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Fast Five: Lisa Cuthbert



When did you begin making music, and did you ever ponder a different career?

I started playing the piano at an early age, and I’ve always loved singing. I played in a few bands when I was a teenager, I used to play and sing Metallica covers at friends’ parties etc. I started writing my own material when I was about 16. I’ll always be a musician but I also work as an English teacher in France, where I’ve lived for the past
couple of years. Teaching means that I can pay my bills without being under pressure to make my music more commercially accessible. My aim is not to become a celebrity, but to continue doing what I love and have it appreciated as an artform, I could care less if it sells millions.

How would you describe your music?

I’d describe my music as a dark, eclectic melting pot of sounds. My latest album ‘Paramour’ is a concept album inspired by the survivors of the Magdalene laundries – institutions set up by the Catholic church in Ireland where women were enslaved and in a lot of cases, abused. The piano and vocals are the main instruments on the album, but the instrumentation really varies. There are ambient soundscapes, elements of classic and progressive rock, cinematic
orchestrations and choral passages, minimalist electronic/trip-hop tracks, and even a pinch of dubstep-style wobbly bass, just to shake things up a bit. I think that there’s probably something for everyone on “Paramour”, but they’ll have to dig deep to find it.

What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming months?

So far I’ve released 2 full albums, an EP and a single, and I’ve also done some session piano and vocals for other artists I like. I’ve toured Europe quite a bit, playing everywhere I can, from local singer/songwriter nights to one of the biggest gothic festivals in the world. (Wave Gotik Treffen, Leipzig). I was also asked by the Sisters of Mercy to play with them at their headliner show at the Amphi Festival in Cologne last year. That’s been the highlight so far. Over the coming months I’ll be continuing to work and pay my bills like a real grownup, and I’ll be booking a few shows around Europe as usual. That’s all I can say for now!

If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?

Jeff Buckley, because I love him. Maybe in the next life.

What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?

Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ – it’s been somewhere in my top 5 albums since I was about 14. That’s torture, by the way, having to choose just one album like that!