It has been our pleasure last year and this year to be able to talk to a group of musicians who have worked on each other’s projects. They include Cornelia Murr, Lola Kirke and lastly Amo Amo. These three Los Angeles bands have also worked with Jim James of My Morning Jacket. Amo Amo has the double pleasure of opening for MMJ on tour. They recently released their self-titled album which includes tracks “Antidote”, “Closer to You”, and “When I Look At You”
Amo Amo is a psychedelic smorgasbord of instrumentation mixed with dreamy vocals that are enticing and electric. For info visit https://amoamomusic.com/
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making the Amo Amo album?
LF: The biggest challenge was getting the album to a length of 40 minutes or under. When we finished recording all of the songs we thought we could potentially work with, we ended up with about 80 minutes worth of music on our hands. We’re a very free flowing, intuitively driven band & can easily turn a 4 minute song into an 18 minute ode to cosmic soul exploration. Jim was essential to the process of helping form the identity of each song on this album.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about Jim James. How did you meet? How did he become the producer for the album?
LF: Jim is a magical music man that I first met at a festival near Santa Barbara two years ago. I was singing in Lola Kirke’s band (before Amo Amo was born) & was quite captivated by his late night solo set under the purple-lit branches of a huge oak tree. Jim & Omar had been planning on collaborating for some time so shortly after that festival I was invited to their first studio session to begin the process of making Amo Amo’s first album.
FEMMUSIC: I’ve interviewed some of your friends: Cornelia Murr & Lola Kirke. I saw Lola live around the time of your Valentine’s Day show. All three of you have collaborated on each other’s projects, as well as worked with Jim James. How has being friends with Cornelia & Lola changed your music? Do you approach studio work differently after working with their projects?
LF: When a song or project is just a tiny spark, the process of sitting together with an acoustic guitar to learn one another’s harmonies & lyrics is such a beautiful ritual that I really cherish sharing with these two very gifted creators. There’s an exchange between souls there that helps me stay grounded & reminds me that music is a divine gift to be shared between friends.
FEMMUSIC: You’re opening for Jim James & My Morning Jacket this summer. What are you most looking forward to with the tour?
LF: I’m singing in both Jim James’ band as well as Amo Amo, so tapping into a part of my psyche, body & voice that can sustain that level of dedicated stage time night after night is a learning opportunity that I’m thankful for. I’m also thrilled to be playing Red Rocks with MMJ! Legendary venue. My legendary mom will also be there & that is honestly going to be the best part.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
LF: I’ve heard that in the womb the hands sprout from the heart so that’s often on my mind. I prefer to perform, write & sing only what resonates with my heart strings. I’ll usually press record on my phone, get centered in my heart space, pick up a guitar (or just acapella) then let the words & melody bloom freely. Lyrics often feel like a channel from an infinitely loving source that I can then rewind, listen to & then write down every word. I’ll take my favorite lyrics and melodies from this mysterious realm then write it all out into a song structure & sometimes supplement any gaps with past lyrics or poetry I’ve written, often using the same process.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
LF: “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer. It’s a song that has dazzled me since I was 10. I’d listen to it on repeat & experience physical waves of euphoria. We perform it live now & it gives me the same feeling. How life changing, vast & ecstatic love is!
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
LF: Boundaries, sobriety & forgiveness were my greatest challenges when I was younger & now they’re my closest allies. I’m queer & prefer they/them or zi/zir pronouns, so any projections or limitations based off of “being a woman” are largely other people’s & ultimately ignored.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
LF: 1.An extra terrestrial/inter-dimensional/galactic life form on a tour of the cosmos & other unseen realms would be out of this world & is perhaps my ultimate destiny. 2.A humpback whale. 3.Björk.
FEMMUSIC: What is one thing you would like to change about the music industry?
LF: I want the music industry to be more accessible as a reliable, sustainable, life-long career to anybody who feels called to living this particular dream. Music, & every form of artistic expression, is so central to the evolution of culture. The creation & expression of music is essential to community, inspiring unity & even healing. People that are working hard to make music with a message rooted in love, tolerance & peace are incredibly valuable to society. Being an artist is a brilliant, valid profession. Musicians & artists, of all kinds at every level all over the world, should be able to live with dignity doing what they love.