Interview With Lindsay Ell
This picture from #TEAMW21 super snapper Drew Burnett of Lindsay Ell, was quite possibly THE picture of The Long Road Festival. Her guitar pointing vertically upwards while Lindsay herself is magnificently arched back with her blonde locks flowing down. She played what would be called a Festival Set, there was plenty for everyone to enjoy even if the sound man initially had a few problems with Lindsay's vocals.
It contained almost everything you would expect to see, searing guitar solos, one even delivered while laying horizontal on the stage, there were hit singles, an unexpected medley as well as a smattering of tracks from her excellent albums "The Project" and "Heart Theory".
She was certainly hyped up and full of energy on stage at Long Road, pretty much exactly as she was when we first bumped into her at her UK debut back at The Borderline in 2015, with UK band Dexeter in support. She came with a reputation of doing something clever with loop pedals but was otherwise relatively unknown in the UK.
Our interview takes place about an hour or so after this iconic shot was taken, she'd previously been doing a few interviews in the open air however with Locash taking to the stage creating a ton of background noise, we retire to a small tent containing just a long leather chair for a chat. The hyped up over the top stage performer has given way to a calm considered Canadian, she proves to be great company as we rattle through as many questions as we can in our allotted slot.
We begin naturally by establishing our bona fides having been at her UK debut - an event she had mentioned on stage earlier in the day - she seems genuinely surprised and ecstatic
Lindsay "That's amazing - you guys are amazing!"
#TEAMw21 "We've still got the EP and may have borrowed a poster from the wall - we're hoping that EP was extremely limited"
Lindsay "Oh it's very exclusive!"
We do have to reveal to her that The Borderline is no more, a venue that Lindsay lit up on many occasions sadly now consigned history.
Lindsay "Oh that's so sad - I loved that place so much"
The natureal place to start was of course by chatting about the performance only recently finished/
Lindsay "Yeah I love playing the UK as you guys know, and it feels so amazing to be back, We're in the midst of this Cadillac Three tour, it's so fun to be out with those boys.
I've always wanted to come and play The Long Road and there's a great little scene here."
We talk about the afternoons set, including a cover of Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody", cutting out all of the piano and operatics and heading straight for the rocking finale including it must be said, a note perfect Brian May impression on the solo!
Lindsay "You know youve got to tip the hat, Queen have inspired me since I was a little girl, and I know its a bit of a ballsy thing to do and cover Queen "
As she alluded to earlier, her current visit and indeed her last extended visit was in the role of support act, ( previously with Chris Young ) - it has left some UK fans travelling to Germany to get their full set of Lindsay! So does she have any plans for a UK headline tour?
Lindsay "Yes we've been talking about it so much this week, I'm so grateful and it has been so much fun playing with the Cadillac Three to more of a rock audience, but we have been in talks about a headlining tour next year, I miss playing for everybody - we're trying to set it around when the next album is going to drop - so it all is in the works. I know I have fans who wnen to eevry single show around Germany which is amazing. A headline tour will mean you get to see more than just a 30 minute set"
Lindsay's last solo UK dates were something of a strange affair, including at The Grace where she appeared on the wrong end of a string of bad luck.
Lindsay "I was going from LA to New York to UK, In LA my rental car was broken into and tens of thousands of dollars of stuff was stolen and then after playing a quick radio show in New York my pedal board got lost.I lost pretty much all my gear and I was thinking how am I going to do a headline tour? it was all programmed but when life hands you lemons you have to make lemonade, so I said to my Manager get me these pedals and in the end had a lot of fun playing stripped down versions - We made magic happen!"
Lindsay's current single and indeed set opener was "Right On TIme", it comes with the line "I'm everywhere and nowhere that I thought I'd be" - now in the context of the song that is around relationships but it seems an ideal time to ask Lindsay for a review of where she thought she'd be by now in terms of career.
Lindsay takes a slight pause and definitely gets serious for a second "That's such a good question, specifically when I turned 30 it felt like a lot of my friends were getting married and having babies and ticking all these boxes that I felt I was so far from doing - Gosh where do I think I'm supposed to be, I guess we all have goals and ideas and thinking it will be really cool when we get there. That never goes away and we are always setting challenges, I think the problem can come when you can start comparing with other people who are on their own trajectory and our story isn't supposed to look like anybody elses story. But hey I want to be headlining arenas around the world, and eventually married but at the same time i'm just excited about the journey over the next 10, 20 30 years.
It was interesting to hear Whitney Rose earlier in the day talking about a club of people who all released albums just as the pandemic really started to take a grip, Lindsay released "Heart Theory" which took on the bold premise of being a "Concept album", one that actually delivered on its concept!! - DId she feel it got the notice it deserved?
Lindsay "Yes the pandemic affected it huge, a lot of my artist friends had albums, and we were stuck in our release schedules that we couldn't really change, and during the pandemic we needed music as much as anything - we were all stuck in our houses and music helps us feel and connect with who we are and so I tihnk it was important for artists to keep releasing music and it was amazing to see how that record connected with fans across the globe. Technology is a marvellous thing and sometimes if you put the right intention and purpose behind it - it finds its way - and if its good people will find it. - I truly believe that!"
She bursts into laughter as she says the final sentence as if it is more in hope, but she needn't worry as we remind her "Heart Theory" was more than just an album, it also established a charity addressing issues directly raised by the record and she offers a truly hearfelt "Thank you" for acknowledging that.
It was an album that also celebrated its one year aniversary in the shape of a number of videos
Lindsay "It's so crazy - time flies by so fast - it feels like yesterday and yet i'm working on so much new music right now - "Right On Time" is just the tip of the iceberg for LE 3! - I can't wait"
The intervening time has seen Lindsay top the charts with a duet with Brantley Gilbert - "What Happens In A Small Town". From the stage Lindsay suggested it pretty much came about after a quick phone call - can it be that simple?
Lindsay "Yes collaborations are kind of crazy that way - a lot of times it is someone just reaching out and saying "Would you be interested in doing this?". BG and I have always been friends he's like a brother to me and it was amazing to watch that all come together."
One thing that people may not be aware of is Lindsays burgeoning TV career where she hosts "Canada's Got Talent"
Lindsay "I have loved being on "CGT" - it's just like Britain Got Talent Here (At this point we had to exclaim we hope it's better!") I've always wanted to be in TV and film. Music is my first love but the two mould together so well, We're just about starting to shoot the second season - I cannot wait"
I n recent times it seems there has been a large influx of Canadian artist peppering our inbox with quality material - so naturally with one of Canda's finest in front of us - Who should we be looking out for?
Lindsay "Oh my gosh - there's so many incredible people - Kellie Loder, Stacy Kay - she has a great set of pipes and the series winner Jeanick Fournier - she sometimes sings in French, you may see me appering on her next record.
Keelie Loder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkTVblNCCsE
Jeanick Fournier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiXshKUz0GU