Posts tagged ‘Lisa Walker’

April 5, 2012

Coming up!

Later this week I will be posting interviews with Nina Canal of Ut and Laura Kidd of She Makes War.  But in the meantime, there have been some really nice things happening for lady guitar players in the blogosphere.  Comedian and host Marc Maron interviewed Carrie Brownstein for his WTF podcast.  It’s a great interview, with lots of good guitar talk.  KEXP also posted videos of Wussy playing Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop during SXSW.  Go now and enjoy.  I’ll talk to you again soon.

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August 22, 2011

Interview: Lisa Walker of Wussy!

Lisa Walker of Wussy

photo via flickr by Jason Baldwin

Cinncinati-based Wussy is one of my favorite bands, so Lisa Walker is one of the first people I thought of when I started this blog.  You may have not heard of Wussy yet.  Despite being around for awhile, and being one hell of a band, reviews of their music are strangely absent from one particular tastemaker, a certain mega-Indie music blog that will remain nameless.  If you do not yet know the band Wussy, I suggest you go buy all of their studio albums immediately.  They are a drone-pop four piece consisting of Lisa Walker on vocals and guitar, Chuck Cleaver (formerly of the Ass-Ponys) also on vocals and guitar, Mark Messerly on bass and keys, and Joe Klug on drums.  They’ve been a band since 2001, and have released three studio albums (a fourth is on it’s way) on indie label Shake It Records.   They have, however, gotten critical acclaim from Spin, Rolling Stone, and the Village Voice. Their songs are catchy and tuneful, and in my opinion, they write some of the best lyrics out there right now.  All that said, I was very excited when Lisa agreed to be on my blog.

When did you begin playing and why?

My family had me singing in church by the time I was five. But as for playing, that didn’t start until I was 15 or 16. I would play Pink Floyd songs on my dad’s classical guitar to offset the typical midwestern teenage angst. I also played his mountain dulcimer quite a bit, which first got me into alternate drone tunings. I was terrible at both of these, by the way.

What was your first guitar, and how did you get it?

My first guitar of my own was a $25 beat up acoustic that my dad bought for me from a work colleague at the hospital. He said it was “a Willie Nelson guitar” – which just meant it looked like it had been run over by a John Deere mower.

What is your songwriting process like?

Usually it starts with aimless guitar playing around the house or at band practice. I make up nonsense words to fill in the syllabic structure and then go back and fine tune until there are words in place that I actually like. Sometimes this last step doesn’t happen until a moment or two before I lay down the vocal track. (I need deadlines.)

In the meantime, I’m usually writing down little obsessive notes with lyric fragments or ideas that I intend to use later. Ideally these two processes mesh quite nicely. As long as I can actually FIND all the post-its and notebooks with said lyrical fragments.

What are you working on right now?

Wussy is finishing our fourth full-length album – which will be out in the fall. I’m doing a few solo shows here and there, and then the band plans to hit the road towards the end of this year. I’m also working on some new material and toying with releasing a solo record.

Which artist or artists do you find inspiring?  (It doesn’t have to be a musician.)  Why?

So so many. First of all, I am a devoted fangirl of rock, garage and soul music from the 60’s and 70’s. But right now here are some of the things that have been inspiring me lately.

The National – amazing arrangers, amazing musicians

Al Green – has more soul in his little finger than any of us will accumulate in a lifetime

Black Sabbath and a ton of bands that sound just like ’em. – just because

George Harrison – the best, the brightest, the sweetest of all the Beatles

Roky Erickson – because i aspire to his mad genius

The Weakerthans – some of the best lyrics in recent memory

Sonic Youth – for their infectious orchestral drone

Joe Tex – because of the way he yells “TRAMP!”

Harry Nilsson – songwriter par excellance

Brian Eno (ca. 1974) – because he makes records sound so futuristicand weird – yet purely pop

August 22, 2011

Wussy On Youtube

Live video of Wussy performing Yellow Cotton Dress

Live in-studio performance  of Jonah

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