Cute girl bands have long been a promoter's dream come true. But when the group has the musical chops to match their own mad style, it's literally performance perfection. The Like is just such an outfit, made up of a foursome as cool and arresting as the tracks on their latest album Release Me, which is due out on June 15. Fronted by the crop-topped Z Berg, the band gets some serious drum-detail from all-around cool girl Tennessee Thomas. New to the quartet is bassist Laena Geronimo (think modern-day Carol Kaye!) and organist Annie Monroe, who fill out this ensemble's sharp sounds and even sharper '60s-inspired looks. We had the chance to catch up with The Like ladies at The Standard Hollywood so they could let us in on a few of their stage-worthy style secrets.
First things first: Tell us what musical inspirations are behind the new album?
Tennessee: "The vocals were inspired by the Girl Groups of the '60s [buy the Rhino Girl-group box-set "Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found: One Kiss Can Lead To Another" NOW!]. The music was inspired by the great British Invasion beat-combos [Beatles, Stones, Kinks, The Who] and Motown and the Wrecking Crew. The song-writing was inspired by the Women of the Brill Building: Carole King, Ellie Greenwich, and Lesley Gore and Jackie de Shannon!
Laena: "American garage bands of the '60s [Sonics, Music Machine, Seeds]."
Each of you, describe your personal style in four words or less:
Laena: "Pulp fiction she-devil."
Z: "Sexy child"
Annie: "It's personal."
What are your secret style weapons?
Tennessee: "Granny glasses, saddle shoes, and small black dresses with white collars."
Laena: "Beatle boots and pea-coats."
Z: "My eye makeup and a Twiggy-ish clock purse."
Annie: "Thigh-high socks, neat hats, a trench coat, T-strap Ferragamos, and a compass necklace."
What's your best cheap score of late?
Tennessee: "Pink Sgt. Pepper dress, which belonged to a girl in a '60s girl-group and was made by her mother! I bought it for Z."
Laena: "A pure silk navy and white-striped boat-neck long-sleeve shirt for $1."
Z: "My friend got me a great child's dress from the one-dollar bin at Hidden Treasures in Topanga. The child's section of vintage stores is where I get pretty much everything."
Annie: "Authentic Navy Seal cap."
Who are your style heros?
Tennessee: "The Beatles (and their WAGs) and Jane Banks from Mary Poppins."
Laena: "Nancy Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot, and Emma Peel of the original Avengers."
Z: "Twiggy, Edie Sedgewick, and Mia Farrow."
Annie: "Emma Peel and Catherine Deneuve."
Do you have a secret store that you're willing to reveal, or a favorite neighborhood shopping spot?
Tennessee: "Yes! Everything great I own is from Ragg Mopp vintage on Sunset in Silverlake or Playclothes in Burbank! Also Legacy in New York."
Laena: "Squaresville!! It's an incredible vintage store in Los Feliz. Practically every time someone asks me where i got something, that's the spot. And also Lemon Frog in Echo park.... A teensy bit more pricey but everything is hand-picked cream of the crop vintage. Amazing boot and bag selection. GO."
Annie: "If I tell you I might have to kill you!"
Tennessee: "My saddle shoes, I have five destroyed pairs in my wardrobe."
Laena: "I have a couple amazing pieces that my mom handed down to me, and things that my grandma made with her own little hands. Those things are priceless."
Z: "Everything...I think I'm a hoarder."
Annie: "Oh yeah, too many things."
Your hair and makeup are very iconic, we'd love to get some insight into how you create your look.
Laena: "Tons of eyeliner and mascara. Tons of hairspray."
Z: "I've been wearing heavy eyemakeup every day since I was ten, so my makeup takes about ten to fifteen minutes tops these days. Gotta have a steady hand for drawing on the bottom lashes though."
Annie: "Liquid liner, hair flip."
Can you give us some hair tips...
Laena: "My secret is The Bumpit! It basically serves as an infrastructure for teased hair to go over, so you can get some serious height. Back in the day they used to put all kinds of stuff in there; my grandma in Romania used to collect her own hair from her brush to create a ball of hair to pin under there to get it real big. I use a plastic comb thing. Same difference."
Annie: "I don't use a Bumpit, I usually just throw my head over, shake it around a bit, do a bit of teasing and hope for the best!"
How 'bout some pointers on fake lashes?
Z: "I pretty much look for the longest lashes I can find. Application took me a bit to master. The key, I've realized, is to make sure you let the lashes dry for at least 30 seconds before you try to put them on, then touch them to your eye once to make the glue stickier, then apply close to the lash line."
We hear Tennessee has an alter ego...
Tennessee: "When I put aforementioned granny glasses [Charles Anastase for Linda Farrow 'Tennessee' glasses] on, Annie calls me Georgina. Georgina is very approachable and amicable. Georgina's great to have around when things get tense. She drives Z crazy!"
Annie: "Georgina is like that librarian that finally breaks down. She's slightly out of her mind, manages to distract us from what is actually going on, and her insanity always makes us smile. It's great because even when we forget to invite her she ALWAYS manages to find out where we are."
If your style were a song, what song would it be?
Tennessee: "'Dumb Head' by the Sharades."
Laena: "'These Boots Are Made For Walkin' by Nancy Sinatra."
Z: "The Beach Boys' 'Wouldn't it be Nice' or Dylan's 'Just Like a Woman.'"
Annie: "'Paint it, Black' by the Rolling Stones."
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Photos by Lauren Dukoff