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Articles Home » Music Talk » Sinful Lilly Interview with Fredi Handshoe By Nina McCarthy
Sinful Lilly Interview with Fredi Handshoe By Nina McCarthy

Sinful Lilly

Interview with Fredi Handshoe

By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio


Sinful Lilly is in your face rock from the sinful duo of Fredi Handshoe (Lead Vocals/Guitar) and Nikki Valklix (Vocals/Bass) with touring drummer Jimmy Wooten. I recently had the chance to get sinful with these bad boys in CT and Ohio. Read more about this Kentucky band here. 

Fredi, Nina, and Nikki in CT 



Sinful Lilly has been around for over 7 years and I’m going to be honest, you’re new on my radar. Can you just give me a brief history of how it all started?

FH: This project started out as a kind of recording project. We got asked to do a couple cover songs for a tribute CD. We ended up doing Van Halen, Iron Maiden, and something else. We did so many, I can’t remember. It was a project between Nikki and myself and so we got that going on and we did those. They kept coming back to us saying, “We love that, do another one.” I run a recording studio so it didn’t require anything but just getting in the studio and saying, “Let's record this.” We've actually got three more that we're doing that we haven't even recorded yet, but then I think we're done with our tributes.


How did you get into the original music?

FH: We always did originals. The tributes were only a vehicle for advertising. Then we started working on and we put out a couple original songs and was shopping around to a couple of radio stations in Cincinnati and they liked it. The guy in Cincinnati, listen to us and he contacted me from the radio station and said there's a guy in a little town that we probably never heard of that is looking for some really good bands to open and I see the guy's name is is Appalshop Radio in Whitesburg, KY. I knew that a little town. And anyway, so I got a hold of that guy and he goes, “We've got an awesome bands coming in and I want you guys open up?”  We had to get a warm up show and then our warm up show was opening up for Saliva. We jumped into it and it started our run with all national touring bands. That was all over the place. I mean, early on, it was like Saliva, Brother Cane, Wednesday 13. We did the club scene for a little while, but it got to the point where it wasn't going anywhere, and we knew it wasn't going anywhere, but we actually used it to our advantage to do a lot of video. We're a visual band. So we would go and we did that for about a year and got a lot of video footage so that we could go push what we did. That worked, we started doing bigger shows and working with bigger promoters and stuff like that. That's kind of how we got into it. Beyond that, we also promote our own shows with other videos. We're doing one with BulletBoys coming up.


Your bio says Sinful Lilly plays “Devil’s music.” Can you explain that?

FH: It’s not as elaborate as it sounds. The cool thing was, when I was growing up was that there was this conception of rock; it was considered taboo and the Devil’s music. “The Devil makes you move that way” and all that stuff.


It’s not so much that way now, but I can only imagine how it was back then in the south.

FH: We had that one song,  “Devil Music and The Record Machine” and that came from my wonderful grandmother. She was always telling us, “You're playing that damn Devil’s music. Turn that record machine off in there!” Back then, to them, any rock music was Devil music. So I just thought that was a cool little twist on something that had history, so we kind of played that up a little bit. The image of us was on stage is this big kind of voodoo mic stand with a skull and deer antlers and I have this freaky fur vest. We cut up all the clothes and sew them ourselves. It's really interesting because at some of the festivals that we play, we have these people coming and saying, “That’s evil. That scares me man.” It’s just a little Kentucky voodoo.


What are some of the themes you cover in your music and where does the inspiration come from?

FH: The horror of relationships. Like “Truth or Consequence” is about a bad relationship that we’ve all been in, the one when we go back for one more time. Then it gets into the playing head games and that kind of stuff. So that's what that is about. A lot of the early stuff was what I called my “divorce therapy.” I wrote a lot of the lyrics about that and it definitely fit along the Bad Marriage lines. We've got “Crack in My Heart” that is along those lines. “Guilty” is a little more along the lines of the like the KISS song “Nothin’ To Lose.” It kinda rolls like that. We use a lot of innuendos, a lot of dual meaning kinds of things for stuff. Now there's one song that was totally different and we’ll probably never play live. It's an acoustic and a cello. It was written about a friend of mine that passed away, and that made me think of the song.  Then I had another friend pass away and I kept thinking of the song. It started off with a family member who was about 30 and he went fishing and bumped his leg and got a blood clot. He went to the hospital and died at the hospital. What happened was, his daughter was so angry at the world and everything and that's what made me think about it. Then I had a friend that I went to school with passed away. Him and his brother went out drinking and they flipped a Corvette. Then we had another friend OD on heroin. I told myself that I had to complete this song so the shit stops and I wrote the song and I finished it up and I dedicated it to them. That was kind of closure for me. That's the first CD, a lot of relationship stuff. Now the CD that we're working on now is more groovy, trippy, kind of. It can be heavy, but it’s definitely got a groove.


