Lydia Loveless on a Memorable Hotel Dinner and a Few Tips for Finding Success as an Artist

December 16, 2014

Tell us about your tour vehicle.

We have a 15 passenger Ford E350 with 160,000 miles on it. I think it gets about 2 miles to the gallon, hahaha. No notable breakdowns with this van as of yet, it replaced our old Dodge. But Lord, that thing left us stranded so many times. On the side of a mountain was probably the scariest, and in the middle of Texas with a show in LA the next day (we actually made it!)

How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?

This is something I really struggle with although I’m getting better. I’ve pretty much cut out all mindless chip consumption. Sometimes food is just so dang comforting. My favorite thing to do is to just get a room with a kitchenette and cook. I made a pretty memorable spaghetti dinner with my steel player a while ago. We were running back and forth between our rooms because half the burners were out in mine and we didn’t have all the dishes we needed.

How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?

Too damn many. I suppose they’re about six bucks a pack, the ones I use.

Where do you rehearse? Are there any particular peculiarities or crazy experiences that you’ve had there?

We rehearse in downtown Columbus in a big building that’s rented out to artists and musicians. Nothing too crazy has happened yet, although we’re hacking out our new album, so that’s good!

What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?

It was probably “Babies Everywhere” with a “band” I had with my brother called the Crazy Macaronis. It was just, “babies everywhere, babies everywhere….” Quite prophetic.

Describe your first gig.

My first gig as Lydia Loveless? That’s tough. I was like 16. I know I did an open mic which was a pretty big deal for me, it was like my “coming out” because I was so shy. And there was just one homeless man yelling at me there. I think all my friends had gone to drink in the alley. Hahaha. I can’t actually recall my first real gig as LL though.

What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?

I have a very sad job history. My last one was at a restaurant called Grand Day. They were one of those open from 6-3 breakfast places and the owner was a gross sexist idiot who hired me because he thought I was hot and fired me like three days later because I’m an awful server and I seem to be incapable of smiling at customers. My favorite was working in the kitchen at a vegan restaurant. Because I could just listen to Danzig, chop vegetables, and be an asshole all day.

How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?

It has definitely improved. There were times in the beginning where it was like, well, I guess we’re not eating today. Ha. That doesn’t happen too much these days. 5-10 years from now, I’d like to think it would improve even more but, that’s scary.

What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?

Be patient. And assertive. And for God’s sake don’t eat at Huddle House.

Two years after the critical success of her breakout second album, Indestructible Machine, Lydia Loveless emerged from the trenches of hometown Columbus, OH with the gloves off and brimming with confidence on Somewhere Else. While her previous album was described as “hillbilly punk with a honky-tonk heart” (Uncut), this one can’t be so quickly shoehorned into neat categorical cubbyholes. No, things are different this time around—Loveless and her band have collectively dismissed the genre blinders and sonic boundaries that come from playing it from a safe, familiar place.

Blessed with a commanding, blast-it-to-the-back-of-the-room voice, the 24-year-old Lydia Loveless was raised on a family farm in Coshocton, Ohio—a small weird town with nothing to do but make music. With a dad who owned a country music bar, Loveless often woke up with a house full of touring musicians scattered on couches and floors.

When she got older, in the time-honored traditions of teenage rebellion, she turned her back on these roots, moved to the city (Columbus, OH) and immersed herself in the punk scene, soaking up the musical and attitudinal influences of everyone from Charles Bukowski to Richard Hell to Hank III.

You can connect with Loveless online and on the road.  Her latest release is Somewhere Else.