This Lucy Rose article was written by Steven Loftin, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
Ahead of the first date of Lucy Rose’s new UK tour, I managed to get an interview in the midst of all the pre-tour/show madness. At the end of a seemingly endless labyrinth of stairs, I found Lucy in her green room, which was looking out over the campus, and she was joined by her dog, Meg. “You can’t eat chocolate Meg,” Meg had just jumped on her lap and was eyeing the snack Lucy was eating. Though in case you were worried, Meg isn’t a staple of the Lucy Rose road crew, “No, never, she’s not on the road she’s just here for today, then she’s going off to the Lake District for a nice little holiday”.
Being cautious not to get too distracted by the puppy in the room, we managed to get onto the topic of her new sound:
How do you find the new songs are received compared to the older material? There’s a lot more going on than in the old stuff
Yeah, I mean really well, there’s been no tomatoes thrown at me. So as far as I know, yeah, people like them!
How did you find the transition from the new sound to the old sound? Because the old stuff is folky, whereas the new stuff, which I was listening to earlier, is almost airy and very synthy. Was it natural?
No, the whole thing was definitely natural. It’s weird to process because the difference doesn’t seem that huge to me, as it does on the outside I mean. If it wouldn’t have felt natural I wouldn’t have done it and who knows I guess I just didn’t want to make the same record twice.
Obviously there’s a lot more going on in this record, do you find that more of protector or defence to you?
I guess so, we don’t really play too many of the totally acoustic songs, I mean, the only acoustic I play totally on my own is actually from the second record, which is called ‘Into The Wild’. I don’t know if I feel less defenceless with a band, I mean I definitely enjoy playing with a band; I enjoy making the big sound together. But the first record in many ways, I’m just looking at the set list, ‘She’ll Move’ definitely is just as difficult to play as say something like ‘Shiver,’ and that’s really big sounding, but it just means a lot so you kind of feel a little bit like the lyrics are going to be giving you away so I don’t think it’s about the music, it’s about what you’re saying.
So along as the crowd are hearing what you’re saying the music doesn’t matter as much?
Just from a personal point of view. It’s nerve wracking playing, I could sing a song from the first record that doesn’t mean as much to me, but it’s still me and an acoustic guitar and I won’t feel defenceless because I feel like it doesn’t matter kind of thing. It’s really about the message in the song.
Moving away from that now, because you must get asked about it [the “new sound”] all the time. Is there a particular moment you decided I want to be a musician?
I can’t remember it, in all honesty. I know everybody like to think there’s a moment. I’m sure every artist that you ask that question will come up with it, the moment it happened. But for me I think it was a real gradual decision, I didn’t just wake up one morning and go “actually fuck it all I want to be a musician” it was an indication of lack of interest in lots of other things and a certain interest in something which was growing inside, as I was growing up my interest in music.
You know, I wasn’t like those 6 year old kids that are obsessed with music and stuff. I was just a regular kid who saved up to buy the odd record and liked them, and escaped to their bedroom and put them on really loud. But it wasn’t like I was doing that because I was desperate to get into the music industry, I just enjoyed music, and I think that interest in music grew, and like I said looking at things to go and study at university it felt like I didn’t really see anything that I could do really.
The records you used to buy when you were younger… none of that influenced your desire to play music?
No, I definitely made the decision to play music as I was writing songs and then my manager actually sent me a list of like 20 records and going “Have you heard of any of these?”, with things like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Nico, Tom Waits and I was like “No I’ve never heard of any of these people before.” I was probably like 17 at the time, and he was like “right, go buy some records right now because then you’ll have a clear idea of what you want” and that definitely helped.
I was reading your biog earlier which mentioned you’re a hip hop fan as well. What’s your favourite hip hop record, or record that may have influenced you when you were younger?
I don’t think it’s even like past stuff, it’s like new, I guess hip hop for me is that it was new. I think with Kendrick Lamar’s first record I was obsessed with it like loads of people, it was amazing. And there’s a rapper called Logic, who I love, who’s also American. I listen to his music a lot. For me I don’t know if there’s a particular genre that i’m obsessed with, I find artists within each genre that I really enjoy and I kind of grow an interest and stick to them, and that’s kind of it.
Awesome! Another wild question, but what lyric do you wish you’d written?
I think that everyone chooses the same one, I think I’ve seen other people say it, but Joni Mitchell ‘A Case of you’, that lyric. How does it go…“I could drink a whole case of you and still be on my feet,” isn’t that it? Yeah that’s it. Something like that, don’t quote me, but it’s something like that.
A brief, but fantastic chat with Lucy Rose, whose career is only going to gain momentum and will be a staple name on everyone’s tongues. She’s now on tour around the UK, catch her while you can, because venues this size won’t be able to hold the crowds much longer.