Liara Roux is a sex worker and political organiser who writes regularly on sex worker’s rights. Roux has now released a memoir called Whore of New York: A Confession (Repeater Books).
Hear here radionotes’ conversation with Liara about music and more…
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IMAGE CREDIT: Supplied
Was introduced to Roux’ activism by Grace Bellevue who was a leading light to getting changes in laws for workers, but also was an amazing writer and generous warm human.
We never got ’round to recording a chat about music, but across many years of my Sunday night ‘new music’ show would often suggest tunes to spin and each one added something unique – often hip-hop inspired – to my programs.
SHOW NOTES: Liara Roux author of Whore of New York
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Sci-Fi Comic Book (adult concepts): Adventures of Liara Roux
Feature Guest: Liara Roux
- Official Site
- Whore of New York – A Confession (Out thru Repeater Books)
- Penguin Random House – Released 12th October 2021
- Highway to Hell – ACDC (Official Music Video)
- My Immortal by Evanescence – Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler – Fly Me To The Moon done by Frank Sinatra
- Reich Richter Part – The Shed, 2019
- Corwin Prescott (Official Site)
- Penguin Australia – Pre-Orders for 1st Feb 2022 release
Next Feature Guest: Jump Daddy from Dad To Me
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Voice: Tammy Weller
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TRANSCRIPT: Liara Roux
First version provided by REV team member Anza M – check to audio before quoting wider
John Murch: G’day and welcome to radionotes, where those in music talk life, those in life chat music and more.
I’m John Murch, producer and host. Today’s episode will contain some adult concepts and themes. Our guest is a sex worker and political organiser living in New York City, writer of a semi-fictional comic called Adventures of Liara Roux, articles about sex workers’ rights and responsible for a super engaging Substack as well, where I learned our guest has danced cheek to cheek with Justin Bieber and received expletive laden fashion critique from no less than the Australian Masked Singer judge, Lindsay Lohan. Produces and stars in porn, and in the words of their bio, “Generally, up to no good.”
A memoir called, Whore of New York: A Confession, has been released. Published by Repeater Books, distributed globally by Penguin Random House, and will be out in Australia through Penguin in February of 2022. Liara Roux, welcome to radionotes.
Liara Roux: Thank you so much for having me.
John Murch: The piano, you did it for a couple of years in the younger years, what was the catalyst for you to do the piano? Who made you do it or were you interested in doing the piano?
Liara Roux: It’s a sort of funny thing right at first, I really begged my parents to let me take piano lessons because I thought it was really beautiful. And then once I started taking piano, it became this super serious thing and it was no longer fun anymore where they’re like, “You have to practise for an hour every day and do these recitals and everything,” and I really just wanted to play to make music for myself and my friends, and I didn’t want it to be this high pressure thing. And so after that, I kind of lost interest in piano, but then in middle and high school, I started playing viola and that was a lot more fun. I really liked being a part of an orchestra.
John Murch: I was very curious about that, because my understanding from the reading in the book was you had to choose between flute or violin is what I read.
Liara Roux: Yeah.
John Murch: But viola won out, did it?
Liara Roux: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I feel viola players are pretty chill usually, so that’s, I think why I ended up with it. I didn’t want to be stuck with all those super type A violin players, especially, I think the school I was going to, there were people who… I think some of the people who went to my school are now on track to become professional violin players and fancy orchestras, so that was just not really… I didn’t really want to be in competition with them.
John Murch: Later on we will talk about the virtuous, a word I’ve never been able to say, so I’m just going to get it wrong and get it right hopefully later on. Before I do that, what was the intrigue of the harp? Was it the religious background?
Liara Roux: I think it’s just really beautiful. I mean the piano at the end of the day is also really a string instrument too and –
John Murch: Although it’s also a percussion… Sorry, I interrupted. It’s also a percussion instrument as well.
Liara Roux: Oh, yeah. Yeah, no, it’s true. I guess that’s the eternal debate with the piano. But yeah, the harp, I think, is really super beautiful. It’s not the most practical instrument though, I would say, just because of its size and everything else. I just really like the sound it makes.
