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Colourful and unique, LA. Faithfull released a new single recently, Heart Back, a gut-wrenching pop smash with a clear, vulnerable message, available now. This exciting newcomer has also released a raw, expressive video that conveys the truth behind the song through dance and visuals, and this effective clip has already racked up over tens of thousands of plays since its release. Lisa (Aka LA. Faithfull) also took some time out to do a little Q&A for us.

What was your first gig?
So the first gig I ever went to and its actually the gig that made me decide to follow music was when I was super small, I was like 8 years old! My parents took me to this bar with the largest stack of speakers I had ever seen in my life ha ha! I’m pretty sure it might have been a biker bar or something I don’t know – until then I’d never heard of Billy Thorpe, but dad was a huge fan so took me along!

Anyway the stage goes blue and the band leave and just Billy is standing there, acoustic guitar in hand. He starts singing and all these pretty tough looking guys are sobbing around me and I just remember standing there like this is incredible! I couldn’t believe the power of his voice! Dad said I turned to him and said “That’s what I’m going to do Dad!! Make music that moves people,” and I’ve been writing ever since!

The first gig I ever played was at was carols at a nursing home … nothing like playing to a room full of old people who ask you to turn down cause they can’t hear the TV!

The first notable gig I did with original music was at a bar on Brunswick Street. It’s not there anymore but we barely fit on the stage – actually, I don’t think there was a stage!

It was an 8-piece band with a horn section running through this tiny Yamaha desk, so funny!

I remember we were right next to the kitchen and had to watch all the food go by and the audience consisted of two old guys drinking wine, and my parents! But it was such a fun gig! That feeling of playing something you had created from scratch was amazing, I won’t forget it. Especially the first time you do that!

What microphone do you use on stage generally?
I mean … I’m old school can’t go past the good old sure SM58 or BETA58, they never fail. I’ve had cider spilt on it SO many times and I just throw it in the bottom of my gig bag and they just keep chugging along!!

I have had a chance recently to sing through the Sennheiser SKM 6000 and I was really impressed – the sound quality was crazy good and wireless is so great for running around onstage. When I can afford one I’ll get one for sure!

Is it the same for recording?
I’ve used a few different mics for recording! At home I’ve got an AKG C214 condenser mic! It’s awesome for laying down vocal ideas and tracks I’m working on in my home studio, its super clear and picks up all the little nuances in your voice especially if you’re like me and really like to get all the emotional bits of a sound!

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
Heart Back is my new single which I have just released and it’s from my upcoming debut EP. I’ve been working on the EP for about 6 months with the amazing boys at Msquared Productions and I’m so pumped to release it!

I think before I release the EP I’ll probably head back to the studio with them and add a couple of ideas, I’m constantly writing lyrics and I’ve got maybe two more songs I’d like to add to the EP so I’m guessing I will be back in the studio within the month!

What gigs have you been playing lately?
I have had a break from playing live shows while working on the EP. I guess I put a lot emotionally into writing and all of my songs are songs are a huge part of me and I also give all of myself emotionally onstage too so doing both at once is a huge thing! And very tiring!

I’ve done touring, and writing on the road is crazy! I’m lucky this time I’ve had a little bit of spare time to lock myself away in the studio and just fully submerge into writing.

I’ve been putting together my band for my upcoming tour! I’m super excited to bring my new songs to people in a live environment, onstage has always felt like home to me, and where I am most like myself. It’s the only place where I’ve ever felt like I fit!

My whole life still to this day it’s the only place I truly know I belong!

Most memorable gig?
The most memorable gig I’ve ever played would have to be on the 96 tram, St Kilda to the Melbourne CBD!  It was such a crazy vibe – completely acoustic, no mics or anything my drummer had to work out the whole arrangement of our tracks on his snare – the one snare drum to replace a whole kit because it’s all that would fit on the tram! My bassist learnt his part on guitar, and I was just belting it out to all the commuters on their way somewhere, we also had brass – it was really cool. So literally it’s a surprise gig no one on the tram knows it’s happening – you take your gear and walk on at the stop, sit down and start playing. I’ll never forget people’s faces when I started singing! The best!

Worst stage nightmare?
Moths! Ha ha, I don’t know if people realise but when you play outdoor shows at dusk the BUGS! They must be attracted to the lights or something it’s so crazy! When your up there it’s like don’t keep your mouth open to long or it may fly in. I have a fear of moths in general, they seem to chase you, like if you walk near them they fly at you! I know it’s strange but my biggest stage nightmare is a moth flying at my face! I’d probably stage dive to get away! I’m totally fine with bees and wasps etc but moths!

 Album that changed your life?
Early on in my life I would say listening to my parents Live At Woodstock LP was a huge inspiration – Janis and Joe and Jimmy! All the J’s haha – that raw live sound very inspiring.

As a teen it was Dashboard Confessional- A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar, to this day if I listen to it his storytelling and voice transport me back to those angsty teenage years!

As a music student I really got into Alanis Morrisette – powerful female vocals and lyrics.

Most recently, James Bay’s album, I haven’t been stopped in my tracks like that in a looooooong time!!! His songwriting and voice is raw and just life changing!

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
The next few months I’ll hopefully be announcing my tour dates and locations, rehearsals with my band will start within the next couple of weeks and then it’s all go go go!

A vocal tip for the kids?
The biggest tip I have is thyme tea! So you know when you wake up and your like ah, I can’t sing I’m so sick … and you think of calling off the gig, go to Coles buy fresh thyme, boil the kettle and drink handfuls of the thyme in the boiled water! Like as much as you can stomach! It literally tastes like shit BUT, by that night your voice will be almost perfect! It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever come across! The ancient Romans used it as an anti-inflammatory for everything! I swear by it!

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