Q&A with Lydia Loveless
Two years after the critical success of her breakout second album, Indestructible Machine, Lydia Loveless comes out rockin’ and swingin’ with her fourth album, Somewhere Else, which is by far my favorite release of 2014. I have a feeling Somewhere Else will be a strong contender standing its ground firmly in the pantheon of many end-of-the-year-best-of lists. And, I’m willing to put good money on it. Somewhere Else is a damn good album showcasing Lydia’s more mature writing (“Verlaine Shot Rimbaud” — look them up) and her sultry, knockout voice. Every time I have pressed the “play” button on Somewhere Else, I don’t want to be anywhere else. So, after listening to the album, I had to ask Lydia a few questions, and she graciously accepted. Read the interview below.
CFM: How did you become involved in the type of music you play/sing?
LL: Hard to say. I guess music is in my blood, we were always listening to records around the house when I was a kid. Lots of new wave, pop, classic rock, a little country. And, when I started playing guitar, it was easiest for me to learn Hank Williams songs and just strum and sing, so country ended up being a huge influence. It all got kind of mixed up.
CFM: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process? What is your favorite part of the process and why?
LL: Life, books, movies, other people’s problems, particulary things people say to me…So, if we have a conversation and it ends up in a song, sorry. It almost always starts with lyrics, or at least a hook, but occasionally I’ll just have a melody stuck in my head. My favorite part is when I realize I’m actually writing a song that I am going to complete, and I’m not just messing around with ideas.
CFM: You have released four albums, how has your music evolved since the first? What makes Somewhere Else different from your previous albums?
LL: Well, my first album is literally like, the first songs I ever wrote. So I feel I have definitely matured and honed my craft a little more. I don’t think those are bad songs (well, some of them are pretty stupid), but they’re the thoughts and I guess yearnings of a 16 year old girl, so they’re a bit awkward. Somewhere Else is me as an actual grown up, hahaha. I’ve improved on guitar, vocally, and I just generally feel more comfortable in the studio and making decisions now. I’m fine with letting the music go where it needs to instead of trying to cram it into a genre.
CFM: If you could pick a song to describe yourself what would it be? Why?
LL: “Somewhere Else.” ‘Cause I wanna be! Or, do you mean someone else’s song? Probably “Bohemian Rhapsody” ’cause I’m a lunatic and all over the place mentally all the time.
CFM: Just for fun…fill in the blanks:
–CFM: Without music, I would be…
—CFM: Music is…
—CFM: My music makes me feel…
–CFM: I write songs because…
LL: I have to.
— April Wolfe, Common Folk Music