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INTERVIEWS BRITTNEY ELIZABETH|
NO, NOT THAT BRITTNEY!!!It's hard to tell where one is going to end up in the world of music. This is especially the case for singer/songwriter BRITTNEY ELIZABETH but the one thing that you can be sure of of is that this girl has got something that the other female pop songwriters (a'la VANESSA CARLTON, MICHELLE BRANCH) don't have; urgency and a knack for writing some of the most amazing confessional-styled pop tunes this side of AIMEE MANN. While not being the literary tunesmith that MANN has proven to be on an album here and there, BRITTNEY's got the semi-adolescent, semi-adult, pop-psychological-heartache thing down cold, in a way that that other BRITNEY from almost ten years ago could never have fathomed. Maybe this songwriters use of language has got something to do with her love of CONNOR OBERST of BRIGHT EYES. "I'm obsessed with CONNOR OBERST's writing." says BRITTNEY ELIZABETH "He's `incredible. His lyrics are pure poetry. If I could write luike that, that would just be amazing."
BRITTNEY ELIZABETH TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT WANTING TO GET OUT OF ARIZONA
AND HER FORTHCOMING CD 'BREATHE IN'
INTERVIEWED BY BRIAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED spoke with BRITTNEY ELIZABETH over the phone. Here is how it went.
So you're calling from Arizona?
Yes sir I am.
Hows the weather there?
It's not winter.
That's what I've heard. I've only been to the airport in Phoenix and that's about it. I can't say that I ever felt the heat though.
Trust me, it's not something you want to go through. I want to get out of Arizona. I really hate it here.
To be honest with you, I thought you were based here in California.
No, not yet. Kind of. I have a place there that I go to every now and then but, I've got to get out of Arizona. I can't stand it. It's the weather. I want seasons. Actually, I want to move out to the east coast.
I'm from the east coast, so I understand what you mean.
They have seasons.
Exactly, I miss snow, and the leaves changing and all of that.
Yeah, I want fall nad leaves to change color and all of that jazz.
But Phoenix, is home for you - right?
I was born in Pennsylavania but my family moved out to Arizona. I only go back to Pennsylvania for Christmas and summer.
Well you've got this CD that's coming out November 27th. Is it safe to say that this pending release could have something to do with your eagerness to get out of Phoenix.
Not really, but it's a plus withthe fall coming.
What are your thoughts about the CD now that it's coming out?
I'm super excited. I'm definitely pleased with it. there is always room for improvement as a writer and everything, so now I feel that if I waited a little longer, I would've put different song on there but I don't think that anybody should be completely satisfied with their work if you're always growing as an artist and always learning new things and new ideas. I'll be excited for the next one to come out too. So, there will definitely be another.
Well you go the first one out of the way.
How did it all begin for you - musically?
I starteds singing when I was five. i took singing lessons. I would sit in the back of the car and sing and make up my own songs to other peoples songs. After taking lessons, I was singing in recitals and retirement centers. I also did musical theater. I wanted to be on Broadway for a long timand then I started writing my own songs when I was seventeen and then I changed it up and decided that I wanted to become a singer-songwriter.
Who influenced you as far as songwriters go?
Oh wow! BRIGHTEYES. I'm obsessed with CONNOR OBERST's writing. He's `incredible. His lyrics are pure poetry. If I could write luike that, that would just be amazing. I also like DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL and CHRIS CARRABBA. I just had the pleasure of meeting him and that was the most amazing moment of my life because I've looked up his writing for a very long time. There is also LISA LOEB, DAMIEN RICE and 3RD EYE BLIND. I love 3RD EYE BLIND, STEPHAN JENKINS! I liked them when I was younger but it wasn't really something that I payed attention to but as I got older I've just become obsessed. Almost ever mix CD that I make has a 3RD EYE BLIND song on it. I also love COUNTING CROWS!
You sound like child of the nineties, how old are you?
I'm twenty. I'll be twenty one in November.
And I turned 32 this year, who-hoo!!!
I can hear all of your influences on this great CD of yours!
Who all worked with you in putting the CD together?
EVERETT HARWOOD in Phoenix and ROB SEALS in California.
They were both co-writers on this album.
The songs are co-written.
Yes, I come up with the lyrics and melody and the basic chord structure adn they help me withthe rest of it.
You say chord structures. Do you play guitar?
I play guitar and piano but not very well. Just enough to be able to write. I was always able to sing on key. I've never had a problem with my pitch and when I picked up the flute in elementary school, that was easy as well. I though all of the other instruments would come just a easilt but they didn't. They took alot more work.
WHere did the songs from BREATHE IN come from? Where they written specifically with an album in mind or did they come from another place and time? How did they evolve?
They weren't written fo rthe CD. When I started writing, I would journal alot. When I decided to write my own songs, it was always with the idea that I eventually wanted to put a CD together. I didn't have them planned as a CD but it's definitely somthing that I would like to do in the future. The songs were all bout the same person, an ex-boyfirend that I dated from 15 to 19 adn songs are about different parts of our relationship.
I can hear some of that on this CD and it's amazing how realtionships gone bad make the best rock songs.
By the way, the track BRIGHT EYES would happen to be a tribute of sorts to the band BRIGHT EYES.
A friend of mine and I Always used to listen to BRIGHT EYES whenever we were having a bad day. Like the song says "why do you play a sad song when you're sad?"It's always nice to hear someone explain your feelings to you. Whenever you need a good cry or you have a feeling and you want to hear it in music, then we would play BRIGHT EYES because CONNOR OBERST is a genius at that. It's nice to know that there is someone out ther that can explain how you're feeling. And that's prettymuch what the song BRIGHT EYES is about.
Are there any tracks off of this CD that sort of stand out for you as a favorite?
Probably, AS ONE, DON'T LET ME DOWN and LAST SONG FOR YOU. I'd say LAST SONG FOR YOU because I felt like I really got my feeling across nicely on that song. As far as AS ONE and DON'T LET ME DOWN, they came out closer to the sound that I'm trying to go for.
What is the sound that you're trying to go for?
I really want like a VANESSA CARLTON/ MICHELLE BRANCH kind of singer-songwriter thing with more of a pop sound but not poppy. I'd like to do things piano and acoustic guitar-driven with a band behind it.
What do you want a person to come away with adfter hearing this CD?
I want it to be something they can turn to the way I have turned to other artists. I really want people to come away
thinking 'she gets it!'.