Those who still enjoy ’90s pop-rock staples such as Alanis Morissette and Tracy Bonham should find themselves comfortably at home in Liz Graham‘s sounds, but she also traverses some sound elements of the ’80s all while adding her own signature to it all.
Graham has been working hard to promote her forthcoming album, both online and on the road, and as she continues to do so until this summer’s release, she took a moment to speak with us about where her career began and what we can expect from her newest release.
Read through the jump and get acquainted with Nyack, New York’s Liz Graham.
First off, can you tell me a bit about your musical background? When did you first start working towards becoming a musician and what inspired you to do so?
I was exposed to music right from birth. My father was a country music fan, and every evening he would play Hank Williams Sr. as well as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Marty Robbins. My mother was in love with Glen Campbell, so I grew up listening to Jimmy Webb songs, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific every day, all day. I was fortunate to have an older brother who was very into music. His room was like a record store, and everything was available. If it sounds like I grew up in the Partridge family, you’d be mistaken. My family life was emotionally and physically abusive, and my oldest brother, Randy, committed suicide when I was 18. Music was the only escape for me. It saved my life.
And apart from maybe those who you mentioned, who are some artists you feel have been highly influential in the sound and style you’ve taken on musically? Anyone in particular who’s very important to you?
The list of influences is pretty much expansive but to name a few: Odetta, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Janis Joplin, Fanny, Billie Holiday, Susie Quatro, Esther Phillips, Laura Nyro, Joan Armatrading, Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin- women who paved the way for the next generation of women that I adored like Stevie Nicks, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Chrissie Hynde, Cindy Lauper, Sheryl Crow, Tori Amos. The very most influential artist would be Joni Mitchell- Joni’s insight and melancholy resonated with my soul.
If you had for whatever reason never picked up an instrument or found a desire to become a musician, what do you think would have been your life’s work instead?
I would be an artist in a garret in Italy, covered with paint and smelling like a mix of turpentine and Brunello.
“Charcoal on a Canvas” and “Damaged” are two singles you’ve released since last month. Are these both to be featured on your new album?
Yes, they will be lurking amongst the 12 songs.
What’s the new album called and when can we expect it to be released?
The new album is called Stripped Down and it will be released in the early summer.
What can you tell us about it as far as the overall sound, style, and lyrical content? How would you compare it to your previous works?
Stripped Down is possibly the quintessential break-up record, with glimpses of anger, humor, forgiveness, vengeance, bliss and resignation — all of my favorite things. I went for a bit of an ’80s sound here, and I’m just offering it out to the universe in hopes that it resonates in some way with someone.
You released a lyric video for “Damaged” a few weeks ago. Do you have plans for more videos from this new album?
Yes, I am working with my video director, Shari Cartun, on the next video.
You just started doing a ‘Kitchen Concert Series’ this past week. Where did that idea come from and will you be doing all the songs off your new album?
I was thinking about the people that are unable to get out and see/hear my songs, and I thought that it would be fun to be able to bring the songs to them in the comfort of their own homes. Yes, I will be doing all of the songs- stay tuned.
What was this airport concert tour thing you had going on? I saw a lot of posts about it on your Facebook page.
The airport concert tour is an ongoing, fun-filled, tongue-in-cheek extravaganza; check it out!
Do you have any touring plans or other big goals planned for the rest of the year?
Yes, a tour is being booked right now. I will be performing at festivals, in clubs, and at house parties throughout the United States. Please check out my website for concert tour updates: