The rock star’s “mystery” fuels Jessamyn Violet’s new novel and concert tour – Orange County Register

In her debut book, Secret Rules to Being a Rockstar, Venice Beach-based musician and author Jessamyn Violet examines art, music and queer identity through the eyes of Kyla Bell, a quirky teenage keyboard player who broke into the ’90s Los Angeles rock scene years submerged.

The rock novel, which will be released on Tuesday, April 18th, is about a young woman who tries to find out who she is while chasing her dreams. Opportunities present themselves when Bell is spotted at a local show by a famous band and asked to perform with them. Instead of taking a full scholarship to college in her hometown, she puts it all behind and seeks fame.

Similarly, Violet grew up as a musician with a queer identity. She said that she and Bell share many of the same traits, but Bell is stronger in them, she claims, something Violet mentioned was “a trait I wish I had at the time.”

Violet plays drums in instrumental psychedelic rock band Movie Club, who are on their Reading Rocking Rainbow Tour later this month. The outing combines Violet’s passion for reading and music, as the outing combines book discussions with talks about culture, music in the ’90s, and live performances with other local artists and writers.

The tour begins April 18 in West Hollywood with back-to-back events. Violet will be at Book Soup at 7 p.m. to talk about the novel with comedian and writer Jacob Givens. Immediately afterwards, she will reunite with guitarist Vince Cuneo at The Viper Room to perform with Movie Club. The show starts at 9pm and also features Ohh La La and KCRW DJ Tyler Boudreaux.

“This tour with the book band was a lifelong dream,” she said in a recent phone interview. “I think it’s so exciting to break up the format of a traditional book reading and give it a more interactive vibe. I definitely plan on getting people out of the crowd to play games based on the book. For example, there’s a game where I ask someone to tell a story from their own life that proves they’re a rock star, just like Kyla, which is according to the rules in the book. The rules are printed on cards for fans to see.

“I really want everyone to get into this; I make reading cool again.”

Born and raised just outside of Boston, Mass., Violet was heavily involved in the music scene that flourished in the ’90s.

“It was a different time back then, the music scenes that we have today are different in a lot of ways, bad and good,” she said.

Similar to Bell, Violet grew up playing the keys thanks to her parents. They constantly played classical compositions by Bach and Beethoven around the house, which helped Violet with music theory and learning instrumental playing quickly.

Violet can’t help but bond with Bell, even if she’s a fiction.

Adam Bradshaw

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