LG, guitarist and singer of Thelma and the Sleaze, has three goals every time her rock band hits the stage. "I want people to get turned on as a sexual experience. I want people to be a little frightened wondering if I'm going to hit them. And I want people after the show to go home and want to play their guitar to make rock 'n' roll to share with the world."
She first wanted to make rock music when she was 8 years old and saw her granddad playing Hank Williams songs. "He gave me my first guitar. I wrote songs right away using the guitar as a percussion instrument. My first song was about Scooby-Doo." That obsession with pop culture continued after LG moved to Nashville and named her band with a pun in honor of one of her favorite films, 1991's Thelma & Louise.
"When we started out, we wanted to sound like a monster truck in a thunderstorm," LG says. The band's influences were initially Black Sabbath and Cream. They wanted to get as big a sound as they could out of only three people. LG had an unlikely vocal influence: Rod Stewart. "I'm still finding my voice. As much as I love Janis Joplin, I knew most times when white women sing the blues, it doesn't sound the best. It's not in our wheelhouse, but we can try."
Thelma and the Sleaze's newest album, 2017's Somebody's Doin Somethin, marked a transition. They were more influenced by Motown girl groups than British blues-rock. "We got an offer to do a record with [Eagles of Death Metal guitarist] Dave Catching. I had three months to write the whole thing. I tried to write songs that were examples of my favorite music, and we had more money to pay for background vocals."
LG seems to have mixed feelings about that album but sounds genuinely excited about the band's newest batch of songs, which will be pressed under the title Bras and Blazers. Before listening, though, LG recommends newbies begin with the EP Heart Like a Fist. "I love those songs. They have a consistent thought. It's a good segue from how we started out thrashing into having arrangement with actual thought behind the chords."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
It's not a coincidence that Thelma and the Sleaze will play two South Florida shows, at Voltaire in West Palm Beach this Friday and Las Rosas in Miami Saturday. They also asked for three days off during their tour of Miami. "I love it. I can get a Cuban breakfast and overhear people speaking five different languages," LG says.
Enjoying the tropical weather with her will be a four-member-strong version of Thelma and the Sleaze, capable of bringing the noise and vibe LG has always wanted. "The new members are ready to party. They love rock 'n' roll as much as me. We all think rock 'n' roll is the most pure form of art to express your emotions and change people's minds."
10 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; lasrosasbar.com; 786-780-2700. Admission is free.