Lisa Loeb Doesn’t Believe in ‘Fairy Tales’
Let’s face it, any mention of Lisa Loeb generally elicits the reaction of belting out “Yeeeeeaah, I missed you.” Loeb first exploded onto the pop culture radar in 1994, when her debut single turned Billboard hit “Stay(I Missed You)” appeared on the soundtrack to the Gen X movie Reality Bites. 21 years later, the song is still ever-present as are her trademark cat-eye glasses. The song recently made a cameo on the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
While it may seem Loeb has faded out of the mainstream, the savvy songstress has been very active. From appearances in movies, TV shows, reality shows – including the 2006’s Number 1 Single on E! to producing. Thanks in part, no doubt, to her notorious glasses, in 2010, she launched the Lisa Loeb Eyewear Collection. Each frame is named after one of her song titles. If that’s not enough, Loeb also sells a brand of coffee called her “Wake Up! Brew.” All profits go to her non-profit, launched in 2008 The Camp Lisa Foundation, designed to help underprivileged kids attend summer camp.
When Lisa Loeb’s sensitive serenades climbed the charts in the mid 1990s, it’s no surprise she would add children’s music to her catalogue. After three successful adult pop albums – including the 1997 Grammy nominated Firecracker – Loeb delved into the world of children’s music in the 2000s, releasing four albums and two books.
2013 marked the release of Loeb’s seventh studio album No Fairy Tale. Co-produced by New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert, the album returns the 90’s rocker to her roots, especially evident on the single “The 90’s,” with an edgy pop/punk sound. Despite the name, she says the album is “about how life is more rich than a fairy tale.”
This year, Loeb returns to the big screen, lending her musical talents and acting creds to the LGBT coming-of-age comedy, Helicopter Mom, starring Nia Vardalos. The movie centers around Vardalos as an overly invasive mother, who is so accepting of her son’s choices – even being gay – that she outs him to his entire school. The problem, he doesn’t know whether he’s gay or not. Loeb wrote and performed three songs, including the title track “3,2,1, Let Go” and stars as Mrs. Moore.
Loeb’s US tour will bring her to Florida with stops at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre, May 8, Orlando’s Plaza Live, May 9, and Ponte Vedra’s Concert Hall, May 10. We chatted with the 47 year old pop-rocker about the new film, reality TV and husband hunting.
TheFireDownBelow.com: I see you’ve been busy in the studio lately. Is it safe to say there is new music coming soon? If so, can you tell me any more about it?
Lisa Loeb: I’m always working on new songs. This month, I have a song called “3,2,1, Let Go” coming out in conjunction with the release of the new film, Helicopter Mom, also out this month in select theaters. It’s the song I wrote with Chris Unck as the title track! If you come to shows, you’ll hear songs I’m working on. too.
How do you mentally prepare yourself before going on tour?
I think about the audience and what it’s like to be in the audience. I think about my purpose, and make an intent/goal for myself for the show like, “Connect with people,” or “Sing from my heart,” or “Have fun.” I put together a set list that usually ends up changing once I’m on stage, eat something, and head out there.
What can fans expect with this performance? Surely, you’ll be performing some of your hits, but is there a song you wish you didn’t have to sing ever again?
I’ll perform songs from my entire catalogue, including the songs that have been played a lot on the radio, requests from my albums, and a couple of brand new songs. I like to talk to the audience too, so we’ll see what happens during the show. We’ve done everything from writing a song together to doing a question and answer session. I can’t think of any songs I wish I didn’t have to sing, but there are songs of mine I need to study up on, because I can’t remember how to play a few of them.
What goes into making a great love song?
That’s a great question. Probably a great lyric and mostly a great melody. I think a longing melody sticks in people’s minds the most, even more than a lyric.
Your songs are always so hopeful and happy, if you will – even when you’re singing about heartbreak. I have to ask, what really ticks you off?
I don’t really think of my songs as “happy” as much as “hopeful.” Lots of things tick me off, like being disorganized, disrespectful, lazy, having a job done half way, wasting time, and there’s probably a whole lot more too.
Have you ever thought about doing reality TV again – say maybe The Celebrity Apprentice? I mean, you do have your own charity Camp Lisa and all.
There are definitely things I’d love to share with a larger audience, but not sure if “reality” is the way to go for me. I don’t really think of The Celebrity Apprentice as reality TV as much as super produced reality-based competition. Those shows are interesting to me. I do like being a producer on TV and helping tell the story we mean to tell. It can be really time consuming to be the star of and also produce a show. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for creating or family, which are two huge parts of my life.
It seems music has been a big part of your life, even since childhood. Are your children embracing the same musicality?
My kids love music, they feel very comfortable walking up to any instrument and trying it out, and have opinions of their own regarding music. I love that they know so much about it and love it so much.
Now that you have your “fairy tale,” what advice can you offer to find the perfect mentsch?
Find someone who’s thoughtful, interested in their family and friends and yours, someone who always does the right thing, and who values the same things you do. You know it when you find it. Have your friends and family meet that person, even if you’re scared of their opinions. That usually means they are keen and will see if the person you’re introducing them to is a mentsch or not. You can often meet a mentsch through another mentsch.
You’ve done countless interviews over the years; what’s a question you haven’t been asked that you wish someone would?
Wow. that’s a big question. I’ve been asked so many things. ‘What’s my favorite ride at Disney World?’ I like the Dumbo ride. It reminds me of a long, long time ago.
Who: Lisa Loeb
Where & When: Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre, May 8; Orlando’s Plaza Live, May 9; Ponte Vedra’s Concert Hall, May 10
Tickets & Tour Dates: LisaLoeb.com
Connect: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
featured photo by: Juan Patino Photography
article photo 1 by: Justine Ungaro
article photo 2 by: Juan Patino Photography