A chat with Lizzy Ross

A chat with Lizzy Ross image

Holden Mesk, writer for Asheville Music Guide, got a chance to speak with Lizzy Ross before her upcoming show at The Altamont Theatre. Ross spoke about her new album, hosting a podcast with her sister, and practicing yoga. Read her interview below and make sure you head to her show this Thursday, October 27th at 8pm!

Hey Lizzy! Thank you so much for doing this interview with Asheville Music Guide. We're really excited to go to your upcoming show at The Altamont Theatre! Having grown up here in North Carolina, I assume you've been to Asheville before? 

Thank you for existing, Asheville Music Guide! We have always loved the Altamont and the Asheville area. I have spent a bit of time around Asheville, including playing at the Orange Peel, Diana Wortham Theater, and a month of backpacking in the Pisgah and Linville Gorge areas. 

Let's talk music. This past summer you released Violet Bell, a really solid sounding live album featuring you and Omar Ruiz Lopez playing your hearts out. What went into making that and what's your personal favorite song to come off of it?

You are too kind! This album was inspired by the energetic power of live recording. There’s nothing like the real thing - the audience absolutely impacts the performance, and the fact that you only have one shot to record the song does, too! We had a blast diving into our fears of perfectionism allowing the music to be heard the way it is. 

The tune “Write My Lines” is my favorite. When Omar wrote his part for that song, he brought out the magic. 

The best part of the album is that it was the first show Omar and I played together. We loved the experience so much that we’re playing all our shows together now, and have named our duo Violet Bell, after the album. 

I'm sure everyone asks this question, but how did you end up getting into music? 

I’ve always loved to sing and been an obsessive reader and rhymer. Making music just feels so good, I started and never stopped. When I moved to North Carolina, the musical tradition showed me how much I have to learn! 

Omar has studied music in school and now plays in the Durham Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the non-profit Kidznotes. I love learning from him as he blends classical and colloquial styles.  

Who would you say inspires your songwriting and music style the most? 

The earth! Tons of humans have inspired me (Joni Mitchell, JJ Cale, Neil Young, Prince, Ariel <yes the little mermaid>, on and on…), but the experience of being outside, moving my body, getting grounded, and perceiving the plants and animals around me is the most direct source of inspiration in my life. Emotional expression and honoring cycles are also very inspiring to me.

Now this one might be tough question, but do you have any guilty pleasures that you secretly listen to just for fun even if they haven't actively influenced you? 

Goodness, so many! I teach music, so my kids will bring in all kinds of popular songs, and those melodies are sticky. Most recently, Omar and I have been obsessed with Hamilton. We can’t help it. We heard it once and it totally invaded our brains.

What was the best show you've ever played? I mean, besides the one that you're about to play here at The Altamont Theatre…

Great question! Tough to say! To me, shows are such an experience in the moment. In order to be playing well, I must always ask myself, “what’s happening now?” so I can show up for the next line that needs to be sung.  So - my favorite show is the show that’s happening now!

That said, my favorite shows have intimate energy, no matter the location or size of the audience. Performing with no amplification in a room (or better yet, forest) full of listening people would be my DREAM gig. Most of all, when the audience energy is aligned with ours, the experience is amazing! We all get together, conjure this magic, and leave feeling a little more vibrant and connected. It’s a win-win.

What do you do when you're not playing or listening to music? Is it true that you're a yoga master!?

Haha! Far from it! I do love to practice yoga, but there are so many masters out there, and I am but a wee youngster by comparison. I love to get outside, garden, hike, paint, bike, cook, dance, go to the ocean/mountains, and yeah, play music obsessively. For me, these activities are sources of inspiration. The cyclical practices like gardening, exercise, and cooking help me stay grounded so I can be a better vessel for the music.

Also, my sister and I produce a podcast on nature and intuition together. It’s called Dream Freedom Beauty and our motto is “get weirder”. We talk to all kinds of people, from mushroom scientists to shamans to herbalists to consciousness researchers!

Anything else you want to add?

Thank you so much for sharing the music of artists around Asheville! We are so grateful to folks like you who help get the word out so we can all enjoy music and being alive together.  

Also, if y’all reading want to keep up with what Omar and I are doing, check out our Patreon - it’s an amazing way to support the artists you love and we share our work on Patreon regularly. 

Awesome! Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. We'll see you at The Altamont Theatre on October 27th!

Thank you and thanks to all you readers and listeners!

Image Credits: 

Header Image: Photo permission by Lizzy Ross
*No changes were made to the original image*

Thursday, October 27, 2016
8:00 pm
$8 adv. / $10 d.o.s. / $15 VIP (guaranteed seating in 1st three rows!)