Lisa Loeb has been a staple in the music scene since her breakthrough hit from the cult classic movie, “Reality Bites” and her song, “Stay.” How she got to that point and where she had come from to get there was rough, as is pursuing any passion. It always takes some hard work, and support. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa prior to the show this Friday, November 4th at Ludlow Garage!
Moose: What is your first musical memory and when did you play your first musical note?
Lisa: I have so many young memories of music, but one memory that stands out is sitting on my dad’s lap at the piano while he played “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” I also remember watching my mom’s modern dance class dance to “White Bird” by It’s a Beautiful Morning. It was so dark and bright at the same time. I played my first musical note before I can even remember. I always loved playing the piano or playing organ at my grandmother’s house in Dallas.
Moose: Who has been your biggest supporter even going back to when you were first starting out?
Lisa: My siblings have always been my biggest supporters. My folks sent me to every lesson I wanted: piano, guitar, dance, more dance, and more dance, acting, musical theater, ice skating, you name it, but my siblings have always believed I could have a music career.
Moose: Fast forwarding, where does the do it yourself nature come from or stem from? It is a truly amazing quality because you go gold with the records: Tails and Firecracker, and in the 90's it was kind of this new thing.
Lisa: I’ve always loved having a vision and a plan and going for it. I just love the work, the creativity, the business of it all as well as connecting with people. It’s really satisfying.
Moose: With all the successes you had leading into the new century the 2000's how did the children's records come about, and when?
Lisa: I always loved the entertainment I grew up with. In a sentimental kind of way, I wanted to recapture my childhood and create something that was like Steve Martin’s comedy career in the 70s and 80s. As a kid, I loved The Carol Burnett Show, the Bob and Ray radio show, Carole King’s Really Rosie record that sounded like it was a grownup record and Free To Be You and Me. Marlo Thomas’s record combined story-telling and lessons with awesome modern production and top level talent. I started making kids music with storytelling, something silly, something clever, something filled with heart. My first album for kids was a collaboration with Elizabeth Mitchell (Catch the Moon). On my own, I've also released Catch the Moon, a couple of sing-along books with music (Sterling Publishing), Nursery Rhyme Parade! (Amazon Originals). The all-ages appeal of those classic shows and albums of the '70s is what I'm striving for with my children's recordings, including my newest Feel What U Feel.
Moose: Now with the latest album which I have been listening to for a few days and I really enjoy it. The opening track "Moon Star Pie" I said to myself, "I know this is a children's album, but is it?" It has this genuine uplifting vibe, especially for me and I have no children. So I guess is there intent to keep it children themed, but throw in a little adult as well?
Lisa: When I was writing the songs for Feel What U Feel, I was also writing a grownup album. They really started to meld together. it’s all about real writing and production and connecting, and sometimes you connect with people of all ages.
Moose: The folks you have featured on the album are great, how did that come about?
Lisa: I met Craig Robinson (and Ed Helms) years ago on the set of the office. Craig and I always sing to each other and we talked about making something in the studio. When I started writing Feel What U Feel with my collaborators, Rich Jacques and Kyler England, I thought he would make the perfect co-star in the title song, a disco funk jam. Then I decided we had to cover “It’s All Right To Cry” from Free to Be You and Me, and again, he brought the perfect warm, friendly, feeling to the song. We sing as a duet. Ed plays great banjo, and we really needed a banjo for the rambling song, “Wanna Do Day” about all the things you have to do during the day and the vacation day you really need. It was a great excuse to hang out with two funny, kind, great musicians.
Renee Stahl also provides guest vocals; she appears on Nursery Rhyme Parade!, and I sang on her 2015 album Simpatico.
Moose: With all of these albums, and everything you have accomplished what is next or on the horizon?
Lisa: I have a grownup album on the way, and music videos for this album are in production. The best way to know what I'm doing currently is to follow me on social media or LisaLoeb.com .
Moose: Lastly: why music? Of everything you could have pursued or chosen to do why this?
Lisa: I keep doing it. There are so many things I love to do, but the main one keeps being music! I love connecting to people through the songs, performances, and even when I travel, I meet so many people…
She is one of the hardest workers at this music thing, and the numerous other plates she has in front of her. Lisa does this all DIY. Not bound or beholden to anyone but herself and the song, and well before the age of YouTube and iTunes. From Dallas, to LA, and all over the world she is following her love and her passion wherever that may happen to lead her.