The moniker “The Divine Miss M” has already been taken, but to fans of indie pop music, few could even remotely stake a claim on the tag. Lisa Mychols is one. She has been involved with the California power pop scene for some time, both with various bands and as a solo artist. Her name is familiar to devotees of the International Pop Overthrow festivals and compilations. She’s also a firm supporter of the transforming power of creativity. This has been discussed again and again at her website, Mycholsfabulousplayground.com.
Popdose had an opportunity to share a few minutes with Lisa and discuss what’s in her present and future.
You took a bit of a hiatus between the last album and what, I hear, is work-in-progress for a new one. How are the new songs coming along and when is a projected time for when they’ll come out?
I’ve been writing so many new songs lately that I can’t seem to keep up with myself. Sadly, I’ve previously held off releasing anything much due to the old program in my head saying, “It must be a full length 10-12 song album and to be released all at once.” (Yaaaawwwwwn.)
I’ve been in the studio a lot this year working on original music with my wonderful musical team, and so far we’ve released the singles, “He’s Got Me Dreaming,” “Don’t Wanna Close My Eyes,” and “Loving You Baby.” All of these singles can be found over at the Lisa Mychols CDBaby store. (ED: See address at the bottom of this article.)
Also recently released have been “Asleep Beyond a Dream” for The Co-Op Communique Volume Three and “Almost Didn’t Happen” for the upcoming This is Rock and Roll Radio Volume 4 compilation. Yay!
You’ve been involved with music for some time, been in several bands and released highly regarded solo work as well. What are some of the things that you see in your music now that could have only come from your experiences?
That I can pretty much create anything I want! Each project I’ve been involved with have been like wings for me. Each venture has shown me how far I can take anything!
As an independent musician, you have to handle nearly everything involved with putting a record together, getting it out there, and getting it seen. What are the most important steps for an artist when it comes to getting the work in front of the eyes and ears of the audience?
To educate ourselves in the business of the independent artist. There are some great books and resources out there right now! Do what works, do what feels right, stay genuine and aligned with intentions, and remember that failures are really just lessons!
What is your recording process? You play guitar and so does regular collaborator Tom Richards, but how do you put it all together? Do you have guests or is it a “closed shop”?
These days, I usually bring in a song to either Tom Richards (The Waking Hours, The Hour Zero) or Steve Refling, and they collaborate with me, forming it in to something really special and unique. It’s really fun actually, getting to co-create with people I really admire and trust! Plus, they are both incredible musicians.
The one thing I have noticed is that you are one of the most positive people I know of currently making music, especially in the indie music sphere. A lot of folks have gotten jaded by their current career/success path. I’m curious about how you keep that focus and positive spirit going, especially during the low times all creative people face…
I educate myself: I read a lot! I read other perspectives. Seriously, knowledge is power. Knowledge is confidence and faith. It’s back to remembering the intention of the art, intention of the music, intention of service (what am I giving/how am I serving) and, of course, gratitude for the gift of “being” creative. I get to create!
What personally drives you to create? Is it a determination or is it compulsive — meaning, the thing you insist on doing versus that which you’re just drawn to doing and there’s no stopping it?
Definitely inspiration. When it hits, it’s unstoppable — I guess I’ve had some kind of “inspiration receiver” in me open for so long that I don’t know how to turn it off, how to not create. Sometimes I think I consistently over-create!
Will you be doing some touring for the new music?
I just had this conversation with Tom (Richards)! But, of course, right now we are still in the studio and haven’t made those plans just yet.
You contributed to the Songs Bond Songs compilation last year (it was released this year). The song you chose was the theme from “The Man With The Golden Gun.” Why did that song draw your attention? Tell me more about how that came together.
Andrew Curry chose the song for us, actually. I love Lulu and her version. I love every moment of recording that song — we just had so much fun with it, and it inspired us to make a video in support of the song. A great compilation all around and I think everyone did a fantastic job making it a super strong release!
You can find out more about Lisa Mychols at Mycholsfabulousplayground.com and hear her new music at https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/LisaMychols1