WARNING! This interview contains explicit content.
Brendan: Hey everyone, Brendan the blind guy here. Today I'm lucky enough to be speaking with today's up and coming pop artist and dog skateboarding teacher, Lisa Anne, also known as LA Faithfull. How are you Lisa?
Lisa: Good, thank you! How are you?
Brendan: I'm very well, apart from technical difficulties earlier, which you know.
Brendan: Yep, got to love technology.
Lisa: Oh geez.
Brendan: Okay, first I want to talk about the whole dog skateboarding thing. I hear you have a beloved dog name Chilli? And-
Lisa: I do.
Brendan: And apparently you're teaching him to skateboard?
Lisa: Yes, this is, I guess my parenting. I don't have kids, so my parenting thing is I want Chilli to be able to roll along with me on Kilda Beach on a long board. It's a fairly slow process, cause you've got to get them used to putting all four paws on and then rolling the skateboard along. We've got two paws on at the moment, so. We're getting there.
Brendan: You're halfway there.
Lisa: Yeah, getting there slowly.
Brendan: Nice. Okay, I've got to ask, I know the name LA Faithfull, LA being your initials, Lisa Anne. But why Faithfull? Is there a story behind it?
Lisa: It's actually my real surname.
Lisa: Yeah, people are always like, "Is it a stage name?" I'm like, "Nope, I was just born with that surname." Yeah, so there's like no exciting story, it's just I was born as a Faithfull!
Brendan: Oh, well you can't get much more faithful than that!
Lisa: I know, right? And everyone's always like, "No, you must've made it up for stage, it's perfect for stage." And I'm like, "Nope, just, I was lucky to be born with ..." I guess at school, I got picked on because of the surname, it was like, "Are you full of faith?" You know, all that stuff!
Brendan: Oh, people will pick anything to pick on you for.
Lisa: Yeah. But yeah, no, it's just my actual family name which is, I'm lucky, I guess.
Brendan: Yeah! Wow.
Brendan: Okay. First up, I wanna talk about your new, colourful, vibrant, heart-throbbing single "Heart Back".
Lisa: Thank you. Heart-throbbing, I like that description, that's awesome.
Brendan: Yeah, thank you.
Brendan: And it's funny, I was actually thinking, the song is a lot like a cinnamon donut. Where-
Lisa: Ooh, oh!
Brendan: Yeah! Where a cinnamon donut is so universally loved, and then as soon as you bite into it, you get hit with a burst of sugary excitement. But then the centre is nice and warm and fluffy and just melts your heart and wins you over.
Lisa: Oh my gosh, that is the great - I actually have been asked, like, what would you be, like, your song be if it was a food, and you just hit it on the head right then.
Brendan: Well, oh nice.
Lisa: I love it! That's so good!
Brendan: Oh, thank you, thank you.
Lisa: Yes! I might have to quote you on that one when I get asked about it, because that's just the best. Because I'm sitting here like, "What kind of food would it be?" I've got no idea.
Brendan: Well, there you go.
Brendan: Yeah, there you go. Oh. Yeah, it was funny because I was just sitting there last night and then all of sudden I'm like, "I feel like a cinnamon donut now."
Lisa: Cinnamon donuts are my fave. I love donuts, they're so good.
Brendan: I know, they're so good, but they're so bad!
Lisa: I know. It's like my treat food, you know? If I have a craving and I'm having a cheat day I'm like, "I'm going straight to donuts or ice cream." They're the cheat foods that I'll go to.
Brendan: I feel you with the ice cream, I really do.
Brendan: Like, when I'm at a festival, I cannot go past those gourmet scoops where you can get like Ferrero Rocher ice cream.
Lisa: Yeah, they're so good. Actually there's like a new gelato shop that opened near St Kilda and they do like a pavlova ice cream. And so it's like this vanilla ice cream with lemon curd and raspberry curd and then pieces of meringue in the ice cream. It's the greatest thing you'll ever eat. It's the best.
Brendan: Ah. I'm moving to St Kilda.
Lisa: Yeah, it's so good! Although it's so bad because I can Uber Eats it to home, so I don't even have to leave the house.
Brendan: Wow. Ah, that's a new level of awesomeness.
Lisa: Yup, oh my god.
Brendan: Okay, well I suppose we actually better start talking about the music rather than our love of food.
Lisa: I know!
