New Voices in Rock: Lydia Loveless

"When I strip away my vices, who am I really?"

That's one of the questions Lydia Loveless asks herself and tries to answer through songs on her newest album, aptly titled Real. Singer-songwriter Loveless navigates between the country, rock and confessional spaces of music with her electric guitar and raw lyrics. On a Rock Hall visit, Loveless spent time with our team to discuss some of her inspirations, hopes for pop music and the pursuit of reality in today's society. 

Full interview transcript below.

who are your inspirations?

I have a lot of pop music inspiration, but some of the stuff we saw [in the Rock Hall vault] that was really cool was Wanda Jackson and Patsy Cline artifacts. It's kind of this sort of country, pop, rock and roll thing that influences me as a whole. I'm definitely inspired by Joan Jett and Britney Spears equally.

I'm hoping that pop music gets a little more open and less sterile, because I really care about pop music, but I don't like to think of it as this thing that's like presented for people who are afraid to actually talk about tough subjects, or express themselves. I'm hoping it gets a little more open with artists like Kesha coming out about their struggles in the business. Hopefully it just gets a little more scuffed up.

what's your songwriting style?

I just try to be as open as possible as a person, and sort of expose all my flaws, and write about them, and discuss them with people. I just try to make music that's not deliberately grungy or crappy, but just accessible and sort of raw.

I feel like there's no good way to describe the music that I like to listen to or make. I'm definitely not a country purist. I like all kinds of country music, and rock and roll. I think it's just real music that people are talking about. I think that everything's sort of moving away from the mainstream and people are kind of getting more into people actually creating music that sounds like they created it and put some heart into it. It's not necessarily like Americana, or old country, or whatever. It's just a lot of regular Joe's actually making real honest music.

does social struggle make music better?

That's almost insulting when people are like, at the punk music will be good! It's all at the expense of everyone. Hopefully it does get people talking a little more, because it is crazy. I think a lot of people, whether they support or don't support the administration, I think a lot of people are in denial. Hopefully it gets people thinking more about actual values instead of the values that fit into the box of whatever party, or religion you're from. Actually thinking about like humanity as a whole, and art man.

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