Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing…
- Posted on Jan 21st 2010 2:00PM by Dan Reilly
"There's a part of that surprises people. I can come across as being such a sweetheart and then sometimes I can totally like get aggro," Lissie tells Spinner. "As much as I think I'm like 80 to 90 percent a sweetheart, there is a feisty side to my personality. There's a sweetness and a positivity and a really strong desire to be a good person and do right by myself and my family, but there's also this sassy side that comes out as soon as I feel like somebody's trying to put words in my mouth or hold me down or make me feel bad about something."
That combination of sweet and tough came out in early December when Lissie was in a London park filming a promo video and saw a local man abusing his dog. "There was this guy who looked like he was drunk, yelling at his dog to come to him," the 27-year-old recalls. "At first I just thought 'this guy's a d---' but then the dog finally came to him and he starts punching it in the face. It seemed like everyone else in the park was minding their own business and I, from the other side of the park, was just like 'You can't do that, you f---ing a--hole! Stop hitting the dog!' just kind of shaking, almost weeping. I was so upset because I couldn't handle seeing that. Dogs are just so sweet and defenseless."
Unfortunately for Lissie -- who lives in Ojai, Calif. with her Lhasa Apso, Byron -- none of the people with her joined in. "I was practically like sobbing and all the people who were filming me were like 'Whoa, you're really upset,'" she says. "I was like 'You should all be upset too. That was terrible. We just witnessed this guy punching, kicking and screaming expletives at this poor little dog.' I was just fuming with rage. The guy was yelling back at me but I have no idea what he said. He just walked off and I was like 'We've got to go get the dog' but it was kind of obvious that I wasn't going to be able to do anything. Nobody else wanted to get involved, so I had to kind of just let it go and hope for the best. How could you be so mean? I just didn't understand that."
While that despicable incident may not have inspired any songs just yet, Lissie does use her writing and performing as a cathartic outlet. "I'm definitely not one to hide my feelings, which is probably why I'm a songwriter," she says. "I have this defiant side to me and a lot of times when I'm writing a song it's like I'm defending how I feel. It feels good to write like 'This is my place where I can tell my perspective and what my feelings are.' It's nice to be able to perform, kick my legs, wrinkle my face and just get a little bit..." she adds, making a roaring sound. "It's a good thing I have my music because that helps me release it."
To hear Lissie's aggressive and sweet sides, check out her EP, 'Why You Runnin',' which out now via Fat Possum.