Brendan: Okay! So, your new, as I said, your colourful, vibrant, heart-throbbing hit "Heart Back". That time I could actually get my tongue around it!
Brendan: So I wanna ask, what ... take us through the story of the song.
Lisa: Yeah, so "Heart Back" is ... I guess I wrote it, it's about ... you know that moment when something happens to you and everything sort of falls apart and you feel like you, I guess, lose parts of your ... so when you get a broken a heart, you kind of lose parts of your heart, and you feel like no one's gonna be able to put back together the puzzle, I guess. It was quite a hard time when I wrote it for my family, my dad had literally that day, when I wrote the lyrics, just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. And ...
Brendan: Oh, wow.
Lisa: Yeah, and he's doing great now, but at the time it was like that moment, you know, like sitting there and being like, "Holy shit." Like, will anything ever feel 100 percent again, you know? Will I ever feel back to normal, or am I always gonna feel this fear. And I guess the beauty of it was I wrote these lyrics, and then I played them to one of my best friends, and he was like, "Ah, this is how I feel about my breakup that I just had!"
Lisa: And I was like, "Oh!" Because that's not what it's about at all, but I guess then when I sat back down and listened to the lyrics I was like, "Oh, I guess that kind of pain that I'm singing about, it's that universal pain that people feel whether it be with a breakup or whether it be, you know, someone's got sick," or, you know, things like that. I didn't even realise until my friend was like, "Yeah, it totally applies to my breakup I just had, because I feel like no one's ever going to be able put me back together again."
Lisa: Yeah, so - oh, that's Chilli. Shut up Chilli!
Brendan: She's not peeing on the floor this time, is she?
Lisa: Oh, no.
Brendan: Oh that's good.
Lisa: She's barking at the new dog across the road. Stop it! Stop it!
Lisa: Yeah, so when Ross sort of said to me, my friend, that it applied to all different situations, I was like, "Oh, maybe this can be something that people can relate to whether they've had something happen to them like I've had with my dad, or whether, you know, yeah, it's a breakup or some other form of tragedy." Yeah. And then I took it to M-Squared Productions and I sort of showed them the lyrics, and I'm a little bit of a ... I'm not bossy, but I'm a little bit of a control freak. And I was like ... in a good way.
Brendan: Well, all artists are. Come on, you've gotta be when you're an artist.
Lisa: I feel like you have to be, yeah. I feel like, you know, like, I just had this really clear vision, but I sort of said to them, "I want it to be beautiful but sad." You know? Like I don't want it to be a song that people necessarily put on and they're like, "Oh, this makes me feel awful." But I want it to be something that is ... you know that beautiful melancholy kind of vibe?
Brendan: Oh, yeah. Hauntingly beautiful is how I would put it.
Lisa: Yeah, yeah. And so, and then literally I played the boys the lyrics and they were like, at M-Squared, and they're like, "We've got to do this, we love it." And they sent me their idea for the track after I sort of told them what I wanted it to be, and I literally sat there and it was the weirdest thing. I've written a million songs, I reckon, in my life, so far. And listening back to it, I said to him, "That's my soul." It was so weird, it was like hearing yourself through a speaker. But I was like, hearing my soul coming through at me. Like, the emotion they've captured in the music and the production of it, I was like, "That's it." Like, it's perfect.
Lisa: Yeah, it was really weird, I've never had that on anything I've ever written before, I've never sort of been like ... it was quite confronting hearing yourself through a speaker and facing yourself, almost, does that sound so weird? But that's what it felt like.
Brendan: Oh, I get what you mean, yeah.
Lisa: Yeah. Like it was, yeah, really, really, strange. And then that's when I sort of said to some of my friends, I played it to them, I said, "Oh, I think it's good," you know, as an artist, you always question what you write. And there's that thing where you step away and you go, "Do I think it's good because I wrote it, or is it actually an okay song?" And yeah, some of my friends who play in metal bands and stuff who aren't into pop stuff were like, "No, it's good." And I was like, "Okay, well so maybe I should put it out there."
Lisa: Because initially I wasn't even going to put it out there. Initially I was going literally put it on Triple J Unearthed and then just leave it. But yeah, people started saying, "Oh, I love it," and started responding to it, and I thought, "Oh, maybe I am onto something good." And it's quite nice to have people liking it, because it feels like it's the realest I've ever been in a track.
