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INTERVIEW: Lisa Papineau

Hi Lisa, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello VENTS, I’m well, thank you, and yourself?

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Oh Dead On Oh Love”?

After being alone with it for some time in rough bones, Rusty (Koool G Murder) and I really enjoyed slowly pulling out the musical arrangement.  We took our time, and kept finding little moments to finesse. It had the feeling of putting up and decorating the Christmas tree: methodical almost delicate placement of one ornament at a time in midst of chaotic, silly, noisy loving family.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

It was seeing someone I greatly admire stumble and taking a hard look at my unreasonable expectations of them. Recognizing that in the frailty of failure, we have the greatest opportunity to learn how to be brave. Not in a fancy pants “ta da!” hero way, but in each moment to moment.

Why naming the record after this song in particular?

It’s funny, because it’s a very spare song in terms of arrangement compared to the others… but I think the name best expresses something I think all the songs touch on, again, this idea of strength in what is most fragile and vulnerable, perhaps even broken, in all of us.

How was the recording and writing process?

Things can be frustrating and seemingly stuck, or un-doable. There are a few songs on this album that had to be put aside while I went on to do other albums, and that was hard for me. But then you find ways to break through and realize that everything has its own moment. Hopefully the lesson of “sitting still” with things, not need to force everything through will stick! I feel very lucky to have the best of what working in both Vermont and LA bring to my music: The opportunity to be quiet and listen in VT; The community and collaborative spirit in LA.

What is it about the 70s that you find so fascinaring?

I love songs more than anything, so I don’t personally tend to gravitate specifically towards one era or another. That being said, I think during this time there was such a bounty of album-oriented craft in songwriting… exploring what a “pop” or “folk” song could do in relation to the entire body of music on the LP. And so many beautiful imperfect voices. For all the big arrangements, the vocals were often so human and forthright, whatever the genre.

What role does LA play in your music?

LA is the best eclectic mix tape that a beloved friend gives you for your birthday. LA is the dance party.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?

You know you are going to have a set of boundaries when collaborating, and I love this… it is actually freeing… It gives one an opportunity to not hold on so tightly.

How does tragedy and illness influence the writing on this album?

I’m a broken record (haha) at this point, but these songs (in melody, words and performance) express how loss, the tenderness of failure, suffering can give birth to a kind of courage in compassion. The bravery that is a broken, open heart.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I think mostly old school on this album… reading books and listening to the radio.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, always love being on the road. We’re going to have a special hootenanny of a show in Los Angeles with all the album collaborators in February, and then I will start touring in Europe in late Winter/ early Spring with Matthieu Lesenechal and Johan Guidou.

What else is happening next in Lisa Papineau’s world?

I’m back in LA for a while, so that means I get to head back to practicing at my dojo and hang out with my beloved karate-do nerds. Juan (Alderete) and I also plan to get started on a new Big Sir album.

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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