Lilian Garcia discusses her Las Vegas residency with band The Fuse
Lilian Garcia does a mean rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” but you should really see her when she hits the Las Vegas strip. SmackDown’s veteran announcer just wrapped up a six-week residency in Sin City with her band, The Fuse, which drew capacity crowds from the WWE Universe and general public alike. With the gig wrapped up, Lilian sat down with WWE.com to discuss the experience, what’s next, and how she got into the rock ‘n’ roll business in the first place.
WWE.COM: Tell us a little about how your band, The Fuse, came to be.
LILIAN GARCIA: Well, last year I was actually doing some work with Ben Moody from Evanescence. I told him I wanted to put a band together. He hooked me up with Barry Squire in L.A.; he works for [Musicians Institute] and puts bands together for people and record labels. So I contacted him and we held an audition and the process was amazing. The talent in L.A. is incredible and it’s really hard to narrow it down, but I narrowed it down.
We’ve gone through a few changes just because of scheduling. My drummer actually got picked up by CeeLo Green, so that was pretty cool. And my keyboard player ended up opening for Katy Perry. I was so happy for them, but that shows you the caliber of musicians I have. The guys that came up behind them are just as good. It’s just been a blessing and the personalities [are great], we get along so well.
WWE.COM: How did you settle on the name The Fuse?
LILIAN: It’s not easy coming up with a name, actually. I had sheets and sheets, plus, the band had some ideas. But when [Vegas] hired us, they wanted to know what the name was, and we had till noon. Literally, five minutes until noon is when The Fuse came into my mind.
The Fuse just kind of made sense, because it really is a band that has fused together through a lot of things. It’s not easy sometimes, going through member changes. But with this one, for some reason, everything just flowed.
WWE.COM: How difficult was it for you to juggle your WWE responsibilities while fronting the band?
LILIAN: It was tough to do Vegas on the weekend and then SmackDown, but you don’t think about it when you’re doing something you’re very passionate about. I am very, very lucky in my life. I love music, I love hosting and doing the announcing for WWE. It’s been a blessing. When you do that, it’s amazing how much energy you can find. I was on fumes and still going.
WWE.COM: What kind of fan comes to see The Fuse?
LILIAN: The fanbase is incredible. And a lot of them are from WWE, because they heard about the show through WWE tweeting about it, or [me] tweeting about it. So when we got to the show they were already excited [because] they knew who I was. But then they got to know who the band was, and that was incredible, seeing how they were like, “Whoa! This is so awesome, you got six people that have really come together and formed a band.” A lot of them came to every single show.
We ran a contest, too. We gave away WrestleMania tickets and Monday Night Raw tickets; we really had a lot of fun and infused it together. There’s actually a girl that’s getting a huge package that we gave away on my opening night for WrestleMania. She’s going to Hall of Fame [and] she’s going to Axxess. It’s pretty phenomenal.
WWE.COM: Can you give us a description about the kind of show we can expect from The Fuse?
LILIAN: People know me from singing the National Anthem here, which is awesome and it’s been a blessing, but they don’t realize that onstage I’m just all over the place. I like full-fledged energy. I have my own material but we had two sets [to play], so I like to infuse covers. The covers that I did are Foo Fighters, 30 Seconds to Mars, OneRepublic, Coldplay. It’s more of a rock edge than people would have thought. That’s been the fun part, seeing how everyone expected to see one thing and they got this show [instead]. That’s what some of them said, “It’s so high-energy and so much fun. This is our date night every week.”
WWE.COM: Now that your residency is done, what are the band’s plans going forward?
LILIAN: I have been back in the studio, writing and recording new music with Chris Garcia. He’s not related, but he’s awesome. He’s worked with Demi Lovato, Kesha, Chrissie Hynde, Nicole Scherzinger, even Celine Dion. The guy’s got a rap sheet, and he’s phenomenal to work with. It’s a process, it really is. You’re either on the road performing or you’re in the studio recording. So it’s in the recording process now, and we’re trying to get dates and set everything up for either a residency or another little mini-tour of some kind. I think we’re going to be doing some stuff [with WWE], but I can’t really give a lot of details. [Laughs]