Rock Island, IL, enchanting songstress Lissie, opens up to FM about ‘My Wild West’, her most personal album to date, waving goodbye to her life in California , buying a farm in Iowa and…thinking on stage about having a pizza.
To get a taste of ‘My Wild West’, released on February 12, through Cooking Vinyl and recorded with producer Curt Schneider in his Studio City home and with Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) in Nashville, check out the ravishingly delicious ‘Don’t You Give Up On Me’, title track ‘My Wild West’ and ‘Hero’.
First up…Why did you decide – after 12 years – to relocate to 10-acre farm in Iowa?
I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to buy a farm in Iowa and something in my gut just said it was time and time for change!
What’s the best and worst thing about California?
California is a truly magical place…the weather, the landscapes, and the people are inspiring and open-minded! But I guess it’s a bit crowded, expensive, can be shallow and there’s no water 🙁
Can you tell us 5 things we should know about your new album ‘My Wild West’?
I made it when I said I wasn’t gonna make an album.
It was produced by Curt Schneider but overseen and financed by me, my first independent record!
Most of the songs were written quickly and in one sitting.
I didn’t know until I was done with it that the songs were a snapshot of my California years and the album title “My Wild West” became clear.
2 of the songs were produced by my bandmates and they feature on about half of the tunes! What were your influences whilst writing it?
A lot of the writing came in the midst of soul searching. I was wondering if I could indeed make a move, take a leap and be strong enough to pull it all off!
Tell us a bit about your early days of ‘Catching a Tiger’ and how they differ from now?
When I wrote “Catching a Tiger” I was still really feeling the pain of a recent heartbreak/ relationship’s end. I think this record shows the growth one goes through as they come out of their 20’s and into the 30’s and more self discovery occurs. I also have way more understanding of what exactly the other instruments should be doing! Haha
‘The Longest Road,’ a song you wrote with DJ Morgan Page was remixed by Deadmau5 and nominated for a ‘Best Remixed Record’ Grammy…Were you surprised?
I felt so kind of removed from the whole thing. It is a cool thing to say I was a part of though! I showed up and wrote a song/ laid down vocals and the rest took on a life of it’s own! I am very proud to have been involved!
What distracts you while you’re on stage?
If I start thinking about like what I have to do the next day or an email or if I want pizza, haha…I usually settle into a zone where I just don’t think. I need to really be present and generally I get there!Tell us about your UK shows and why we should be there.
The upcoming UK shows will be different and fun because I am taking my opening band out as my backing band too! It’s a bit of an experiment in how to afford to tour while also widening my influences , experiences and trying out new versions of myself. I will be sharing a lot of the new material and I think people will really love it!
What kind of music do you listen to lately?
I have been listening to Kendrick Lamar and Jeff Lynne’s ELO “Alone in the Universe” a lot!
What’s coming next for you?
I’ll be promoting and touring pretty heavily until about May when I hope to move into my new home in Iowa! I want to plant trees and paint and find a good balance between musical aspiration/ sharing and a healthy home life!
12th Feb – HMV 363 Oxford Street in-store, 6pm
13th Feb – O2 Academy 2, Oxford
14th Feb – HMV Manchester in-store, 6pm
15th Feb – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
10th June – Isle of Wight Festival
21st-24th July – Secret Garden Party
By Fabrizio Belluschi ©FM