Growing up in a family that values humor over anything has been both a blessing and a curse, but it’s taught me one thing – people who can make you laugh are true gifts. That’s why I was excited to talk to Lane Moore. She fronts New York’s It Was Romance and when she’s not on stage doing the music thing, she’s on different ones cracking jokes from everything to her time stints in police stations to the lefts and rights of Tinder. Lane writes, sings, tells jokes and I’m pretty sure has an Olympic medal somewhere in her Big Apple home.
Her band released a new record this past May and we’ll touch on that, hear her advice on those who may need a little help, and so much Moore…
Kendra: You were a solo gal for a long while but decided to finally make your way as part of a group. How long did it take to convince yourself to reach out for band members instead of doing it all yourself?
Lane Moore: That’s a hard question because I still do pretty much everything the way a solo artist would but I knew I couldn’t physically play all the instruments at one time and I liked the idea of having people add things to my songs that I wouldn’t have thought to add. I’ll come in with a song with drums, electric uke, maybe keys/bass/accordion, whatever instruments I used, and my guitarist Alejandro will add some out of this world guitar part over the song or my drummer Angel will do this incredible solo or Jeff, my bassist, will add this ’60s soul bass line. They’re still very much my songs but they give them new signs of life. Plus, we have so much damn fun playing together.
Kendra: Between then and now you spent some time in police waiting rooms. Any lyric writing get done during those waits?
Lane Moore: Not right then, no. Usually a few hours after when I was near instruments and could be by myself.
Kendra: You’re not shy about your past and have talked about your time in therapy. At times it didn’t seem too helpful. Any advice for those out there looking for help? Should they talk to a therapist or get creative?
Lane Moore: I’ve had a really rough time finding good help. I still don’t know that I have it. I say seek it all out, everywhere, wherever you can find it. I’ve always been seeking that, man. But if you’re looking, I congratulate you. It’s brutal trying to find help when you’re really far-gone and need it faster than it’s coming. Stay brave.
Kendra: Now onto the music. It Was Romance was dropped back in May. How’s the response been so far? Any songs people are loving that you thought may have been wallflowers?
Lane Moore: The response has been really gratifying and tremendous. Pitchfork put it on its list of best summer albums, BUST called us the Best Band of 2015, Village Voice raved about it, BuzzFeed said our first single “Philadelphia” is one of the best of the summer. For songs that I’d written in my room alone so many years ago when I had no one and had lost so much to now be fully realized and listened to all over the world is such a Judd Nelson fist in the air “Yessss!” moment for me. It’s finally happening. And because it took so long to get here, there aren’t any songs I didn’t think people would like. I have so many songs you have no idea. I write 3-4 songs I really like every week and have been since I was a kid, so get ready.
Kendra: Please finish the sentence, “It was romance until…”
Lane Moore: I’m actually in an okay place in terms of believing it can still be. I listen to happy couples, I listen to friends who are in love, I look at couples on the street, how they hold each other and speak to each other. I observe it all. It gives me hope.
Kendra: You’re also a stand-up. So what’s harder, singing a new song or telling a new joke?
Lane Moore: New song, hands down. My songs are like ripped off band-aids. Super vulnerable, very raw, clearly parts of me. New jokes are too, but it can seem like they’re not. There’s a protection there with laughter that there isn’t with just having someone silently listen and feel things.
Kendra: You’ve got some shows here and there in New York. Any chance you’ll head out of the Big Apple before the year is through?
Lane Moore: I would beyond love that. So many faces I’d love to meet and people I’d love to perform for. Booking agents to the stars: if you’re listening, come at me.
Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape to help someone get through the hassle of waiting in a waiting room, what five songs would have to be on it?
Lane Moore: It depends what kind of waiting room. If you’re just bored, it’s going to be different than being in a waiting room for something intense. But I’ll operate on “intense waiting room” and say off the top of my head:
“All Is Full Of Love” by Bjork
“Middle Cyclone” by Neko Case
“Trouble” by Cat Stevens
“Halo” by Beyonce
“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” by Them