Lisa BW by Kevin Westenburg

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

Lisa Loeb: The smell of roses, my children’s bright eyes and smiles, laughing with my husband, walking on the beach, using my hands to do crafts or play guitar, brainstorming, and drinking coffee, really good coffee.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

LL: Earthquakes. And singing songs that I don’t know very well on stage.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

LL: Stop fighting. Everyone’s a person too. And take care of the Earth, please.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

LL: I talk to friends about it, I write, I breathe, and most of all, I put it in perspective.

MP: Tell me about your latest project.

LL: As far as projects I put out there, my grownup album, No Fairy Tale, is my most recent album project. It’s a collection of songs that sounds more punky/poppy/rock than other projects I’ve done. The album was co-produced and instigated by Chad Gilbert from the punk band New Found Glory. It has a lot more energy than other records I’ve made, and even includes some tracks written and sung by Tegan and Sara, one of the bands who inspire me when I write.

I also released a book-and-CD called Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ and Shakin’, the second in my series of illustrated books with music. These are collections of songs to sing and dance along with, and are classics from my summer camp days mixed in with originals that I wrote with Dan Petty and Michelle Lewis.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

LL: I try to get enough sleep and exercise, try not to make mountains out of molehills, and vent a lot. I have a good team to support my work. I also do lots of mundane things, which will center me. I don’t have a very routine life; the kids’ activities, our nightly routines, and morning routines are about as routine as it gets. In the middle of it all – other than my morning coffee, toast, and trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night – each day is different.

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in your life?

LL: Don’t force things to happen. You can work towards things and keep yourself open to things, people, and opportunities, but you can’t and shouldn’t try to control everything. Also, if you haven’t noticed so far, I think sleep is really important.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

LL: There are many different ways to look at a situation, and it’s important to look at things the way they are.

MP: How does your music reflect some of the struggles in your life over the past few years?

LL: The song “No Fairy Tale” tells my story. Going through the hard things leads to a richer life than just trying to make everything perfect, or worse, pretending things are good when they don’t feel right. I’ve done that more than enough times.

There’s a song that Chad Gilbert and I wrote together called “Walls” that deals with that terrible feeling I used to get of walls physically going up when I couldn’t express myself. I felt this especially when it came to important feelings that were sometimes embarrassing to get out. I don’t experience that anymore.

The song “Ami, I’m Sorry” reflects the struggles I had with depression and being overwhelmed. It took getting adequate sleep and focusing on the good things and purpose in my life to get through that.

MP: Why is summer camp so important to you, and to kids in general?

LL: Summer camp was a place where I felt like myself that wasn’t like school. There were no grades, we got to try lots of new things, and I started to play guitar at camp. It was a place for acceptance and learning to be a part of a community, but also learning to be yourself. I want that for all kids, but some kids don’t have the opportunity to go to camp. I want to help.

MP: How is your life different now that you’re married with kids?

LL: I have so much joy in my life. I love my husband and kids so much. So much love. I’m also more focused now on spending more time at home and in town instead of going on tour. Because of that nesting, I find that I’m even more into writing and creating.

Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb has recorded eight acclaimed albums after releasing Stay (I Missed You), including the Grammy-nominated, gold-selling Firecracker. In addition to her latest children’s book-and-CD, Songs for Movin’ and Shakin’, she is the author of Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs (Sterling), which won a Parents’ Choice Award. Lisa’s dynamic career encompasses music, film, television, an eyewear collection, award-winning children’s recordings, and work on behalf of her charity, the Camp Lisa Foundation. Born in Maryland and raised in Texas, Lisa now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children, Lyla and Emet, and their two cats. Visit Lisa at www.lisaloeb.com and follow her on Twitter @LisaLoeb.

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