Audio clips from Lene's Interview

Lene Lovich interviewed by Mike Thorne

 

Chinese brush sketch by George McPherson, after a photograph by Les Chappell.


Lene Lovich provides vocal sounds on these Sprawl tracks:
Intro: Coming Quietly
Self-Imposed Exile
First Love Song
A Flower Opens Gently By
Toys Take Over
From Me To You
Le Ballet
Sexual Terrorist
Outro: Going Gently

To Sprawl page

Click on the players by the questions to hear Lene's answers in streaming mp3 audio. For more explanation of site playback options, go to our Playback help desk page.

Mike Thorne: What are your plans for making another record?  It has been ten years since you completed March.
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Can you remember what's on them?

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How small an idea would you record?

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So you don't even store that in a musical form, it just could be from anywhere, it just could be a word?

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A classic author's routine is to wake up in the middle of the night and scribble something on the pad by side of the bed which, traditionally, is often rather strange in the morning.  Do you do that with a cassette recorder?

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So how many cassettes do you think you have collected in the last nine years?

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Actually developing the ideas is the major part of the task?

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The big question, again, is that it has been ten years since March  Why has it taken so long?

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Do you find this a major conflict, or do sometimes the family and wanting to make music help each other?

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At one point in the last nine years, you consciously moved away from music.

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Doesn't writing a book require a tremendous investment of time?

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Perhaps you were thinking the way a novelist might think about music?

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Is there anything else that you tackled in the last little while? Has it been a diversion?  You used the word fun about music.  When music stopped being fun, you looked for fun in writing a novel.  Did you try any other things, a play for example?

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Do you think this will be pure theater, or music theater, coming from you?
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It didn't always use to be that way?

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How long have you and Les been together?  He has been the silent partner in the Lene Lovich endeavor.  Who does what in this team?  It's clearly a team to survive such a long time.

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So you throw things backwards and forwards between you?

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Did you arrive in music together?  How did you begin making music?

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So when did you focus, as far as the public was concerned, on being a pure singer and performer?

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And this was when you and Les were well into your partnership, so you had a very clear identity established.

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You emerged into the public eye during the punk period, and you tended to be lumped in with them.  Although you didn't jump up and down and spit at people, you did share the do-it-yourself ethic with the punks.

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There is one curious seventies revival issue, which seems to have passed many people by: Cerrone's Supernature, a curious disco piece.  The punks at the time were busy shouting 'disco sucks'.  How did you get involved with that record?

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Because of your unusual use of sound, whether vocal or instrumental, people often think of you as a very technological outfit.

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Sometimes technology can become too much in its own right.  Do you think it's overemphasized in the press when people describe the music-making process?

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You always seem to tweak the machine.  You have always commanded it and taken a conventional thing in unusual directions.  This is reminiscent of the way in which you tackled  photography, when you became practically a fashion icon in the seventies and eighties, creating some extraordinary photographs.  How did you and Les approach the photography?

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Sounds as if you were almost arrested.
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You have the same iconoclastic approach to songwriting.  What drives your songwriting?  For example, what was the original inspiration for Natural Beauty?

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We're sitting in the idyllic Norfolk countryside, where you have been for the last 28 years.  Your first album was called Stateless, reflecting your cosmopolitan background.  Do you think that your music and approach to the audience has changed through living in such pleasant, settled surroundings?

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Creative popular musicians are often placed on pedestals.  Do think this is a healthy thing?

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Does that mean everybody should be making music?

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How do you think this could come about?  Why do you think the artist and the audience have become so fenced off?

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Unfortunately, kids often think automatically and only about making pots of money when they make music in a popular style.

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Do think there is a way out of it?  If someone is aspiring to earn a living making popular music, would you suggest they adopt your cottage industry approach, or go to a record company for funding?  What do you think is the best way to do it now?

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What do you think is a reasonable path for a distinctive and creative artist now?  Do you think it has changed in the last 25 years?

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Do you hear more distinctive things around, thanks to this new mechanism?
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Do you think that the popular success of some relatively extreme art music, such as Gorecki's Third Symphony indicates that the public is more inclined to accept 'different' music?

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Do think there is any limit to the public's broad mind?

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Lene Lovich at the Stereo Society (selected links):
To Lene's home at the Stereo Society (all links)
To Lene's 2005 CD Shadows And Dust
To reviews of Shadows And Dust
To Lene's 2005 biography
To Lene's graphics gallery
Hi-res downloadable graphics
To photogallery from Joe's Pub, New York, 9/12/05
Lene in interview (2005)
Lene in interview (1999)

Lene Lovich provides vocal sounds on these Sprawl tracks:
Intro: Coming Quietly
Self-Imposed Exile
First Love Song
A Flower Opens Gently By
Toys Take Over
From Me To You
Le Ballet
Sexual Terrorist
Outro: Going Gently

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