Lisa Loeb [Interview]

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Lisa Loeb is a woman who really needs no introduction.  She is the brilliant singer/songwriter who is easily recognizable for her black rimmed sunglasses, brilliant song writing capabilities, and her hit song from the 90’s, “Stay”.  And twenty years later, Lisa is just a beautiful and talented as she was when we first laid eyes on her.  Time has had nothing on this brilliant musician.  She continues to put out amazing records on a consistent basis and is widely respected as one of the finest musicians in the folk and indie rock world.  “Stay” has become a staple in the world of music, film, and even karaoke (the latter might be contested, but seriously, doesn’t every one try this song at least once?).

Lisa Loeb came out of nowhere, really.  She was the first artist to ever have a number one single without being signed to a label when her friend Ethan Hawke (who we should be entirely ass kissing for showing us the power of the Loeb) convince Ben Stiller to use “Stay” for the end credits and soundtrack of the 1994 hit indie film Reality Bites.  Like most people, this was about the time I learned who Lisa Loeb was.  Reality Bites is, and will always be, a film that consistently makes my Top 5 films of all time list, varying in order.  I actually have a fond memory of walking into my living room as a child when my father was watching the film.  He told me I probably wouldn’t like it because, you know, I was 9 years old.  But, the challenge was accepted, and I love the hell out of that movie even at such a young age.  And I remember when the film ended, and that beautiful break up/make up song came on, and I was hooked.  I would later beg for a copy of her album Tails, and have been hooked every since.

So, you can imagine how much of an honor it is to have Lisa Loeb agree to share a few words with us and to have her join the Trainwreck’d Society family.  It would behoove me to inform you fine readers that I was incredibly nervous, just getting an e-mail from her publicist.  But, the end result was absolutely fantastic as we discussed what Lisa has been up to, how she likes the life of being a mom, and how such a sweet lady managed to cover Ozzy Osbourne and become a horror film star.  So sit back and enjoy a few words with the absolutely legendary Lisa Loeb!

Can you recall a certain moment when you realized you wanted to be a musician?  Did you ever have dreams to do anything else?

I think the moment I felt like a musician was in acting school abroad in England during a high school summer.  I played guitar in my dorm room, and other kids came by to say hello and hang out.  When someone asked me for a recording of one of my original songs, then I felt like I was a musician.  Although I’d been performing forever and even writing for a few years, all of a sudden my songs existed as things outside of myself.

I have dreams to be a groovy songwriter who sits in a room by the beach, just creating all day and painting, dancing, playing guitar and piano.  I also would like to be a psychologist.  Sometimes I dream that I’ll hang out one day or one week or one month or year and just figure out what I really, really want to do…

You grew up in a world engulfed in the medical world in Texas, but became a literature major/acoustic guitar strumming artist.  Were your parents supportive of your choice to become a musician?  Are they fans of your work?  

My father is a physician, but there was always a lot of music around the house.  My father played piano and all of us kids (my older brother, younger sister, and younger brother, and I) all learned to play instruments.  We often listened to all kinds of records, ranging from Queen to Classical music to musical theater.  My parents were a little nervous about my decision, but luckily I started getting professional interest and opportunities early enough after college for them not to go on for too long… although my mother does still ask sometimes if I want to go back to school do something else.

Your songs are normally sweet, soft, and melodic.  Quite the opposite from Ozzy Osbourne….so, how did you become involved with Bat Head Soup?  What made you want to do this project?

I became involved through Dweezil Zappa, who was doing cover songs on Bruce Kulick’s cover song album projects.  Dweezil thought it would be an interesting, surprising thing for me to sing “Goodbye to Romance,” and Bruce finally agreed.   It was a cool contrast to what you’d normally hear on an Ozzy album!

Also what seemed like quite a leap was your role in a the remake of Tom Holland’s Fright Night and a few other horror films?  Are you a big fan of horror films?  Is there a darker side of Lisa Loeb than we know?

I did see every horror film that came out when I was in High School- my group of friends were on a horror film kick from the gruesome to the kitschy.   I actually get really scared now when I see horror films, but as an actor, I thought it would be fun to play a high school kid’s mom in a film!

LISA_BW8On the topic of films, your songs have had regular appearances in films and television.  What would you say is the silliest or zaniest use of one of your songs in a film or television show?

Recently there was an entire episode of the TV show Workaholics written around my song “Stay”.  It was pretty hilarious, albeit raunchy.  I had to text my mother not to watch that one.

Can you tell us a bit about The Camp Lisa Project?  What inspired you to create this foundation?

I loved summer camp growing up and so when I did my second kids’ album, I decided to share my summer camp experience through music from summer camp as well as new songs I made with Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty inspired by summer camp in the 70’s and 80’s.  Summer camp was where I started really performing with an acoustic guitar, on stage or sing-alongs in the cabin and by the lake.  I thought I could share this feeling through music, but then realized I’d like to help send kids to camp, so I started the Camp Lisa Foundation and now send kids to camp through S.C.O.P.E., an organization based on the East Coast who sends kids to camp who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to go.  It really enriches a young person’s life, teaches them to be a leader and part of the community and it’s fun!

You developed your first children’s album many years before you were a mother yourself.  What made you want to create Catch The Moon?

Barnes and Noble gave me the opportunity to make an album that was different from my normal records and I’d always wanted to make a kids record like Carol King’s record, Really Rosie.  It was a record for kids that sounded like a grownup record.  I asked Elizabeth Mitchell, my old college roommate/band mate to make the record with me since she was already making amazing kids records and we hadn’t worked together in a long time.

For a mother with two small children, you still manage to be one of the hardest working woman in music/show biz…how do you do it?  Is it a struggle to keep a family life going and continue on with your career?

I am able to do what I do with the help of my husband, the nanny, and my team who keep me organized for the most part.  Often I look back at the day and am amazed at how much I got to do and still spend a lot of important time with my kids and husband. Other days, I look back and wonder when am I going to learn how to really balance it all and use my time wisely.

If you could perform next to any female singer from the early Jazz era, who would it be?

I’d love to perform next to Julie London.  She’s always been a favorite singer in my family.  She’s cool, romantic, has a great sense of humor and also seriousness in her singing.

LISA_BW6What does the future hold for Lisa Loeb?

Today it’s a voice over audition, a walk around the block, kissing my 8 month old son, doing a princess puzzle with my three year old and a night out with my husband.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

 Seeing my daughter at dance class tip-toeing around the room catching bubbles while my son crawled down the hall to welcome the other moms and nannies at the dance school.

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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