Lisa: Yeah. I mean it was confronting to write, and every time I hear it, I'm like, "Oh, god, I'm gonna have to sing this live, and I'm probably going to bawl my eyes out." I mean-
Brendan: Well, that makes it more unique and more from the heart when you play it live.
Lisa: Well that's true. And yeah, I guess when you write it, like I just wrote it and then recorded it with the boys and then only recently have been asked to start putting together a tour. I have to do some shows for it. And I was like, "Oh no, now I have to sing it again!" Because it's such a, yeah, it leaves me in such a raw ... but for me that every time ... even every time I listen to it, I sort of relive that night when I wrote it and the look on my dad's face and my mum's face when he was telling us that he was sick.
Lisa: Yeah, so, but it's been amazing that people are responding to something that I feel like is an honest reflection of me and my emotion at that time. Yeah, it's really, like, it's crazy. You have no idea how many years I've spent writing songs and trying to write something that sounds a certain way, and then this I kind of just literally was like, "I feel so shit about this thing that's happened to my dad, I'm just gonna write whatever comes out." And this is what came out, and out of anything I've ever written this is what people are connecting with, so it's really amazing. It's really cool.
Brendan: Yeah. And I reckon you should talk to your friends in metal bands and get them to do a cover, like "Can you put my heart back?"
Lisa: How cool would that be!
Brendan: You know, "Heart baaack."
Lisa: That'd be so cool! That's gonna be my next thing, a remix. Like, a metal remix.
Brendan: Okay, so. What would you say the influences for your songwriting and lyrics are? Like, personally and musically the influences?
Lisa: I guess like, I've always listened to, like, growing up, I always listened to artists who were very ... like, the lyrics were very emotional, I guess. I mean, I grew up, like, my parents would play me Janis Joplin and all the old sort of Woodstock sounds. And that real raw kind of emotion through songs, so I guess that's where I get the natural ... I'm naturally drawn to wanting to write things that pull at your heartstrings, I guess, because that's what I grew up from really young listening to.
Lisa: But then as I've grown up, like recently, this more modern sound and how I'm writing now, I'm really, really into people like MØ at the moment. Do you know that song she did with Snakehips?
Lisa: Like "Don't Leave", and I love that, like the huge production sound but then her vocals are super raw and super in your face. So I'm really, yeah, I'm really inspired by that style of production and things at the moment. But yeah, growing up I was into the all the emo bands.
Lisa: You know, I used to listen to like, Yellowcard, and Dashboard Confessional, and all these like, emo bands, who were like, "I'm so broken, you broke my heart." You know, all that stuff.
Brendan: Pretty much, yeah.
Lisa: Yeah, so I-
Brendan: Gotta love that teenage phase.
Lisa: Oh, god. And you know what? I reckon the older you get, you sort of come full circle and in the last year or so I've started putting those songs back on. I'm like, "these are great songs!" These are really good songs!
Brendan: Yeah. Well, okay-
Brendan: Alright, I've got to talk about your overly expensive video clip, which features some very descriptive, beautiful dancing and the setting around it is very musically interpretive. So run us through the video clip for the song "Heart Back".
Lisa: Yeah, so I've got a visual mind and I sort of ... one my friends took me to all these warehouse spaces free in Brunswick, and they're letting it out for, you know, videos or photo shoots, like, "We should go have a look." So we went in and I don't know if you've seen that movie, I was trying to think of it this morning, and it's like Morgan Freeman and he's playing God, and he's in like this white room and he's wearing a white suit? Can't think of the movie.
Brendan: Ah, yep. Bruce Almighty.
Lisa: Yeah! That. So anyway, I walked into this space and I said to my friend, I'm like, "Oh, this is what it reminds me of!" Like, it reminds me of the - because it was just this car park, like warehouse space, it's in, but they've painted the whole thing white, and I was like, you know, it's got that vibe.
Lisa: Anyway, I was like, "Let's just get a listen to the track in here and sort of see." And it started playing and I got this really eerie feeling and I guess the visual for me is, the space represents your mind, like the inside of your mind? And I was like, "Oh, because it's white, let's cover the walls and the floor, everything, with the lyrics of the song." Because as someone ... like, I get really bad anxiety, and as someone with anxiety, quite often you feel like you're trapped in your own head going over and over and over and over your thoughts.
