Lydia Loveless

Darren C. Demaree
There is a mythology to Lydia Loveless. Already, at twenty-one years old, this Coshocton born, Columbus resident has created a hard-drinking, god acknowledging/scorning, man acknowledging /scorning, boots-through-the-floor stomping country vixen persona. The thing is, Lydia is too sincere, too self-aware, and too damn good of a singer/songwriter to not believe in what you read and more importantly what you hear. This coming week, with the release of Indestructible Machine, a tremendous album, she drives all of that home, which coincidentally is damn close to all of us.

AltOhio: So, what was the creation of “Indestructible Machine” like?

Lydia Loveless: Quick like a band-aid. The songs and the recording process were all very raw and simple, and it came out sounding like a live show, which is good.

AO: What’s your songwriting process like?

LL: Generally I get a hook in my head, and then a melody. I write as much of the lyrics as I can before I start playing it, usually. I don’t like slaving away over songs for months—if a song feels like too much work, or as if it’s not coming naturally, I put it away. Maybe take it out some other time.

AO: What track, when played live, puts that extra verve in your voice? Which one drives that bolt-belting voice through the wood paneling most nights?

LL: I would say “Jealousy”, but I believe that’s only available as a bonus track, digitally, so people may not know what I’m talking about. Other than that, probably “Crazy”.

AO: Who are some favorite acts to perform with?

LL: Akillis Green, from Dayton Ohio. I played my first show with him and I think we’re about due for a reunion. Adam Lee +The Dead Horse Sound Company from Kansas City are always fun. Banderas from Cinci are awesome and good friends.

AO: What’s your ideal backing-band setup?

LL: I guess the one I have now, ha. I get to yell at people all day and they still like playing my songs. I really enjoy doing acoustic shows sometimes though, with just me and bass and possibly a fiddle.

AO: What song do you cover that you wish most of all you had written?

LL: “Hysteria” by Def Leppard. I’d be rich, right?

AO: I’ve always wanted to hear a great cover of George Jones’ “If the Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me, Her Memory Will” sung by a kick-ass woman. Any chance of that being you?

LL: Probably not. Hahahaha.

AO: I’ve interviewed and briefly met Justin Townes Earle, and met Steve Earle in the past, outside of both of them being great songwriters, what’s your fascination with the Earle gentlemen?

LL: Hmm, I wouldn’t say I have too much of a fascination. Mostly “Steve Earle” was about a local musician who likened himself to Steve Earle and really got on my nerves and followed me around at my shows. I do have a huge crush on Justin though, and have briefly run into him before. I’m always too scared to introduce myself though.

AO: Your Bloodshot bio mentions Bukowski, are their any other poets you feel have the grit to be mentioned with your music?

LL: I’m not generally a voracious reader of poetry, but I do admire the way he and Raymond Carver just tell it like it is, which is what I aim to do in my music.

AO: We’re all Ohioans here. I grew up in Mount Vernon. You grew up in Coshocton. Where and how does being from Coshocton invade your music?

LL: Hmm…I think there is something about growing up in a town like that that makes you think more, that is if you’re not too busy being vapid and reckless. I spent my whole childhood trying not to turn out like those people, but in the end my experiences with the town made me stronger and more insightful, I think. That, and a total redneck!

AO: I refuse to go to Zanesville anymore, are there any towns in Ohio that bum you out too much to walk around them?

LL: Probably Coshocton. Ha! I loved my home there but it does make me sad to go back, and I haven’t been in years. I’ve only visited once since I moved. It makes me too nostalgic and annoyed at the same time. I rarely say never though, and I think I’m due for a visit. Funny about Zanesville, that was where we bought our Christmas presents almost every year. Not much in the way of malls otherwise!

AO: If you were to give a Goodbye Ohio concert, where would it be, and who would be there?

LL: Well if I gave it in Columbus, probably no one. Hahahaha. I would probably do it in Cinci with Banderas and Akillis Green.

AO: So, what is coming up for you the rest of the year?

LL: I’ll probably see the inside of the van and a lot of bars. Hopefully, I’ll write more songs too. Oh, and I’m having a birthday next week!

AO: Let’s sat you do this for fifty more years, have some successes, some failures, but you live through it all. Where do you end up propping up for your feet, and what do you see in front of you?

LL: Hopefully somewhere in the middle of nowhere where I can sit on my porch without having to make small talk with anyone. I’d like to have a city residence too, though. We’ll see in fifty years, I guess!

Lydia Loveless “Indestructible Machine” comes out September 13th. The CD release show will be September 30th at Rumba Café.
Photo by Natalie Lahrmer