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Friday Spotlight – The Real and Sassy Lydia Loveless

Lydia Loveless (Credit: David T. Kindler)

Raised in the small-town world of Coshocton, OH with not much to do, the diminutive Lydia Loveless turned her creative energy to music.

With her father owning a country music establishment, she was surrounded by a house filled with music and musicians. The fuse had been lit and the fire within her began to smolder. Cue the move to the state capital of Columbus.

Since 2010, she’s released five albums, the last four of which have been on Bloodshot Records.

As summer fast approaches, she took the time to chat with me about her sound, new music and more. All of this, despite being hoarse from having a summer cold.

“I’ve had the world’s craziest cold for two weeks,” she said. “It’s kind of scary when it completely takes away your livelihood.”

She’s full of verve, with a punk sensibility that juxtaposes nicely with the real-life storytelling of her country roots. But how did her sound evolve from straight county to encompass more rock, pop-punk, et. al?

Lydia Loveless (Credit: Laura E. Partain)

“There’s always a little bit of conscious effort on my part to change from the last thing I did,” she said. “I just don’t want to make the same thing over and over again. I’m not sure if it has too much to do with location.

“But, certainly moving and meeting more people, working with more musicians, plus getting older and wanting to explore a little more while discovering different genres.”

We all have our favorite music we listen to at different times in our daily lives. Loveless is no different in that regard.

“It varies a lot,” she continued. “Right now, I’m kind of going back into the writing mode, so I’m not listening to a whole lot other than audio books and podcasts.

“But, I was listening to a lot of pop-punk for the last few months. And, I was listening to country today, so I’m kind of all over the place. I like a lot of pop music, too. I think that’s healthy (to listen to various genres).”

She collaborated with Lizard McGee and Earwig for the song Wasted on You (released in 2016). The way she tells it, the music world really is a tight-knit community.

“George (Hondroulis), my drummer, was also the drummer for Earwig. My old manager, Steve McGann was friends with Lizard. It was kind of a lot of mutual friends and seemed like a fun thing to do. Then, there are times when people ask you to do things that you’re not super stoked about (laughter).

Lydia Loveless (Credit: David T. Kindler)

“But, we had a good time. And, Lizard is a super quirky dude.”

Having been on Bloodshot Records since 2011, to what does she attribute her longevity?

“A contract,” she laughingly said. “Also, I kind of prefer smaller, creative, more loose situations to be in.”

With her country/Americana roots, Loveless’ music touches on subject matter that all of us can relate to. But, where does she find her inspiration?

“Pretty much everything is real life I’m kind of a sponge. I like to eavesdrop and listen to other people’s stuff. I would say it’s about half my real life and half other people’s life stories. Hopefully, people don’t figure out that I’m stealing their issues. But, I’m pretty reality-based and people-based; that’s sort of a country attribute to me.

“What do other people write about? Dragons? (more laughter) … when I make a heavy metal record about dragons and lizards … what could go wrong?” Laughter ensued at this point from both of us. Although, a heavy metal album by her about dragons and lizards sounds intriguing, no?

Curiosity reared its head and I asked for her thoughts on media coverage of the local music scene. She makes some valid points in how local music is covered in Columbus, for sure. Does she think it’s lacking in any way?

Lydia Loveless (Credit: David T. Kindler)

“I don’t know if I’d say that,” she said thoughtfully, “as I think it depends on what scene the person you’re asking is from. For local coverage, when you’re doing something big like a record release, I feel like I get plenty of coverage, in that respect. But, the reason why I think there isn’t a lot of indie music coverage is that there isn’t a lot of indie music press anymore. Anyone can start a blog, but how many blogs are people going to read? I don’t know.

“I feel like Columbus is the kind of place, I don’t know if I’d call it small, it’s the kind of town where if you want to know something about music, you can pretty easily figure it out. It’s one of the things I like about Columbus. It’s pretty easy to get involved, musically. Although, I don’t think there’s a lot of interviewing going on with local acts in Columbus. It’s more the standard get-to-know the artist things.”

Ed. – we do hope that we are changing that perception with our work here.

As for new music from Loveless, when can her fans expect some new songs?

“That will definitely be a next year thing,” she stated, “which I’m starting to write for now. Dare I say, I’m not in production mode, but definitely in writing mode.”

She plans on doing a few “hometown” shows later this summer, which should bring joy to her fans. As for us, we are looking forward to her live performances and a new album in 2018.

Who knows? Her new album might involve a dragon or two…

Lydia Loveless – Same to You


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