Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Elizabeth Fagan - songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, muse and master
Jason Miller - drummer, right-hand-man, band chef
Sam Arnold - bassist, now you see him now you don't
For starters, were you apart of any other musical projects before Lili St Anne ? How long have you been a band?
I started writing songs when I lived in France, and when I first got a chance to record in a friend's studio, I named our motley all-female recording band Lili And The Dirty Moccasins. I kept that name with me when I moved back to the states and it stuck as I went through a lot of different configurations of performing musicians for this original group of songs. It finally settled into a five-piece bluegrass band. I also performed in a duo with an artist who still performs under the name Zooanzoo, which was a lot more out there than The Moccasins. Really experimental, performative folk Music that has now evolved into mostly electronic music that Zach Williams now performs solo. Lili St Anne is a name I gave myself in Summer 2016 while I was traveling and writing new music that didn't fit into the same vibe as the songs I had written before that. I met Jason soon after, in September, and we've been glued together since then, driving this as a duo vocal-rhythm focused project. He also makes music with our friend Neil Kirkpatrick who is now in New York composing, and he's been a member of many bands in Portland and Eugene spanning from tribal folk to funk and hip hop. Sam came later on bass, and he's been playing more and more with us just the past few months.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and how do you think these topics will change over time?
Elizabeth writes the songs. We are working on a five-song EP about the wild feminine. In it, I use three animals to talk about certain spirits that move within a feminine body: crow as grief, lion as passion, and wolves as fear. These are crowned by songs that are gentle love lullabies from one woman to another. Soothing my sisters with deep love and compassion. How will this change over time? Who knows... I am inspired by what is happening in the world and with my communities, so I will keep writing about those energies as I feel them.
What artists are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Jason and I love Hiatus Kaiyote. That was a big coming-together for us, since we come from such different backgrounds. He's a hip hop head, and I've been all into the neo-folk and indie rock scene since growing up in Portland Oregon. This past year I've been listening to a lot of hip hop and jazz, getting more into rhythm-driven music, and seeking a lot of powerful female vocalists like Erykah Baduh, tune-yards, Björk...
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start making music?
Yeah, actually. I didn't really know I wanted to perform music like this until a really particular moment at Pickathon, a folk festival in Oregon. I used to volunteer every summer there and one year around 2013 i saw Alela Diane perform there. I just thought "i want to do that". I'd already started writing music but that inspired me to start sharing it with my friends and start busking and booking small shows.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, fun pre-show rituals etc …
I put on lipstick. One time I forgot and it wasn't a great show. Jason and I kiss our palms and fist pump. We like to set the intention to play the best show we've ever played, every show.
What is your favorite tour story?
We're on tour right now, and actually, last night was pretty incredible. Our show in Fresno got cancelled because of a change of management at the venue, but the opening act pulled through hard and organized a pop up show in the parking lot of a skate compound at the last minute. We got there a little early and we all put together a stage, strung lights, set up our practice equipment for sound, and it totally rocked. Moments like that are serious tour magic.
What has been the biggest highlight of your music career so far?
Meeting Jason. For real. I've never been so matched by someone with passion and vision. Since we've been working together, my musicianship has grown exponentially. And we just have a lot of fun together.
If you could tour with any artists, past or present, who would they be and why?
Love Love, this band we met in L.A. They are seriously dope. This one is actually totally going to happen and hopefully soon. Other than that, we'll throw a Hail Mary out for Hiatus Kaiyote and maybe they'll catch it.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Music is dope. Water is life.