Riishi Von Rex is an Ottawa singer, songwriter and guitarist. Hear her EP online at www.vonrex.org.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been writing for a little under 10 years, since I was about 13, 14. I didn’t actually get into playing music until after I got into writing songs, so I consider myself a songwriter first and foremost. I’ve been playing shows around Ottawa since about 2006, 2007.
What’s one live show you’ve played that stands out as special?
I think one of the most exciting to us was recently we opened for the Dexter Romweber Duo at Zaphod’s. They’re not very well-known, but Dexter Romweber is a huge influence on a lot of my favourite musicians. So they were telling me about the record they just recorded with Jack White, and Jack White is one of my idols. They’ve toured with Cat Power, played with Neko Case, so it was really cool just because he’s cited as an influence to my influences. It was really awesome to just meet them, share the stage with them, and get a first-hand experience of what this guy’s like.
Tell me a bit about your bandmates.
OK, my bassist Erik Royle has been with me pretty much from the beginning and he’s my right-hand man. He’s also the guy who keeps me organized and on top of stuff, because I’m not always the best at that. Lucas MacKenzie is our third drummer. (Erik and I have had a bit of the Spinal Tap drummer experience.)
Troll Music is my favourite song involving a troll under a bridge. Where did that come from?
It’s funny because it was a failed attempt at a kid’s song. I was writing a song for my niece and nephew, whom I adore above all. So I was thinking of a story that a kid could really relate to, but by the end of it I thought it got just a little too creepy, with (taking my) arms and legs and tongue and all that, so it became a little bit less of a kid’s song.
Your day job is washing dishes. How’s that?
The kitchen is just a fun place to be. We blare the music, we can talk like sailors, there’s a lot of singing and dancing that goes on. It’s a really fun place to be if you’re stuck doing a dirty job.
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