Interview with Lydia Loveless

Hot on the heels of last Friday's release of Real, Lydia Loveless' highly anticipated brand new album on Bloodshot Records, we spoke with the fiery alt-country singer-songwriter for our newest NoiseTrade One-on-One. Loveless opened up about the songs on her new album, her lyrical evolution between releases, her approach to cover songs, and her thoughts on the IBM Selectric typewriter.

NoiseTrade: What can you tell us about the two songs from your new album Real (“Same to You” and “Longer”) appearing here on your NoiseTrade sampler?

Lydia Loveless: I think "Same to You" has more of a classic Lydia Loveless alt-country style, I suppose, with the classic feedback and crunch. Whereas "Longer" has a more subtle, layered approach that honors our love of pop music and harmony.

NT: For Real, you chose to work with producer Joe Viers again. What have you learned from him while working together on your last few releases and what went into choosing him again for your new album?

Loveless: I honestly learned work ethic from him. I used to really think of being in the studio as a chore where my opinion was unwelcome. Now, it's my favorite place to be. He helps me really listen to the song and what it needs. He's taught me to be confident and take risks. I really just felt like he belonged on this record to show how much we've grown together.

NT: You’ve contrasted the lyrics on your previous releases as being blunt and raw against the lyrics on your new album being honest and true. What do you see as the differences between those two lyrical approaches?

Loveless: I think I've just calmed down a lot and I was coming from a more heartfelt place. I'm a little more vulnerable on this record. Less desperate and demanding, I think.

NT: I love that you’ve included “Boy Crazy” from your EP of the same name on this sampler. How do you feel this beautifully fuzzy, in-and-out release fits within your catalog?

Loveless: It's one of my favorites we do. I think that EP really marked our departure from genre confines. That particular song went through many changes stylistically, from blues to Jesus and Mary Chain before we settled on a poppy feedback version. Pop and feedback are two of my favorite things.

NT: Over the years you’ve recorded some incredible covers of songs by Prince, Kirsty MacColl, Elvis Costello, Echo and the Bunnymen, and others. What determines whether or not you’ll cover a song and how do you go about making them your own?

Loveless: It's either really being able to relate to a song or really being able to make it my own. Sometimes, I just get stuck and want to channel someone's energy for a bit.

NT: Finally, I’m a huge fan of the “odd facts found on Wikipedia pages” game and your page certainly qualifies. Can you expound upon the entry “Loveless is an avowed fan of the IBM Selectric typewriter”?

Loveless: Well, I own one, ha. I like them because they're old and loud and clunky.



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