Jenny Lewis

(Jennifer Diane Lewis)

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After Rilo Kiley broke up and a few really intense personal things happened, I completely melted down. It nearly destroyed me. I had such severe insomnia that, at one point, I didn't sleep for five straight nights.
As hard as I try to sound tough and dark, I still sound cute.
Being in a band is a really magical thing because you've got a family and you operate as this one entity. It's very democratic; everyone is involved in the output. But within that, there can be a lot of disagreements and strife. Families, Children & Parenting
Certainly, we all wonder what is beyond, and when you lose a loved one, I think part of the grieving process includes where that person might have gone or if you'll ever see them again. I think it forces you to look up to the sky, to the cosmos.
For me personally, I just try to prove myself in my work. I'm just trying to get better at what I do, and hopefully that will impact women in music, and hopefully the girls in the crowd will see my up there as a bandleader and think, 'Wow, maybe I can do that one day.' Women ;Music, Chants & Rapps ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I am a child of digital generation. I have done most of the records with Rilo Kiley on computers, on Pro Tools or other digital programs. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I am a huge hip-hop fan, and growing up, I only listened to hip-hop, so I dressed accordingly.
I am in a constant cycle of selling my clothes at Wasteland and buying from Goodwill. Once or twice a year, I go through my closet and donate everything to Goodwill. It feels like I am recycling my fashion.
I can parallel park pretty well - I'm a great driver.
I can't imagine how people will react to my music. For me, it's a really fluid process from one record to the next, but it's really up to the listener. Music, Chants & Rapps
I come from a duo, actually, quite literally. My parents are Linda and Eddie, and they had an act in Vegas called 'Love's Way.' Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I come from a very uncool profession: being a washed up child actor.
I demo all of my songs on Garage Band, where I pretty much play everything - not very well, but I manage to hammer out a drum beat and a bass idea.
I didn't know anything about music when I started a band. I barely knew how to play a guitar. I didn't know how to produce records. I learned how to play bass guitar and keyboards in Rilo Kiley. I picked up a lot from my collaborators. Music, Chants & Rapps
I don't feel unlucky in love anymore, and it's not all emo. It's a scary place to be in when you're like: 'What am I supposed to write about now? I don't feel heartbroken, so now what?' Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I don't write songs, play music and tour, really, for anyone else but myself. It's something that I have to do to stay alive. Music, Chants & Rapps
I felt like hip-hop was my music, it was like my outsider music... but then my mom started answering our phone, 'Yo, what's up.' She was hearing me talk to my friends. I was like, 'No, mom, don't cop the hip-hop talk.' Music, Chants & Rapps
I felt like onstage I have to have a certain amount of anonymity, like, personal anonymity, to feel loose and free. When you're up there with people who've known you for a decade, and you make a bad joke and you hear the cackling behind the drums, it's hard to get lost in the moment.
I find most modern country virtually unlistenable. I can't relate to the music or the lyrics. Music, Chants & Rapps
I grew up on Loretta Lynn and Dusty Springfield. I remember lying about it; it wasn't cool to listen to country when I was 12.
I had a huge Lisa Frank sticker collection. I traded them.
I have a great work ethic - from watching Lucille Ball, not necessarily my own family. Families, Children & Parenting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I have that working-class show-business blood coursing through my veins.
I learn lessons with every interview I give.
I like babies, but not in the front row. I don't want to sing directly to a baby.
I love kids, but there's always time for them later. You can always adopt; you can have a puppy. The songs are my children. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love 'Wowee Zowee.' That was the first Pavement record I bought. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I never envisioned myself as a solo artist; I was always part of a band.
I never intended to set out and be a singer-songwriter. I just sort of became one because I put out my own record.
I scored one film by myself, which was the hardest thing I think I've ever done.
