Interview segment on Sacramento’s Voice, www.twirlradio.com for Twirl Radio’s 500’th episode anniversary show. Aired on Saturday, May 7th. Podcast coming soon!
Passionate and soulful are two words that can describe the wonderful music of Lindy LaFontaine. Her debut solo EP, “This Too, In Time, Shall Pass” is full of colorful and delightful lyrics that showcases the Singer/Songwriter enormous storytelling abilities. Her voice is another strong feature to this artist’s appeal as she sings with power and heart that music fans will find enjoyable. Check out this recent spotlight of Lindy LaFontaine with our Webzine that reveals many cool things about this artist. Enjoy!
Isaac: I just listened to one of your songs titled, “I Do (This too, In time, Shall Pass)”. What was the inspiration for making this song and your new album?
Lindy: I first started writing “I Do” when living in Las Vegas. I was a lounge singer at the time and really needed a creative outlet 🙂 I wrote a lot then. Vegas is a very lonely place and can make you feel isolated from the rest of the world hence the opening line “Here I lye alone, soon I will become, one with everything, in the universe”. I knew there was more to life than my own (at the time) reality. It’s about feeling trapped, feeling stuck but knowing that there’s more to life than what you experience when you’re living in an unfulfilling lifestyle.
Isaac: Who were your influences?
Lindy: Don’t all musicians love this question…I’ll separate this into a couple categories.
Music that made me want to become a musician:
Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Tori Amos, Nirvana, STP, Sublime, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Buckley, REM, Stevie Wonder…to name a few.
Music that lead me to my music style:
Morcheeba, Sneaker Pimps, Fun Lovin Criminals, Zero 7, Air, The Verve, Massive Attack, Radiohead.
Isaac: What do you consider to have been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?
Lindy: There have been so many of each 🙂 I’d say the major highlights were attending the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in Liverpool, England. I got to rub elbows with and learn from some of the greats such as Paul McCartney, George Martin and Malcolm Mclaren. I toured Spain as a backing vocalist for a popular Spanish singer/songwriter for a summer. I had to sing in Spanish and not knowing the language, it was a real challenge and loads of fun. Starting my own originals band “Kyro” in Washington DC was a major milestone. I had always been a songwriter but had never performed my songs with a band till then. We did quite well in the DC area. And now in my current band “Lindy LaFontaine”, we’re gaining popularity very quickly, playing at fantastic venues and hearing my music on San Francisco local radio is pretty sweet.
Ok, low points vary really. I’ll address the major one. In 2002, I was living in Manhattan working as a bartender at a heavy metal bar. I had to do a lot of shouting over the music and developed a nodule on my vocal chords which made me completely hoarse. I was unable to sing for over a year until I developed a way to sing with it. My own method really, which I teach now as a vocal coach in the SF Bay Area. Bad times, but totally worth it. I sound better then ever and have certainly developed soul.
Isaac: Brief history about your background plus the style of music you play.
Lindy: My history is anything but brief so I’ll throw out the interesting stuff, list style.
Grew up in Egypt, Was captain of the cheerleading team in high school, Got expelled from school in Egypt in 10th grade, Ended up at a Performing Arts High School in SF, Went to the Paul McCartney School in Liverpool, Been in over 15 bands, Worked with many producers as a session vocalist, and have been on TV many times (Discovery Channel commercials, Commercials in Egypt for cookies, Travel Channel and local Fox channel, dubbed the most eccentric voice coach in SF).
My style of music is sort of a cross between Trip-Hop and Pop (the good Pop, not the Disney pop 🙂 I like to call it Trip-Pop. Think Sneaker Pimps meets Peter Gabriel…it’s vibey, complex, soulful and definitely has a good groove.
Isaac: How easy is it to gets gigs for you as an artist/band? What is the live music scene like in your area?
Lindy: I’ve been very lucky with gigs in San Francisco. Fortunately I have a few connections with local musicians and promoters who have found me some excellent gigs. I have a few very cool gigs coming up in a few weeks, really excited about that. But I have also experienced the down site of the local scene while trying to find my own gigs. Many local booking agents are far more concerned about draw than talent. Since I only moved to SF 6 months ago, I’m still building a following so I can’t guarantee many people will show. It’s kind of a catch 22.