John Murch: I mentioned about the religious upbringing and the reason why I mentioned that also was in terms of music, was there music in the religion for which the parents were part of?
Liara Roux: Oh yeah, definitely. We went to a very Protestant church, there was a lot of the typical hymns, it was very traditional like, Amazing Grace or whatever. A lot of the very British hymns, I would say. And yeah, I wasn’t really allowed to listen to anything else. My dad would put on the rock and roll station when we were in the car sometimes and he’s like, “Don’t tell your mom,” because it would have these lyrics that were all about all kinds of things that God would probably frown upon. Maybe not Jesus, but definitely God. My dad was really into ACDC or… What was some other stuff? Like Led Zeppelin-
John Murch: Oh, are just playing to a local crowd now with the AC/DC? So I’m talking to Australia, just drop the Accadacca.
Liara Roux: Is AC/DC very popular in Australia?
John Murch: Just slightly, yeah. Yeah.
Liara Roux: It was always Highway to Hell blasting. Apparently, he got in trouble in college for playing Highway to Hell a little too loud, and that’s how he got involved in his local Christian club. Which I guess ended up me being raised super Christian, is because I think one of the roommates or one of the building mates heard Highway to Hell and was like, “I’m praying for you.”
John Murch: I want to ask about learning about hip movements because it was possibly… Oh no, I’ll get back to that later, because I’m thinking there was someone who taught you hip movements and how to move your hips to the music and I’m trying to remember who that was.
Liara Roux: Oh, yeah. It was my-
John Murch: Natalie.
Liara Roux: … My Dominican friends. Her name is Natalie-
John Murch: So Natalie in the book played pop music for you to dance to, to explain how to be sexy with the waist area.
Liara Roux: Oh yeah, that. Oh, yeah. That was definitely a moment.
John Murch: Was that your first experience of understanding that music could have some sense of sensuality to it? When was that?
Liara Roux: I think I always knew, especially because my mom was so against it.
John Murch: Both your parents were engineers, which I think is important to mention as well, because I have a very soft spot in your storyline regarding that of tech, because I’m going to ask you some questions later on regarding tech music and where music might be going because of our affinity with tech.
Liara Roux: Oh, yeah.
John Murch: But talk to me about that time in your life, as much or as little as you want, in terms of how tech shaped who you became right through to a sex worker, but particularly through those maturing years?
Liara Roux: Yeah, I mean it was definitely a portal in a way to other things. My parents taught me pretty early on how to use a computer back when accessing the internet was maybe not as easy and seamless as it is now. You know? You kind of had to know where to go, what look for. It wasn’t as easy to find things as it is now. The cool thing about the internet back then is a lot of the stuff online was created by people who were really dedicated to a particular subject. I feel like because we all access so much of the web through Google now or through social media, often what rises to the top is this sort of clickbaity or SEO optimised content that just sort of skims the surface and doesn’t…
Liara Roux: Like, you would go on these old websites and it would have just all this crazy detailed information really well researched and thought out, because the person wasn’t really putting this stuff out there to make money off of ads, although some of them were. They were really putting it out there because they were just a fan and just obsessed, really wanted to make sure the information was accessible to other people. So I ended up learning a lot about music through the internet, reading on these different websites. I was really into classical music because that’s really what my parents let me listen to, so I would read all about these different composers and music theory, all that fun stuff. And yeah, I feel really lucky that I got to dig into all of that.
John Murch: Was there a sense also with the classical music that it gave you a sense of structure, a sense of discovery within that structure of music?
Liara Roux: Are you saying because classical music is so structured or because…
John Murch: Because it has a narrative that is structured. So yes, it is structured, but there is a story in the way that it rolls out more than maybe some other genres of music.
Liara Roux: Yeah, and I think it was also what I was learning in school, and so it was just really easy for me to connect with it. I think anytime you get to play music, you really start to think about the structure, the different harmonies, how everything fits together, because there is so much that has been written about the structure of classical music. It was just this really cool thing to at first just play it or listen to it and find it really beautiful, but not understand why. And then, as I would read more and more online to really start to make sense of why it sounded beautiful and why it was so fascinating and interesting.