Lisa: So I was like, "Let's cover the walls in the lyrics just over and over," and it took us hours to write these lyrics everywhere.
Brendan: I bet!
Lisa: And then I was like, you know, I'm probably one of the only singers who said to my friend who was videoing it for me, I'm like, "I don't want you to do any pretty shots. I want all of the shots to be like me screeching and looking like, you know, I'm in pain, I guess." Because that's how the song feels. So I'm like, in editing, I'm like, "Let's ditch all the nice shots. Any bits where I'm smiling, they're out. They gotta go."
Lisa: Yeah, and then I guess it represents me trapped in my mind with all my thoughts, the song. And we used some stutter video, which is like just before the chorus is, where it looks like I'm kind of over to left, and then I'm close up to the camera, and then I'm laying on the floor. And that sort of, for me, represents going through the motions. You know, like pacing, you know? You pace back and forwards when you're thinking.
Lisa: Yeah, so that was that. And then one of my ... I teach some students singing, and one of my students had just become one of the top ballet dancers at the VCA secondary school, and I literally called his mum and said, "Would Luca dance in my video? I want his dance to represent the pain and the agony but the beautiful," like, you know how sometimes pain can be, again, that feeling of beautiful melancholy or whatever the word is?
Lisa: Yeah. And she was like, "Luca's so excited! He'd love to!" And so I sent him the track, and then we turned up and Al is covering the walls in these lyrics, and then, yeah, filmed it in a couple of hours, and then I helped my friend Connor, who filmed it for me, edit it. So it was all very in house, like I didn't ... I guess because the song's so raw and personal, I wanted the video to have that same vibe.
Lisa: Yeah, and then I'll tell you one thing: do not buy chalk and then write on white walls, because we were there for like four hours trying to clean the walls and the chalk didn't come off. We had to go back the next day and roller the whole place white again.
Lisa: Yeah. Because the guys who hired it to us were really cool, but they were like, "Look. People wanna hire this space because it's white, not because it's all multicoloured," like, because the walls were just left all these weird colours. So, yeah. So that's note to self: don't write chalk on white paint.
Brendan: Wow. And so I've got a spidey sense that the video clip cost a lot, oh, I don't know, a bargain of 150 bucks. So-
Lisa: You got it!
Brendan: So I'm guessing it would've been another 150 for the paint to get all the chalk off?
Lisa: Yep. At least, yeah.
Lisa: Because that was like ... and then we had to go in and like paint match, because they wanted it to match the ceiling. It was like, a whole thing. But it was worth it. And you know, they weren't mad, the guys who hired it to us were like, "Look, as long as you make the walls white again, we won't charge you extra or anything," you know.
Brendan: Oh, nice.
Lisa: So, yeah, they were really cool but yeah, it was ... oh my god, the last thing you want to do when you've just been videoing for like six hours is stand there and scrub the walls. Oh my god, it was horrible.
Brendan: I bet. Okay-
Lisa: So yeah, it came out exactly how I wanted it, and yeah, like, when I sort of tell people, "It was 150 dollars!" I guess that's because I'm proud that we could create something that I think perfectly matches the track in its rawness. So yeah, it's cool.
Brendan: And, I mean, you're probably a lot like me that you love bragging about a bargain.
Lisa: Oh, yes!
Lisa: If I go and buy something and it's on sale, I tell everybody. I'm like, "I got this 50 percent off."
Brendan: Hell yeah! I mean, it's ... bargain shopping is a sport.
Lisa: Oh, it's so good.
Brendan: I mean, that's kind of, you know, whenever I'm having a shit day I kind of quote a line out of Kingsman 2, I'll literally just be like, "Hey mum, we're initiating the doomsday protocol." "What's the doomsday protocol?!" "We're going shopping."
Lisa: Yes, I love it!
Lisa: Yes. Retail therapy works every time. Every time.
Brendan: Not that that makes me sound like a complete girl or anything, no.
Lisa: Hey, you're allowed to wanna buy things, that's fine.
Brendan: I'm a collector, so that's my excuse.
Lisa: Yeah, there you go. And I just like stuff, that's my excuse.
Brendan: Yeah. I mean, I do have a love of spending money, but ... anyway, we won't go there.
Brendan: So, your voice, as soon as I listened to "Heart Back", I was like, "Oh wow, she's got an incredible, well-trained, powerful voice!" And it just-
Lisa: Oh, thank you!
