Interview & Photos by Scott Preston
Bunbury Music Festival 7/11/-7/13/14
Lydia Loveless performs on 7/11 at 6:30pm
Writing from a new-found place of conviction, Lydia crafted 10 songs that are stark in their honesty, self-examination, and openness. Without ditching the ribald, spit-in-your-eye attitude of her previous recordings, Loveless travels into some parallel-universe, roots-born Exile In Guyville territory. These are songs that find her asserting stylistic choices, while baring themes of insatiable desire, unrequited emotion, and mistake-making on life’s crooked, fucked up path.
Recorded at Sonic Lounge in her hometown Columbus, OH, Somewhere Else is more elemental than any of Loveless’ previous material; it’s about longing for the other – whether that’s something emotional, physical, or mental.
Love this woman. Love her. Is “Stevie Nicks singing lead on ‘Born to Run’” overstating it? Probably, but too bad. – SPIN
Sounds Like: Loretta Lynn and Patti Smith slamming shots at a Midwestern dive bar while cowboys and punks brawl out back. – Rolling Stone, 10 New Artists You Need to Know: January 2014
Cincy Groove: You have been quite busy releasing new material lately. Why did you decide to do release so much new stuff in a short period of time?
Lydia Loveless: Everything takes so long to record, mix, and master that I think I just wanted to punch people in the face with a bunch of new material all at once (laughing). I think a lot of it was I had a really good writing year. The record label kept telling me about different ideas for releases and I wanted to keep the momentum going. Luckily people have the EP, LP and single to keep them busy until the next album.
Cincy Groove: Did you take a different approach to your latest LP?
Lydia Loveless: I wanted to take it a little more seriously that I have in the past, not to say I didn’t take them all seriously. I was younger and had the idea in my head that I just wanted to get it done. Now I am a little older and I think more about production, especially when I’m doing it myself. I don’t want to be known as the person who just slops records together. My guitar playing has gotten a lot better and I was doing a lot more guitar work in the studio. It was a lot of fun once we had all the basic tracking finished, all 3 guitars players were sitting in the studio throwing around different ideas. I think what was different was that I was having more fun with it, where before I was afraid to experiment.
Cincy Groove: Tell me about being named an artist to watch by Rolling Stone and SPIN.
Lydia Loveless: I did this interview with Rolling Stone, which was really cool and it kind of made me feel like a real musician (laughing). A lot of artists think about being in Rolling Stone, so I was happy when it happened. I think people who aren’t much into the alt-country genre have heard of me now. There is also a sense of validation.
Cincy Groove: What kind of environment do you like to be in to write your music?
Lydia Loveless: I think I like to be at home. I think the road is good for starting ideas, but not for finishing them. Everyone is in the same vehicle, hotel rooms, so we are really trying to not kill each other until show time. I might have started and finished a few songs on the road, but not many.
Cincy Groove: Where did you record the latest LP?
Lydia Loveless: We did the LP and EP at the same place we did Indestructible Machine, the Sonic Lounge in Columbus.
Cincy Groove: I know you live in Columbus, but was there ever any desire to move somewhere else?
Lydia Loveless: I have thought about it, but it is so easy to tour out of Ohio. With a ten hour drive you can be just about anywhere in the eastern part of the country. I love the west coast, but its impossible to tour out of there. I would have to be in a much better financial position before that would happen. I like being close to my family and friends when I’m at home.
Cincy Groove: What does the band like to do to kill time on the road?
Lydia Loveless: I like making up really bad jokes and songs. I try to keep everything exciting for the rest of the band. The last tour was the balloon tour. So I went to a gas station and bought a a package of balloons and everyday I would put balloons in the van. It made no sense and had nothing to do with anything. But it kept the band occupied.
Cincy Groove: Do you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio?
Lydia Loveless: Yes, NPR played one of my songs and forgot to edited out the F word (laughing). It took a while but my song “To Love Somebody” was played on a big station here in Columbus. I was shaking I was so excited.