TRACK PREMIERE: LIZZIE WEBER – “YOU”
photos / Tony Hammons
Lizzie Weber provides the heart with a dim lit dive bar and a shot of whiskey for the shattered pieces that you just might put it through. I’m literally imagining my 20-year-old heart outside of my body and sobbing to her music at that bar.
On “You”, the first song from the upcoming EP “You” out this summer, she says, “The song is essentially about the paralysis that can come with heartbreak. Specifically– a moment in time where you feel that you’ve been deeply wronged by someone you loved, but in the end remember you had seen their true colors all along. Writing this tune felt like writing an ode to the saying: ‘When people show you who they are, believe them.'”
The Seattle based artist released a debut full-length album in January 2014, full of achingly beautiful songs, followed by a haunting rendition of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”. Her deep croons have made ripples in the music world garnering attention from Grammy-award winner Sheldon Gomberg who produced her single, “Love Again.” She has performed with such renowned songwriters as Marketa Irglova (the Swell Season/Once), Crystal Bowersox, Tiny Ruins, and Ryan Montbleau. She is currently working on her second full-length album. We catch up with Lizzie about her foray into music and life.
Tell us about your path into music?
When I was twenty, I left university to move to LA and pursue a career in acting. I had studied theater for two years at Marquette University, but had an insatiable desire to leave my comfort zone and see if I was really cut out for it. So I moved to Studio City.
I had some musical training with piano in high school and dabbled with writing melodies on occasion, but it wasn’t until I moved to LA that I wanted to learn how to play the guitar as well, and found myself connecting more with music than with the acting world. I was working as a receptionist at a yoga studio when a few of the teachers began to ask me to sing or play a song at the end of class. Folks started asking me where they could buy the music and I was astounded. I seriously thought they were crazy! Eventually, I listened and decided I would try recording a few of them. It took me a long time to find my voice and confidence, but here I am.
What has been your biggest inspiration to date?
That’s a tough question! I’m not sure I can pinpoint a single person or moment, as there have been so many that have inspired me… I have to say that my move to the northwest has been one of my biggest inspirations. Not only the gorgeous scenery, but the music community in Seattle. I’ve never lived in a city that has as much thriving talent as this one. Every time I go see my friends perform, I am blown away.
Can you tell us the muse behind “You”.
The song is essentially about the paralysis that can come with heartbreak. Specifically: a moment in time where you feel that you’ve been deeply wronged by someone you loved, but in the end admitting you had seen their true colors all along. Writing this tune felt like writing an ode to the saying “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
Have you ever been with someone who was worried about you using your experience for art?
I have not… And luckily I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that!
What are some things you love?
Northwest summers, documentaries, chocolate, biking, yoga, cheese, sunsets, hiking… and golden retrievers (I have one named Luna).
Tell us a little bit about your tour.
In late June, I did a solo run from Seattle down to Los Angeles. It was a blast. Every audience was different and it was nice to have some alone time on the road. I started off the tour in Seattle with good friends, followed by Portland, SF and LA.
What’s the most rewarding part of making music?
When someone tells me that my music resonated with them on a personal level, it is truly an indescribable feeling. Having the ability to make someone feel less alone in their thoughts or feelings is really quite special. It makes the uncertainty of this profession feel worth it.
I also feel a great sense of responsibility to be socially conscious and vocal as an artist with a platform. Seattle is an incredibly progressive city — many artists frequently play benefit shows and fundraisers to contribute to organizations in need of assistance and I’m so inspired by that. The Seattle show I played as part of my tour was the same week that families were being separated at the border. I decided to donate proceeds from that show to the ACLU and was thrilled to see so many of my peers were speaking out. To be able to give back as an artist IS the great reward.
I also feel a great sense of responsibility to be socially conscious and vocal as an artist with a platform. Seattle is an incredibly progressive city — many artists frequently play benefit shows and fundraisers to contribute to organizations in need of assistance and I’m so inspired by that. The Seattle show I played as part of my tour was the same week that families were being separated at the border. I decided to donate proceeds from that show to the ACLU and was blown away by how many of my peers were speaking out. To be able to give back as an artist IS the great reward.
How did St. Louis influence you as a person?
I’m forever grateful for my upbringing in St. Louis. I grew up in the suburbs and attended an all-girls private high school that was, at the time, known for its liberal and feminist values. Growing up in a culture that thrived on raising independent women was a gift. My theater teacher there pushed me to pursue my passions and ignore pressures to follow a more traditional path.
In short, my education along with the sense of community in St. Louis were invaluable to my development as an artist, and as a person.
In one word describe your artistry.
I guess I’d have to say dynamic, purely because I strive to create music that traverses genre. I don’t want to live out my career in one lane, so to speak.
Where do you find yourself creating music the most?
I like to write pretty much anywhere that offers me quiet. Mostly, that’s at home.
How often do you play guitar?
Almost every day.
What is the weirdest song you ever wrote?
A few years ago, I was hired to co-write and perform a jingle for a northwest dairy company. I never thought I’d find myself professionally singing about cheese, but I ended up having a blast doing it. And I love cheese…so ultimately it was probably meant to be.
If you have a message for all the people out there reading this, what is it?
The political times we are all currently living through make kindness and awareness more important than ever. If we can do our best to do good and give back in our respective communities, we’ll all be better for it.
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