I think a lot of musicians play for the playback. I mean, that's the joy of recording - you want to hear what you've done and what you've contributed - but never listening to that playback kind of removes the intellectual part of making music, and it removes the tendency to be revisionist. Music, Chants & Rapps
I think art doesn't have to be created in a period of misery, but it certainly helps. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I think Chris Martin is younger than I am, but when I met him, I felt like I was talking to my father. It's so strange, that feeling when someone is that famous - you assume that they are either older or better. Fame
I think I have a hard time expressing myself in my relationships. I use songs to tell people how I'm feeling. If I can't say 'I love you,' I'll write a song about it and hope that the person figures it out. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Hope
I think it's always an adjustment for me, but I do feel like, ultimately, I can kind of write anywhere. It just takes a second to get back in to the groove.
I think regardless of where people are from, country music is a through line. Music, Chants & Rapps
I think the idea of opening up for a massive band is always better than actually doing it, and having your name on the ticket means more than the actual set.
I think you kind of lose the human aspect when you make things too perfect.
I used to be a huge collector, and my big thing was stickers.
I was a big fan of 'Days of Our Lives' growing up.
I would never say anything's over forever. How could you possibly know how you feel? How could you shut the door on anything?
I wouldn't call it a faux pas, but I have about 12 tracksuits. I always travel in a tracksuit. I feel it makes people happy when they see me. Travel
I write music, really, to make myself feel better. Music, Chants & Rapps
If I'm not crying while writing a song, I'm not doing it right.
If you're a songwriter, you have to do homework. You can exist for a while on the inspiration, but at some point, you have to sit down and have the discipline to write - to finish the poem, as they say.
I'm a huge reggae fan. I want to go to Jamaica and make, like, Bob Marley 'One Love' positive songs. That's what the world needs. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I'm a late bloomer. It's taken me a long time to find my voice, and I think all the records I've made over the years, I was finding my voice, and that's part of the process. Time
I'm a pretty terrible rapper. I always have been.
I'm always pretty nervous when I do anything! I walk very slowly. I'm very careful.
I'm an American songwriter, and I write from a very American perspective, and so did the records I grew up listening to.
I'm constantly dodging people in L.A. There are some people I don't ever wanna see again, but if you live where you grew up, you're running into people constantly.
I'm more in the Stones camp than the Beatles camp.
I'm not a religious person by any means. But I'm curious.
I'm not always as disciplined as I should be. I don't sit down and write every day, but I should.
I'm not trying to repeat myself or cater myself to one specific group of people.
I'm obsessed with old rotary phones.
I'm typically not a heels person.
In the past, like for the last Rilo Kiley record, 'Under the Blacklight,' I wore exclusively hot pants because the themes in that record were the underbelly of Los Angeles.
In your mid-30s, you have to take inventory, or you'll stumble.
Insomnia is a very prevalent issue. It's a women's health issue, and I chose to talk about it because so many people have experienced it to varying degrees. For me, I'm doing great now, but it took a lot of work to figure out how to get back to sleep. I had to change some of my habits. I developed some pretty bad sleep ritual habits. Women ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It really helps me to get into the character of the record when I have a designated look. It just really simplifies things for me.
It sounds cheesy, but music has saved me in a lot of ways. If I had just continued acting, I don't think I would be alive. Music, Chants & Rapps
It would be nice to create something that's healing rather than slightly creepy and darkly judgmental!
It's funny how a song can start in your mind, and then when it goes through all the filters, it ends up in a totally different spot. Humor
It's interesting how songs can evolve. Sometimes I'll write a song that feels relevant in the moment, but four years later, I don't want to sing it anymore. Then something will happen in my life, and the song becomes relevant again. Life
It's pretty amazing to write under any circumstances when someone gives you an assignment to write a song, even if it doesn't get accepted. I've written songs a couple of times, some for Disney, that haven't actually ended up in their films, but then you're left with a song forever.
It's weird because I am accessible to people on Twitter, and I can choose to read good things or mean things, and people can reach out to me directly and tell me how much they hate me or love the song. It's a very strange new paradigm as an artist to find yourself among this kind of connectivity. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I've always felt lonely, even if I'm in a great relationship or surrounded by my friends and family. Families, Children & Parenting
I've always just had sort of a dark take on life, I suppose, and hopefully, the music transcends that in a way. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I've always tried to get around writing love songs, I guess because I've always had a hard time saying, 'I love you.' Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I've gone through terrible periods of depression. But, at the core of my being, there's a strange, out-of-place optimist. Despite what I'm feeling, I'm always able to get up and do my job. Which means the world to me.
