Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lauren Pritchard Interview

Bec Clark: Alright great. Well we’re here, for My World Tour at the John Henry studios (London) just about to have a chat to Lauren Pritchard, how are you today?

Lauren Pritchard: I’m good thank you, how are you?

B: I’m good. Now I’ve heard some absolutely fascinating stories of a fairy tale, of pretty much how you got started, so can you give us a little bit of a run down of how you got to where you are.

L:  I grew up in Tennessee. I got really tired of being in my small town, called Jackson, so I begged and begged my parents to move me somewhere else where I could be a musician. My mother and I moved to LA when I was 16 and I lived there for two years where I spent some time in a reggae band, writing and working with people. I had done some acting when I was younger in Tennessee and decided to get an agent. That turned into me booking a show in New York (a Broadway show called Spring Awakening) which was a lot of fun. In my bio, in the play bill it said -I really want to be a writer, can you go to my website and check out my music. I had made a Myspace, had written some songs and put them up, so people started listening and stated checking out the music. [Some] people who came to see the show were from Sony and they signed me which was amazing and sort of kicked off my writing. The whole writing experience that kind of started I guess the end of 2007.  Then flash forward to the end of 2008, when I got to start coming over here (UK) and start working with EG White who was a writer that I had known about, really admired and really wanted to work with. EG and his manager were looking for an artist that they could make a record with and  the stars sort of aligned and things fell in the right place. I moved over here so I could make a record with him and I’m here now and signed to Island, with Universal Republic in the States, and it’s a really good home. It’s really nice.

B: I read somewhere that when you first moved to LA you were a little bit down on your luck and considered moving back to Jackson but you were picked up by a friend.  Can you tell us what was going through your mind when you were considering heading back home?

L: Well basically I was living with my mum, I was sort of in a band and there wasn’t really that much going on. My little brother had come out to visit us, my mum and I, and wound up in a skating accident and shattering his collar bone so my mum had to get on a plane with him that night to fly back - mum was like ‘I have to stay here with your brother, I have to take care of him and you are going to have to come back. I don’t know what else to do because you can’t stay out there by yourself, you’ve just turned 17, you’re not emancipated, this is very against the law. I could get into a lot of trouble and I’m not a bad parent. I never have been and I don’t want to be outed as one for this ridiculous reason’ I didn’t know what to do. There wasn’t enough going on for me to stay there but I was slowly starting to make connections through people and some kind of progress. My friend Riley’s, I was driving to her house and my mum rang me and was like ‘you have to come home’ and then I turned up at [Riley’s] house and was like ‘I cant believe I’m going to have to leave L.A. I really don’t want to go home, it just doesn’t feel right’ She was like ‘you cant go, you can just stay at my house’ and I was like ‘don’t be ridiculous’. And then about three days later, her mum rang my mum and said ‘you cant let her go back, she’s really talented. You can just let her stay here and we’ll take care of her. We’ll sort her out. She just can’t leave, she has already made this much progress and if she comes back when she’s 18 she going to have to start all over again because she hasn’t made enough progress to keep something going but she has something going on for her and it just would be a waste’.  It was an amazing thing they did for me because if I hadn’t of stayed at their house, I mean there is no way to say it would or wouldn’t have happened but it wouldn’t have happened this way and it may never have happened.

B: Would you have had the courage to get back up there and do it all again?

L: I think I would have, but I think it would have made me a different person. I have always been really ballsy and I don’t know whether I would or wouldn’t have made me less ballsy but I feel like it might have. I’m really glad that it didn’t happen and that I’m still biting

B: I believe you went to go live with Lisa Marie Presley? That was the mother who took you in right? What was it like living at their house hold and under that roof?

L: It was really nice. They are basically my second family and I’m very close with them.

B: Having played the LA bar circuit like you said with the reggae band and having been on Broadway, theatre and now festivals, where is your comfort zone, where are you most comfortable?

L: I don’t know. I think I have done so many different kinds of performances on stages and venues and situations, that as long as I’m with people who are nice on stage, it doesn’t matter. Cos you know there is the whole Broadway scene that is totally different. Playing to like 1200 people a night for over two years was something you just get used to, people being around, watching you and its weird when it first starts out and you’re acting on a stage. It’s a live show and anything can go wrong but it teaches you quickly to get your cat like reflexes involved. Because you always have to be ready for everything and that has been really useful in other areas of entertaining but to be honest I think the place that I have always been most comfortable is singing and playing on stage. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t love doing theatre. I started there and loved doing theatre and I’d love to go back to it at some point, when the time is right, but playing music is the best sort of escapism and release. It is where I feel most comfortable.

B: Well you were fantastic the other weekend, I think it was Saturday, playing at latitude and you played a couple of my favourite songs but you also did an amazing cover of TLC Waterfall. What possessed you to do that? Was there any significance of the song?

L: Well, The TLC Crazysexycool record was the first record I ever went to the record store to buy. I think I was eight years old and I’ve listened to that record probably more than any record in my whole life. I have always loved them and I think because that was always something floating around my brain it was a influence on the writing that I did and the music that I gravitated towards. The music was very soulful and has a lot of meaning behind it. I also think people get nervous about new artists, this is what I observe - When you are checking out new music you kind of go, like, oh am I going to like this? or am I not going to like this or have they maybe done something that I can sort of take in?  I just sort of wanted there to be something in the show that people can recognise without people thinking - this is so new, this is so much to take in. That is one of my favourite songs and I just sort of thought of a song that people will, more than anything, just enjoy because it’s a great song. Doesn’t matter who’s singing it or how they’re playing or what’s going on, its just a great tune and its hard to do bad.  Another thing for me is the significance of that tune. I did some work with Babyface, Kenny Edmonds, and writing with Kenny. He’s a friend and he wrote half that tune and to pay homage to these people who have had influence in my life I think is really important. And to pay homage to Lisa Left Eye, who’s not with us. Its been a lot of fun doing that song and I don’t think anyone actually thinks I’m going to rap and then I do.

