AE: The promos for the show seem to portray a rivalry between the lesbians of LA and the lesbians of NY. Having interacted with the other cast members or having lived on both coasts, are the lesbians on the east coast and west coast really that different from each other, or it that all hype?
Kiyomi: I don’t think it comes down to personalities being so different. There is definitely a difference in mentality between Los Angeles and New York. It comes down to more of a lifestyle thing. In LA you’re kind of a little more laid back and in New York, people are a little more high strung, and I think a little more work driven and work obsessed. In LA people have a more relaxed attitude about life.
Lauren: This is the most asked question about the show — the difference between New York and LA lesbians. But what I think what it comes down to is that they are two great cities that have so many different areas and neighborhoods so it is hard to characterize the lesbians in each city. In New York City you have the Manhattan lesbians and the Brooklyn lesbians. In LA, there are so many different areas as well. There aren’t any generalizations you can make, physically speaking at least. But yeah, there is a different lifestyle in that people in New York work more, they’re more driven, and in LA, people are more relaxed.
Amanda: Well there are a lot more femmes in LA, and there’s definitely a lot more colors in their wardrobe!
AE: Lauren, when did you start designing jewelry?
Lauren: Well I started designing jewelry around two years ago, and prior to that I didn’t think that was what I was going to be doing, but like the show, everything just kind of snowballed into this thing, and I was like, “Whoa, I have a knack for this.” So the company launched around a year ago, and it’s crazy what has happened in just a year. Before I started my line, I worked for other jewelry companies, in publishing and finance as well. But designing jewelry is my passion.
AE: So where can we buy your jewelry?
Lauren: On my website, lyonfinejewelry.com and my jewelry will also be sold at the Kiki de Montparnasse stores — they are a specialty store, and it is so phenomenal and unique. They have jewelry and lingerie and really high end stuff that is gorgeous. They’re in New York, LA, and Las Vegas. My jewelry will be there soon. And my bracelets will also be sold in Williamsburg at Simple Café.
AE: Oh Simple Café? I love that place! Their brunch is amazing. They are going to be selling jewelry? I thought it was a restaurant.
Lauren: They are building a little shop in the restaurant, and they will be selling my bracelets there.
AE: So Lauren is a jewelry designer and Kiyomi fronts a band. Amanda, what do you do for a living?
Amanda: I do brand development with artists, and I am also an events coordinator and publicist.
AE: So did you move to LA for a job, or just a change in scenery?
Amanda: I can do my job pretty much anywhere, so it doesn’t really matter where I live. I just wanted to switch it up a little.
AE: Kiyomi, I first met you two years ago in May of 2010 when Hunter Valentine was trying to break the world record of most gigs in a day. Since then, what developments have happened in the world of Hunter Valentine?
Kiyomi: Well we parted ways with our old bass player, and we started playing with a native New Yorker, Veronica “Vero” Sanchez. We were touring as a three piece for a year, touring with a lot of great all girl bands like Sick of Sarah and Vanity Theft, and we started working on our new record. When we started working on our record, we invited Somer [Bingham], another local Brooklyn musician to work with us and play on this record. She’s been added to the band as the fourth member, and she plays keys and guitar. We’ve been playing shows with her, and it’s been pretty good so far.
AE: How did you meet the new members of the band?
Kiyomi: I met Veronica, because she works at a bar called the Metropolitan. I go there almost every Wednesday for girl night, and you always chat with your bartender. She has always been a sweet, interesting person, and when we lost our bass player, Veronica told me that she has always wanted to play bass in a band, because she is a singer songwriter, and a bell went off in my brain. Then she auditioned and it worked out great.