Lizzie. Thanks a lot
for taking the time to answer these questions.
Nunnery: It's great to be asked.
released your debut album "Company of Ghosts“ last year after releasing
two EPs. Was the feeling any different?
It was very
different. Both EPs were self released and it was fantastic to be able to put
out the album on Fellside Recordings. They've been around for a long time and
it was great to draw on their wisdom and their passion for folk music. Some of
the songs that ended up on the album I wrote a decade before and some were
brand new, but in a sense I'd been honing down that list of songs and aiming
for that release since I started performing music in my teens, so it was a
wonderful feeling to get the album out there.
The EP are
sold out already, your song "Hungry" was played on BBC Radio 3 and
your debut album has been nominated for the Spiral Earth award. Does success
frighten you or do you need it as a driving force?
a driving force. I always think that as long as my focus is on creativity and
on making the music heard then success can't be a bad thing. It's strange: I'm repeatedly
surprised and overwhelmed when people are in to my music, but at the same time
I'm always thinking ahead and every bit of success is anticipated a long while
before you reach it.
How did you
"encounter" music? Do you come from a musical family?
My Mum has
never sung professionally but she constantly sings and I grew up singing all
the time as a result. My Grandad played the piano, usually drunkly on Friday
nights. I think I was exposed to a huge amount of music growing up. When I was
little my Mum and Dad used to listen to Dylan, Fairport Convention, Joni
Mitchell, Neil Young so perhaps some folk influence seeped in, but they also
played The Kinks, Bruce Springsteen, Annie Lennox... When I was nine my
favourite band was The Travelling Wilburys, so that says a lot.
You are not
only a musician but also an award winning playwright praised e.g. by The
Guardian. How do you find time to do so much? Go to your local shop and buy a
few extra hours?
know. I've always been really driven to write whether that's songs or plays,
and there's a big creative link between the two for me. If there's a project I
want to pursue and I can cram it in, I generally will. I always feel like
there's not enough time. But that drives me to do more.
album is stunningly beautiful. When I listened to if for the first time, I had
to put everything else away. I just sat and listened. How did you record it?
it fairly quickly. Fellside have their own studio in the Lake
District so the producer Vidar Norheim and I went up there for a
week and put down lots of vocals and guitar tracks. We then spent a couple more
weeks back in Liverpool recording in the
beautiful St Brides Church and that was when a lot of the weirder, eerier
sounds happened. We actually arranged and recorded 'The Sleepers' in one
afternoon in my flat. We were both very hung over and in a pleasant state of
melancholy that seemed to really work with the track. It ended up being one of
the songs I'm most proud of.
got a favourite or a special song on it? If yes,why?
If I have
to pick one it's probably 'Lullaby for Alice'. I'm really pleased with the
atmosphere we achieved - how it manages to be warm and quite spooky at the same time.
There's a lot of city imagery in the lyrics throughout the album and with that
song I set out to write an urban lullaby. Alice
is my niece. She's two now so not quite old enough to appreciate the song. I'm
hoping she likes it when she's older.
came back from Washington
for a reading. How was it?
great thank you! It was very quick - I was only there four days, but the play
reading got a brilliant response and it was the first time I've had anything
performed in America so very exciting. The play is called, 'To Have to Shoot
Irishmen' and I've been developing it with an amazing Irish theatre company
called Druid for a while now. It's all based on real events that took place
during the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. The subject matter's incredibly
moving, so it's a real honour to work on it.
Will you be
on tour again soon? Would you like to come to Vienna some day?
I'd love to
come to Vienna -
please invite me! I'm doing quite a few festivals during the spring and I've
got some great gigs coming up in London, Newcastle and up in Scotland too. I'm not a great
traveller - I get sick on just about every form of transport - but I love getting
out and playing gigs. I've never performed outside Britain though so that needs to
would be a wonderful place to start.
think artists - musicians, playwrights etc. have a responsibility to make the
world a better place?
artists have a responsibility to respond bravely to the world as they see it. Art
can be an incredibly powerful thing in that it helps people define themselves
and it can galvanise people to question and challenge. I'm never interested in
lecturing people but I think art has a responsibility to truth, whether that's
a small human truth or a big political one. The older I get and the more I
write, the more fragile an idea of truth seems to get, but it's still a good
thing to aim for.
When I do
interviews, the bands/artists/musicians can always pick a question themselves. What
is your last question?
Oh gosh... A
question for myself? How about, when is
the next album out? Answer: Vidar and I are mid way through recording and it's
shaping up really well - we've got a lot of exciting percussive moments and
apocalyptic lyrics. We're aiming for a release in early 2012, so stay tuned. A
question for Kulturwoche? When can I come to Vienna?
much, Lizzie! The best of luck.
Nadia Baha; Fotos: Lizzie Nunnery)
Lizzie Nunnery: Company of Ghosts
Label/Vertrieb: Fellside (2011)
HP von Lizzie Nunnery