Where did you come from? Were you always a singer?
I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula right by the beach. I love the water although I’m definitely only a wannabe beach babe because I burn even when its cloudy. *laughs* My mum says I came out singing, and as a kid I was always making my family watch me put on performances – yep, I was that kid! I was really lucky to grow up surrounded by the sounds of vinyl records – my parents and my Granddad had a huge vinyl collection!
When I was about 10 my music teacher pulled me out of class and said “Lis, we have to do something with that voice of yours,” and I’ll never forget that moment! He put me onstage to sing, and I could see clearly, I just felt so happy, like I’d finally found my fit where I was meant to be. I was bullied a lot as a kid so finally I had found a place the bullies couldn’t touch because even they knew I could sing! It was amazing. I then started songwriting and from about 12 I entered my first songwriting comp! I have always been drawn to singing sad songs, I actually wrote my very first song for a local girl who had passed away and I didn’t even know her. But I wrote it for her family and I was only 13 or something like that, I just have always felt everything really strongly and I guess I wanted to do my bit to help her family, so I’ve always been drawn to singing sad songs as a healing process.
Then as I got a bit older I started playing in bands as much as I could. I was pretty lucky because my drive to be a musician kept me out of trouble as a teenager because I had to practice – when everyone was partying hard, I was at home playing piano. *laughs* Total loner but I didn’t mind. I then studied Music at uni and started to find my sound and I just never stopped writing and recording. It’s my healing process and how I deal. It’s like breathing for me I’d probably die if I couldn’t create music, it is every ounce of me.
We want to get to know you! Describe yourself in three food related words.
Like an onion, *laughs* – many many layers! Tequila is a food right? Because you keep going back for more no matter how painful. And cupcakes, because they’re comfort food when you’re feeling down.
What does your music represent?
My music is me. It represents being completely honest and open about your flaws, it is me dealing with my anxiety but not being defined by it. It is me going through the ups and downs of life as someone who is overly sensitive, tattooed and, most of the time, in the minority. It also represents everything I stand for which is being yourself always, I’m an open book, and onstage I feel like I’m more me than in day to day life, it’s the only place I feel truly free. It’s such a strange thing, as a kid my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t even look adults in the face or talk to people. I was awkward and definitely not one of the cool kids and my bloody brain overthought everything – anyone who has ever had anxiety knows those thought-spirals that you drown in!
Put me onstage and it is literally like my mind goes silent and for that small amount of time – I am truly free. It feels like home to me. My music is everything to me, it’s my freedom!
Did you always want to go down the indie artist yellow brick road?
The indie life chose me! I mean I just always remember wanting to do things my own way and I always did everything myself which naturally made me an indie artist I guess. I mean as I get a bit older if someone would like to sweep me up and do everything that would be okay too *laughs* but I guess walking the indie yellow brick road just kind of happened, and music is such a personal experience for me that I naturally leaned towards that style of creating also.
Care to share some of the eye openers you’ve learned about yourself since beginning as L.A Faithfull?
I guess one of the biggest things I’ve learnt is to trust myself. As an artist you spend a lot of time writing songs and creating all the time and then you spend as much time sitting there thinking “Is it good? Do I just think it’s good? Maybe it’s bad, why am I doing this…?” I’ve learnt that I need to trust my gut, all of my experiences and years of performing have given me the tools I need to do this, so I just need to trust that. It’s really been a long journey to this point where I can be so honest and vulnerable on a track, and trust that gut feeling, that it is something special. Your gut feeling is usually right and you have to follow your heart.
If I had doubted myself again this time I would have never shared Heart Back with the world – I would have been way too worried about what people thought, but I have just learnt to trust my gut – and my gut told me it was a track that needed to be shared.
I’ve also learnt that being vulnerable is not something to be ashamed of, this song is probably me at my most vulnerable and I’m not embarrassed by that. It is our vulnerability that makes us human and that’s beautiful. It is our vulnerability that connects us too and if I can help someone else out there to not feel so alone in then what more can I ask for as a musician?
Cool music video! What was your favourite part of filming ‘Heart Back’?
The filming of Heart Back was this incredible experience where I had total creative control from concept, to filming, to editing the final version!
I came up with the idea that the white space where we filmed represented the inside of my mind, we covered the walls and floors with the lyrics of the track over and over which represents being trapped inside my mind with my anxiety and going over and over a thought.
Then I had a close friend of mine choreograph a beautiful interpretive dance to represent the pain I was in at the time of writing the track.
The funniest part of filming was buying chalk to write on the walls that actually didn’t come off after filming, which meant when I tried to wash down the walls I turned a once white space completely pink! Lets just say the owners weren’t pleased – and that it takes the same amount of times to write out the lyrics of Heart Back ten times as it does to do three coats of white paint in that space. *laughs*
Here’s the situation. It’s a post-apocalyptic world. Zombies are the top of the food chain. Are you the leader of a surviving human tribe or already zombie meat?
This is the BEST question I’ve ever been asked! *laughs* Totally I am the leader of the surviving tribe! Making plans and hunting down the zombies! I’d have a whole community set up, I would have put together an army and be running the whole show. *laughs* I’m pretty bossy so the zombies have no chance!
If you could collaborate with a current artist, who would you choose.
Two artists come to mind straight away. One would be James Bay, I’d just love to write a beautiful love song and sing it as a duet with him, lyrically he is so honest and raw, and vocally I can’t listen to him without crying he’s just so in tune with his emotion through his voice It would be a dream to sing with him!
Secondly would be Snakehips, every time I hear their collab with MØ I just wish I could do a song like this with them! They are so on point with their songwriting and production, it would be really cool to put something really, really vocally emotive with one of their killer beats!
Which musicians (past and present) would you choose to form your dream band?
Easy! I’d have Quest Love on drums, the guys from Snakehips on the decks, John Mayer on guitar and BV’S, Sting on Bass and BV’s and Brendon Urie singing some duets with me it would be amazing. *laughs*
What’s next for L.A Faithfull?
I am about to release my Debut EP, which I have been writing with MSquared productions for about six months!
I’m so proud of the tracks, it is literally my whole life in musical form and I cannot wait for the world to hear it! Its been such a long process to express myself like this but I’m so ready to get it out there. We are currently putting together tour dates for the EP so once it drops ill be on the road!
I’ve set myself a goal to play 100 shows before the end of 2018, a big task but I just love sharing the music with people so I really want to get out there as much as possible! So keep your eyes peeled for dates! You can follow my Facebook page LA. Faithfull Music for updates!