In advance of her show this Thursday, April 26th at 7th Street Entry, I had the pleasure of speaking with Nashvillian songwriter Liza Anne. We talked Paris, music as therapy, the loss of the Triple Rock, and life on the road. Read the exclusive interview below:
MIM: So you just got back from tour. How long do you have before you go back out again?
Liza: Well, the tour was split up into two legs, so I’ve been out for five weeks and then I’m home for nine days and then I’m gone for another, like, really long time.
MIM: Wow, nine days, that does not seem long enough.
Liza: It truly is not but it’s actually like the perfect amount of time to not fully settle in but also have enough time to feel like you’re inside your body again, you know?
MIM: So you’ve been touring since you were young. When did you first hit the road?
Liza: Yeah I was nineteen when I did my first tour. I self-booked a tour in Europe and ever since then I haven’t really stopped. It’s changed a lot since then as far as what it looks like but I’ve been traveling for a long time.
MIM: So you’ve been on road a lot. Any crazy tour stories?
Liza: Well there’s like the classic story: this last tour we had two tires blow and one of them was in the middle of the desert at night time so that was really terrifying. I think that those stories are the worst kind, but when I was first traveling in Europe, you just come to realize that you’re literally living off the kindness of other people. We’re all living that way all the time – but I think touring – it’s a controlled space where you realize that it’s because these people are coming out that I get to be doing what I’m doing. Touring brings you to an immediate realization that humanity cant live without itself. It’s a very humbling thing.
MIM: Your new album, Fine But Dying, came out last month. I heard you did some of the recording in Paris?
Liza: Paris is like my second home I feel. I went there for the first time when I was eighteen and there was something that happened that was very spiritual to me. For my entire life I’ve felt like I’m floating above my own body in a way – because of my panic disorder and because I have an autoimmune condition – basically it’s a fight for me to feel inside of my own body every single day, but when I’m in Paris I don’t even think about it. Their whole lifestyle completely caters to the way I want to live and create and experience. So Paris itself is very important to me and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to record somewhere that made me feel so at home. We recorded the whole record there.
MIM: I think your mindset really comes through on the new album. This new batch of songs is so personal.
Liza: This album was something I had to make to remind myself that I was alive, you know? It was all such a grounding experience.
MIM: What about your first record? How did that compare to your latest?
Liza: Well me and my writing partner and producer, Zachary Dyke, made the first album while we were still in school. I would do my writing kind of in-between classes and go to the studio where Zach worked to record in my free time. I also did a lot of the writing and recording in my house – which even the studio in Paris where we did the new album is just a big converted house. And even the demos for Fine But Dying were made in a house that Zach was living in. So I’ve always kind of worked and recorded in houses and living rooms.
MIM: What’s the stage going to look like on this tour?
Liza: It’ll be a full band, we’re going to do the new record to the tee. I’m a bit O.C.D. as far as aesthetics go: I care very much about the way things look. That’s half of music. However people find what I’m making, I want it to come back to the same thing. I want the stage to look like the album art that looks like what the album sounds like that sounds like what my head sounds like – so everything is coming from the same place. So as far as the stage set up: me and the boys are all wearing these red and pink suits which match the album art. This is definitely my favorite tour as far as the actual performance. This is my baby: I want it to experience itself and be experienced. I just want to create a world for people to get lost in.
MIM: Do you have a favorite album to listen to on the road? An album that you love front to back?
Liza: Totally! Lately, I’ve been listening to The Noise Made By People from Broadcast. That one and The Raincoats’ Odyshape. Those two records top to bottom I could listen to in sequence a thousand times.
MIM: What about a song that you remember crying to?
Liza: “I Feel It All” by Feist. That would be my answer if I was thirteen or if I was forty.
MIM: There’s really something to be said about the songs we connect to in middle school. It never goes away.
Liza: It’s so weird because I connected to that song so much then, you know, but the way it’s transformed and the way my mind has transformed and moved towards it over the years of my life – I still have this spiritual connection to that song.
MIM: Have you been to Minneapolis before?
Liza: Yeah, I played there with Bear’s Den a couple years ago at I think The Triple Rock Social Club?
MIM: Oh man! I’m so glad you got to play there, that place just closed a couple months ago.
Liza: Nooooooo! It was so fun playing there, and actually on that tour – I was touring solo – and it was one of my favorite nights of the entire tour. The crowd was so kind – it was amazing. I’ve been really excited to come back. That tour was a bus tour and I really only was able to see that one venue. I have a little more time this time around so I can’t wait to experience your city.
Don’t miss Liza Anne at 7th Street Entry this Thursday, the 26th to hear her play her new album, Fine But Dying. You can check out the new album and music videos here, on Youtube.