Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trust and Chemistry: Q&A with Jessica Louise Dye, Song Writer, Vox & Guitarist for Lightfoot

We recently caught up with Jessica Louise Dye, singer/songwriter for the band Lightfoot, and got her to share her thoughts on gorilla style bake sales, the "group think" , and the lightness of being.  


Q: How did your band come up with the name Lightfoot? 

A: Well, Lightfoot is actually a town in Southern, Virginia.  A historical, run down, town.  Lightfoot has several meanings to me.  Initially it marked a physical location between my past and my previously planned future.  When I started this band I was going through a very difficult time and constantly reminded myself to "be tender, and to step lightly."  And I think having a "lightfoot" embodies the idea of picking up and going where ever, whenever.  It's also a quiet dedication to the lightness of being.  It can mean just about anything to anyone, and I guess above all, that was what I liked most about the name- allowing listeners to find their own story within it.

Q: Lightfoot is recording a full EP!  How many tracks are you laying down and when do you expect to release it?

A: We recently released a demo called "People (Who Throw Kisses) Are Hopelessly Lazy" and are already back in the studio working on an EP.  We hope to have 5 songs to release this fall.  We'll probably do an EP release show to kick off our winter tours.  We're really excited to get on the road and to put some songs off this EP on vinyl.  

Q: How did Lightfoot evolve from a solo project for you into a full band?

A: Trust and chemistry.  It's been a very natural transition.  Erik (guitarist) and I just click.  And we, as a band, all connect in just the right way.  Where as I used to write alone, our process has become very intuitive and organic.  We are writing as a band, and the "group think" effort is not only developing more well rounded songs but it's still capturing the sound I envisioned from the get go.  My band mates are my best friends, my brothers.  The closer we get, the more natural writing and playing becomes.  It's just an extension of the connections we all share.

Q: What's it like being the only female in 5 piece band? 

A: Sometimes I wish I had earmuffs because boys can be gross. I've always been a little bit of a tomboy so there isn't much they can do to bother me anymore.  But joking aside, I think in general there are different obstacles for woman in music to overcome than men.  There's a whole different standard for sexuality and having to fit this super model "sex sells" persona.  I'm not really concerned with that.  I don't want to be referred to as a female guitarist, or a female frontman.  I don't want my gender to box my band or my music in.  I want people to like the music, and I want to be considered a musician, a singer, a band mate.  Period.  No need for gender specification.

Q: Your band is proud of their "can do" mind set.  This is exemplified by the fact that two of your band mates are acting as engineers in the home studio where you are recording.  In what other ways is Lightfoot going to make their winter tour happen? 

A: Lightfoot is incredibly DIY. We have to be, we're broke.  We've done all of our own recordings.  We design all of our own posters.  We wheat paste them too.  We draw up designs and silk screen our shirts (which you should buy so we can go on tour).  We do the packaging for our music.  We do our own PR, and web design.  But we're lucky.  We have close friends who help us bake cupcakes before shows, who nearly cut off their thumbs on table saws making us lighting rigs, who don't complain when we rehearse the same song for 2 hours.  We're really lucky to have supporters.

As far as our upcoming tours, we need to do some serious fundraising.  We have to complete our album, buy a van and get enough Ramon to last us on the road.  It's an expensive endeavor, so we're going to be having gorilla style bake sales, kissing booths and car washes to raise funds.  And just about anything else we can think of.  Perhaps we'll play your dinner party, give you a guitar lesson, sew the buttons back on your favorite sweater.  Anything to get us on the road and home in one piece.

Q: What is the next concert you are looking forward to seeing as a spectator?

A: I was super stoked to see Best Coast and Cloud Nothings in early September but I will be out of town now.  Huge bummer.  So next on my excitement list is Delorean and Small Black (babes!).  Oh, and Jenny and Jonny!  It is no secret I have a huge crush on Jenny Lewis!

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in DC?  

A: This is my guilty pleasure, I like to go to E St. Cinema on weekdays for a 5:00 showing of whatever is most likely to make me cry.  The theater is typically empty at this time of day and I always go alone.  I'm a bad girl so I almost always smuggle a burger and fries from five guys in as well. It's freezing in there so I bring my biggest sweater to cuddle up with.   I order a beer and pig out in the dark theater.  It's bliss.  I do this at least once a week.

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