An Interview With Lindi Ortega

Way back in March of this year Lindi Ortega put out a brilliant album you may have missed called Liberty. The songs are all great and it’s structured as a narrative story, so you’re rewarded for listening from beginning to end. This weekend she comes to SPACE in Evanston to play a show in support of the album, and I had the opportunity to submit some questions to her.
Tickets for the show on Sunday November 4th are available here.
The playing on this record is phenomenal. How did you find Steelism and why did you think they would be good for Liberty?

Steelism was actually the suggestion of the producer, Skylar Wilson. I checked them out online and was immediately on board, and I could tell they would have an understanding of what we were trying to convey. 

The Wild West feel that comes from the musical theme running throughout the album paints a vivid picture. Did you have that piece finished before the other songs or was it the other way around?

The song “Liberty” was the catalyst for the direction of the record. While a few songs were written earlier, they all took on the spaghetti western motif after the song “Liberty” was written, and found its place within the overall narrative. 

The Morricone influence is obvious right from the start. What is it about his music that interests you?
His compositions were written as the backdrop for some incredible old western movies, which basically makes him the king of that genre, I think. So it would be silly to create a spaghetti western record and not  reference his work.

I think one of the themes of Liberty is being the hero of your own story. Do you find that playing music allows you to become a better version of yourself?

I think music in general is challenging and I think challenging yourself makes you a better person. 

Liberty is a narrative album released in an era of singles. Were you worried at all that audiences wouldn’t respond to it?

Not really. I don’t think I ever functioned well in the era of singles.

The album closer marks your first time singing in Spanish on a record. Why now? Do you plan to continue on future releases?

I decided to challenge myself. I don’t know if there will be more Spanish songs in the future. Maybe!

When you were first starting out you got on tours with Brandon Flowers and later Social Distortion. What did you learn about touring and did you take anything away from watching how the acts you opened for night after night perform?

 The Social Distortion tour was the best tour ever. I love Mike Ness; he has amazing stamina for performing, and he’s a killer guitar player. I learned so much from them. 

You also worked on a Major Lazer track, which seems a bit different from the music people would connect you with. How did that collaboration come about and what did you learn from working with musicians from a totally different genre?

That was back when I was signed to a major label. They asked me if I wanted to try writing a part for the song and singing on it, so I just said sure… why the heck not! 

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