December 04, 2013

EARPEACE Interview: Elizabeth Le Fey/Globelamp

Elizabeth Le Fey/Globelamp interview

We love keeping our ear to ground when it comes to new music and up and coming artists. Our HQ in Los Angeles gives us ample opportunity to catch shows and discover amazing artists of all genres. We came across the magical tunes of Globelamp, at her Los Globos show on 11/22. 

Globelamp is the moniker for songwriter Elizabeth Fey, who up until now is probably best known for being a touring member of indie band Foxygen. Her psychedelic infused folk music is reminiscent of the type of honest, intense songwriting to come out of the 60’s and 70’s, and her stripped down set had the crowd completely enthralled.

We were able to sit down with Ms. Fey before her show and talk about a variety of subjects, from Young Adult novels to subliminal messages in pop music!


EARPEACE: How long have you been writing music?

Elizabeth: Probably like, 3 years. I’ve been playing music longer but writing music..probably 3 years.

EARPEACE: Tell us about your future plans; are you planning on releasing an album?

Elizabeth: Hopefully next year. I don’t know exactly the date but my plans are just to finish…I have a lot of stuff recorded it’s just not mixed so I need to finish doing that, but yeah to finish recording.

I have an album that needs to get done but a lot of the songs are kind of old to me, so I’ll probably do another album. I’ve already written new stuff too. Once I finish getting dental surgery. I’ve been playing with a retainer and I’ve played shows without them too but I finally got a retainer that I can sing with.

EARPEACE: Are you working with anyone or are you recording solo?

Elizabeth: I was recording with Sam France from Foxygen, he recorded a lot of stuff for me, but I have all the tapes. He was going to mix it but he’s not really like the most logical, or I guess someone who knows a lot about equipment. He’s more of a creative type, not really a sound engineer. He has good ideas musically, but yeah the whole thing with me and him was very experimental, neither of us really knew what the hell we were doing.

So I have the tapes that me and him recorded, we’ve been recording them for like a year, on and off tour we would record. Now I have them and my friend, who is trying to start a record label is going to help me mix them. So I recorded all those songs with Sam France.

I’m trying to record with Jake Bellows, he’s on Saddlecreek and he did a split with Bright Eyes a while back. He lives in LA and I asked him to help me record a couple songs and he said yeah. I really like his music and he’s really chill.

EARPEACE: What comes easier to you, the music or lyrics?

Elizabeth: I think…well I’ve been writing music for about 3 years like I said, but before that I had always been writing poems and short stories and I wanted to be writer. So I think writing to me is important. I don’t like my lyrics to be corny, and I think about them a lot.

It’s very easy for me to make up melodies so I think I do spend more time on the lyrics. Plus, I don’t know, I think music’s a good tool to express your beliefs, a lot of music you can’t even hear it, it’s so hidden behind effects. I like people like Bright Eyes, he has a lot of good lyrics. And Bob Dylan.

EARPEACE: Your music has a very nostalgic feel to it, who and what are some of your influences?

Elizabeth: Definitely influenced by Fleetwood Mac, I love them. I like Mazzy Star, Cat Power, Elliot Smith, Conor Oberst, The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, The Pixies, Neutral Milk Hotel. Globelamp doesn’t sound like them but there are parts in the new recordings where I yell and it’s more up and down like my live stuff. Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos; she’s like her own genre. The Beach Boys…their harmonies influence me a lot. Yeah, the 90s, the 60’s, and the 70’s all influence me a lot.

I don’t really like much of the newer stuff right now. Like if I had to pick a pop star, I like Taylor Swift, but I’m not like influenced by her. At least her image is with the guitar. Compared to all the other pop stars, Beyonce, Katy, Lana, at least her image somewhat has the guitar in it; it’s a good influence for girls I think.

The way that media is makes it seems like female musicians are just singers but I think it’s good to have girls with instruments, so girls don’t just grow up thinking they have to be pretty and be the singer; they can write music too. It’s not all about being the diva, you can be bassist, or the guitarist, or the drummer, or the trumpet player.

I didn’t have many influences growing up either; it was like Britney Spears. A lot of the “Indie/Alternative” are acting like they like crappy music, I’m not like that, I’m kind of political. It’s fine sometimes, but I’d rather listen to older music. I think it’s kind of considered cool to like crappy music right now. Oh yeah David Bowie and Velvet Underground, I like them too.

EARPEACE: How did you come up with the name Globelamp?

Elizabeth: I read this book, Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, it’s a young adult novel about LA in the 90s. It’s about this punk girl and her boyfriend who ends up being gay and they have this big family and they’re all named weird things, and the second book, Witch Baby, has a chapter called “Globe Lamp” and it’s about this girl who’s a little witch and lives in LA and rides roller skates and take photos and buys this globe lamp, and I had it as my email because I always thought it was cool imagery. So I just kept it. I have two globe lamps now. But yeah, that author really inspires my writing. Her imagery is very dreamy, romanticized. I’d love to meet her.

EARPEACE: So you toured with Foxygen, what were some of your favorite or least favorite memories of that tour?

Elizabeth: Yeah I toured with them for about 6 months. My favorite was opening for Of Montreal, and going to Europe. Those were the two best parts. As a teenager I tried to go and see Of Montreal at the Che Café in San Diego, me and my friend went to see them and Tilly and the Wall and I didn’t get in and my boyfriend at the time did, and he didn’t let me cut in line and it was so sad.

So it was crazy to go on tour with them, if somebody had told me when I was 15, “Don’t worry you’ll go on tour with them and see them every night”? it was just surreal to me. I just saw them at the Echo and it’s still surreal because I look up to them so much. I think they’re really great. Worst was probably being the only girl on tour.

My best friend died right before I went on tour, randomly, like from the flu, and I lived with her, so that was the worst trying to play every night. We had so much pressure on us. That’s why I had a lot of drama with them because I felt very torn up, and nobody really understood, except like Sam. Everyone else was kind just like, “I knew a guy in high school that died…” It’s kind of different, like this is my best friend; I talk to her every day. It was very hard for me.

I can’t think of one…well we had some bad shows where equipment just straight up broke you know? Like the organ broke and vocal processors would just stop working and it was embarrassing because fans would be like “what the hell is going on…” We didn’t know what we were doing at first, but we got better.

EARPEACE: So do you prefer playing in a band or do like doing the solo thing?

Elizabeth: I would like people in the band. I like playing solo too though because then I have more control. I don’t want to have a band just to have a band. I’d rather play alone then play with people who don’t really want to. People have to be open to playing weirder stuff.

EARPEACE: Who are you listening to right now?

Elizabeth: I’m really just not up to date on newer music, like what’s cool. I kind of know because I’m on the Internet a lot but I was really exposed to it in Foxygen, because they were on Pitchfork and Best New Music and stuff, like I’d never looked at that before.

Back in Olympia where I was living there were so bands and I was really immersed in the music scene so I never really looked online for new music. Lately I have been listening to Tele Novella, Agent Ribbons, Ruby Fray, Camp Wisdom, & The Zombies.

EARPEACE: So what do you think of the current musical landscape and it’s future? Are you pessimistic or optimistic?

Elizabeth: I think it’s going to shit but I don’t give up on it. I think it could change. It seems shitty right now but everything…there is patterns and waves. I’m kind of an optimist so I think it can get better. I think modern music is definitely not very good, like the messages being sent out to the youth are not very good. I think people in the 60’s and 70’s had stuff to say, like John Lennon, I think the media realized we couldn’t have people like him, or Bob Dylan, being popular because they make people think.

There was a movement, the hippie movement, people were pissed off and the music fueled. It. The media was like, “Ok, let’s just put people on the radio who sing about sex and partying, we don’t want people to be thinking about the government.” Like with the whole Miley Cyrus thing, I feel like it’s just a distraction so people won’t look at what’s really happening. I don’t even really know what’s happening but I feel like it’s just there to create noise and make people not think. I feel like there’s probably subliminal messages in some music…with all the technology? It makes sense.

Some of it’s so catchy it seems poisonous. Like it will be stuck in my head and I’m like I hate this song why is this stuck in my head…(starts humming We Can’t Stop) Like that was stuck in my head for so long. I do have hope though, I know a lot of good musicians who are dedicated and want to do stuff so if more people who care about music over image, a lot of people just care about their image. The image is cool like if it goes along with your music, like David Bowie, but it shouldn’t be what you’re riding on.

Check out Globelamp’s music on SoundCloud.

Don't forget, if you're out at shows make sure you bring your hearing protection like EARPEACE's music earplugs--our Music PRO is patented concert earplugs.


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