The live music scene is totally varied. There’s a place for just about everything but I would have to say the main styles that I keep running into are current Alternative/Rock (you know, the whiny kind), and then there are many singer/songwriters and it’s totally varied from amateur (bedroom folk singers as I like to call them) to excellent musicians sans bands.
One point that I’d love to make is that it’s very hard to distinguish yourself as a professional musician especially being a female singer/songwriter. People get an immediate idea in their heads when hearing that. I’d like to state for the record that I, and many other female singers, are actually musicians. There are many stereotypes (many of them true) but you can’t always judge a book by its cover…
Isaac: What do you think of the state of Pop music at the moment? Do you listen to radio much at all? Has the Internet helped music grow or hindered it in your opinion?
Lindy: I don’t think Pop music is a style anymore. I think it’s just mainstream. I would say anything from Disney crap to Hip-Hop is Pop these days. Some of it is awesome, a lot of it sucks. I have a hard time getting into “factory made music”, music created by a producer who writes hits based on what works every time. The musicians out there will know what I mean. I think it’s got its place, I just don’t want it to be called “music”. I feel like the younger generation is totally jaded by growing up with this formulaic, processed music but my band mates keep assuring me it’s a passing phase. 🙂 As an optimist, I believe them.
I listen to the radio in the shower, that’s it. I want to know what’s out there; I just don’t want to listen to most of it. I have friends who filter the good new stuff for me.
The Internet is here to stay. I can’t say that it’s hindered music but it has definitely changed the music business forever. I think it’s made it pretty hard for music lovers to find the good stuff since anyone with a computer and some money can promote their music no matter how crappy they are. I, on the other hand, am a starving artist so even though I’ve worked my whole life at my music. I just can’t afford the studio time, disc and merch production and the marketing. I have to spend all day and night doing all of this myself. It consumes me. Good thing I don’t have a choice. I live through my music.
Isaac: If you could create a fantasy band – what would be the line-up and why?
Lindy: haha, the one I have now! I’ve got a great lineup. I sing leads and play keys, my guitar player, LEDENHED is a fantastic guitar player and singer. He totally gets my vibe and is awesome with the soundscapes. I also have a trumpet player, Kevin Alvarez, who I’ve known since high school. Obviously he gets my style too 😉 I’d say the only thing I’d love to add would be a DJ. Currently, we use backing tracks to get that electronic feel but it would be great to have someone working it live on stage.
Isaac: What CD’s do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?
Lindy: My first CD is self-titled (Lindy Lafontaine). It has 3 songs on it and they were all recorded in Liverpool. These were the first songs I ever wrote. I still love them. I also have a single out called “I Do (PSM Remix)”. It’s sort of a sneak peak into the new album “This too, In time, Shall pass” which I’m currently saving money to finish. My guess is it will be available by March. All my music is (and will be) available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and many other places on the web.
Isaac: Where can fans access your music, videos, blogs, and anything else about you online?
Lindy: Just type my name into a Google search. haha. To be more specific, you can find most of these things on my Official Website: myspace.com/LindyLaFontaine www.LindyLaFontaine.com and all the other common sites such as MySpace: myspace.com/LindyLaFontaine, Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Lindy-LaFontaine/628991334, ReverbNation: reverbnation.com/LindyLaFontaine, Last.FM: last.fm/music/Lindy+LaFontaine (I really like this site) and probably just about everywhere else you can think of.
Isaac: Message to your fans?
Lindy: Thank you for all the encouraging emails. It really means the world to me. Being a musician is hard and sometimes seemingly thankless. Receiving an email from a fan telling me how my song has moved them can make it all worth it.
Keep looking out for the new CD! I promise I’ll finish it as soon as I have the money! haha. And please come to my shows. The more of you who show up, the more chances you’ll have of seeing me play at a quality venue.
I promise to keep at it for the rest of my life!
So it’s xmas eve, eve and music is in the air. No, I’m not playing over the holidays but I have been rehearsing round the clock with the new band and working with a new dj (Yung Mars) to create some very cool backing tracks for the band. You might even catch Yung Mars playing at a gig or two in the future.
We’ll be playing a couple shows in January (23rd at the Hotel Utah and 29th at Brainwash) and both should be amazing shows. We’ve added a couple covers to the set and as always will be doing some fantastic originals from the old album and the new one which should be available in the next couple months. More on that soon.
Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday and I look forward to entertaining you in the new year!