>What inspires you and motivates you?
I’m inspired by irreverent singer-songwriters to whom braggadocios banter seems to emanate so easily, although I admit I’m also jealous. Resentment and envy are two green-eyed motivations, crude and juvenile though they may be. Watching a singer-songwriter perform with only raw instrumentation while he is feverishly strumming a beater acoustic guitar to his big heart’s content, intense and unbalanced, stumbling from dancing spasms as sweat drips from the tip of his nose and stains through the pits of his clothes makes me as giddy now as it did fifteen years ago.
I want to do that too. I want to giggle at my own soft and rotten puns, like a punky honeydew. I wish to get so caught up playing song after song that I lose my footing, but not my place…or perhaps my place too, but I want to do it with my own flair.
>What’s the best part about what you do?
The best part about writing a song is when the lyrics and the music idea and everything click for the first time. There’s something satisfying and sweet but a little bit nutty. Occasionally I feel like I’m forcing the song by melting puzzle pieces so that the jagged ends fit together.
For days and weeks, I’ll stammer and choke. Then one night, when I decide it’s time to try and go to sleep, I’ll ferociously brush my teeth and crawl into bed annoyed with my failure, but the instant my head hits the pillow, I’ll think of the perfect first line or phrase. Nervous, that I’ll lose the momentum, I’ll literally hold my head in my hands…waiting. Maybe I’m hoping I can shake the good things out. I don’t know. Eventually I’ll turn in again, dragging my feet and my disappointment back to bed only have the next line jostle me awake and shove me back into the kitchen. It’s all just part of a distressing game I play with myself, but I think I’m a glutton for punishment.
I may not be so great at keeping in touch with family or friends; I’m not much of a phone talker, but I do enjoy singing, playing guitar and making music in order to make sense of my world. I knew I’d never be a brain surgeon or a layer, I wanted to write and create things, and I still do. I know it’s a cliche thing to say, but I think I do what I do is because I don’t really know what I want to do, but I really enjoy the figuring it out part. I hope I’m not alone. Maybe that sort of displacement of loneliness is the best part of putting it a song out into the world.
>What new projects are you working on?
I’ve already performed 100 times; now I want to write 100 songs: good and bad. Then I want to record each and every one of them. I write a little every day, and I’m learning more about recording and other D. I. Y. publishing. I don’t really believe in waiting around for something to happen; I believe more things happen when people are proactive.
I have somewhere around 45 songs in one form or another. I have piles and piles of journals of all shapes and sizes needed to be sorted through, so I have plenty ideas. I just need to kick my own butt and finish them. My writing teacher, Pamela Des Barres, told me I should have a blog. I already have one, but it was in terrible shape, so currently I’m renovating it. I’m enjoying the artistic freedom to really dive in and get my hands dirty
>Does a specific state of mind or mood generate your best work?
I tend to be more introspective when I’ve done something completely humiliating and/or humbling. I wrote a song about quitting my job when I was fed up. Lots of songs stemmed from heartbreak: words watered with the blood, sweat and tears from bleeding hangovers and heartache.
I love stories, and I love telling stories. I think all I ever wanted was a folktale of my own—something a little sassy and stupid. I’m the kind of nervous songstress that has to mull over an idea for a little while and shake in my shoes. I have an affinity towards drama, so I tend to seek out situations that adventurous and sometimes dangerous, and almost always intoxicating.
Having grown up on folklore and fairy tales, I tend to romanticize the phrase “Once upon a time….”. Often times I need distance to look back with any sort of perspective before writing about one of my own dusty observations or a gritty, urban-rustic experience.
>What can we expect from you in the near future?
Lately I’ve spent a lot of time learning and practicing songwriting, performing, and recording. It’s a tickle in the back of my throat. I’ve spent too much time and energy focusing on what other people think I should be doing in order to “get somewhere,” that I forget to experience where I am.
Today I’m working on writing more songs to clear my throat. I plan to keep on writing, and start recording and maybe even learn how to tour. Ultimately I’d like to dip my toes in the waters of collaboration. Then again, I never really think too far ahead.
People ask me where my lyrics come from, and I’ve always been intentionally vague in the past. I’ve always believed that a song means whatever the listener wants it to mean. That the best ideas aren’t crafted from the ground up, but really do feel like they come out of nothing. So to then impose…
How did this tragedy spur people to do something positive?
HG: The truth is, there are no positive sides of this; there are only less negative ones. We’d all rather have helped Lucinda stay with her kids than to help ease the tragedy afterward, but suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The positive things that have happened are because of who these kids are and that a strong community has risen and come together to protect their interests, but there’s no doubt that we cannot restore or replace what is lost. We can try to make what comes now better than what came before and we can make sure that these kids know that they are not alone.
Members of Guns N’ Roses, Bad Brains, Ours, and Alberta Cross are just a few of the musicians who will be coming together later this week for a special benefit concert.