John Murch: There’s also that sense of fandom as well, because as you’re saying about that passion back then, there just seems to be a less of a sense of fandom for music these days, I guess, because it’s so easily accessible and there’s not that time to sit with it as much. Maybe this vinyl revolution is changing that. Did you get that sense through your process of being on the computer, reading those forums, that there was a sense of fandom, may it be for classical or other genres of music at the time?
Liara Roux: Yeah. Yeah, there were definitely… I think the first time I really experienced… So I feel the people who are really into classical music was almost like academic interest, less of a fandom. I mean, I guess academic interest could be just an advanced form of fandom, really at the end of the day.
John Murch: If you reading books, it can be. Yeah.
Liara Roux: I don’t know if you’re familiar with the website 4Chan? It’s sort of notorious now for all hell hole-
John Murch: It’s a little darker these days?
Liara Roux: It was always pretty dark.
John Murch: Okay.
Liara Roux: But there used to be more fun stuff as well. And there were multiple boards on it and one of them was a place where people would talk about music, and that’s really where I started learning more about electronic music like Aphex Twin and all these other people that were very popular online. I think I was really drawn to that type of electronic music, especially because it did have that sort of structured quality in a lot of ways that classical music also had. I think there are a lot of weird synth guys that have the classical music background and then just end up making it on their computer instead of… They’re not able to afford or have access to making these compositions for orchestras, so.
John Murch: Can I ask you, recently, if I’ve read correctly, you were actually to the small hours of the morning playing around with a synth with a mate. Can you talk to me about that feeling and that experience that actually being engaged with the instrument, with the synth, gave you recently?
Liara Roux: It was a lot of fun. When I moved away from New York and moved to San Francisco, the music scene in San Francisco is really just not in the same place. I feel like people in San Francisco… I mean, I’ve never been to Burning Man, so I don’t know how fun it is or isn’t, but it’s not necessarily the type of music that I like and I feel people don’t listen to music in the same way that I like to listen to it, which is this very critical… Like I get really sucked into it and really want to appreciate all the different layers and everything.
Liara Roux: It was definitely hard being in a place too, where everyone had to go home at 2:00 AM, there was no parties that were at out until 7:00 AM, the sun is rising and you’ve just been out dancing all night, listening to something completely crazy and new. I went through this period where I just wasn’t really listening to music for a few years, really. I was definitely pretty depressed and I think part of it was because I didn’t have these shows to go out to, and then moving back to New York, and then also just spending more time in LA where there are a lot of really cool people making cool stuff, I would say.
John Murch: I want people to stop and pause when they read your book regarding that exact line that you said, “I stopped listening to music, it didn’t move me anymore.” Something more positive, in the book, Amonie in LA was listening to music endlessly, can you describe to me what music reminds you of LA and maybe particularly that time in your life?
Liara Roux: Oh, man. I mean, I really loved her because… I always tell people that I’ll listen to just about anything and I feel like people are always like, “Oh, ha ha, whatever. Do you listen to this weird, f**ked up noise stuff? Would you enjoy that?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I would.” But I feel like she was really the same way where it was like, I think both of us are not opposed to some masochistic music appreciation moments where it’s like most people are not going to go to a noise show because they enjoy it, they’re going to go because their friend is playing and they want their friends to go when they’re playing a noise show.
Liara Roux: But she genuinely loved it and yeah, she was always listening to something new and weird. There was one time actually, we were driving somewhere together and she put on this very obscure song that I had found recently and I was like, “Oh, I must have sent this to you,” and she was like, “No, you didn’t, I found this myself.” But it was the type of thing where it had maybe 500 listens on Spotify or whatever and it was just not… And I was just like, “How did you come across…”
Liara Roux: Yeah, she would just download stuff. She was very like… Not super old school, but sort of like the LimeWire type of old school where she would just download stuff.
John Murch: Could be a passing mention, but the raves in Brooklyn warehouses while you’re in fashion. You actually have had a bit of a career in fashion, it’s still a passion of yours as well, I believe. What is a club in a Meatpacking District?
