Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Love, Hope & Tyranny" With Lucia Comnes

Lucia Comnes - Fiddling Around
Lucia Comnes "Love, Hope & Tyranny" 
Album from the fiddler / singer / songwriter coming  April 15th  

Atmospheric roots music crossing the genres of 
Americana, Folk, Celtic, Bluegrass, Rock & Alternative.

Lucia's voice is "singular... embedded with soul and spirit." 
- San Francisco Chronicle

Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with the talented Lucia Comnes about her upcoming album Love, Hope & Tyranny. I have heard it and it is quite a musical accomplishment. So huddle up to your computer and stay for a bit and get to know this one of a kind artist.

MS: You got back from Italy recently, correct?

LC: Yeah, just last night.

MS: Jet lagged?

LC: You know it's not so bad. It's basically one long day because you gain nine hours. I got home in the evening and then I went to bed, coming back, it's not so bad. Some people have a hard time with it, but I'm doing pretty good (laughs).

MS: Good. So Love, Hope & Tyranny is your fourth album?

LC: In terms of full albums it's really my third. I put an EP out a couple of years ago, which is not a full album, it's just a three song EP.

MS: Wow! That's awfully slight, even for an EP.

LC: (laughs) I know, I had to do something. Things sometimes take longer than you want them to. Like this is the album I had hoped would have come out at that time a couple of years ago. But with fundraising and getting everything where you wanted it to be, sometimes it just takes more time.

MS: Your music fits so many categories to me, you hear varying styles in every song when you listen to it. For example I hear rock, country and pop all in one of your compositions.

LC: Absolutely! If you look at the references I use from other artists and other songs on this album it's a pretty wide range of styles. I definitely don't try to fit into a box and it would probably help me if I did more so. But that's just not what I'm passionate about.

MS: I have a music background, but your music process is so eclectic I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how it works.Especially in your song No Hiding Place, please explain it to me.
LC: Yeah, yeah. Well you know it's interesting because I don't go about the creative process with a final end product in mind. I have an inspiration and an idea, I start working and collaborate with another musician sometimes. Obviously you have some control over what the end product is...but sometimes you're like "Wow! I didn't plan on it sounding like this, but it does and that really works." With that particular song it was a co-write, I had been covering a Gillian Welch song, Rock of Ages which is a song that she and David Rawlings wrote. The lyrics were taken from old American Appalachian Spirituals. I loved the grooves on that song, but I didn't want to cover a song on my album, I wanted an original song. Their original song was a slow song, with my band we made a kind of upbeat rockin' version of it. I was inspired by what they had done by going back to old Appalachian Spirituals. I did a lot of research, mainly online of the lyrics to those spirituals. We wanted to make the song sound like it was coming from and older time rather than just writing lyrics. So I did a lot of research on old lyrics, put a lot of lyrics that I liked it was like a collage. I took a lyric here and a put it there and another lyric from somewhere else...and came up with a new story. At the same time I was working with the co-producer Gawain Matthews and he is a guitarist we had the groove and we knew we wanted to have the same melodic feel. A little bluesy, pentatonic, it's open it doesn't have a defined common major or minor third which is something I really love! We added so many layers that it kind of developed into this Louisiana kind of swamp groove. That is the kind of thing that makes me excited when I am working in the studio.

MS: Wow!

LC: Every song is different. Take the next song, the second track Burning Eden. It's something that I wrote completely on my own, I was off on a song writing retreat by myself on a island and writing. I wrote the lyrics and the chorus to that and brought it to the studio and we recorded it as you hear it. Every song is totally different.

MS: You also have a big imagination and the imagery in your songs is very strong.

LC: Thank you.

MS: One thing that is a big part of your work is environmental causes.

LC: If I had to point to one big source of inspiration, I'm inspired when I am in nature. Taking long walks in the mountains on the beach, being in the silence, but hearing the sounds of nature. I'm just as passionate about nature and the wilderness as I am about playing music. In my opinion Global Warming is the issue of my generation. I address it a lot in my music, so if you are not an artist and you are not addressing Global Warming, it's like: "Hello? Where are you?"

Go Lucia! at:

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