By Nate Johnson
In advance of her second area show in the last year, Lydia Loveless recently had a Rockford moment of her own.
“We got pulled over by the police after our last show, listening to Cheap Trick’s ‘Dream Police’ really loud,” offers up the 24-year-old Columbus, Ohio native. “There was a traffic violation involved, but I’m sure they couldn’t wait to pull us over since we looked like a band and we were listening to Cheap Trick.”
Okay, maybe not Hammer of the Gods-level debauchery, but.
Loveless, one of the most electrifying performers touring today, brings her literate and passionate punk-fueled country/rock and roll back to Kryptonite this Friday. Having been named a “2014 New Artist You Need to Know” by both Rolling Stone and Spin, the singer and her crack band are on yet another leg of seemingly never-ending touring before going into the studio to record her fourth LP (and film a documentary about said recording).
Rock River Times: You’re returning to tour the States again after your recent trip to Europe. Was that your first time playing over there?
Lydia Loveless: That was my fourth time, actually, but my first time with the whole band.
RRT: What kind of response do you get over there?
LL: It depends on the area. I would say our best crowds were in Spain and Italy. Germany was pretty good. Spain is definitely my favorite place to play over there. It’s very rock and roll, the crowds seem like they’re really getting into it.
RRT: How much do you enjoy touring?
LL: I like it a lot. I like it less as I get into the end of an album cycle, after we’ve been playing the songs for a year and a half, but I’d still much rather be touring than sitting at home. I love travelling, I love seeing new places, but it’s harder to write that way.
RRT: Do you prefer touring to songwriting?
LL: Oh, no, I love getting a break to write songs. I actually like being in the studio more than anything, but touring definitely breaks up the monotony.
RRT: What is it about being in the studio that you enjoy so much?
LL: I guess I feel like I’m in my own little world there. You just start throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks and it’s exciting to hear things come together and have this finished product that you can actually hear results. I get very in the zone, I guess, when I’m there.
RRT: What is going on with the documentary (“Who Is Lydia Loveless”)?
LL: We just finished filming at home, all of the interviews, which was harder than I thought it would be. Gorman (Bechard, the director of the project) will be coming on tour with us in July for a week to film some of the tour, then he’ll film us in the studio.
RRT: Do you expect there to be an effect on the playing, both on the road and in the studio, knowing that the camera is there and knowing that it’s going into a finished product?
LL: Possibly live, but hopefully not in the studio. Maybe we’ll make less offensive jokes.
RRT: You have probably been asked this 100,000 times, but it seems like you’re one of the most frequently-compared artists out there. If you have to be categorized, where to you want to be?
LL: I guess it sounds sort of pretentious almost, even though it’s such a standard genre, but I guess just rock and roll. We certainly act pretty rock and roll. It takes away the idea that we’re going to play a Toby Keith.
RRT: You were on both Spin and Rolling Stone’s “Artists You Have to Hear” lists. What did you think of that?
LL: It was definitely a confidence boost. I don’t know if it launched us into stardom, but I was excited about it. Show attendance definitely was a lot better after that.
RRT: A lot of your influences are pretty obvious from your music, but what are your inspirations, both formatively and currently?
LL: Right now I listen to so much pop music, which doesn’t necessarily translate into my music, but I just love the concept of the female diva pop artist. From a writing inspiration, I love John Moreland, he’s a great artist. His new album is awesome.
RRT: What about the stuff that got you into music?
LL: It’s a mixture of Billy Idol and Britney Spears. I remember hearing “White Wedding” and I thought it’s the NEW SOUND. I guess it turned out to not be so new.
Lydia Loveless and her band will play Kryptonite, 308 W. State Street, on Friday at 9 p.m.