Liara Roux: Oh, yes. So the Meatpacking District in New York, it’s historically, there was these meat factories there, now, it’s these big clubs. It’s like where the Saudi prince types will go out and… Yeah, there’s a bunch of funny stories of people who would blow a million dollars or something buying drinks for everyone in the club in one night.
John Murch: I believe you do karaoke, what is your go-
Liara Roux: Oh yeah, I love karaoke.
John Murch: So what is your go to song?
Liara Roux: Oh man, so I have a playlist of 30 different songs that I have saved. It depends on the mood. You know? I feel like a really great karaoke song if people are down for something very dramatic is, My Immortal by Evanescence, that’s a really fun one. Usually a crowd pleaser especially if there were people who are a little emo. Total Eclipse of the Heart is also great, very dramatic, but you got to make sure people are going to know it, because not everyone is familiar these days with the classics.
John Murch: Does that song change from country to country, because you do get flown around the world globally?
Liara Roux: I guess in Japan, I like doing that Frank Sinatra song, Fly Me To The Moon. Or I think it’s a jazz standard, but Frank Sinatra’s famous for his rendition of it.
John Murch: In your day job, you obviously get the chance to go and see a lot of great concerts I would think and some of them high brows, some of them maybe low brow, and I just wonder what has been, as a sex worker, so in your professional life, what’s been your favourite concert?
Liara Roux: So I got to see the Gerhard Richter… Part, like a collaboration between the painter and the composer. I think there were two different composers for that show, but I’m forgetting the name of the second. But it was really beautiful, it was at The Shed, which is this museum/performance arts space in New York. It had just opened a month before and it was just really amazing. They did a really good job of marrying the visual art, which was sort of like the type of installation where during the day the art was just up and then during certain times of day they had singers come out, and then the second part was an orchestra played music along to a video. But the first part was really cool because it was just a normal gallery space and we were all kind of there like, “Oh, when is the music going to happen?” And then people who are dressed to look like regular museum goers, all started singing and then moving through the crowd and it was this really beautiful performance.
John Murch: How important is music and movement as a combination in your life?
Liara Roux: Definitely really important. I think if I’m not getting out there and dancing, there’s usually something wrong. Yeah. I feel like it’s such a nice way to connect with people and it’s very cathartic. You know? It’s a good way to shake stuff out.
John Murch: I did sort of jest in a way regarding the Justin Bieber, a lot of people will focus on that, but what I wanted to know was, in your line of work, there’s a lot of empathy and a lot of understanding of human behaviour and body language in those aspects of life, not Justin specifically, but do musicians have a different vibe when you’re near them, around them, intimate even with them? Are musicians different in some way, those that do it professionally I mean?
Liara Roux: So I think there are a lot of different professions where people approach sex in different ways. And I think doctors are an interesting example, because they often have this very weird attitude during sex and I think it’s because they are used to looking at bodies as these medical objects professionally, and so that’s sort of shaped the way that they engage in sex, which I find really cool. But yeah, musicians, I think… So I like to say that musicians, writers and artists are all professional manipulators, right? It’s your job to make people feel something and obviously that’s very beautiful, often you’re giving people these really wonderful emotions.
Liara Roux: I do think that can also play out in relationships and obviously sometimes it can be this toxic thing where people are just trying to get what they want out of a situation. But I do think manipulation can be fun as well and I think… I actually wrote about this, you probably read it in my Substack, but I think musicians can be very good at… You know, especially if they do a lot of live performance or have been involved in dance in some way too, it’s like getting good at timing and rhythm, sort of reading the energy of other people and seeing what will be good when. It translates really well to having sex, so.
John Murch: It’s what you say about music being like computers chess, it’s the complex systems of music. Could you just enlighten us a little or as much as you’d like regarding that. What is it about music being like a computer, like a game of chess?
Liara Roux: I think it’s because there’s this system and it’s like… Obviously, there is the very Western system of music, Western tonality and everything. And then there’s a bunch of other music traditions too, which have totally different tonalities, which can be really mind blowing when you first listen to them. It can be very mathematical. You know? And I think since stuff, especially because it’s all about circuitry and everything, it’s really not that far separated from computers. I think, especially because so many people are making music on their computers these days, you really get to look at the sine waves and see what the music looks like.
