Have any of you played in other bands? Yes I have “Black Room Doom”. I created “Versailles” back in 2001. I now have a more recent project about to launch in 2016 called “Oparu”.
How is it that you started playing music? I started playing as a little girl. I was mainly interested in singing from 2 years old and playing piano from about 6 years old. Before piano I always wanted to play drums. I loved to make a ton of noise my parents hated it.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? My name is Dianna St. Hilaire. I play piano, keytar, guitar and program on my computer. My most recent band members on my last CD Targets were Clare Noizee, Kim Fowley, and Severa Miles. All also my band members in the movie Black Room Doom. Kim Fowley did back up vocals and produced the “Targets Album. Clare plays the fiddle and electric guitar. Vera is the master behind programming drums and synths.
Have you had other previous members? Yes I have had many previous members over the years. Stephanie Rose, Diesel, Rod Arias, Andy Bettis, Anna Perez, Trinity.
Did you make music even when you were young? I have made music my entire life. I started writing and composing songs when I was 6.
Where are you from? I have lived all over the United States. My family is from Trinidad and Tobago. I was born in Modesto,CA.
What year did the band form? 2001
What’s your style of genre? Darkwave, synthpop, europop
What inspires you? I love to create and help others. It is my main priority and concern to change the world through music.
How often and where do you reherse? We have a studio in Los Angeles called District Studios in Vernon.
How have you developed since you started with the music? Yes with every album and every experience. It is a never ending learning experience there is always a new program a new style a new challenge.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I also enjoy walking through graveyards, traveling, acting, yoga, web design, and salsa dancing
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? I have both worked with a booking agency and booking on my own. Both I feel are acceptable ways of touring and playing shows although having a booking agent does make thing easier.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? Yes I am looking for a label. Some of the past stuff has been released on Cleopatra Records and BFM Digital.
What made you decide to make this music? My love of creation.
What are your songs about? Mostly overcoming heartache and pain. Overcoming abuse and believing in yourself.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I do.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? I always start with the music. It give the feel of the song. I can’t write lyrics to something without knowing how it feels first.
Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Usually my home. The studio seems bleak and lacks atmosphere. I tend to enjoy a lot of atmosphere when composing music.
Have you done any covers live? Yes. I have covers of NIN, The Smiths, Tori Amos, She Wants Revenge and Jane’s Addiction.
What language do you sing in? English
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? The least would have been 1 and the most 300.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Varies from teenagers to people in their 50’s and 60’s.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? If I tour I play a lot of the same songs in each show because I am in a different place every night but my sets overall always vary.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? The place I have played most often in the past was either Mr T’s Bowl in Highland Park or at 13 Below. Since then I usually change it up all the time. I never want to play shows in the same place over and over.
What was your first gig like? Scary actually but so fun that I wanted to start my own project. I was not even the main person. I was just a back up singer for a punk band in New Mexico at the time.
What was your latest gig? I played at the Complex in Los Angeles.
Have you had to cancel a gig? Not that I can remember. I had the flu really bad when I played a show in Kansas City. I really wanted to not play but I did anyway. I managed to get through 4 songs before I had to stop.
Where have you played live this year? This year has been a year of discovery for my new project. I have had countless offers to play shows this year but have turned them down to work on my new project.
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? There are a few places I will be playing with my newest Oparu Project. I just don’t want to give out the details yet.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? I started to sell merch from the beginning. I’ve always had CD’s, download cards, Records, Death Bears, stickers, buttons,mini bears and now I will also have ghosts.
Where can people buy your merchandise? Most merch is on my current Versailles Website http://versaillesband.net My Oparu merch will not be available until next year @ http://oparumusic.com
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? I think because I grew up buying records it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of not having something to look at while listening. I think that from an artist standpoint we live off our art and the internet makes it harder for us to survive. Not because people don’t pay for the music but because the amount of money for each song or album is so much less because it is just digital and holds no real monetary value to anyone.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Yes things have changed so much. Now practically anyone who has a computer can make music. If you have any skill in recording you don’t even need to go to a studio. If you only use a computer you may not even need to learn how to play an instrument. So it effects the music industry a lot. I know piano tuners who are out of jobs because no one plays piano’s anymore. Many producers, engineers and recording studios have lost business. On the other hand music is now much more accessible to the public so people can actually get a chance to hear what you have to say, although with all the noise on the internet it’s hard to get your message through.
What do you think of my work? I think that what you do in the industry is very important. Interviews help people to understand what is really going on in an artists head and what they really hope to achieve and what their message to world is. Without interviewers and bloggers and music promoters no one would ever get the attention that they deserve.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Any publicity is good publicity. If someone sees this interview on your page it’s just one more person, who hearts and minds my music can effect.
Do you have any role models or idols? Tori Amos has always been my main influence along with Robert Smith. I know they are older artists now but I grew up with them. The Cure will always hold a place in my heart and I still have over 60 of their albums.
Why do you think that they exist? They existed to inspire people and to help people and that is too why I exist.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I don’t think age is a preference. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about who you connect with. I love bands like Zola Jesus, The New Division, Active Child, Lykke Li, Pretty Lights, Mt. Eden etc. I get inspiration from all these bands as well.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Surviving. Simply put. Surviving as an artist is one of the hardest things. If your not well off or have a strong support group it can be very difficult. I realize everyone struggles with surviving, but when you do art literally all your income goes back into your art leaving with you barely pulling together your rent. I’ve slept on floors, couches, benches when I was homeless and now I am lucky enough to have a place to rest my head.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Never stop, you never know when things will take off. You never know who you will meet that will simply change your life. Also I never realized how much of an effect my music had on so many people and you have that ability so use it wisely. Help others and make the world a better brighter place for them.
How do you get psyched for a gig? There is no psyching necessary. I love to play. That’s all I need and once I’m on stage I love it.
Do you have any new material? My most recent album Targets was released in 2013. Right now my new material will be released under Oparu but won’t be launching until 2016.
What are your web sites?
How can people reach you? I am always checking my emails. Through the contact forms on my websites will get ahold of me right away or through FB.
What are your plans for the future? Currently to release my Oparu project is the most important thing.
Do you have something to add? Don’t wait or be scared to do something. Live in the now and do what you love.