Moaning Lisa

Moaning Lisa by Hugo Sharp

Moaning Lisa by Hugo Sharp

When you were selected to play Bigsound, where were you?

It was actually such an uneventful thing, our manager just casually messaged us like “we’re going to bigsound” and I was like ummm??? Okay???? Cool???? Internally screaming.

With your new EP  ‘Do You Know Enough?’ just around the corner, can you tell us a bit about the story behind the record?

Do You Know Enough? Has been a long time in the making. I feel like we’ve tackled so many changes as a band and as individuals and the EP encapsulates that journey. I like to think of each track as a new milestone, whether it be for us musically, emotionally, mentally. It’s a five-step manual to the early 20s of a queer woman navigating the world.

“My favourite kind of music takes the mundane and makes it extraordinary, and that’s what we strive to do whenever we write music.”

What challenges did you face in the process of making the EP? In what way have you grown from those challenges?

One song in particular was extremely hard to get right in a studio. We’ve always been a predominately live band, spending most of our time touring and performing, so getting into a studio and trying to capture our energetic vibe is a massive challenge in itself. It’s really forced us to finesse and EDIT!! Edit edit edit. I’m so happy we had the right people championing us in the making of this record because all the songs are the best they can possibly be, no fillers.

What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?

Honestly, just everyday observations. My favourite kind of music takes the mundane and makes it extraordinary, and that’s what we strive to do whenever we write music. At the end of the day, we want to put out what we want to get back in the world.

**What does ‘innovation in music’ mean to you?

Nurturing our relationships with ourselves as artists and moving away from the hierarchical, competitive, dog-eat-dog way of experiencing the industry. The whole community of punters, musicians, journos, photographers etc, sharing the experience through love and respect of the work everyone puts into the world of music and its intersections.

**Who do you think is leading innovation in your industry today? Why?

DIY Communities like Laundry Echo being a platform for artists and community members to build each other up rather than tear each other down.

**What’s the best advice you’ve been given? How do you apply that advice to yourself and your music today?

It probably came from Ben Moore who produced the latest EP. I was having a moment of imposter syndrome when I was recording with him. I am not a trained vocalist or guitarist, so I was giving myself a hard time for that. He told me that I could go and spend years of my life training to become the perfect singer or the best guitarist in the world, but that time would be better spent experiencing the world and doing the things that I value more worthy of my time. Like writing songs.

**Why do you think it’s a good time to be a woman?

It is a good time to be a woman because there is more and more awareness around the issues of inequality which is not only shaping the industries where we work, but it’s also showing us what to expect from the world.

**Can you tell us about the name ‘Moaning Lisa’ and what it means to you? How did it come about?

So this is our origin story, but back in 2014 I was singing my songs along with some covers under a different name, posting them online and performing on ukulele around Canberra. One of those covers was a song called Moaning Lisa Smile by Wolf Alice. It wasn’t long before Ellen and our previous drummer Andy found my music and hit me up about starting a band with them and we bonded through our mutual love of Wolf Alice. So the name was agreed upon pretty much right away.

**When was the last time you felt compassion for something/someone and why?

This is a hard one because I feel compassion for something/someone most days. Just now I saw a dog limping along and I felt a wave of compassion about that. To be honest though, I experience more compassion for dogs than I do people a lot of the time.

**Name one ‘human’ thing/act that makes you smile. For example: laughing with a friend, an accidental fart, exaggerated yawning, sleeping next to someone you love etc..

EATING. We all LOVE food and we love sharing meals together on the road. When everyone is eating all together there are no expectations, you can just be in the moment and nourish yourself.

Quick-Fire Response! When you hear the word:

Patriarchy - Men

History - Herstory

Plant-based - Diet

Sex - and candy

Privilege - Men

Sustainability - climate change

Bravery - swords and shit

Seriousness - Sirius Black

Freedom - Fighters

Home - “is where I want to be” (to the tune of This Must Be the Place by Talking Heads)

**What’s next for you and the band in the coming year?

Before the end of the year we’ll be finishing out our EP tour in Melbourne and Adelaide, we have Stonecutters festival in Adelaide, Shakafest on the Gold Coast and capping off 2018 in Melbourne on NYE. Keep an eye on our socials for more shows announced in early 2019, but we’re looking forward to putting aside time to get away and do some songwriting as well.

**Lastly: Pay it Forward - Recommend a friend/acquaintance/hero to be featured in our next quarter and tell us why.

Cry Club

Larissa Ryan