Contrary to the name of her brand new album, No Fairy Tale, many could describe Lisa Loeb‘s career as just that…a fairy tale. At a time when you were nothing unless you had a major label backing you, Loeb broke through those barriers with her single, “Stay (I Missed You)” by becoming the first unsigned artist to have a single hit #1 in the United States.
Now several albums, a couple reality shows and a eyewear line later and the Maryland-born indie rocker finds herself married with two kids and, thankfully for us, a new album with a little edgier sound. I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of talking to the lovely Lisa Loeb recently, here’s how it went.
Lisa Loeb: Good. I’ve just been busy getting ready for my upcoming tour to Japan and spending time with my family.
B: Now, with the exception of a couple children’s albums, it’s been nearly nine years since we’ve heard a full length album from you.
L: Yeah, someone told me the other day, it was back in 2004, I couldn’t believe it.
B: I just got done listening to No Fairy Tale and I love it. It’s kind of a different sound for you. What happened between then and now?
L: I was thinking about it the other day. I put out a “Best Of” record and did a reality show, which took up more time than I expected. I thought it would also be a way to share the process of how I make music, but the production of that show took a lot of time as did unwinding from the show.
Then I started focusing on a couple different album projects but I kept getting sidetracked with kids music and my voice over career. In the middle of all that, I met my husband, so I decided to spend a little more time on my personal life and a little less time on my music. Although I still did some touring and continued to make some music, I put out two kids books and records, made a musical, got married, had two kids, and finally made this record. Even then, I started working on this album back in November of 2010, we recorded it really quickly, but I had a baby and was trying to find the right mix engineer. So my life was just chalk full of music, work, and family.
B: You had a few notable people help you out on this album, like Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory. How did you guys meet and how did the relationship start?
L: He asked me if I would sing on their cover of the song, “Stay”. I sang it in the studio in LA. We talked on the phone met a few times and we just got along really well. I sang with him at a NYC concert once and we have a couple mutual friends and whenever we see each other we get along well. He came to me with an idea of a poppy-punky rock record and it sounded like a great idea. He was also motivated to get things done quickly, which I needed. He is a great musician and we became really good friends. It turned out to be a really good project to work on together.
B: Well, it sounds fantastic! you guys came together really well! Another collaboration you did (“A Hot Minute”) is with Tegan & Sara. It is one of the first songs that you’ve had on an album that you didn’t collaborate on as a writer. What was it like to turn that page?
L: For me it was a big deal. I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I write my own music. Even when I collaborated on my own songs for records, it was hard because I wanted to do things by myself. But some times, along the way, collaborating brought something new and different to the songs I was writing.
The big thing with Tegan is that I am a big fan of Tegan & Sara and I listened to their music a lot to inspire myself to write music before I even knew I was making this record. It just made total sense and was a great way to round out the record with a different point of view that still fits together with what I do. The idea of singing someone else’s song is very rare and it makes me take a step back with my ego and say, “Okay, I didn’t write this, somebody else wrote this.” It’s a great step as I continue to move forward as a musician. It’s important to be open to working with different musicians in different way.
B: That song really comes across well. You can hear their influence and you perform it to perfection. Now I have to admit, I am a Gossip Girl fan and as I was watching the series finale I noticed a certain someone had “married” Rufus Humphrey at the end! How did that come about?
L: I was in one of the earlier episodes as someone he knew from the 90s when he was so popular in his band. I’m actually friends with one of the writers on the show and they were trying to figure out a storyline for him, years ago, to shed light on his music career. They brought in a musician from the 90s – which was me – and so they decided to bring me back as one of the surprises for the finale. Was it a surprise?
B: For me? Yeah it was! I loved the finale and thought it was so awesome they brought you in. It was the perfect thing they could have done with his character.
L: It helps show that we’re still current!
B: Yeah, exactly! There’s also another project you involved with – an eyewear line – and I don’t know how you fit all this stuff in, by the way, it’s super human. Is it already out?
L: Yeah, it’s been out for a little bit and we just continue to put out new frame styles. It was something I always wanted to be able to; design glasses. It’s nice to be able to find a pair I love without having to search the world for my favorite pair. An opportunity presented itself with a company down in San Diego who wanted to collaborate on the line and we recently brought in designers who give a more fashion forward take on glasses inspired by my glasses.
B: That is so cool. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Joshua Radin song, “Vegetable Car”, but he has a line in it, “I barely know who you are, Lisa Loeb glasses, I’d sure like to ask you to stay.” So it’s no mystery how much your glasses mean to pop culture. Now we talked a little earlier about your children’s albums earlier. You have a children’s book coming out in April as well, tell us a bit about that.
L: It’s the second in a series! The first one is called Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs and there is an illustrated book that comes with the CD. It is inspired by another CD I made called, Camp Lisa, which were songs from my childhood summer camp and also songs about summer camp. A publisher came to us and thought it would make a great book for kids. The second one is Songs For Moving and Shaking, so it’s songs that are supposed to get kids to move and shake away from computers and televisions. It’s very interactive and I hope parents will enjoy them because it sounds like real music, but it’s also fun to listen to.
B: You mentioned that you’re headed to Japan soon. What else do you have scheduled to promote this album?
L: We have a week long tour set up in March for the east coast, starting in the south and going up the coast. There will probably be more touring in California and Texas. It’ll be a bit more limited than what I might have done in the past because I have two kids, a seven month-old and a three year-old, so I want to spend as much time as I can here with them. But there will be television performances, live internet performances, interviews, and all kinds of things, maybe contests.
B: That’s great! We’re so happy to have you back and beyond thrilled to have you be a part of Lemonade Magazine. I know everyone who is a part of the magazine is a fan of yours, so were definitely happy to have you! Thank you so much, again and congratulations!
L: Thanks so much!
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.