Check here for some frequently asked questions about Lisa Loeb!
1. When is Lisa coming to <insert city or country name here>?
Whenever possible, I try to perform in as many places as I can!
The best way to be kept aware of when I may be coming to your area is to register for my e-mail list at www.lisaloeb.com. As soon as a show is confirmed, it will be up on the website and mailed out to the e-mail list. There is no better way to be kept up to date on where I’ll be performing: as soon as an event is official, it’ll be on www.lisaloeb.com!
2. I love Lisa’s glasses! Where can I buy them?
Currently I’m rotating between a few styles of glasses from my own eyewear line, Lisa Loeb Eyewear, “Hello Lisa” in Chocolate and Cream, Sandalwood in Denim Blue and occasionally “Hello Lisa” in Cherry/Cream. With my new eyewear line, I’m able to update my frames as new ones come off the line! I just got the newest frames, Waiting for Wednesday in Eggplant, which are cool matte metal frames in a purple-ish color with nose pads.
Before I had my own eyewear line, I used to wear different brands of glasses, changing every few years or so when I found a newer pair I liked. When I was shopping for glasses in stores, I’d to go to stores wherever I’d travel, just like everyone else. I’d bring a Polaroid camera to take pictures of myself in the frames- I can’t see my face when the frames have no prescription, but now I just use a camera phone. Then, unless I really fall in love with a pair of glasses on the spot, I take a look at the photos later in the day, and show friends, and decide whether or not to get the frames. It’s a real investment, so I like making a good decision. Although I wear my own line of eyewear, I still love visiting stores to see what they have!
3. What are the Liz & Lisa tapes? Where can I find them?
The Liz and Lisa tapes – “Liz and Lisa” and “Days were Different” – were two cassette-only releases I recorded with Liz Mitchell while in college. While a few songs from the tapes have been re-recorded and re-released on other albums (check out the discography section for details) these tapes are out of print and are no longer available commercially. Unless you get really lucky or someone puts one up on EBay you’re probably not going to find one. Liz now plays in a very cool band called Ida, you can check them out at www.idamusic.com.
I also recorded “Catch the Moon” with Liz in 2004. You can buy the album, as well as Catch the Moon merchandise here.
4. What the story of the Purple Tape?
The “Purple Tape” was my solo release after college, it was on cassette only and many of the tracks have found their way onto my other releases. The “Purple Tape” were mostly all gone and out of print other than a last hidden boxful I found in my garage. After lots of encouragement from the fans, I’ve finally released a newly mastered CD version of the “Purple Tape” with extensive album packaging and a bonus CD with a live performance of “Snow Day.” I thought it was important, and fun, to contextualize the music since it wasn’t a new CD per se, so through the liner notes from friends and collaborators, photos from the time period, and even a bonus interview CD, the listeners can get a better sense of the songs and that place and time in NYC in the early 90’s. Also, there’s a lot of information about the songwriting, which I thought might be interesting for fans, especially other musicians and songwriters.
5. I just got Hello Lisa and I noticed that the album is very similar to Cake & Pie, what’s the deal?
I released the album Cake and Pie on Interscope records, and it wasn’t getting the attention it needed. At the time, a new, independent spirited boutique label, Artemis Records, run at the time by Danny Goldberg and Daniel Glass, two major music industry players decided that they wanted a try at promoting the songs on the record. They asked me to change the artwork and a few of the songs on the album so that they could re-release it as a different “product.”
I released an EP for the fans who didn’t want to buy the new, similar to the Hello Lisa album along with an original version of the song “Underdog”. That way, people didn’t have to buy the almost same record twice if they didn’t want to.
The album cover for “Hello Lisa” is similar to Cake and Pie, but has a funny twist, Hello Kitty wearing my glasses. That’s something I worked out with Sanrio, the company who makes Hello Kitty – they agreed to let me use the image and even had their art department design the record cover with me. So, that’s the deal, Artemis wanted to give the record a better chance, and I took a chance and left Interscope records.
Now Artemis doesn’t exist as a label, but you can still find the Hello Lisa album.
6. I want a Lisa Loeb autograph! How can I get one?
If you send me a self addressed stamped envelope and a photo or cd cover, I’ll sign it and send it back to you! I’m also usually available to accommodate autograph requests at in-person appearances whenever possible. To see where I’m appearing in your area check out the tour page for all the latest updates.
