Interview with Lisa Loeb

Recently, I had an opportunity to think of a few questions to ask singer Lisa Loeb. For those not in the know, she is a musician who has been in the Lime Light since the mid nineties. Her new single “3, 2, 1, Let Go” releases on January 10th through Blacktop Records.

lisa-loeb-photo-credit-juan-patino

1.How did you find the switch from a major label like Geffen to
independent labels?

I loved the immediacy of being with independent labels. Decisions are made
more quickly, and albums can come out more quickly.  There is less
pressure on an album to sell as many records, so as an artist, I can
create, make a record, put it out and move on to the next in the same
amount of time as a big record company can sit around and wonder if they
have a single.

2.Which album that you have released are you most proud of?

I’m so proud of my newest record, Feel What U Feel. I love that I’ve been
able to explore a kind of songwriting and production that is really real,
that has a positive message in a way that sounds like songs and
storytelling.  I’ve been wanting to make a 70s’ like album that feels like
entertainment from the 70s for all ages, and I think I did it!

3.On the new album, you are delving into the punk genre. What instigated
the switch?

I think you are referring to my last grownup album, No Fairy Tale?  My
friend Chad Gilbert from the pop punk band, New Found Glory, asked if we
could make a record together in that vein.  I have often recorded songs
with a lot of rock guitars and a lot of energy, but he wanted to push it
even further.  I thought it would be really fun, and Chad was a great
co-producer/visionary/leader in that direction.  He helped me get my vocal
performances and the instruments to a place that I hadn’t been to exactly.

4.What defines “punk” to you?

Punk to me is defiant, it’s unapologetic.  I have a streak of both in me
all the time.

5.What albums of the last few years have caught your attention?

I’ve been listening to songs more than albums, but I loved my friend Eric
Lumiere’s record, Under Love.  I just started listening to the pop rock
band The Script with my daughter.  I loved the single from
case/lang/veirs.  Haim.  There are a lot of people out there.  I like
melody, drama, power.

6.How do you feel about the change in focus of the music industry since
you entered it back in ’95?

I can’t figure out how it’s changed exactly. I think people can be more
focused on music and songs, but that’s because records aren’t really
selling, so that’s not a big goal anymore.  When people were more focused
on selling records, they often strove too hard towards writing singles.
Now I think it’s more important than ever just to express yourself, and
that might sound like lots of different things.

7.How was it working with actor and banjo legend Steve Martin on the new
album?

I worked with Steve Martin years ago on a kids record and illustrated book
called Camp Lisa and also Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing
Pancake and Other Zany Songs.  It was a big deal for me, since I am and
have always been a huge fan of his work.  He was a great player and
serious in the studio, which was enlightening.  I’m always surprised and
encouraged when you see a talented person working hard.

8.Do you have a favourite instrument (like a guitar with a wrong paint job
or a piano with a strange reaction on the keys)? If so, which one and why?

I have a Martin Guitar that I got in NYC in an apartment where I lived on
Christopher street.  The owner of the apartment was a luthier of sorts and
there was a huge collection of guitars in various states of disrepair.
This is a super old Martin that I’ve had worked on so that it’s actually
playable.  The neck was almost broken and Danny Ferrington put a new one
on.  (If the original owner wants it back after reading this, just let me
know!)

9.Did you have any inspiration for the new album?

I’m not sure what new album we’re talking about… Maybe it’s my 7” vinyl?
The vinyl has a song on one side “The Disappointing Pancake” and on the
other it’s a very upbeat ELO inspired song, “3,2,1 Let Go” that I
collaborated on for a movie called Helicopter Mom.  I can’t wait for you
to hear that!

10.What is your favourite venue to play?

I love playing The Highline in NYC and anywhere in Japan.

11.Is there a project you would like to highlight other than the new album?

Check out my eyewear line, Lisa Loeb Eyewear, on line.  I made an entire
(ever-growing) collection of glasses inspired by my own.  Also, check out
the Camp Lisa Foundation that I started to send kids to summer camp who
normally wouldn’t be able to go.  You can donate and help out!

Preview of the new release to come on Monday, as well as impressions around it.

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