Brendan: No, it just, it wins you over straight away. Like, I'm very picky when it comes to pop. I'm more into the hard rock, alternative kind of stuff. But I appreciate all music, and as soon as I listened to your voice, it was like, "Oh, wow, this is something I could listen to on a regular basis." So-
Lisa: Oh, that's amazing! Thank you, that's so nice.
Brendan: Oh I think - yeah, no worries. And so I've gotta know, how long have you been performing for? And how many years of training has it taken to get your voice as it is, and what started your musical journey?
Lisa: So I guess, I mean, if you ask my mum, I think she says I was born singing. Like, came out singing. But I mean, I started having proper singing lessons when I was about 12 or 13. And I like, paid for them, I paid for them myself. I had a part-time job at Hungry Jack's. And I'd go and I'd pay for them, because, you know, music lessons are expensive and I was having piano lessons and I wanted to do singing as well.
Lisa: But yeah, I guess vocal wise, the training side of it ... I had lessons all through high school and then I went to Box Hill Institute and studied music there, and I had vocal lessons there. And I guess I'm lucky, because I don't have lessons or anything anymore, but because I have a few students that I teach singing, it keeps your own voice really fit. Because you've got to, you know, twice a week you're demonstrating all these techniques to students, so it sort of keeps your voice up and running, I guess.
Lisa: And it makes, I mean, since I've been teaching, my voice is so much fitter than when I was just doing gigs. Because yeah, you're using it more than just on the weekends and playing gigs, you're using it during the week to demonstrate to other people.
Lisa: But yeah, I mean my start in music was just entering, actually the funniest thing, I entered, in like year 7, I entered this songwriting contest at school. And I was cleaning out my mum's garage, a few weeks ago and I found a newsletter of the results of this competition and it said, "In first place, Michael Paynter and in second place, Lisa Faithfull." And I just cracked up laughing, because Michael Paynter is one of the guys from M-Squared productions who produced "Heart Back" for me.
Brendan: Oh, wow!
Lisa: So like, you know, god, 16 years later or whatever, we are now working together. And then I randomly found this newsletter and I was like, "He beat me in the bloody battle of the bands!"
Brendan: And you just like, "Ah, it's on like Donkey Kong biotch!"
Lisa: Yeah! So yeah, so, I was always entering songwriting contests and stuff at school, but I think I was lucky in that I had parents that were like, you know, "We'll take you to gigs and we'll ..." they were always taking me to watch bands when I was really young. And yeah, and they were always encouraging me to ... they'd drop me at gigs, you know, before I had my licence. I started a band in high school playing covers of ... do you remember the Aussie band George?
Lisa: Yeah, so we were doing all covers of their stuff. And mum and dad would drop me on a Friday night down at the local, like, scout hall, and we'd play a gig and they'd come pick me up. Yeah, so I just always played in bands, and then when I was in Uni I started a few different original bands. But they weren't sort of pop, it was ... I've done rock, I've done soul music, I've done a whole lot of other stuff.
Lisa: And yeah, it was only as I sort of ... you know, in the last, maybe, five years, I've started going, "You know what? I kind of like pop music." Like, it was this weird thing where I was like, "I really enjoy listening to Sia, and I really enjoy listening to MØ," and all those things. You know, "Why aren't I writing music like that?" And then I just started sitting down at the piano and instead of sort of trying to write in one sort of style, I just sort of let whatever came out, come out.
Lisa: And I naturally just write pop songs. Like, that's just how my brain writes really easily, and it's really weird because I've spent years trying to write soul music, or trying to write rock kind of stuff. And then it turns out all along I should've just been writing pop songs!
Brendan: Wow, so very musical diverse. Diversely musical, sorry. I was trying to think of the right word and I'm like, "Musically diverse, or diversely musical?" Hm, either one.
Lisa: Yeah's there's music - oh, I don't know. Musically diverse maybe? I don't know!
Brendan: I think I've got to get a dictionary out, now!
Lisa: Do you even have a dictionary? I reckon I couldn't find one in my house. I don't feel like I have one.
Brendan: Yes, I've got a dictionary, it's called "Google".
Lisa: Ah, yes, true.
Lisa: Here's me like, look how old school I am. I'm like, looking at my bookshelf.
Lisa: Like, "Oh, where's my dictionary?"