7. What music gear does Lisa use?
My main live guitars are the Taylor acoustic 512-C guitars, one which is a custom built guitar with a thinner neck and gold tuning pegs that I bought at Matt Umanov guitars in 1990, and the other one is also a non-custom version that I got directly from Taylor guitars. I used to use a Fishman blender box, which blends a mic in the sound hole of my guitar with a bridge pickup, but lately I’ve been using the Fishman Aura, which uses a direct signal as well as one modeled on my actual guitar. I use Boss Tuners, Ernie Ball strings, Shubb Capos, and usually an SM-58 mic on stage. I also use Fender medium picks and Ernie Ball custom printed medium picks.
At home I have a Peavey wiggy amp in light pink, designed by Dweezil Zappa, a smaller body Gretsch guitar, a light pink semi hollow telecaster, a Les Paul junior from 1958, Daisy rock Classical acoustic guitar, twelve string electric, acoustic bass, and various acoustic electric guitars.
I use an old Martin acoustic, a ukulele guitar with nylon strings, which was a gift from a fan in Japan, as well as a custom made twelve string electric guitar from another guitar maker/fan in Japan. The list goes on and on. For my anniversary, my husband gave me a custom lucite Flying V, he had made for me, which is hanging on the wall in the living room.
8. Who is Lisa’s greatest musical influence?
I have so many musical influences. Tchaichovsky’s “the Nutcracker Suite,” Queen, “Night at the Opera,” earlier Elton John, Bowie, especially “Hunky Dory” and “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” All albums by the Police- one of the main reasons I play guitar- Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello, Rickie Lee Jones, Thomas Dolby, “the Flat Earth” album, my guitar teachers who taught me how to read and encouraged me to write, who taught me interesting chords, and also made me feel confident that I could write a song with only a couple of chords, Pink Floyd, The Go Go’s, the list goes on and on.
My folks sent me to music lessons when I was a little girl, piano lessons as well as piano theory. We listened to music all the time in the house, from the standards my father played on the piano every night and Sunday mornings, to classical music on records or live- my older brother was a
classical pianist from a young age. My little sister and I took ballet and dance lessons at a young age, and we listened to a variety of music in class.
9. How does Lisa go about writing her songs?
There are many different ways I write songs. The three main categories are songs I’ve written by being spontaneously inspired (which might sound a little redundant), songs I’ve been asked to write, and co-written songs. For the “inspired songs,” I write down or record little ideas I have all the time, when I’m walking to my car, making a cake, sleeping, driving, just sitting around playing guitar. Sometimes I write on scraps of paper, sometimes music notation, as well as I can…sometimes recorded on a tape recorder, phone, or computer.
I try to write everyday. I like to use the writing exercises in Natalie Goldberg’s books like Wild Mind or Writing Down the Bones to get myself going and out of the typical daily journal type of writing that I also do. This gets me connected to a part of my brain and heart that I am not always in touch with throughout the day, but a place that still is me. I keep all of these ideas handy, and sometimes in my computer, so that I can use them if necessary. Sometimes the melody comes first, sometimes a lyric, sometimes both together, sometimes a chord progression. I usually write music on guitar, but sometimes I go to piano, or even 6 string bass or ukulele. Different instruments make me feel and think in different ways. When I find a lyric or a concept that I really like, I sit down and make myself write the song.
Sometimes this can take an afternoon, sometimes years.
Other times I’m asked to write for a movie or special project. In these cases, I look at the assignment, and think about the tone, content, context, and point of view of the music or song I’m being asked to write, and just sit down and start playing with music and lyrics to see if I can come up with something that might work. The process is similar to the spontaneous song, except there’s usually a deadline, which forces me to work more quickly, and often these songs have a more direct message than my other songs. I sometimes use some of the ideas that I’ve saved up.
When I co-write a song, it’s also a faster process than writing by myself. It’s very satisfying to throw ideas around with other writers that I trust, like Gary Burr, Maia Sharp, Dave Bassett, Chad Gilbert, Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty, to name a few.
It’s as if the brain is working faster, like three people sewing a quilt instead of one. The co-written songs are also great, since they have a message that, I think, is easier for an audience to understand.