Liara Roux: A lot of people it’s like, you can score something out and listen to it played back really easily so you get this visual feedback of what the music sounds like. Figuring out that system, figuring out how to reference all these different traditions, all these different rhythms, how to meld them all together, it’s a really beautiful art form. It’s like with chess, you can have all these different approaches, there’s all these different strategies, all these different openings you might have to memorise. But at the end of the day, it’s like, you can have this knowledge, but if you don’t have this sort of intuitive understanding of how it works, you’re just not really going to be able to play at the end of the day.
John Murch: Without the-
Liara Roux: Or play beautifully.
John Murch: … Without the language, you can’t have the story kind of aspect of it.
Liara Roux: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John Murch: People seem to have bonking playlists, their sexy songs, what songs should be on a sensual, sexy playlist? As a sex worker, what song should actually be on that playlist? And of course it’s not Closer by Nine Inch Nails, we know that.
Liara Roux: I actually really love Closer by Nine Inch Nails. Someone once asked on my Instagram, they were like, “Oh, f**k, marry, kill.” I ended up saying, marry Trent Reznor, and people were really upset. They were like, “Maybe that’s the one you should f**k, but don’t marry. Like come on.” I was like, “Well, I’d rather be married to the person who wrote Closer than the person who wrote Creep.”
John Murch: Makes absolute sense. So back to the question, what song should be on that playlist?
Liara Roux: I don’t have a playlist like that and that I think… Yeah. I don’t know. I think people often expected me to have a playlist when they would come to see me. I just like for it to be quiet. Or if someone else has music they really like, then I’m all about that, I’m sort of into whatever. But as far as something I specifically like to listen to, I just want it to be quiet. Yeah, so I can hear the other person.
John Murch: There’s much other musical delights that can be had in such times. You state in the book, “I started enjoying listening to music for the first time,” and this was a mix tape that was given to you by Ava. Ava gave you a mix tape of indie rock tunes and you stated, “I started enjoying listening to music for the first time.” Which artists and/or tunes made a showing on that tape?
Liara Roux: Oh, man. So there’s a lot of like… Let me see. I think there was Death Cab for Cutie, Metric. You know, all the sort of indie rock. I know I have the tracklist saved somewhere, I was thinking about remaking it again in my Spotify just be able to listen to it. You know, obviously that stuff was very popular back then, but it was not really the type of thing that people at my school were listening to. And as much as I loved classical music, it was not really the type of stuff that I would put on repeat and want to sing along to super emo. You know? So it was like a very different-
John Murch: Is that what we’re getting, that high school was super emo? Is that what we’re picking up here?
Liara Roux: Oh man, isn’t it for everyone? I guess maybe not for everyone. I actually did not really dress an emo kid or anything. I had a lot of friends that were goth or scene kids. I feel like scene kids are descended from goth and emo and all that.
John Murch: What endorphins were then being kicked off by listening to this mix tape then, if this was when you started enjoying listening to music?
Liara Roux: Just that there were weirdos like me out there. You know? I always sort of knew that, but I think my parents had done so much work to keep me shielded from anything that it didn’t feel like it was something that would ever really be accessible to me. But I think, around that time, I was starting to realise that there were all weirdos out there and maybe we could be friends.
John Murch: We’re currently in conversation with the author of Whore of New York: A Confession, published by Repeater Books. Liara, what do you think music of the future will sound like, particularly since we’re so into technology nowadays?
Liara Roux: So the person who designed the Spotify algorithm is actually a friend of a friend. It’s interesting to hear people talk about it. I was reading some article where musicians were talking about how they felt about it and some people are obviously upset, they think that it’s making music more generic, it’s all the same. But I mean, those are complaints we’ve been getting about record labels also since probably forever, as long as record labels have been around.
John Murch: Decca Records were there going, “I don’t know, Mozart, what’s going on?”
Liara Roux: Yeah, probably also whoever curated the operas, they’re like, “Oh, you guys just want this mainstream operas that will appeal to the unwashed masses.” So I think one of the coolest things about the Spotify algorithm is that you can go online and you can look at all of these really cool details about basically any piece of music now and you can see what key it’s in, the tempo, how it’s been classified, something you can dance to, whether it’s not danceable, time signature and everything.
