“Some folks say they like my music because they can tell I don’t really have a filter. That could stem from me not being able to sit there and write a song if it takes me more than ten minutes… ADD? Or because if I do sit there longer, I wake up and start saying, ‘Wait, that’s too dark, too cheesy, too sexual, personal, etc.’ I don’t want to do that. If I’m going to write music, it needs to be raw. It needs to come from the heart, unfiltered.
Every song I write is different. I call my music ‘alt-rocka country-billy serial killer blues,’ because that doesn’t constrain me to a genre. A lot of people ask me what the serial killer blues part means, and if I had to answer in words, I’d say to imagine a serial killer hitchhiking through the desert with heartbreak and the blues.
My favorites are Mazzy Star, Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, Hank, Patsy, Billie Holiday. Sad music and music that makes me dance. Oh, and Elvis (Presley, of course). I started the world’s first-ever all-female Elvis band when I was living in Atlanta. Pelvis Breastlies is the name. I’m very proud of that.
I think I was 15 when I started playing guitar, but I’ve been writing since prenatal. I used to sit alone in my room, almost all day, playing music instead of socializing. I didn’t think anyone would ever want to hear my music. Plus, stage fright. It’s a huge feeling of nakedness up there.
New Orleans, my birthplace, is what really changed that for me. When I moved back here three years ago, the musicians and community were so welcoming, so encouraging. I went from thinking not a single person would want to hear my songs to playing music full-time. I enjoy being naked in front of people now. Ha ha. It’s like a big nudist colony in New Orleans—we’re all naked together.
I love the way Shadow turned out! I knew the sound I wanted, and [Blue Velvet Studios engineer] Tom Stern helped me get the best musicians that would help paint those songs. The album kinda has a desert-y darkness to it. It rocks, it weeps, it’s sexual. It’s a part of me.
What’s next? Hopefully another album. I have a piss-load of songs for many albums to come. I think the next one will be a lot more personal, more vulnerable. And I want to continue touring, continue pursuing music. I left my radio career this past May, after 13 years, to do just that. Several folks said that if the music thing didn’t work out, at least I had a good resume in radio to fall back on. And maybe they meant it sincerely, or with good intentions, but that kind of BS just adds to my drive. I don’t give up. Maybe it’s my Scorpio persistence. I go after what I want, no matter the obstacle or challenge.”