When you co-write, all of the writers have to know what the song is about, so in order for us to discuss, the song message is clear. When I write by myself, it can get a little more abstract and not so easy to understand. It’s always one of my goals for the listener to be able to understand what I’m writing- either through the mood, the lyric, the music, or some combination of all of those elements.
So, there’s the discipline of writing all the time, the capturing of ideas as they come up, the development of the ideas into a larger concept, and drinking coffee, sitting myself down, and doing the homework of finishing the song.
10. Are Lisa’s songs autobiographical?
Some of the songs, like “Stay (I missed you)” and “Lucky Me” are autobiographical, but others are not as much about myself directly. I wrote them, so my point of view and experience plays a part in the songs, but often in a fictional way.
11. Are the Nine Stories boys (Spencer/Quigley/Crawford) still part of your band? Do you think you will work with them in the future?
I still love playing with the Nine Stories boys as well as Matt Beck, Daru Oda, Adam Levy, and other players! They are working on a number of different projects, but we play whenever we can.
I have also played with some other musicians in Los Angeles where I live- Joe Travers, Mark Meadows, Dave Gibbs, Michael Eisenstein, Phil Hurley and a few others. Since I don’t constantly tour on the road with a band, sometimes the guys play with other people and are in the middle of someone else’s tour, so it’s wonderful to have a selection of great musicians!
12. Does Lisa mind people taking photographs during her shows?
I don’t prefer people taking photos at the show, especially flash photos. It’s really distracting to see the flash going off or hear the shutter click while I’m playing songs- I forget lyrics and it takes me out of the moment of the song performance. I must also point out that the angle under my face with my mouth open is not the most flattering, to say the least, and as I’m a little self- conscious, like most people. I don’t mind taking photos after the show with folks when we set it up after the show.
13. How does Lisa feel about people recording her shows?
I don’t like people videotaping the shows. I understand the concept of someone bootlegging the show, but I don’t like for people to sell them on-line. I wouldn’t say I support people recording the shows- it doesn’t represent the show very well, but I’m not going to come out to see if you have a recorder in your pocket…also, like photos, it’s distracting to see a video camera right in front of me while- it takes me out of the moment.
14. What is Lisa’s phone number/address/email address?
For obvious reasons we cannot give those details, but you can contact the Lisa Loeb Fan Club:
Lisa Loeb Fan Club
11054 Ventura Blvd, #381
Studio City, CA 91604
15. I love listening to it, but does Lisa ever get tired of playing “Stay”?
I don’t get tired of playing “Stay.” As a music fan, I love seeing my favorite musicians play the songs that I know them for, and I think “Stay” is one of those songs for me as a musician- one that people connect to. It’s also a challenging song to sing: it has a story, lots of vocal range, and some interesting guitar parts. It reminds me of the time period in which I wrote it when I was starting out in NYC after playing music all through college. It reminds me of how the success of the song has taken me all over the world and enabled me to continue to be creative and make music and do other projects, as well as reinforcing my appreciation of where I started and where I’m going. I have so much freedom, thanks to the success of that song.
16. What is Lisa’s favorite Hello Kitty item?
I love my Hello Kitty rice steamer. I still use it all the time, and it’s the item that connected me with the actual Sanrio company! They sent it to me as a gift along the way, and that started my wonderful relationship with the company here and abroad, especially Japan, where I even attended the MTV music awards with Hello Kitty as my date!
17. When is Lisa going to be releasing a new “grown-up” album?
I’ve been working on a new grownup album which should be out later this year. Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory asked if we could make a record together, and we’ve been making a poppy/punky/rock record that I’m very excited to share with you! More on that when it’s about to come out.
18. What’s Lisa’s next [project/book/acting role/non-music endeavor]?
I have a lot of projects underway, and I’ll let you know when they’re on the way out. Talking about them before they come out usually slows down the process for some reason.
19. I love Lisa’s style! Where does she get her clothes and/or what’s her fashion inspiration?
That’s a big question. I’m inspired by clothes that fit (which actually makes a big impact on what a person can wear), by comfort, a fabric’s texture, color, wearability. I love simplicity, which often looks best on me, as a petite person who always wears glasses, which is a lot to start out with. I sometimes work with a couple of different stylists who introduce me to new looks or designers, but it’s always a collaboration. I like classic looks that are flattering with a bit of fun.