Brendan: Well, Google's just so easy and I can just like, tap my phone and go, "What's the meaning of this?" And Siri will answer it for me. It's just ...
Lisa: Don't even have to open a book.
Brendan: No, it's a new level of awesomeness and laziness.
Lisa: Yeah! All at once, welcome to ... what is it? Are we the 21st century? I don't even know.
Brendan: Ah, I think we're still in the 21st century, yeah.
Lisa: Yes! There you go. And those Google home things? They seem awesome, you don't even have to get up to turn the lights on.
Brendan: Oh, I know!
Lisa: "Google, Google, lights on!" That's crazy!
Brendan: I know. And so there's the fault of childhood obesity these days. Blame Google, people, blame Google.
Lisa: Yeah I love - you should quote that and just put it out on the internet and see, you know, if it gets like ... what is it? If it goes viral?
Brendan: Yeah, it'll just be like, "Are you struggling with all these new diets? Are you exercising with no results? Well, blame Google!"
Lisa: Yeah. There you go! It's perfect. I'm sure Google would not like that, but.
Brendan: Ah, possibly not, no. Okay. I've got two more - no, three more questions. Okay. So, I love asking artists this because I get some really priceless answers. What is the one most hilarious, most what the fuck moment you can think of on your journey so far?
Lisa: Okay, so I'm not going to use names because they'll know who it is. But we were playing at this like, country blues, like, we were a soul band but we're playing at this blues festival out in Goulburn, out in the country. And we're on stage, and I had a big band, so like, you know, maybe 10 people on stage with me.
Lisa: Anyway, it was really hot and it was the middle of summer, and my guitarist looks at me - this is like, the most what the fuck thing that's ever happened to me, actually. He looks at me and he's like, "I've got to get offstage or I'm going to shit myself." And I'm like, "No, no, you can't leave the stage," because like I said before, I'm a little bit of a perfectionist and I'm like, "The show has to go on, you've got to hold it."
Lisa: And he's like looking at me and he's playing these chords and he's like, "No, it's not going to happen," and I could see his face slowly changing, and then the song ends and he just walks over to me and whispers in my ear, "I just shat my pants." And then he was like, "Can I go offstage?" And we've only got three songs to go, "You're gonna stay right there and finish the set, you don't move."
Lisa: So yeah, that's the most fucked thing that's ever happened. And then, because we all, everyone on stage knew. Luckily he was wearing jeans because nobody sort of picked up on it. But yeah, the key is to say, it was the best moment of my life when his face just went like, white. And we're all like, "why aren't you moving around? Why aren't you dancing?" He's just standing still. That is the most fucked up thing that's ever happened.
Brendan: Oh, wow, that is priceless. I think that wins the cake of all the what the fuck questions I've asked.
Lisa: Yes, yes! At least he'll go down in history with something important, you know?
Brendan: Yep. So you know, "Why aren't you dancing?" It's like, "I don't feel like dancing in the, uh ... rain."
Lisa: Yeah, he was just standing there like, "No, I don't want to move." I think he was maybe worried it would like, come out onto his shoes or something it was just so, he was so good. It was so good.
Brendan: Oh, wow. Okay, so I hear that you've got an EP coming out soon.
Brendan: So what projects and goals, apart from the EP, have you got coming up? And tell us about the EP!
Lisa: Yeah, so the EP's almost ready to go. I've been working with M-Squared on it for about, I reckon maybe six months. Because I sort of knew when I put out "Heart Back", I was like, "I want something else to put out after it so that people can really get an idea of me as an artist." But yeah, the EP's like, they're not all sad songs, which is good.
Lisa: Although, the are like, you know, there's some melancholy things on there because you know, everything I want to put out, I guess I want it to be a story that I've lived or one of my friends has lived, because then it's easier for me to convey it truthfully on stage. Yeah, I feel like if someone writes lyrics for me, I find it really hard to tell the story, because it's hard to connect, because it's not something I've lived.
Lisa: So yeah, so there's some sad songs, but not all sad. There's some happy songs. There's a few really upbeat ... I don't know what the word is, like, I don't want to use the word banger, because that's weird.
Brendan: Oh, yeah ...
Lisa: But, you know, people are like, "It's a banger!"
Brendan: That ... all the wrong things come to mind, there.