I think that’s what I liked about the live show...you are heavy on bass and drums.



FH: Yes, it is very rhythmically oriented. It was very intentional and we’re heavily influenced by White Zombie, Alice Cooper, Dope, and Wednesday 13. We take it and try to make it groovy and add all that stuff in so it’s relatable and modern. I never thought we’d have anyone moshing to “California Man” but there was tonight.


Do you have an anticipated release or have you just started writing the new album?

FH: We had a release date on “California Man” and we filmed a video, but the mastering was held back because we got pulled into this tour with Michale Graves. Our goal was to release 3 singles and then release the album. “California Man” was the first single and “Get It On” was our second single, which was supposed to have an October release and we were scheduled to film a video for it, but everything got pushed back. But it’s coming…


Speaking of which, you need to update your social media pages.

FH: I know. We are so busy. I'm trying to find somebody that will manage that for us because we're so into everything else, it's really hard to take care of that. When we worked on that, then we need new artwork, we need new merch to push out there. We are always trying to grow and it doesn't always translate into having the right information on our social media sites, so it is outdated. Last year we put out Wait Your Turn. And we were in the middle of getting ready to actually release the album that we're going to release now, back in 2018, I guess, and then life happened. Actually, we got onto the Beasto Blanco tour. Our drummer, at the time, had a meltdown and did not want to go on tour and he disappeared. We still had to go on tour so we had to go shopping for drummers. We talked to Jimmy Wooten (from Gears) and he came in to do tour support and we told him that he got what we were doing better than the other drummer. Our other drummer was very industrial and he wanted to go that way. That’s cool, but I wanted something that was a little more dancey or groovy. This last year we have been re-tweaking all the songs to get them the way we really wanted to put out. I own the independent label that we are on, so then I only have myself to blame. We’ll put it out when it’s right.


And that’s how it should be, exactly how you want it.

FH: We had so much go into “California Man.” It was supposed to be a completely different video. We had someone out in California that shot for A&E, and they were shooting the film out in the desert. It was supposed to be more of a motorcycle related song, but their production got axed and they switched production companies and so our footage went away.


You guys have bad luck!

Nikki: As a perfectionist, it is a blessing and a curse.

FH: Yes, and you know the way I look at it is, it's turning out the way it's supposed to because it made me rethink the video and I did it the way I wanted to do it. We ended up doing live footage, but by not having the other footage that we that we thought we were going to shoot, I had to rethink how I was going to do the video. It turned into more of a Quentin Tarantino kind of vibe. That's the way it should have been in the first place! I’ve rambled long enough on that one.


So you want to get the new album out and you are currently only hopping on national tours. What are your future plans and goals for Sinful Lilly?

FH: Right. We're not doing local bars.There are a couple of smaller venues that we play but it's always with the national and we do festivals. The goal is to take a break from touring and finish the album, get that wrapped up and mastered. Most of it is mixed but we’re perfectionists. I’m a Virgo and it should have been done 8 hours ago but I have to keep going with it. I want it a certain way and if we have the ability and time to do that, then that’s what we do. It doesn’t always benefit us, but it makes us happy. The goal is to have 2 more videos off of this album. We still have to come up with a name for this album.


That’s important.

FH: We have a couple interesting covers that will be on there. We have a couple other songs that were done but then we switched drummers so I didn’t want to put them out because we changed them, but we do play them. It’s just kind of a different version though.


I definitely enjoyed the live shows I witnessed and I look forward to when you finally do release the new album. Keep me in the loop so we can review it for you.



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