Silicone Sister: Rock Hard and Die Pretty
Author: Lindsey Hawkins | Photographer: photography by anne
Every decade of American pop culture has moments of infamy and not all trends are for the faint of heart nor pure of soul. When looking back to the 80s it seems as if trends in fashion, cuisine and even music should have been forgotten and sometimes banned from history.
But honestly, how can we turn our backs on perms, rainbow bangs, Beanee Weenee’s, BBQ Beef-in-a-tub, and of course vulgar, make-up wearing rock n’ roll hair bands?
The truth is we can’t forget the eyesores that encompass our culture because they are too funny and sometimes too obscene to block from memory. If we are to face facts there are some reasons 80s bands like Van Halen, with loose tongues and over the top personalities can sell over 56 million albums and win a Grammy. Controversy and talent are two American highways to celebrity and Hilton Head Island has a band that encompasses the said ingredients that have made the notion of talented musicians in tights, a gig not to be missed.
Silicone Sister, is our local hair band who “wants people to rock hard and die pretty,” said Jani St. James.
We are talking about a band that is making a living out of being your parent’s worst nightmare, no matter if you are 16-years-old or were 16-years-old. They have a fan base from Hilton Head Island to Savannah and a tour that includes venues like Wild Wing Hilton Head, Wild Wing Bluffton and Wild Wing Savannah. Touring for four years now, the large fan base has quite the personality and dedication it takes to keep the economy afloat with eye-liner, lipstick and alcohol sales.
Some might consider Silicone Sister an eyesore but no one could deny that this local hair band is a pretty eyesore with a lot of talent and sense of sick but glamorous humor.
The five members of the band really need no introduction, but what the ****. Taime Downz, guitarist/vocals, Billy Cummings, guitar, Jani St. James, drums and vocals, Robb Foxxx, vocals and guitar, and Uli Rach, guitar and vocals, make up the five self proclaimed spandex rockin’ sex symbols of our community.
In a recent, 10:30pm parking lot dressing room, Silicone Sister had a few moments to spare and share with CH2 reader’s about who they are and what they stand for, oh and about their vision on the economy. This would be the place to move on to the next feature story if you are easily offended.
In a well researched, concise and rare interview, Silicone Sister got honest with CH2 and let us in on their emotions surrounding real-life issues such as hair, eyeliner and the importance of being really, really good-looking.
“Well, it’s passion you know. It’s like you gotta wake-up and say it’s time to make the donuts you know. You can drink all day, do whatever you gotta do to get up for the gig, but you know it’s hot, very hot under the lights and the music is not a joke to me,” said extraordinary guitarist Billy Cummings.
Cummings, whose band mates refer to as better than Van Halen had quite a lot to say about today’s youth and of course today’s beauty products.
In an exclusive peak inside Cummings make-up bag a myriad of beauty secrets were unveiled. Cummings does not leave home without his popstar, disaster gossip Hannah Montana exclusive glitter box. Although he admits it took him a while to learn how to open it, the all-in-one blush, eye shadow, shimmer bronzer has really helped him identify with rock n’roll vanity. According to Cummings, a little Wet n’ Wild eye sparkle and body glitter also proves extremely effective under intense lighting, along with #519A Wet n’ Wild red lipstick.
“So what I’ve been doing is putting a couple of dots of my lipstick on my cheeks and rubbing it in, it’s a new technique I’ve been working on that really rose-ifies my cheeks a little bit,” said Cummings.
When doing a more professional gig, Cummings prefers Remmel of London colour rush trio of eye shadow. “Lately I’ve been using a burnt sienna on the top of my eyes and using this yellowey, dark mustard color under my eyes for that sickly look,” he said. “For a while there, I was too pretty and it was a little disturbing so that’s why I was trying to get sick, you know?”
Cummings and the rest of the band were very generous in sharing their beauty regime and the majority prefers never to leave the home without Maybelline black eyeliner.
“I take my make-up bag everywhere because the most important thing for me is a good face;” said Jani St. James, “I like to keep the shine down.”
Though some of the band admits to not keeping up with a regular workout schedule due to increasing their rehearsal time, they did share with us their most feel good outfits. Many prefer their stage uniforms.
“Red rubber shorts and a white leather jacket,” said guitar and vocalist Taime Downz, “and anything endorsed by Tyra Banks.”
“I wear my [stage] outfit every night,” said Robb Foxxx, “even when we don’t play I wear it.”
“I preferably wear something thin and like spandex shorts with something that flatters my figure on top with print and short sleeves,” said Jani St. James. “It’s important not to forget my skull bandana, bracelets, dog collar and eight earrings.”
With such a focus on being fashion forward and presentable on stage and on the stage that is life itself, it’s a wonder that Silicone Sister has time to focus on the cultural diversity of their fans along with issues concerning our youth and economy today. However, with a little prying the band opened up and admitted some pretty real thoughts.
Although Jaime Downz believes there needs to be more metabolic research on their fans, Billy Cummings has the view point that fans from Hilton Head to Savannah are all really created equal.
“As far as I’m concerned they are all from Ridgeland,” commented Cummings. “I’m just thankful they all like to get out and network, then fall down and fight.”
Uli Rach, a more thorough thinker than the rest, took his time with the question and said, “Red necks on Hilton Head Island are far more high-tech with more expensive boats than the fans in Bluffton, and Savannah really is more of a cultural melting pot which makes them harder to classify.”
“I’ve actually noticed a lot more attention from New York, Canada, California and Russians,” said Jani St. James. “You can separate these fans from Bluffton fans by the amount of local drinking.”
“It really is a Bluffton state of mind,” he said.
Moving on to a more current event, Silicone Sister brought a voice of optimism concerning our current economy and had some interesting points and contributions.
“Because we have really encouraged people to be who they are, we have created three or four more generations of people who are more interested in shopping for eyeliner and spandex, which in turn truly has effected our local economy of t-shirt and bike-short sales,” said Jani St. James.
Foxxx and Rach came to the table with a more interesting dual of how our youth should ultimately affect the local economy.
“For all the youngsters, after college, don’t get a job,” Foxxx said. “Move back in with your folks and let them take care of you while you rock-out and get yourself an amplifier.”
“Then I think they need to drop the computers and play stations, get off their butts and actually do something that effects the economy, like getting a job,” Rach added.
Silicone Sister is a man’s band, a women’s band and a friend to the economy so it is often wondered, what is it about this dynamic that hit their souls and allowed them to know they could prevail and affect the lives of the community? Again the band opened up.
“When I got a Facebook page and fans started smiling while screaming ‘screw you’ at gas stations with two kids in the back seat of their car, I knew we were making an impact,” Downz said.
“I threw a drumstick at a young Russian girl at a show a while back and she cried,” St. James said. “This is when I knew.”
“My first girlfriend in first grade was like this little blond and I used to call her and play guitar and she would hang-up on me,” said Cummings. “I knew then that I was hot, pretty early on.”
Silicone Sister is controversial and talented. Because of perseverance and their raging lunatic following, they have become a mainstay for our local community. Whether they play a gig for 50 bucks or 10 thousand bucks, they keep it real. Real pretty.
“I think the message we’re tryin’ to send is that we’ve already been through every trend and every style that all the people in our audiences have been through and what we do is incredibly trite and really doesn’t effect the economy at all, cuz guess what, I just bought Lucky Jeans at Belk for $30,” said Downz.
Like they said, rock hard and die pretty.