B: And then you do! Yeah, I was going to say you have a bit of a rap career coming out there as well and you got an amazing response from everyone.

You have done a bit of work with Marcus from Mumford and Sons, what was he like to work with as a producer?

L: Really good. It was his first thing to produce ever on his own and I think he was, maybe nervous isn’t the right word, but we just really wanted it to be good. He’s really one of the most creative people that I have ever met and he has a way of telling you things are good or bad with out it being too harsh or too soft or whatever. He just sort of gets it done in a very diplomatic way and it was what was necessary for those few days in the studio. Ted Dwane who’s the bass player for Mumford also worked on the record and they are just great guys. They are really talented and they really know what they are doing. They’re amazing musicians and it was a pleasure working with them.

B: I have been listening to your CD lately and painkillers is probably my favourite track of yours, where were you coming from and where were you drawing your inspiration from when you were writing that track?

L: Oh dear. Well painkillers, most of the record is really written about things that happened, situations that I was in. I dated a guy and went through quite a long break up. All in all the relationship was almost three years and it changed me and my life in so many ways. Painkillers is basically about knowing that its over but knowing that you are not going to recover for a long time and there is nothing anyone can do. There no song, there’s no movie, there’s no book, there’s no hug, there’s no friend

B: There not enough chocolate

L: There not enough chocolate OR ice-cream in the world to cure what is going on and you just have to sort of get by

B: Is it hard performing songs like that on stage when they have such poignant connotations?

L: It is. A lot of the songs are personal and you sort of have to find the line of going there with out getting too involved. I will say, I wrote the song as I was sort of going through it. Only a few months after he and I had really been split up and I thought I’m still recovering, I’m still getting used to all this and it helped singing It. The only time that it was really tough was when we shot the video and I sang it all day for like 10 hrs and about half way through the day I was like - oh this is really personal this song isn’t it. It’s a bit weird

B: How much of the song Wasted in Jackson is autobiographical?

L: I basically wrote it from the perspective of me, 15 years old, just needing to get out. I was nervous about letting anyone hear it or putting it out in the universe let along make it the title of the album. But its not meant I a bad way, its just you know, I needed to get away from this place and then eventually come back and now that I’m not there I haven’t lived at home in so many years

B: Are you going to get back there?

L: I miss it so much and I miss everyone. I don’t know that I’ll go straight back there anytime soon. But I try and go back enough. Cos’ all of my family are still there

B: Well I’ll get back on to a happier subject then. I heard you did an amazing performance last night, congratulations on a success with the full band. How that all going and what can we expect form you in the future in terms of tour wise?

L: Last night was so much fun! I had a brilliant time, I really did. It was so nice to just be with the band and hear the songs as they are after doing six and a half months of acoustic touring. It was really cool, really exciting. I go to America for two week to do some radio promo cos’ were going to put the record out there. Its going out simultaneously as coming out here in the UK so were going to be there doing some work and doing some more acoustic gigs. We come back at the beginning of September, we actually have some full-band gigs that are going be lined up. Our first out side of London, full-band gig is on the 17th of August. We’re doing it up in Edinburgh for the festival. Im really looking forward to that cos’ every time we go up to Scotland they keep saying you have to come back for the festival and I finally get to come back. I’m really excited. So that the first one and come September we’ll be doing full-band gigs and touring mostly through the rest of the year. Here and the US the records out in October and I cant believe that its here. I just hope that somebody buys it

B: I remember a little while ago you go pulled up, an amazing opportunity, on stage with Paul Weller. Is there anyone you’d pull up on stage if you could to sing with you? Who would that be?

L: Lots of people, oh dear this list could go on. Actually the one person that I would really really really really really really really really really really really hope this happens is painkillers – do you know Talib Kweli?

B: No

L: He sort of like – do you know Mos Def?

B: Yep

L: He’s basically his partner in crime. They grew up together and they have always rapped and done things together.  Talib is one of my favourite rappers in the world and he just did a painkillers remix and I really really really want to do a show where he comes on stage just for one song. I would just love that so much.

B: That would be amazing to see. Well since you’ve had such an amazing career going across so many musical genres, what’s the biggest lesson, or the main thing that you have taken from ‘showbiz’ and your musical career so far?

L: I think communication. Communication with everyone around you is the only way anything happens or goes even further. It can even be on the smallest level of things and I think that in ‘showbiz’’ there’s so many people that you have to talk to, theres so many people that are involved, that make everything happen and I think that have to be willing to be really personable with people. You have to understand that your giving a piece of yourself to the people who are watching and the people who are listening and I think that if you’re not willing to give, it doesn’t even have to be a lot, some people give a lot, some people give a little, but I think you have to be willing to give or else your not going to get anything back. Sometimes that’s quite scary and I think that is maybe the defining line of whether you can do this or you can’t. You have to be willing to split yourself into two and give how much you can give without giving away it all. It’s the only way you actually learn to receive because you’re giving them something by giving them your art and then they’re giving you something by appreciating your art, and without that working in unison it doesn’t work and I think that is the most important thing.  

B: Well thank you so much, you have been absolutely fascinating, I think I could talk to you all day and just keep going. Thank you from My World Tour and hopefully we will get you out to Australia soon.

L: Yess please I want to go so bad.

No comments:

Post a Comment