“Exclusive interview with Alisa Nizhniy of Her Lips Might Shatter”

Her Lips Might Shatter is a one-woman electro-DJ dance party named Alisa Nizhniy from Los Angeles by way of Houston, Texas. Her sound is close to what you would get if you were to allow Fischerspooner, Peaches and Goldfrapp to enter a thunderdome for a massive tag team match. Each track has a processed digital crunch that is sure to populate dance floors everywhere. I had a chance to talk with the emerging artist about her origins, inspirations and favorite snack.
Q: You were born in Kiev, Ukraine but raised in Houston, Texas, how and why did you and your family come to the States?
A: There was that minor issue of getting away from the pesky aftereffects of real socialism. So we immigrated, and eventually, my parents encouraged most of our extended family to come down to the States as well. Houston has the swankiest, cheapest real estate you could ever imagine, with infinite free parking in the comfort of a large metropolis, complete with centralized A/C everywhere. Also, a decent amount of thrift stores, artsy hide outs, goth kids, junkies, and electro parties. The sweetest people live there, too.
Q: Were you always interested in music?
A: My folks have cassette tapes of me singing the songs of Alla Pugacheva when I was two years old living in Italy. When I was five, my brother would occasionally blast trance music, drive me around, and take me to parties where they played "Modern Talking" and all this new dance stuff that Sony was releasing at the time. It stuck with me. What can I say!
Q: Did you find that Houston responded well to your electronic music?
A: People have gotten crazy at Pseudonecrophile shows and hung upside down from the ceiling. Houston has always embraced electronic music.
Q: Where does the name ‘Her Lips Might Shatter’ come from?
A: I thought of a large, extravagant chandelier, and how cool it would be to break one. Then, I thought that a lamp breaking is pretty obvious. So the thought of lips shattering was weirder. They would have to be frozen or frozen in outer space.
Q: What’s your favorite gadget or tool for making music?
A: Anything to synthesize the organic. I like messing with vocoders and pitch shifters and lots of layering. I wish I had something cool to talk about in this category, but I use the Logic synths and processors.
Q: What’s the most recent awesome track you’ve listened to?
A: "It’s Not My Problem (Thin White Duke Remix)" by Sneaky Sound System. And I have to listen to Salem every night before I go to sleep. I have to.
Q: After a night of DJing/dancing/performing, you need to recharge, What is your snack of choice and why?
A: Tapioca almond cream tea from the Teahouse in Houston. I’ve turned on so many people to that place. I’ve tried bubble tea in Boston and LA, and some do the trick, but they just don’t compare. If there’s midnight sushi anywhere, I certainly wouldn’t mind that either.