Bundle of fire goth-country-punk singer Lindi Ortega is coming to Montreal in support of her new album Faded Gloryville. Having seen her play before (read HERE), I can assure you that her shows are great fun with sass and energy and balls. I got to talk to Ortega about her new album.
Rachel Levine (RL): I’m curious how you developed your sound and how you continue to develop it. Faded Glorville seems more wistful than some of the earlier albums. But overall, your sound is feminine, but not girly; tough but not brutal; honest and raw, but not ill formed or discordant. I think of it as a kind of country-punk-goth. Have you always written music this way? Was it influenced or inspired by something specific? Do you have any tricks or tips you use to keep things balanced on the side of being compelling and catchy?
Lindi Ortega (LO): I really don’t actually have any sort of formula I follow. It’s really just as simple as I typically write songs about my actual experiences. I try not to let things get too dark so I always seem to maintain a dash of tongue in cheek humor here and there to lighten the mood when necessary.
RL: In your interview with Rolling Stone, you talk about the idea behind Faded Gloryville as what you do after life brings you down. Is there a specific moment in your life or someone else’s life that this refers to? Does it have anything to do with your own career or a moment in your career that you overcame?
LO: The song itself was inspired by the movie Crazy Heart. it’s about an older musician that can’t seem to catch a break. I just asked myself if I would end up that way. Life as a musician seems to have an uncertain future. You make a lot of sacrifices to try and do what you love. Sometimes it gets really tough and you doubt yourself and wonder if it’s all worth it. I call that place “Faded Gloryville.” I think most people who have had a big dream that wasn’t fully realized have spent time in Faded Gloryville. It’s up to the individual to decided if they wish to live there or take something away from the visit and move on.
RL: Do you prefer touring and performing music, writing music, or studio recording?
LO:I prefer playing live shows.
RL: You worked with multiple producers on Faded Gloryville. What did each one bring to the table for you?
LO: Each producer certainly brought their own styles to each recording which I find sonically evident on the with the songs on the album.
RL: I feel like your songs are often about love gone not so well… and often seem to be speaking to specific people or situations. There’s an intimacy to them. Sometimes I think it’s like you’re writing it out in a diary what you would say to someone. Do the lyrics and themes come from experiences in your own life? Are they intended to be addressed to specific people or situations?
LO: Yes, 90 percent of my songs are moments I lived through and emotions I’ve felt very deeply. I don’t actually call people out by name, or let people know I’ve written songs about them, but certainly there are people I have been in love with and felt hurt by that I’ve written songs about.
RL: I’m always interested in how certain songs come into being. You can tell me about any of them, but I especially like the strong swagger I get from Tell it like it is.
LO: Well,”Tell It Like It Is” was born out of my frustration with the dating scene and how people play cat and mouse games and are never just straight up. It seems there is this silly beating around the bush, where people wait two weeks to call someone, or have these strange rules. This was just my advisement to potential suitors to give it to me straight!
You can catch Lindi Ortega with Sam Cash on October 26 at Petit Campus. $15/18. Click HERE for tickets.