Drawing Rock Vibes with The Liza Colby Sound

Credit: James Hartley

Coming up in a mostly white, low-income town and being one of three black kids in school – not to mention the only mixed one – it was a miracle to see others like you. Lisa Turtle, Living Single, and Lenny Kravitz were a few. So when I heard The Liza Colby Sound, my eight-year-old self’s mind fell on Lenny. Their rock and roll sound fronted by a powerful black woman? I was all in.

While that’s where my mind went, Mr. “American Woman” was never on her radar. She said of the comparison, “ Is it because I am Black, Jewish, and light and light skinned too? Lenny Kravitz, cool name. I have heard he is a nice guy, but musically he was never a go to .” Lenny wasn’t on Liza Colby’s must-listen-to list when it came to creating the sound of the band, but nevertheless, the rock and roll of The Liza Colby Sound is bomb.

She talked to us about the Big Apple, their fantastic new video and more – including when they’ll be back on the west coast.

Kendra: Many will tell you all about the advantages of being a musician in NYC, but little spill the tea about the downsides. Do you feel like there are any negative notes about being a musician in New York City?

Liza: New York City is one of my favorite places on earth but there is a lot of interference and it’s hard to get your frequency heard. If you want to be playing, hearing, and rubbing your elbows with the best this is the place to be. NYC isn’t called ” the city that never sleeps ” for no reason. The hustle is a real thing and you need to love that part or the whole thing is a drag.

Kendra: There’s a new album on the way in November. It’s being released right before Thanksgiving. With that, which song on Draw will you look back on in 10 years time and be the most thankful for?

Liza: “I Love You.” Adam Roth wrote it and it is been evolving since the day he brought it to the band and it continues to do so now that he’s gone. Love is universal, no risk no reward, and the stakes are high. That message has always come through to me on this song.

Kendra: Okay, so the video for “My World” is stunning. The music laid over these badass women…YES. Who came up with the treatment, and were you all performing at a real spot in NYC?

Liza: Yeah, I’m pretty stoked on this video. My husband Geoff and I came up with the initial treatment and then Beau Allulli of Mighty Lucky Productions and Jay Rabinowitz director /editor of the video (Jim Jarmusch films and Requiem for a dream) ran with it and really honed in on a final concept. This with such a dope project to work on and really enhanced the feel of the song. The live footage was from Wendy Scripps’ birthday show. She is a rock and roll matriarch of the East Village.

The Liza Colby Sound and The Sweet Things have been taken under the wing of her bad ass boutique production company (Wendigo Productions NYC). It was a real downtown NYC celebration at a spot called Berlin owned by Jesse Malin , a neighborhood joint , really good vibes . The space is small and intimate so the crowd and the performers really have to reckon with each other. It was the perfect show to shoot to contrast the boxing in the video.

Kendra: You’re playing a lot throughout October out east. Any plans to take the show out west?

Liza: Thanks to Wendigo Productions October will be a rager we are back on the road for the Dirty Sweet Sound Tour part deux with our rock brethren The Sweet Things, which is always a wild time. We did the first leg of this tour was out West in May and we are planting the seeds to hit Europe and return to the West coast in 2018!

Kendra: It’s clear there is a genuine rock and roll presence within you. So if you had to make a mixtape that showcased your actual rock and roll soul, what five songs would have to be on it?

Liza: Deep in pre-tour mode and Sam Harris (bassist of The Sweet Things) and I are currently
tying up some loose ends and have these 5 songs on repeat:

Humble Pie- “Get Down to It
The Liza Colby Sound – “Cryin
The Sweet Things – “Dustianne”
The Rolling Stones – “Have You Seen Your Mother Standing in the Shadows
Ike and Tina – “Sweet Rhode Island Red

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