Following the release of her album Jump In!, Lisa Bouchelle announced a series of live shows with the one and only Glenn Tilbrook, of Squeeze. Despite a busy schedule, the artist and songwriter kindly took part in an interview. Here’s how it went…
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Hi Lisa, hope you’re doing well – thanks so much for you time! Congratulations for the continued success of Jump In!. For those new to your music, how would you describe that album?
Thank you! I’m very excited about the new record!
The music on this record has elements of alt-Americana, rock and pop. The production includes some fun, modern ear candy while staying true to my signature sound which is built around my acoustic guitar groove and vocals.
Lyrically there is definitely a theme running thru the record, of hope and overcoming obstacles, which I feel is very relevant, considering the current times in the world.
That’s the thing about music; it can really bring people together despite their differences in other areas. In some fundamental ways we are all in ‘the same boat.’ It feels good to put out an album that everyone can groove to together!
Huge congrats also for the upcoming live shows. How did you come to connect with Glenn Tilbrook, and how does it feel to be gearing up for this tour?
When my management company called with the news of the offer to join Glenn Tilbrook on the bill for this tour, I was super excited! I’ve always admired and been fascinated by his songwriting showcased in Squeeze. Glenn is amazing solo too! He performs Squeeze hits as well as his solo music. Great creative force to be around. I feel lucky to be on this tour! And I think it’s a great fit.
The fan response to my shows had been terrific. I have met a lot of music-loving folks and have had fun traveling to their towns to perform!
Tell us about the single Waterproof – what does it represent for you, and what do you hope people take away from it?
As we started coming out of the pandemic, which really shut down live music and touring, I was excited to be able to get out there again, and to play the new music I had worked on during the downtime.
I started to lose a lot of weight, and my heart would beat very fast. And then one night I started feeling very faint. I had to be hospitalized, and I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. To those not aware, Type 1 Diabetes is a life sentence to a world where one has to constantly monitor one’s blood sugar, only eat certain foods, and take insulin daily to keep the blood sugar levels where they should be.
After the diagnosis, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to be “Super Girl Lisa” anymore – going out touring, working out, enjoying crazy adventures… I felt like I was hit by one tidal wave of bad news after another, until I didn’t even want to get up again. I think we’ve ALL had those times in our lives.
But I did find the strength to get up and try again. There are actually quite a few well-known Type 1 Diabetics, such as Nick Jonas and Neil Young, as well as newer artists such Valerie June and Crystal Bowersox.
I ended up being able to go back to touring and making music, and work out, and dance, and smile, and laugh again. Now I have high-tech wearable insulin pods and glucose readers on me all the time. When I got them, they told me they were waterproof. I said, “I’ll tell ya what’s waterproof; my DREAMS are Waterproof!” So I wrote the song Waterproof.
People at my shows have been coming up to me and telling me of trials they’ve gone through, and how much the song touches them. That’s why I do what I do! And apparently I’m gonna keep on doin’ it! As the song says, “My spirit stands against the storm; My dreams are Waterproof!”
From Waterproof I hope people will take with them a sense of hope and empowerment and the reaffirmation that we ALL face challenges, but can come out even better and stronger after overcoming those hurdles. Also, Waterproof is one of those unique acoustic-based songs that can still makes people groove and dance. I love that. As a singer-songwriter, it is such a good feeling to see people dig it in that way!
How important have social platforms like TikTok been for your rising popularity, and does awareness of a bigger audience impact the way you create?
I think it surely allows us to reach a wider audience, especially geographically. I feel blessed to create music. My fundamental process hasn’t really changed in light of TikTok, but it is fun to see people making their own Videos to my songs. Amazingly, we’ve had over 4 million views on videos that had my music in them. And it’s interesting to realize their various interpretations of my songs.
Has the Americana and alternative live scene changed much since the musical drought of 2020, and what are you the most excited about regarding the upcoming live dates?
I think the scene is still building back. But the people who are at the shows seem more enthusiastic about live music than ever. I think being away from it showed us all how much we need it!
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thanks to everyone who has been coming out to the live shows again to share the music and synergy of live concerts. I and my band, The Bleu, couldn’t do what we do without y’all! And please come up and say hi, or send me messages, I love hearing from everyone. You can keep up with the latest on what I’m doing, and the new music I’m releasing, on my website at www.lisabouchelle.com, as well as Facebook and Instagram.
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