Review Fox chats with singer/songwriter who discusses her creative process, origin in music and new single, Mars Bar Baby and more.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Loraine Leckie: I got involved in music because friends suggested that I turn my poems into songs. I quit my career as a make-up artist and moved into a studio apartment on Orchard St in NYC and spent 3 years learning to write songs and play guitar, piano, and harmonica. At the age of 40, I started performing and making records.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Leckie: I work every day from 1 – 3 pm and hopefully, the muse will pay a visit. Sometimes the songs come from poems or I write the words and music together. I also carry the songs around and work in the studio up in my head. Every Friday night, I run a songwriter collective called The Greenpoint Songwriters Exchange and work out my songs with the group. We meet and help each other with no royalties involved. Artists helping artists!
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Leckie: I am inspired by the artists that I love. Poets, painters, songwriters, and bands are all influences. I am inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, the French symbolists Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, and Arthur Rimbaud. My favorite American poet is Frank Stanford. As far as songwriters go, PJ Harvey, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, and Neil Young. I love The Black Keys and Brian Jonestown Massacre. I am a big film noir fan and my favorite film is Charles Laughton’s classic Night Of the Hunter (1955) and I also love the french new wave, especially the director Claude Chabrol. Check out Le Boucher (1970)! Nature and animals are the biggest big stars in my music!
Review Fix: What does music mean to you?
Leckie: Music is and always has been my best friend in the whole world. Music is my favorite cocktail and you don’t get a hangover in the morning!
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Leckie: My sound is Americana-tinged psychedelic rock with supernatural entities.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Leckie: Live shows are raw and dangerous because you are right in the moment and crazy stuff can and often does happen and I live for that.
In the studio, things are controlled and I am always reaching for that wild live sound. I record live in the studio with my demons and often keep everything including the vocal tracks. I am lucky because my guitarist Hugh Pool has his own recording studio which is Excello Recording in Greenpoint Brooklyn. It is a home away from home for our band.
Review Fix: What inspired your latest single?
Leckie: My latest single Mars Bar Baby was inspired by one of the Queens of NYC nightlife the notorious Ms. Pebbles Russell. Her favorite bar in the Lower East Side was The Mars Bar which was the biggest dive I have ever been in and beloved by all. When it closed she was so upset that I decided to write her a song to keep it alive. The Mars Bar is now a bank machine.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of 2020?
Leckie: My goals for 2020 are to keep making music, stay healthy, and help others to do the same.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Leckie: What’s next depends on what happens with the world. I have a single (Mars Bar Baby) coming out May 15th followed by a full-length studio album (Razor Wing Butterly) on June 26th. I hope to have a CD release party as soon as it is safe in NYC and it will be so great to see my demons again. I also have fall tour dates booked in Europe but will only go to play if its the right thing to do. like the most in life. As long as I can sit down and write songs I will be alright because that’s what I love to do most in life.