Liara Roux: I think it’s making it a lot easier for people to learn about music. If they want it, that information is all there. You know, I think obviously there is a problem right now where musicians are not being paid equitably and I think deserve to be earning a lot more from the streaming than they are right now, because a lot of that money is just going all the way to the top and not going to the people that are actually creating what people are ultimately paying for, which is music. If no musicians were on there, Spotify wouldn’t be making any money… Or maybe they would somehow, I don’t know.
John Murch: The sex industry previously and the army when it comes to technology, these kind of industries and sectors have actually developed ways of doing things into the future. So within the sex work industry, are there ways and methods for how they’ve looked at their production and dissemination of work that could work for musicians into the future?
Liara Roux: So sex work is really interesting to look at, because sex workers actually really can’t access the most up to date technology right now. Most payment processors or even just really basic website technology, if it’s not open sourced and they can ban you, usually they will. And unfortunately, sex workers’ content is pirated at a really crazy rate and places like PornHub and these other sites are able to get away with it a little more because the courts are way less friendly to copyright claims made by sex workers, so they’re just a lot more likely to dismiss it or not take it seriously. Or the sex workers might not even have enough money to hire legal help to get the take downs issued in the first place. In a lot of ways, I think sex work is a really grim look at what could happen to the music industry if they don’t start paying people well.
Liara Roux: And I think porn people especially used to be paid a lot more. OnlyFans has changed that somewhat, but I do think if you just look at how porn performers used to be paid and it was for these long movies… Sometimes people would be paid millions of dollars to be in one of these movies and nowadays that’s unthinkable. People can make really good money on their OnlyFans, but I think it’s… At the end of the day, it is nice to have the support of a production studio to be able to just show up, get your paycheck and go home. Not everyone wants to be a business owner.
Liara Roux: At the end of the day, there’s a lot of musicians who just want to focus on making music, they want to make money, obviously they don’t want to get ripped off, and so they should know enough about how the industry works to avoid that, but I really don’t think every creative person should have to be so concerned about social media, and branding, and running their own stuff, making their own merch. I think obviously it’s great in some ways that more people are able to make music and get it out there, but I do think record labels are often failing the people that they represent by not giving them space and budget to really make this stuff. And obviously, a part of that is because they’re not getting the same amount of money they used to make from record sales.
Liara Roux: I think for some musicians, they might prefer that model where they’re really good at cultivating their fandoms, they’re really good at interfacing with people. But I think you’re already starting to see it in music already where a lot of the people who are really successful are not people that are necessarily making the most innovative or beautiful music, it’s people that are really good at working social media, at cultivating their fan base, selling merch, that’s often how people are really making their money.
John Murch: Well, tell me about there about marketing and branding, and branding in particular, and maybe a singer/songwriter wants to show a bit of flesh as part of that marketing. That’s them, that’s what they want to do, that’s how they’re going to portray themselves. My understanding is that if they decide to market themselves as female, they will actually be shadow banned, I think is the word that’s used, or censored is I guess what I’d use in layman’s terms, where if they say that they are male, then they don’t get shadow banned or censored as much on some platform.
Liara Roux: Oh, yeah. It was really funny. My Instagram is definitely shadow banned, they’re not even letting me go live right now, which is really frustrating, because I’m trying to promote my book. But yeah, there was this one period where I was very, very shadow banned and my friend was like, “Oh, it’s easy to get out of that. Just switch your gender to male.” And then, the amount of likes I was getting I think tripled or maybe even quadrupled immediately. I was just like, “Oh, is this what it’s like to be a man on social media?”
John Murch: Yeah, because I think you use the example of, I think I’ll get his name wrong but Corwin Prescott, who is a fantastic photographer. I think he’s great, he’s artistic, but it’s nudes, it’s T’n’A, but he doesn’t get shadow banned was my understanding.
Liara Roux: I would have to check in with him about that.
