Simone Joyner, Getty Images Sultry-voiced Elisabeth Maurus, better known as…
- Posted on Feb 22nd 2011 11:00AM by Anne T Donahue
"When you look at someone like Lady Gaga, she's done a lot for the world," Lissie, whose real name is Elisabeth Maurus, tells Spinner. "She's in the mainstream doing things that are gender-bending and outrageous and crazy, and soccer moms in their kitchens are listening to it and their kids are, too. I do think music can force a change in society in culture, so I do think music can have a powerful impact on what people accept as normal.
"I think sometimes you can be a complex person with a lot of different facets and skills and abilities," she continues. "And your sex shouldn't really determine what you can and can't do. I feel like women have become more like men, and men have become more like women. I think we're accepting that we're all across the board different."
With such strong convictions and an ability to voice them, it may come as a shock that on the set of her video for single 'Cuckoo,' Lissie felt stripped of control, which led to an experience that was anything but cathartic.
"On my video for 'Cuckoo', I was trying to tell a story but then the director -- I don't even care if he knows -- was a complete dick," says the indie-folk singer. "And everyone on the crew sucked and was rude; my mom was there and they didn't even say hi to her and they didn't introduce themselves to my band. I wanted to be very specific about my experience as a kid, and it totally got taken away from me. I still think it turned out good but it wasn't nearly as good as I would've hoped."
But despite her candidness and headstrong approach, Lissie wants to use videos like the clip for 'Everywhere I Go' to expose her gentler side. She identifies not so much with Riot Grrrl culture as the importance of respect and understanding.
"I'm a balance, because I do have that spirit where I have opinions and I am defiant, but I also don't take myself too seriously," she says. "Because if someone's doing something that I may or may not agree with, I can always sort of see everyone's point of view and where everyone's coming from. I feel like I may be [subtler] in my rioting."
Subtle or not, Lissie won't have to kick up a riot in response to her latest video. The just-released mash-up video for her track 'In Sleep' is more or less a love letter from her fans. Compiled from clips submitted by the audience at her recent sold-out concert in Toronto, the video is much more in line with what Lissie wants for her career. She's had it with getting all, uh, cuckoo over the other stuff.