Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 3rd 2010 7:10AM by Dan Reilly
How did you meet your band?
My band and I met in August, so we're fairly new with one another. We met through Pete McNeal, who's this awesome session drummer who played on the album I did with Jacquire King. It didn't seem like I knew who should be in my band on my own, so Pete introduced me to 10 musicians. The first guys I met were Eric Sullivan, my guitar player, and Lewis Keller, my bass player/drummer. It just so happens that they came together even though they'd never met, and I knew right away that they were the ones. We're kind of getting to the point where we're a bit telepathic with each other. I'm really so glad I found them because we have something very natural and intuitive with one another.
Who are your biggest influences?
I always sang, intuitively. My grandfather was an international barbershop quartet champion, and everyone in my family can sing. We'd go to church every Sunday and sing hymns, and I was into musical theater -- I was Annie when I was nine. In high school, I really liked Sarah McLachlan, Fiona Apple and artists who wrote their own songs and played instruments. I really liked country, even cheesy country, and it led me to be more interested in old country: Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Then I really got into Phish when I was a junior in high school, and that jam band thing continued through college and got me into the Grateful Dead. Melody is the main thing about all the songs that gets me more than any specific instrument or even a voice.
How would you describe your sound?
At one point, I thought of it as being folky, singer-songwriter, but because now I have a band and play electric, I guess I'd call it rock 'n' roll. I'd call it kind of sweet yet edgy, but that sounds dumb. I am playing rock 'n' roll but taking all the influences of all the music I've ever heard in my entire life, whether I consciously know that I'm doing it. I'd call it rock 'n' roll that's got a good heart but is rough around the edges.
Why do you go by Lissie instead of Elisabeth?
My name was always spelled Lissie but people called me Liz and Lizzy. It was around my junior year that I really started being like, "It's Lissie, not Lizzie." I was going through my transformative teenager time, and I always knew I was Lissie, just like someone could be called Beth or Lizzie or Liza. I think it's a unique enough name. It's ironic that I never met another Lissie until now coming out there's [New York singer/guitarist] Lissy Trullie.
What's your biggest vice?
Probably smoking cigarettes. I probably get colds more often than I should, and I have allergy-induced asthma, so I'll get really wheezy. There's no other drug or drink that I feel like I can't go without. Cigarettes are my main thing. Fortunately, I'm not into drugs.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Probably always a good pair of boots that makes me look cool when I rock out. That's a newer thing because I used to just perform barefoot but then I've been going to cold places, so I can't pull that off. I always like to have Neosporin around as well. I wish I had my dog, but he hasn't been going on the road with me.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
There's a Shakira song that Lil Wayne raps on, 'Give It Up to Me.' Some people are too cool for school; I don't care if people see I've got Britney Spears on my iTunes. I like that Miley Cyrus song, 'Party in the U.S.A.' I don't listen to them on purpose, but if I hear them, I'm glad I get to hear them. If I'm listening to the radio and it comes up I turn the radio up and get really excited.
Beatles or the Stones?
I'd pick the Stones. I don't know why. I just like them better, but I don't like them so much better. Both of them, it's like you get immune to how amazing it is because it's everywhere you go.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
I know in 6th grade when Jared Leto was on 'My So-Called Life,' I was dying, that show was so good. The tormented, grungy guy really floated my boat. I used to work at Urban Outfitters and he came in once, and I was like, "Oh, my god. Welcome to Urban Outfitters." We didn't have to welcome people but I just pretended that I was supposed to so I could talk to him. He seemed pretty nice and cool.
What's the craziest thing that's happened to you on tour?
When I was on my way to SXSW for the first time, my boyfriend at the time smoked a lot of weed. He was smoking a joint and put the roach in the in this minivan we rented and we got stopped at the Texas border. They search the car and we got caught with weed. I was so sure we were going to go to jail. For some reason, they let us go. Luckily, he didn't have any more weed other than that. My dog was with us and they were acting like they were going to take my dog and put me in jail. My boyfriend was getting mad and I was like, "Do. Not. Be. Sassy. To. The. Police. Just say, 'You're right, I'm sorry. You're right.' Kill them with kindness, don't get a 'tude. Be totally subservient and give in to whatever they want." That was kind of crazy.