Toine's Music Dealers Artist Spotlight - Lovers and Poets (Day 4 of 5) Interview 1206 words · 6 minute read

 

Let’s start at the beginning. At what age did you know that being an artist is what you wanted to be?

I was in college majoring in music at the University of Colorado in trombone performance. Then by a fluke, I happen to enroll in a songwriting class taught by Pat Leonard. He’s the guy who wrote “La Isla Bonita” and “Live to Tell” and “Cherish” with Madonna. I think that was the only time CU ever offered a course like that..Shortly after I got my degree I started working at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. I was interning as a stage hand and got to witness performances by Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Morcheeba, and Rufus Wainright. Then I bought a keyboard and a guitar, and learned every Beatles song to learn about the craft of songwriting (great advice from Pat Leonard) and joined a couple of bands as a keyboardist. My first band was called Frieden, a folk rock quartet that was basically a group of friends and we’d play covers and originals written by our singer/guitarist. It was so much fun that I joined another band, Jyemo, who became somewhat of a fixture on the jam band scene in Colorado. Then I moved to LA and joined a Duran Duran tribute band (yes, I was Nick Rhodes) and it was there that I met my future husband, Ben Eisen (AKA John Taylor).

Can you explain how Lovers & Poets came to be?

Well my husband and I had each been living in LA since the early 2000’s and after we got married we decided to move to Nashville. So in the spring of 2009 Ben was looking at craigslist and found an ad from someone looking to start a chill out/ downtempo project. So I immediately answered that ad and met Bryan Talbot at Bongo Java. It was incredible to me that someone in Nashville wanted to make electronic music and I felt like he and I were “rebels” in the scene. We were black sheep in a land of country music -especially given that his dad is Joe Talbot, a legendary country music publisher and famous pedal steel player for Hank Snow (“I’ve Been Everywhere”).

I started taking songs to Bryan and we would collaborate in his Belle Meade studio. Together we made “I Keep Falling” and “The Things We Do for Love”. One day, during my shift as a hostess at Noshville, I thought of the name ‘Lovers and Poets’. Bryan liked that idea too and suddenly we became a band. We were gaining momentum with our project, and Bryan and I had lots of creative ideas in the studio, and I was writing more and more with Lovers and Poets in mind. Then our collaborative relationship took a turn for the worse when I wrote “Life is Strange”. Here’s what happened: I demoed the song on my Macbook, and then I lost the files when I upgraded to a new operating system. In trying to re-create that original demo, I took the song to Bryan and we worked on it in his studio. We even brought in a guitarist and even though all efforts had been made on this song, it didn’t have the feel I wanted. So I took the song back and recorded and mixed it all myself even though Bryan still wanted to be involved in the song. I feel terrible about how I just yanked the song out of his hands but I can’t explain how obsessed I was with getting the song just right. Anyways, that is why I think the partnership ended- I just wanted to have too much control of our sound..I felt like a surrogate mom who had a baby and suddenly didn’t want to give up her child.

By November of 2009 Bryan and I had disbanded but he let me keep the Lovers and Poets name. I naturally turned to Ben, who had come up with every single bass line and helped guide the groove of the songs. We recorded 8 more songs using Garageband on my Macbook. So now it’s Ben and myself as Lovers and Poets. We moved back to LA in April 2010 and now we have just released our debut album and are just starting to do live shows.

Do you draw inspiration for your material from real life experiences?

Yes, but in a different way than my solo material, which is straight-up auto-biographical stuff. I went to see Ralph Murphy speak in Nashville and he said that a songwriter doesn’t have to just write about what actually happened. One can write about what could have been. That opened up a new door for me. I started thinking about a car accident that happened to me in 1999. I fell asleep at the wheel and my car rolled off a small cliff. I woke up in mid-tumble and I thought I was going to die. My car was completely totaled but miraculously I escaped without injury, only mild shock as I was carried away in an ambulance.

That was the seed for “Life is Strange”. I thought, what if I was traveling in a car with someone I loved? And what if one of us had lived while the other was lost? How painful would that be? Also, I had such a disoriented feeling when I awoke in the air…it was like flying through time. I wanted to convey that slow motion sense. In the song, I made it more of a release, like a soothing, strange trip of emotion.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island for the rest of your life and could only have 5 albums with you, what albums would they be?

Ben makes fun of me for this because every time we go somewhere in my car, I have Keane in my cd player. So I would say “Hopes and Fears” by Keane. Also, “Dusty in Memphis” by Dusty Springfield would come with me, as well as my 6 disc box set of “Totally 80’s”. “Revolver” and “Sgt. Pepper” would round out the list.

What type of movie/television show would you say Lovers & Poets music would best work in?

I will leave that up to the experts. :)

Describe how you think the world would be without music?

Unremarkeable.

Where do you see the music industry in 10 years?

Well there will always be music so the industry may change but we will find our way around.

Are there any plans for Lovers & Poets to tour in the near future?

Yes- we are planning a San Francisco show and a trip down to San Diego as well. We plan on doing many shows around California and then expanding on to do more gigs throughout the west coast by 2011. We would love to do SXSW next year too.

If fans want to keep up with the latest happenings with Lovers & Poets what can they do?

Join our mailing list at http://www.loversandpoetsmusic.com

Also, follow us at http://www.twitter.com/loversandpoets and fan us at http://www.facebook.com/loversandpoets

Our music can be purchased at http://www.cdbaby.com/loversandpoets2

Finally, what is the name of the cat in your intro video?

Donut. She’s a little hellion.