Q&A with LADY LOW – Where Strings and Heart Strings Collide.
Posted On 26 Aug 2015
Tag: Alabama Shakes, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Beachwood Sparks, Big Easy, Brian Wilson, Dweezil Zappa, Eden Lee, Fleet Foxes, Gloria Estefan, God Only Knows, Goodtime Boys, Hello Sweet Goodbye, Hollywood, Hot Hot Heat, Interview, Jimmy Sweet, John Cale, Joni Mitchell, Kaitlin Wolfberg, Lady Low, Loaded, London, Mia Siler, music interview, Punks Not Dead, Rachel Maxann, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ruthann Friedman, St. Vincent, The Bats, The Beach Boys, The Exploited, The Heavy, The Wild Honey Foundation, Velvet Underground, White Album
Bitter Summer Sweetness: Buzzing Romance Rockers Lady Low
Kick off Summer with Emotional Single
“Hello Sweet Goodbye”
Described as “where strings and heartstrings collide,” LADY LOW is a rock quintet comprised of Jimmy Sweet (vocals, guitar), Rachel Maxann (vocals, synth), Eden Lee (vocals, drums), Kaitlin Wolfberg (violin), Corinne Olsen (violin) and Mia Siler (viola). Sweet had always wanted to start a band that combined love’s passion and old school rock and roll. After returning to L.A. by way of London, he formed Lady Low. Maxann found her way to the City of Angels after growing restless in the Big Easy. She brought aboard her old friend Lee, and after enlisting the help of local string talents Wolfberg and Blumenfield, the world’s first romance rock group was born.
LADY LOW is not the first musical expedition for these romance rock pioneers. Jimmy has been rocking for years, starting out with legendary San Francisco rock band, The Richmond Sluts. He still performs with the Goodtime Boys, a ‘70s cover band, along with members of Hot Hot Heat, Fleet Foxes, The Heavy, and Beachwood Sparks.
The romance side of Lady Low’s signature sound comes from the strings, for which Wolfberg is responsible. She writes the string arrangements, and also plays viola, and keyboard in addition to violin. She has worked with indie legends The Bats and The DB’s, and has played with heavy hitters such as Dweezil Zappa and Ruthann Friedman.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to catch up with the band. Read more in their interview below.
Hi Guys! How are you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Eden – Great! It’s such a beautiful day, but it’s so hot- I’m hoping to hit the beach!
So, first things first, how did you all meet and know you wanted to start a band with one another?
Rachel – I met Jimmy in the dimly lit interior of The Piano Bar in Hollywood. We musically hit it off instantly as well as personally so I joined Lady Low,having been enamored by the artistic concept. When he told me we were in need of a third singer/drummer I thought of my old friend Eden Lee. We had ironically ran into each other before at the Piano Bar,the night Jimmy and I met to discuss Lady Low, and fast forward a few months later I was at the same bar seeing if she’d be interested in joining Lady Low. The other ladies I met throughout the formation of the band.
Corinne – I’m the newest addition to Lady Low. Kaitlin and I have known and gigged with each other for a few years now (and how I met Mia!) and she asked me to fill in for a show at the end of June. After that show Jimmy asked if I wanted to come on board. Plain and simple!
LADY LOW is described as “where strings and heartstrings collide”…for those that are not familiar with LADY LOW and your music, who or what was the catalyst (inspiration) for you to want to live the life of a musical gypsy?
Eden – I always knew I was going to be a performer. My parents actually met in a band- my mom was a singer, my dad played bass, so music was a big part of our household from the very beginning. I loved to sing and my parents definitely nurtured my dream of pursuing a career in music. Life in the arts isn’t easy and this industry can be very fickle, but I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
What did you learn between your previous work and playing live, that you felt you wanted to infuse into your latest release?
Eden – This band is very different from anything I’ve done before because now I’m singing *and* playing drums. In the beginning I was really focused on making sure my drumming was up to par- the concept was still very,very new. I think I’d only played them for a month before my first gig with Lady Low. With each live show, I got better and more confident. By the time we recorded “Hello Sweet Goodbye” I definitely felt comfortable. I’ve settled into my style so I’m in place where it feels natural. HSG is such a powerful, yet haunting song- I wanted to do my best to make sure that feeling came across in my performance.
Kaitlin, you have played alongside heavy hitters Dweezil Zappa and Ruthann Friedman. What have you learned from them and their musical sensibilities? (To everyone in the band or whomever is answering) Who would you love to collaborate with next, given the chance?
Kaitlin- In regards to playing with and collaborating with people such as Dweezil Zappa and Ruthann Friedman and what I’ve learned through working with them:
Every project that I take on, I learn from. And every project I learn something different. When I worked with Dweezil, I was reminded of the importance of a happy attitude and how lucky I am to be playing music every day. I was fortunate enough to meet Geoff Emerick on that session which led to his participation in The Wild Honey Foundation’s White Album show. I led the strings for that session and the show, working with Geoff was a dream come true for me and many others who were part of the event.
Working with Ruthann Friedman I’ve developed an ability to feel the ebb and flow, the intimacy of an artist. To truly hone in on the right thing that fits in a song, how to accentuate a vocal melody and make it the most important thing without interfering.
The people I would most like to work or collaborate with are Alabama Shakes and St. Vincent. They are both such talented, soulful, true to themselves artists. I would also love to work with Brian Wilson, John Cale and Joni Mitchell (get well soon, Joni!).
What was the inspiration for your new single, “Hello Sweet Goodbye”?
Jimmy- I wish I had a great answer, but I really just put some words I liked together to fill in the melody. I’m sorry there’s no story behind it.
Who have been your inspirations growing up that also inspire you today?
Jimmy – I’ve always wanted to make something as good as “Loaded” by Velvet Underground. I just love how every song has it’s own personality.
What was the first album you bought yourself?
Jimmy- By myself??? I believe it was The Exploited / Punks Not Dead? I remember being excited to show it off at school. Even though it came out 15 years before I was in middle school. I thought I was so cool with that cassette tape and I probably was…haha
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
Eden – There were quite a few songs that I loved, but one that sticks out for me is, “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys. I just remember hearing that as a kid and feeling very emotional without even really understanding why. That’s music for you, though! The last third of the song when they begin to layer different phrases hit 8 year old Eden hard.
Corinne – The first song I remember calling my favorite was Gloria Estefan’s “1, 2, 3”. I thought it was really catchy and I think I knew all the words even though I was about four or five years old at the time.
What’s on tap next for LADY LOW? What are you most excited about for this year?
Eden – We’re really looking forward to our Halloween show. We’re gonna play through all of Rocky Horror Picture Show in Hollywood. We’re dressing up of course- it’s gonna be a blast. We’re looking forward to releasing our debut album next year. It’s something we’re really proud of and we can’t wait to show everyone what Lady Low is about.
To learn more about LADY LOW , visit them HERE