Lisa: Yeah. So they're like, good, I reckon the upbeat stuff is sort of like, festival vibes. Like, you could see it, hot summer day, everyone's having some drinks and just big beats and big vocals. Yeah, and at the moment I'm putting together, so my long term plan, at the moment I'm putting together my live band.
Lisa: Because I've had a break from gigging to write the EP, so I'm just this week putting together the guys who I want to play in the band, and then we're going to start doing some shows and some support, which will be really exciting because I'm ... like, I get really itchy feet when I'm not on stage for a while. Like, "Get me back on stage!"
Brendan: You start getting the shakes, don't you?
Lisa: Oh, it's like ... well cause, you know, like I said before, someone who has anxiety, as a kid it was this weird thing where when I'd get on stage for battle of the bands or whatever, my anxiety goes away when I'm on stage. That's the only place where I don't overthink everything. Like, my mind just goes completely blank and I just sing. It's this crazy thing.
Lisa: And I think that feeling's a bit addictive, like I get ... I never want to get off stage, because the moment I'm off stage, my brain starts going again. Yeah, it's really weird. So yeah, I'm dying to start performing again because that ... being on stage, yeah, it just feels home and safe. It's, yeah, it's my favourite place.
Brendan: So music is your drug?
Lisa: Yeah. Oh, totally, even, you know, growing up a lot of my friends got into some bad situations with stuff and I never did because I always turned to music. Like, when I felt shit, I'd write a song. Or, you know? Like it was just -
Brendan: Yeah, exactly.
Lisa: Yeah, it was just ... it has got me through ... maybe that's why it means so much to me, as well, to be honest. You know? About "Heart Back" and where the lyrics came from, because music, to me, has ... yeah, been my drug, I guess. It kept me out of a lot of trouble situations and so I guess I kinda want to be really honest with people when I create music because I hope that it will have an impact for them and it might do the same thing as what music did for me, growing up, I guess.
Brendan: Wow, that's a real inspiration.
Lisa: Aw, thank you. That's just a bit weird, like I just ... yeah, I feel like if you're completely honest and then people can connect with what you're saying, then I might ... you know, rather than some teenager feeling really shit and like they're alone, they might hear my song and be like, "Ah, this chick gets me!" And it might just help them not, you know, fall into something bad, you know?
Brendan: Yeah, well that's the beauty of music. Because yeah, I've never even dabbled with drugs because like, when I ... because I'm a performer, too. But when I perform and go along to gigs, it's like, that is just a pure euphoria that you ... just like, why would you taint that with drugs?
Lisa: Exactly. Yep, exactly. I'm exactly the same. A lot of my friends in teenage years got caught up in drugs and you know, really bad stuff. And I was always like, "Nope, I don't need that, because I've got music!"
Lisa: Yeah, it's the most ... I feel like it's the most expressive form as well, like, for people to come together and how cool is it? You're at a gig and the band's singing about a breakup, and everyone in that room has obviously been through that in some way. So at that moment in time, you are all exactly on the same level and you get it. It's just the coolest thing.
Brendan: Music is the universal language of love. It really is.
Lisa: Yeah! It's just, you know, and I'm the same. I've never been into drugs or anything because I wanna be there with the artist when they're performing and fully take it all in.
Lisa: Yeah, so in a way it sounds so cheesy, but music, I feel like music saves people who really connect with music. It saves them from a lot of the other bullshit that life sort of throws at you.
Brendan: Oh, shit yeah. I mean, yeah, it ... God, it saved me more times than I can count.
Lisa: Yeah, exactly, you know? You feel sad, you come home and put on something that either makes you feel better or that feels sad as well and then you feel like they get you, and then you're not by yourself. You know?
Brendan: Yeah, I mean, for me, it's like, if I'm having a shit day and really stressful, you can hear the change in my playlist where I'll put on something heavy and aggressive at first, and then it's like pouring ... it's like me pouring it out into it, and then eventually it just eases to something nice.
Lisa: Yep, exactly. I think there's a lot to be said about music as something that can be therapy for people, you know? I mean, it means so much to people. That's why it means so much to me, I guess, to create something that's real and there's no bullshit.
Lisa: And if it's sad, it's just sad. And if it's happy, it's happy, but you know? I don't want to be one of those people who's like, "No, that content's sort of off limits." You know? "No, I don't want to write that, because it might affect someone." You know? If it's sad, then I feel like it just should be sad. Because there will be people who will connect with it, you know?
