Lisa Dewey is a singer, songwriter and musician from the Bay Area in Northern California. Beginning her career in the early ’90’s, Lisa Dewey has released four full length albums and two EP’s. Originally starting out as a solo artist she is now the fearless leader of Lisa Dewey and the Lotus Life. Lisa Dewey is also the owner of Kitchen Whore Records. She strives to uphold the freedom and creative integrity of what she calls, the “fringe, alternative, Independent artist,” without them having to face conflicts or problems, which can arise from being signed to a major music label. Dewey’s indie music label represents several bands and solo music artists.
Lisa Dewey has collaborated musically with legendary multi instrumentalist, Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins.) The two produced Dewey’s albums “Weather Changer Girl and “Busk.” Dewey has also worked together musically with Michael Steele (The Bangles.) She has also worked with drummer Budgie, (Siouxsie and The Banshees) on tracks that have yet to be released. Lisa Dewey’s music is inspiring, powerful, proactive and resonates in one’s soul. I’m grateful that Lisa has taken time out of her busy schedule to do this interview with me.
1. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): At what age did you first begin to take an interest in music? I know that you play guitar. Would you please inform our viewers about other musical instruments that you play? What is you personal songwriting process?
Lisa Dewey: I was very young… Four or five. My dad gave me a harmonica and a John Denver harmonica songbook around that time. I had a stereo with a turntable and AM/FM. I would sing along to everything all the time. I play guitar, piano, drums, bass, harmonica, dumbek, etc. I play all kinds of different instruments.
My songwriting process varies. Sometimes, I write while I’m driving down the road, sometimes water is involved (it seems to help me write), sometimes, I’m practicing and a song comes out. It happens lots of different ways.
2. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): When did you begin performing as a solo artist? When did that evolve into Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life?
Lisa Dewey: Tricky question because I’ve always had band members, even when I performed solo shows here and there. I guess 1989 was my first show. I quickly got a band together and kept on performing together with them as well as solo under the name Lisa Dewey.
I don’t remember when we added “The Lotus Life,” (2002 or 2003) to our name. I had been the same band members for many years at that point. We were looking to give a visual with the name Lisa Dewey. Something that would encourage people to think of dreamy, ethereal, pop. That’s how Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life came about but, it’s the same band as before.
3. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): I know that you studied music at San Jose State University. Is this also where you studied recording engineering?
Lisa Dewey: Yes. I studied voice, improvised music studies, recording, while attending SJSU School of Music and Dance.
Lisa Dewey’s song “Watching Her Fingers” from her third album Weather Changer Girl, released in 2000.
4. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): What year did you create Kitchen Whore Records? What would you say are the most challenging aspects of owning a music label?
Lisa Dewey: 1997. Before that I had two labels. (Whitewashed Records and Stellar Records.) The most challenging aspect is keeping up with the most current forms of promotion.
5. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): I know that on Kitchen Whore Records you represent great indie / shoegaze group Bethany Curve. Would you please inform our viewers about the other artists and bands that you represent on the label?
Lisa Dewey: Sure. Marc Moreland Mess (Marc Moreland from Wall of Voodoo,) Mute Angst Envy, Lisa Dewey, Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life, Gina Chiala and Kelsi Arnold.
6. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): I know that you have worked with Simon Raymonde from the amazing band Cocteau Twins. Would you please inform our viewers what are artists or bands that you have collaborated or worked with?
Lisa Dewey: I collaborated with Andalusia and I recently joined Bethany Curve as a singer. We released our new album Murder! in January and it includes me as a vocalist.
Bethany Curve – 2019.
Left to Right: David Mac Wha / Drums, Nathan Guevara / Guitars, Richard Milang / Guitars, Vocals, Lisa Dewey / Vocals.
7. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): Would you please tell us who has inspired you and your wonderful music? Who are some lady rockers that have influenced your career?
Lisa Dewey: It’s difficult to naIme just a few because there are so many. Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, early U2, Clan of Xymox, Throwing Muses, Kate Bush, Wolfgang Press, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Chrissie Hynde, Kristin Hersh, Elizabeth Fraser, Harriet Wheeler, Patti Smith, Lisa Gerrard, etc.
8. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): What you say personally are some of the most challenging aspects of playing in a band and owning a music label are?
Lisa Dewey: The administration of copyrights, publishing and promotion can be a lot to handle. Other than that, it’s awesome!
Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life
Music video for “Mellow Day” off of the fourth full length studio album from Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life. It was officially released in 2004.
9. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): Can you tell us what Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life is up to this year?
Lisa Dewey: We are currently playing a bunch of shows and we are recording an album.
10. Ash Andersen: (Rock-n-Roll.biz): Would you please provide with links so our viewers can find you as a solo artist, Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life and Bethany Curve?
11. Ash Andersen Rock-n-Roll.biz): What advice would you provide ladies out there, who are aspiring to become successful musicians like yourself?
Lisa Dewey: Keep moving forward, no matter what.
Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): Thanks again Lisa!