Welcome to Creator Chats - a conversation among two groups, bands or people in the music industry. Today we welcome Hannah and Kelsey of Lilith.
Kelsey Interviews Hannah
Kelsey: What does the transitional part of writing a song and then bringing it to a group feel like for you?
Hannah: It’s both extremely gratifying and a little scary. Most of the time when i write a skeleton, I’m tapped for arrangements until wayyy further down the line so it’s REALLY fun/inspiring to get your and Adam’s fresh input. It gives the song a fully new world of possibilities, straight up couldn’t do it without ya. but it’s nerve wracking because I have to trust that you’ll take it in a direction we all like. You both always absolutely nail it which is extremely hot and cool but the fear of the unknown kind of never dies. It fades but doesn’t die. oh and there’s also the fear that I'll bring something the table and you two will be like “What is this garbage? Boo!”
K: When you see a live musical performance what are you looking for/what moves you the most? how does this effect the way you go about thinking of performing for yourself?
H: I think it’s super important to consume your craft from all angles, so I go to a lot of shows with like a “field research” intention. even ifIi’m not a massive fan of the music, I love to watch artists perform because there’s always something to bring back to my own practice. I’m really into stage presence (what do performing artists do that makes me feel comfortable? invited? engaged?), I always peep pedal boards, and i always watch for if/how bandmates communicate on stage.
I know a band is reeeallllly good when I just get totally lost in their set and forget to have any practical or analytical thoughts. If a band can make me feel like, “How did they do that?” in any way, it generally means I’ve fallen for them! The goal is to dial in my own sh*t and get to that level!! My big research break through is if an artist feels comfy, so does the audience. I want that.
K: What forms of intake (i.e. media, emotions, a really good cupcake, day to day happenings, etc.) inform your writing process the most and what have you taken in recently that has got you writing feverishly in your notebook?
H: I very rarely reference other music when i’m writing (except if i’m tone hunting or learning a cover). I write in my notebook every day but I’m big time inspired to hit it hard by 1. my own pain and inner turmoil LOL 2. dreams 3. emotionally driven fiction novels 3. other people’s pain (but not in a schadenfreude way, in like an “examination of human suffering” way lol).
I lost my mind when Twerp Verse (by Speedy Ortiz) came out, both from loving the record and from all the press around it. I always feel lazy and underachieving (aka inspired) after i read an interview with Sadie, so that record cycle lit all sorts of fires under me to GET SOME SH*T DONE.
K: If you could go back and give high school Hannah any piece of advice, what would it be?
H: I’d be like “what are you doing?? start a band! do that battle of the bands you signed up for but chickened out of!” I always knew I wanted to be a creative musician but didn’t have anyone around me to coax it out so I just practiced the effing piano like a nerd** while secretly dreaming of fronting a pop punk band. I wish I just WENT for it.
**piano is cool
K: What would your dream lifestyle be? What do you always wish you had more time to do in your current lifestyle?
H: I WISH I HAD MORE TIME TO WRITE. and i want like 4 hours a day to garden.
My realistic dream life would be to find a balance where we can play music/shows freely and have some other flexi source of income that’s music related so it’s not all pressure all the time. I just want to make a bunch of records with my best friends and read and write and gossip!
My retirement dream is I live in a 1920s apartment in Back Bay with a sh*t ton of windows and book shelves and I have a baby grand in the living room and I get really good at playing Bach and i have a lover who says things like, “your Bach is really improving” and I have a gigantic flower/veggie garden and a small dog and a big dog :)
K: hopes/dreams/fears (this is not a bonus- you have to answer this)
H: hopes: that you get a (motor) scooter so we can finally start our scooter gang
dreams: i want a job with no set hours! i want to play the drums in your band aka learn drums! i want to write a book! i want to make like 4 more records!
fears: that the illusion of the value of “””financial stability”””” is inhibiting me from achieving my dream life and that i’m just like slowly wilting away behind a desk uggghhhh SOS :/
Hannah Interviews Kelsey
H: How does your writing process differ from writing collaboratively w Lilith vs. writing your own songs? is the headspace different?
K: Wow, what a great question! It is definitely different. The feeling I get when I write a song is a release of tension. I can usually feel a sort of stirring inside of me that I need to pick up a guitar because something needs to come out. So when I am playing and crafting a frame for a song it’s just happening in this weird primordial stew kind of way; molding and evolving itself from whatever place needs to be more organized or processed inside me. The end result is a feeling of a weight being lifted and usually in a week or two when I look back on it I’ll have some more clarity. When I work collaboratively with you it’s a whole different enchilada. It’s akin to the feeling of delving into a really good book. Once I’ve digested the content and landscape of it I can begin to imagine the characters doing different things inside of the world you've created; different harmonies, sounds, and of course bass ;-). The process of stepping into an exciting new world and helping form it feels exploratory vs. me alone: basically flailing around until something unexplainably noteworthy takes form/direction.
H: Who are your current celebrity crushes?
K: I honestly wanted to make a list under this question but then thought of Harry Styles, proceeded to google Harry Styles - got lost in his eyes for a minute and couldn’t remember anybody else?
H: if you could design your dream lifestyle what would that look like?
K: My dream lifestyle would be making records with you and Adam, making my own records, playing shows and having a flexible day to day where I can indulge in all of my interests whenever the whim takes me (and also have a fiercely enviable shoe collection). In this utopia, those activities would be enough to financially sustain myself comfortably. Even as I say that though I know that I love my job and working in the mental health field is of vital importance and incredibly rewarding so I would always want to be involved in that. I guess what I’m saying is If I became mysteriously independently wealthy I would already have my dream lifestyle?
H: what have you listened to and read recently that f*cked you up deeply?
K: The last book that I read that I had a deep emotional reaction to was The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit. The book’s contents itself were effective in provoking introspection and also in processing my outer world. However, the emotional moment for me in regards to the book was that my mother and I read it and had discussions about our feelings/thoughts on it. This was deeply beautiful because what better conversation for the book to start and inspire than a conversation between two generations of women who are trying to understand the others point of view and use the book as a tool?
As far as music, I haven’t really been dying to be f*cked up by anything new lately? During gemini season, I’m just trying to bump pop songs and feel flighty and alive. If something does come along and bops me over the head with feelings I am open to it and will keep you in the loop. I will say that as I’ve been packing to move I’ve been revisiting some records that have f*cked me up and I’ve been reaching for Carrie and Lowell by Sufjan Stevens and Capacity by Big Thief.
H: if you could go back and give high school Kelsey any piece of advice, what would it be?
K: I think I would tell her that she should trust herself more because she’s extremely cool and I would also tell her to never ever never turn down.
H: BONUS: hopes/dreams/fears
K: Hopes- i will become very good at roller skating: be able to go backwards, down hills and maybe even shoot the duck.
Dreams - i will be able to afford a scooter so we can ride around town together
Fears- in reference to question 4: I’m fearing the possibility that I was recently extremely f*cked up by some new music and had to black it out lol.