Brendan: Yeah, exactly.
Lisa: So, yeah, that was the biggest thing putting "Heart Back" out, I was like, "Oh God, people are going to ask me about it, do I make up a story about having a heartbreak or do I just tell the thing about what it's about?" Which is, you know, learning my dad had prostate cancer. I'm like, "I don't want to hide anything, I want people to know the truth behind it, because then there might be someone out there who's going through the same shit and it's gonna make them feel like, 'Ah, this chick gets me!'" You know?
Lisa: So people don't really talk about it, like, people don't talk about all the things that make them feel shit. You know? We tend to like, if you sit around in a big group, you tend to kinda go, "Oh yeah, this thing happened, this thing happened," but you don't ever sort of go, "You know what? This is happening and I feel fucking awful, like, this is ... " you know?
Brendan: Yeah. Well-
Lisa: I feel like artists, our job is to tell all the stories, you know? Whether they're happy or sad, so.
Brendan: Exactly, and, well, yeah you've struck a chord with me and my family, because my grandfather's got prostate cancer, too, so it's-
Lisa: Oh, well see, it's ... you know, I feel like people don't talk about how it affects the extended family.
Lisa: You know? Like, you always hear people say, "Oh, you know, I've got it." Like on TV you'll see interviews with someone who's battling cancer themselves, but how many times do you see the grandchildren who have to watch their family member go through that, you know?
Brendan: Exactly, because my grandfather's always been a massive part of our lives, and he's an absolute saint. So it was a pretty nasty shock hearing about it, so.
Lisa: Yeah, so, yeah, and I think it's ... and I really, I sort of said to my friends, "Should I tell everybody what this song's about?" You know, blah blah blah. And they were like, "Yeah, because not enough people talk about this stuff." And not enough people talk about the effect it has on the extended family. Because it's just as shit for the family as it is for the person who's diagnosed.
Lisa: You know? So yeah, so I guess that's the sad bit of "Heart Back" but I was lucky that M-Squared were able to make it beautifully sad, if that makes sense.
Brendan: Yeah, it does. It really does.
Brendan: Yeah. Well, I know ... I can tell you're a chatterbox just like me-
Lisa: I know.
Brendan: It is the quarter Irish coming out in me where I can just, I can talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles, I really can.
Lisa: Yup. I love it, love it.
Brendan: But, I mean, we definitely got to catch up and chat more at another stage, but for now-
Brendan: We'll wrap it up with, what message do you have to fans that you've inspired and that are like, "Yeah, I get this chick and I'm really inspired by her and I want to follow in her footsteps"? What's your advice and message to them?
Lisa: My biggest advice is, feel the sads and then just keep going through the sads. Because I guess I'm doing it for a long time, like, I've had some really low points as an artist where like, you've been put on a festival and then the festival's been cancelled at last minute. And there's been moments where I'm like, "Why do I care about this things so much and no one else might ever care that I even exist doing it?" And I guess, yeah, my biggest advice is to feel all those shit things, use them in your song, and then just keep writing songs. That's the biggest thing.
Brendan: Wow. That's perfect advice, you know, don't try and sugar coat it. Just power through it, and that's what people are gonna love you for, because it's a real true expression of yourself.
Lisa: Well that's it, you know? You can't ... if you try and sugar coat everything, I feel like people will see through it, and I feel like if you just like, "This thing happened, it was so shit, I'm just gonna write it out, get it out of my," like, "get it out of me, and then I can move on." People will connect with that, because it's the honest truth.
Brendan: Yeah. That's beautiful.
Lisa: Thank you!
Brendan: Beautiful person and beautiful music.
Lisa: Aw, yay!
Brendan: Aw. Well, it has been an absolute pleasure talking to you today, Lisa.
Lisa: You too.
Brendan: We've definitely got to stay in touch and talk some more.
Brendan: But I'll let you go, and I can't wait to see you on tour. Hopefully you're going to make your way to Sydney or Newcastle sometime, because I will be there.
Lisa: Hopefully later in the year I'll come up to Sydney, so that'll be good.
Brendan: Awesome, awesome. Well, I'll catch you then, and I'll be keeping a keen eye out for all of that!
Lisa: Awesome, thank you so much!
Brendan: Thank you so much for your time! See yeah!