Lori Garrote
Lori Garrote
Courtesy of Lori Garrote

Lori Garrote on Making Songs Mean Something

Even Lori Garrote's day job involves rock 'n' roll. On a recent afternoon, she juggles questions not only from New Times but also from her coworkers at the Hard Rock All-Inclusive Collection.

The onetime singer of the New and AKA is now concentrating on a solo career in a genre she dubs grunge pop. "I'm a '90s chick all the way, so I've got to have a grunge vibe to it."

Growing up in North Miami and Kendall, Garrote was a fan of L7 and Nirvana. She began writing songs at the ripe old age of 10 and picked up the guitar at 12. "I never had intentions of playing live," she says. "I was always shy. But I started playing talent shows in high school, and I started playing clubs at 19 or 20."

The accolades came quickly, including one from our sister paper, New Times Broward-Palm Beach, which named Garrote the area's Best Female Rock Vocalist in 2011. But she says it wasn't until recording her most recent EP, Subject to Change, that music really helped her. "Before, if I was having a difficult time in my life, I'd ignore the problems and focus on music. But I'd write songs about meaningless stuff. This time, I took my problems and put them in song form."

Though dealing with her issues musically might save Garrote money on therapy, there is a downside. "When I perform, I can't do it robotically. I put myself into that time of my life, which can be difficult."

But that doesn't mean the EP is four songs of kvetching. It boasts an upbeat, bubbly tempo reminiscent of bands from her favorite decade, like Veruca Salt and Juliana Hatfield. You can hear the tracks live during Garrote's 45-minute set at Will Call this Saturday, when other local acts Satori Kings, Stereotype the Masses, and Peoplewath will also perform. Alongside her drummer and her bassist, Garrote will soon hit the road on an upcoming tour. As a bonus, her performance at Will Call will also include three even-newer songs that Garrote says have "a punkier edge compared to the EP, which was more laid-back and emotional."

Lori Garrote with Peoplewath, Satori Kings, and Stereotype the Masses. 9 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Will Call Miami, 700 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305­-577-­5900; willcallmiami.com. Admission is free. Ages 21 and up.

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