Interview: Lizzie and The Makers

Published on 14 June 2021 at 10:11

1: How did you decide on the name, “Lizzie & The Makers"?

Greg [McMullen] and I needed a band name fast - we were sitting at a bar and going down the row of whisky bottles - “Lizzie & The Dewars, Lizzie & the Bulleits, Lizzie & the Jamesons, Lizzie & The Makers - that’s it!” And it just stuck.

2: What inspires you to create?
A lot of my lyrical ideas come from my dreams at night - I have very intense, weird dreams. But mostly I’ll just get this visceral, internal itch. I’m having that right now! I used to write mostly about heartbreak and love lost, but recently I’ve been creating melodies, lyrics and chord progressions that echo the world as it is today. I’m less autobiographical and introspective and more present and aware. One thing I never do is write just to write - it’s an urge I can’t control in that way. When I try to force something out, it results in something inauthentic and contrived, which is a pet peeve of mine when it comes to certain artists today.
3: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in a creative profession?
DON’T GIVE UP. Ever. You will have lots of hard times and moments of self-doubt, but these moments will only make you stronger and help cultivate your art. Network as much as you can - the creative community takes care of their own. Try not to burn any bridges - it will come back to haunt you. If you feel taken advantage of, you probably are. Stand up for yourself. It’s hard work and a long road, but rewarding and worth it!

4: Do you feel open minded about what you listen to? Do you like going out of your comfort zone?
I do actually - I used to have very pointed opinions about current music, having grown up listening to Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. But then I realized “hey, I’m an artist today, I should be immersing myself in that music too and not so closed off to it. Now, I love going out of my comfort zone. It’s not only an aural adventure that can surprise you, but it can only help you grow as a musician!

5: What outlets do you find out about music from? (Record stores, magazines, samplers, etc.)
Honestly, mostly word of mouth these days. I’ll listen to something based on a friend's recommendation more often then because people are telling me it should be what I listen too. But I do read a lot of publications. Most recently, though, I’ve discovered some amazing hidden gems going through the $1 bin at a record store as well as the “local acts” bin.

6: What is your favorite format to listen to music on? (CD, Vinyl, etc.)
Vinyl! For sure! The warmth of the sound is unparalleled. Plus, it’s like there’s an Act I and an Act II. I’m more compelled to listen from start to finish on vinyl and I think it’s important to get back to that mode of listening. There is a craft in the story being told over an entire album.

7: What band/artist do you think everyone should listen to?
Oh dear, this is a tough question! I would say, most recently, Waxahatchee. Amazing songwriting, vocals and playing. Every song delivers and Katie definitely has her own sound.

8: What motivates you to check out a new artist?
Other than friend recommendations, I sometimes will hear a song randomly at a restaurant or in a movie and if I connect with it I go listen to the album.
9: Who was the first band/artist that became your favorite band?

Bonnie Raitt! I was a little kid and my mom had the “Nick of Time” cassette tape. She’d play it in the car whenever we drove somewhere. I was hooked. Still am!

10: What was the inspiration for your song “Mermaid”?
The original inspiration was from a friend who was a free spirit and practically lived in the ocean. But the lyrics ended up being about a broken heart, confusion, seeking solace in old friends and lovers, and the sights and sounds of Williamsburg on a rainy night.

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