LAEL NEALE – TO BE SAD
What a wonderfully pleasant surprise it was when we unearthed your e-mail from our inbox. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Lael Neale yet, how was it that you began enchanting the world of music?
I wanted to be a poet, which I knew was highly impractical so I picked the next least practical career.
The singer/songwriter spectrum has always had its fair share of contenders to bring something to the table, what do you think sets one apart from the other?
The words. That’s always what has fascinated me – whether it’s the flowery images of Joni Mitchell, “umbrellas bright on a grey background, and oil in the puddles in taffeta patterns,” I mean, what other singer writes like that? And then there’s Dylan, of course, so direct and conversational, “you’ve got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend.” That’s always what draws me in and makes me fall in love with a musician. It’s the way you’ve seen that same puddle on that same street that seems so unique to you, and then there they are singing about it in the way you always wished you could.
How would you describe your sound in an adjective filled sentence?
Let’s see, my sound is cinematic, intimate, dark, light and ethereal.
“Sex, drugs, and Rock n Roll” has long been a cliche within music, what words would you use to describe your music career so far?
Solitude, Coffee, Computers (sadly)
You just premiered your music videos to the world outside of the internet in LA, how was that received?
It was a really beautiful night at this sweet neighborhood venue called El Cid. Immediately, I had anxiety about building a night around my own music videos, but the minute they began, we were all fully engrossed in these little 3-minute worlds of sound and imagery. I felt lighter than air. It was also cool to offer something a little different than the regular music performance. I think people appreciated that.
What was the inspiration behind the videos? Did you have much involvement in the creative process?
So I met this young guy, Tyler Monsein, who was lurking around the neighborhood and I helped get him a job as a cook at the German sausage restaurant where I was working at the time. I learned that he was a writer, director, cartoonist, songwriter, etc… and the minute I saw the short film he made of his friends fist-fighting (Vendome), I knew we had to work together. I came up with a couple ideas for videos – we’ve made three altogether – and approached him with them. The thought behind “To Be Sad” involved single, semi-still shot torsos dappled with simple and/or shitty tattoos which then panned to a girl (me in this case) on a throne wrapped in fur and diamonds. Instantly, Tyler suggested having two different colored boards to shoot in front of as though they were polaroids for a tattoo shop wall, and that I should be a sort of suburban queen. We went to the hardware store together and picked out sheetrock and two colors, Kelp and Baby Carrot, and convinced some guys to take their shirts off. It was very much a joint effort, but I have to give Tyler full credit for executing the shared vision so perfectly, for his pure talent in shooting and editing, and for leaving all videos with his distinctive mark. I feel so lucky to have found him before someone else did. With that said, please reach out to him for any creative projects so he never has to work in a restaurant again – www.tylermonsein.com
Are there any new bands that are inspiring you at the moment, or any that have been the soundtrack to your days as a growing musician?
Gold Star ! (www.goldstarlovesyou.com) The minute I heard Marlon Rabenreither’s voice, I knew he was it. I am fortunate enough to have him in my life now and he just produced my first and only full-length album, White Daisy, Lace Gloves.
Also, my friend, Rocco Deluca, is always an inspiration both musically and ethically. He just released a record yesterday and the last song on it will break your heart. (www.roccodeluca.com)
Following unleashing these out into the open, have you got anything else up your sleeve music wise? Are there any places people will be able to catch you gigging in the coming months?
I will be playing more often in the Los Angeles area. Also, I am working on a secret song project with my comrade in correspondence, Gambles (www.gmbls.com). Though it may never see the light of day, let me tell you, that man can write.
Finally, if you could create anything, for personal or worldwide benefit, what would it be and why?
A new paradigm ! The way we view with the world is really skewed. Here’s just one example: instead of saying “shit, the ocean’s full of plastic, what’s an alternative to plastic that enables people to continue to consume as much as possible, as fast as possible and as easily as possible?” I’d like people to ask themselves why more, faster and easier are better. What are we all rushing toward anyway? I mean, I know we’re all gonna die, it’s not a race.