Written by: Gerard Ucelli
BRM: You just released your new album Momentum. What was the songwriting process like for this album?
Lisa Bianco: It was a little different than the last album “Post Data.” I clearly wanted to write different and kill the switch on mid tempo. In the past If I had a musical idea i went with it and it stayed. This time I played with it. If I had an idea I’d speed it up. I’d play chords different. Too much major I made it minor lol. I thought I couldn’t control what I could write and that “what it is is what it is”. But this time I pretended to be in another band of sorts. Try something new.
BRM: According to your website, your music has soaring pop melodies atop punk rock passion with heartfelt singer-songwriter touch. I feel “Erase You” best represents that statement. What is that song about?
Lisa Bianco: Yeah I agree. I really have a soft spot for pop and melody and a spot for post-punk and reckless abandon lol. If I could throw my guitar night after night I’d do it! But then I’d have no guitar to play…oh oh …well that song is about not holding a grudge or anger and just “press delete” and erase that person from memory. Not hateful. The moment of realization and moving on. Feeling empowered. Is this my female empowerment song? Maybe lol. A friend of mine, Tim Dark, gave me a nudge to write it. He said “Yooo those type of female songs are hot right now…go do that!!”. So the light bulb went on and out it came.
BRM: What was the easiest and hardest song to make for this record?
Charmed was the easiest. It didn’t go through the pre-production ringer too much and stayed pretty much true to form when I entered the studio with it. Low was the hardest and came out very cool. It was originally an acoustic type ballad. I knew I didn’t like the way it was played but I felt there was a good song in there at its core. It was a very deep and personal subject matter for me as it was about my cousin who took his life about 2 years ago. So my producer, Bryan Russell, and I tossed the guitar around back and forth and came up with different ways to voice the song…and find a vibe. I like walking around and recoding sounds of machines and things. So to add to the vibe we tracked the sound of a life support machine in the beginning and a flatline at the end of the song. I do something like that for every album I make.
BRM: I know that this album on iTunes in several countries such as the UK, Japan, and Mexico. How’s the response been in those countries?
It’s been good especially in the UK/Europe iTunes. Since my last album I’d got emails or Facebook Messages if the album was available in [blank]. So when Momentum was done I thought to just have it available as many places I could.
BRM: Fans can pre-order the “Christmas List” which is on 7″ vinyl. I also noticed that “Big City Lights” is on Side B of that vinyl. Do you feel that there’s any difference listening to that song on CD and vinyl?
We debated putting a B Side type song but ended up with BCL from Momentum. We took an old school approach to the B side. Keeping the traditional idea that the B Side is a track off the current release. So we did that. I does sound a bit different. i’m not an expert audiofile but the songs on the vinyl have a slightly deeper fuller sound. Maybe more organic feel? Sometimes when I listen to my iPod I think “erghh this is horrible…the music sounds so digital” eekk. Everything is so compressed. You don’t notice this until you put in a CD on the stereo from maybe 10 years back and it sounds so glorious. I think the loudness war had not started yet.
BRM: What 5 albums do you want on your Christmas list this year?
Lisa Bianco: Philip Glass – Solo Piano, Real Estate – Days, The National – Boxer, Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials, Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM.
BRM: If Santa Claus gave you the opportunity to hang out with your biggest inspiration as an artist who would it be and why?
Lisa Bianco: Lately I’ve been on a U2 kick. I have an obsession with them that wax and wanes year after year. I got the Achtung Baby box set and I am totally floored. It’s my favorite album from them. It’s a total reinvention and at the same time very true to themselves and still U2. Great songs and lyrics. It’s very spiritual for me. I feel it set the tone for this “technology based” sounding music that is so evident today. I know we all go “oh there’s goes Bono again….” with some political shenanigan etc. But that is just the persona and the beast of being in the music biz and clouds the brilliance of what matters and that’s the music. And you know they did have a vital career for 30 years or so. It’s amazing. I admire their hunger to do something different and take risks….but most of all they knew they were right. As an artist you want to be right in the choices you make. You don’t want to do the same old song and dance. That’s only for Vegas.
BRM: Hardest question ever: Describe your life in one sentence using five of your song titles?
Lisa Bianco: Lovely Charmed Sideways Breakin Whatever the Cost.