Marina talks guitars, pedals & keys
Marina’s interest in music began at the age of 12, when she discovered her grandfather’s acoustic guitar.
I don’t think it even had a name on it, it was just really trashed, a horrible sound, but it definitely was useful to me, in the very beginning. At that time I was listening a lot to Nirvana and Sonic Youth, and Nirvana songs were really easy to learn. I didn’t really go to a teacher, just taught myself in the beginning. My first guitar was a Fender Stratocaster, my father bought it for me, and I started to play in a band with that guitar.
When it comes to guitars, the Lilies searched for some time to find the perfect instrument. They were thrilled to discover the baritone guitar, as its sound fills the gap left by not having a bassist, and it’s Marina’s main instrument. She gives a flavour of it in the video.
Danelectro Hornet Dead on 67 Baritone
It’s the best mix between a guitar and a bass, we really love it
Marina has a few different guitars to help her create different sounds.
I play a Fender Jazzmaster, I’ve been wanting this guitar for a long time. I used to play a Gibson SG before, but for some reason, in my sound I was missing the tremolo bar, and so I thought the Jazzmaster was the best solution.
I really love it as a guitar, it’s got a really warm sound. And I have a Fender Twin amplifier, so with a Jazzmaster it just sounds really beautiful to me. It was really good with the Gibson as well but I don’t know, for some reason I just need a tremolo bar at the moment.
I love it, it’s got a really warm sound.
Marina likes her guitar sound to form part of what she describes as a ‘dreamy, blurry soundscape’.
But I also like the contrast of having some noisier and heavier sounds sometimes. I like contrasts a lot, so my aim is to try and get a balance between the two, these two things, these two territories that I really like in music and I feel comfortable in playing. I’m a big fan of delays and echos and reverbs.
Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler
I’m a big fan of delays.
I have two different delays, I have a Line 6 DL4 and also a Space Echo that basically recreates the tape sound of the original Roland Space Echo, from the 60s, I think. I got that recently. I really love the sound it creates, it’s very spacious, I needed that. I have an Electro-Harmonix reverb that I use quite often, the Holy Grail.
Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Plus
I use this quite often
I have two distortions, one Overdrive is a Blues Driver and one Rat, it can give you some more fuzzy sounds. And I also have a Phaser that I use in some songs, it gives a little bit of oscillation to our sound.
MXR Phase 90
Gives a little bit of oscillation to our sound
And a Loop Station that I use sometimes to create some layers of noises. I use it in some songs and also we do a lot of improvisation live as well. So I use it quite a lot to create layers with.
Boss RC-20XL Loop Station
I use it quite a lot to create layers with
I’m also a big fan of the Twin Reverb, my amplifier reverb, so I use that reverb quite a lot. So it’s a melting pot, a lot of sounds that I mix together.
Fender Twin Amp
I’m a big fan of the Twin Reverb, I use that reverb quite a lot
Lilies On Mars consider the vocal sound as another instrument more than a separate entity.
It adds a layer to our music. And we like to have effects in our vocals, because it makes a better fusion with the rest of our music, so we use delays and reverbs for our vocals as well. They melt a lot better like this and they make a better sound.
Boss Vocal Performer VE-20
We like to have effects in our vocals, they melt a lot better like this
Marina plays keys some of the time, and has had a few lessons in the past.
I’m not a good pianist but I have some piano-based melodies sometimes in my head and I try to recreate them. They are very simple but they come into my head so why not try and make them sound somehow? Those lessons gave me the opportunity and the freedom to try and figure out what to do and have a little bit of independence between my hands.
She prefers vintage keyboards to modern ones and has a rare Yamaha PS-20.
Recently I bought a Yamaha keyboard from 1980 and I really like it, it’s got really beautiful organ sounds. It’s going to be in our new songs, on our third album, as we are trying to add some organ sounds and that is just perfect. It was really cheap and it’s unbelievable how beautiful it sounds, it gives me a lot of satisfaction.
I’m not a great pianist, I’m not even good, but if you have a melody in mind and a sound as well, even if you’re not technically great, it’s nice to try and recreate it. If you keep on playing it, you actually have the opportunity to become good, as well. It’s nice to try and experiment, and it will definitely take you somewhere. If you don’t do it, if you don’t try, you’re just going to be still and you don’t develop.
It’s got really beautiful organ sounds
She likes the sounds on the Korg Kaossilator as well, but generally leaves playing it to Lisa.
Lisa plays the Kaossilator, she makes a lot of noises with that. It’s very nice, it’s got a lot of sounds, we use it quite a lot, especially in our improvisations. It’s a nice synthesizer. It’s also quite fun to play because you have to tap, and if you tap it, it makes different sounds, and every bank has got very interesting things. It definitely adds a lot to our music. It’s very exciting.
Definitely adds a lot to our music, it’s very exciting