Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Lissie

LissieI’m highly anticipating Lissie’s upcoming album Back To Forever (coming out October 8th), so it was a pleasure catching up with her prior to its release! This Rock Island, Illinois singer/songwriter took the time to speak with AMBY about interactive videos, HAIM, and her single Shameless! Dig in here:

AMBY: Hello Lissie! Thanks for having a chat with AMBY, what have you been up to lately?

Lissie: Hello and thanks for the interest!  I just got back to California after a couple months of touring.  Doing my own dates in the states and festivals overseas.  Been a blast!  I have a week off before we head back out again for a month or so.

AMBY: What’s the story behind your latest single Shameless?

Lissie: I wrote “shameless” when I was feeling a bit insecure, defensive and angry I guess about the “game” of making it in the music industry.  On one hand I’m making a fair point that sometimes it seems like hype trumps talent and it’s all style over substance.  But on the other hand, in the song, I acknowledge that it’s my insecurities that make me need to have an opinion.  Ultimately it’s about doing what I can do the best I can and not changing to fit in.

AMBY: We anticipate your upcoming second album Back To Forever. What can we expect from the record?

Lissie: For people who liked my debut album “catching a tiger” and liked songs like “when I’m alone” and “in sleep”, “back to forever” will feel like it lives in that musical world.  My band played on this record (I didn’t know them yet when I made the first record) so I hope a bit of the style we’ve developed live carries over onto the produced studio tracks.  It’s a pretty straight forward consistent rock pop album that shows off my songwriting growth.   I’m writing more from an acquired perspective, as an observer of myself and my feelings than having been mired deep in the conflict when I was writing the songs.

AMBY: Which songs are your favourite off of the Love in the City EP?

Lissie: When I wrote “the habit” and had the writing demo, I wasn’t sure I liked it.  Then as we started to play it in the studio, started recording, it really got my toes tapping!  I felt so happy every time I heard it played back.  But it’s tough cause I love “love in the city” as well.  Both are topically very close to my heart and my experiences.

AMBY: What was the inspiration behind the interactive Mezcal Roulette video?

Lissie: I love tequila and have a good friend, Todd, who imports tequila and mezcal into the states from an amazing family in Mexico. His company is called metl. It’s really quality, authentic stuff.  So he turned me onto mezcal which also comes from the agave plant but is smoked rather than steamed and has a really distinct taste.  It’s a unique and lovely buzz!  I’ve started approaching distributors in Europe about importing a Lissie special edition of mezcal.  So my team at Sony in the UK thought it’d be fun to bring that passion into the music as a neat interactive video.  Hopefully I can share my mezcal with my fans very soon!

AMBY: Does hailing from Illinois have an influence on your sound? And if so, how?

Lissie: I think it’s hard to know exactly how much it has.. I mean I’m definitely midwestern.  I think it gives me a straight forward approach to how I write and conduct myself.  I’m a bit naive and self deprecating but also no bullshit and can be a bit tough.  Coming from the heartland gives a person something.. But that’s for others to deliberate!

AMBY: Speaking of influences, which influences would you love to hang out with for a day?

Lissie: I’d love to meet Bobbie Gentry.  I really love her music but she had a short career and then sort of disappeared.  I’d love to pick her brain.

AMBY: If you could create one law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?

Lissie: That men and women have to be 50-50 % on all decisions made about the well being of the public.

AMBY: What’s your favourite song of the year so far?

Lissie: I’ve only gotten one album this year and it’s Tegan and Sara “heartthrob”.  I listen to it over and over.  I also love HAIM.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Lissie that nobody knows yet?

Lissie: Hmmmm.. not sure,  I’m pretty open so there’s nothing that comes to mind.


Thank you Lissie, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout

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