haven't got Rabbits and Royalty in your collection, you need to rectify that.
Home Base: Lotus Effect practices in Giles' living room. Apparently this involves semi-regular nudity on his part, though not on the part of his bandmates, who never mention it one way or the other. Just another example of Houston's love of naked musicians.
When it comes to playing around town, Rudyard's is Giles' personal choice. He enjoys the chaotic atmosphere, and considers the staff to be personal friends.
Good War Story: "When we were first starting we did a show with Nico Vega, and we had a gimmicky little blowup doll with us at that time that we called Rosie Palm," begins Giles. "She's on Facebook actually, and right when we get off stage some guys out of the audience grab her and take off.
"So a few of us took off after them because we thought they were going to like try to actually do her," he continues. "We found them hiding underneath a car, and we had to throw down to get her back. In the melee she was injured and ultimately couldn't stay on the road with us. I still love her, though."
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "I stay in Houston because I love Houston," he says. "Massive-myocardial-infarction love it. The people, the bands, the scene, the dysfunction, the drama, the hairdos, the hickies, the lesbians. I love everything about it, and that's why I stay. Where else stacks up like us?"
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "Music scene pet peeves" are Giles' music scene pet peeves. I think we kind of deserved that.
Five Desert Island Discs:
Billy Talent, Billy Talent III
Marvin Gaye, What's Going On
Madball, Demonstrating My Style
Goodnight Neverland, Oceans in the Clouds
Best Show Ever: "This is kind of a copout answer, but our best shows are when we're playing on a bill with friends, hanging out with friends who came to see us, meeting new people who may have never heard us before and becoming friends, and then starting the cycle all over again," says Giles. "So that's been happening more and more lately, can't complain."
First Song You Fell in Love With: "I don't know if I remember the first song ever that I was just in love with," ponders Giles. "Probably, Geto Boys' 'My Mind's Playing Tricks On Me.' Yeah, that was it."
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Lotus Effect plays Friday, December 21 at Notsuoh with 72Names, Downer, and The Visions.