Liara Roux: I think at the time that I was talking with him… Yeah, he wasn’t. And it’s one of those things where I love his work, I don’t think it should be shadow banned because it’s beautiful. I do think people, if they want to not see nudity, they should be able to have that as a setting of course, just as people should be able to filter anything in their timelines that is too upsetting for them to see. But yeah, it’s just frustrating that photographers and men are able to get away with posting things that women simply will get their accounts banned for.
John Murch: What merchandise or alternatives in the future could keep musicians afloat, do you think? In your professional opinion, working with branding, working with selling image successfully, what do bands and musicians need to look for in the future as maybe a selling point?
Liara Roux: You know, T-shirts are always a fan favourite and I think those are going to be something that sticks around for a really long time. But I think figuring out cool little things for people to get their hands on. You know, limited edition things like little… I feel like I don’t see many musicians putting out little books where it’s photos and maybe some of their emails and all the writing-
John Murch: Like a fanzine like they used to?
Liara Roux: Exactly.
John Murch: Because obviously the Riot Grrrls used to do a lot of that.
Liara Roux: Yeah, and I think those were really amazing and I think there’s a lot of people who buy zines or books on the internet and photographers will sell them. But I think more musicians should really be doing stuff like that, because people love having something tangible that they can hold. And people who might not spend money on something that’s purely digital will often be super happy to throw down some bucks for something that they can put on their coffee table or flip through. You know, for a while eBooks were really set to push paperbacks out of the market completely, but these days hard covers and paperbacks are selling much better than they were for a bit, and I think that’s because people are sort of remembering, they’re like, “Oh, it is just really nice to hold a book and be able to take notes.”
Liara Roux: You know, obviously a Kindle or other e-reader has its benefits, really easy to travel around with a bunch of different books, but at the end of the day, a book is something that Amazon can’t come into your house and take the book off your shelf, can’t erase your notes. You know? I think people are realising like, “Oh, this digital stuff, it’s like if Amazon has a bug or something or I accidentally delete something, it can be gone forever.” Or accidentally burn your book somehow, you can lose it forever, but it’s a lot…
John Murch: And it’s also the legacy thing as well, actually having a body of work that you can actually pass on through the generations.
Liara Roux: Yeah.
John Murch: Well, which brings me to… How can I word this without giving away the ending? Maybe I won’t, I just won’t ask about it. I guess, I’ll ask about it in vague terms and then people who read the book go, “Oh, that’s what he was talking about. Okay, fair enough.” How those that have brought you up can change over the years like a maturing string instrument. Can that happen, Liara, can people change to a point?
Liara Roux: I’ve definitely had friends who… You know? Or people or the people that raised them, at first it was this really terrible relationship, but I think growth happening on both parts can obviously help a lot. Therapy is great, but also just sometimes people just change, sometimes people get into AA or they do whatever work needs to be done, and that’s one of the cool things about being alive is that sometimes people just do these crazy radical things and then are a totally different person.
John Murch: How has your music taste changed from that first time you were given… Or from the first time you’re dancing to the mix tape to now, how has that music taste changed and how has it changed you?
Liara Roux: I think my music taste has really just gotten more broad and more accepting, I think. I think I used to be more worried about what the music I was listening to said about me and I would sort of try to curate… I wouldn’t even necessarily care what the people around me thought of me for listening to certain music, I didn’t really care too much about that, but I wanted to have this certain idea of who I was and listening to any sort of pop music was very counter to that. Like no Britney Spears, no whatever, and now I listen to old Britney Spears and I’m like, “This is great.” You know? A lot of this stuff it’s like, it is really cool and obviously it’s very different from classical music or weird electronica stuff, but if I enjoy listening to it, I shouldn’t deny myself listening to it just because I think it’s not worthy of being listened to.
John Murch: I’m still deeply intrigued whether or not you would or have released music of your own?
Liara Roux: Oh, I’m working on it. I’ll send you a sample of what I’ve been working on with my friend after if you’d like?
John Murch: Yeah. Liara, thank you very much for joining radionotes. It’s been a pleasure.
Liara Roux: Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure talking to you.
John Murch: Liara’s brand new book out now is called, Whore of New York: A Confession, out through Repeater Books.