Losing your parent is unlike anything.
My favorite days off on the road are typically nowhere, like Bismarck, North Dakota, and you find yourself in a mall, and you're like, 'This is awesome!'
My hair looks so good out in the desert, it's unbelievable. It's, like, perfectly not frizzy.
My mother had a great vinyl collection, and she was constantly playing female singer-songwriters. I first learned about classic song structures by listening to them, and Laura Nyro particularly stood out. Her voice was outside what you'd usually hear on the radio; that really appealed to me.
My mother's records were formative for me, but when I became a teenager, I wanted to find songs that she wasn't hip to. She was so hip, though, that I had to go outside rock n' roll - so for about 10 years, I only listened to hip-hop, house and techno.
My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. They had a lounge act in Las Vegas, where I was born. The band broke up and the marriage dissolved, and my mother, my sister and I moved to Southern California. And I didn't see my dad a lot growing up; he was on the road a lot. I'd see him every couple years. Families, Children & Parenting
My true social media passion is making creepy short movies on Instagram. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Rilo Kiley was a rock band, so I wanted my solo records to feel different.
Rock n' roll is a pretty fun job.
Some shows suck, but I always - the show must go on. I learned it from my past as a child actor. The show must go on. You have to just keep on with it.
Sometimes people come to my shows and think I'm a Christian artist, and they put their hands up in the air, like they do. But first of all, I'm a Jewish girl from the Valley, and I'm from Los Angeles. It's funny to be misinterpreted. Humor
Sometimes things feel hopeless. Not always within my own life - but looking outward, it seems like rough times lie ahead of us. The world seems to be kind of caving in on itself in a lot of ways. But I try to look on the bright side. Life
Sometimes you don't understand what you're going through until you're on the other side of it.
Songs are really interesting in that way. Sometimes, they grow with you. Sometimes, you outgrow them.
That is the true joy of being a solo artist. I can do whatever I want. I can go wherever I want. I can show up with my guitar and my song, and it can sound a hundred different ways. That's the freedom of being on your own. The flipside is: That's you on the cover. If it sucks, it's your fault. Freedom & Liberty
The best shows I play, I almost don't even remember off the stage.
The Rilo Kiley song 'A Better Son/Daughter' is my most requested song - especially for people who are at the age I was when I wrote it. It's sort of a mid-twenties lament.
There's always a bit of fiction in everything that I write.
When I first started touring, we had a crappy van, and we would all share rooms. So for many years as a grown adult woman, I would share a bed with a bandmate, whether it would be Jimmy Tamborello from the Postal Service or Pierre De Reeder from Rilo Kiley, just a pillow barrier between us sleeping on the same bed.
When I sit down to write a song, there is no filter. I'm not trying to write for anyone or anything specifically. It's just trying to capture a little piece of your soul - even if it's a really ugly part.
When I think people like one record more than the other, then someone will surprise me.
When I was 18, I took a trip to Thailand with a friend. We stayed for a month. Bangkok was very raw for a teenager: there were no cellphones, no Internet, and the only music I had with me was this cassette by Liz Phair. I was writing a lot of poetry, and she embodied a talky style of songwriting that I found very accessible. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Literature, Writers & Writing
When I was a teenager, I went to Europe on a backpacking trip by myself, and I met a woman who was following Sebadoh. It was the early 1990s, and that was my introduction to indie rock.
When I'm not working is when I tend to freak out a bit. It's hard for me to just stay home.
When I'm sick of myself, and when I don't know what to say as a solo artist, I can write a song for a movie. When I don't know where to turn musically, being in a band - Rilo Kiley or Jenny & Johnny - the collaborative nature is really exciting. Nature
When something is coming off of a Neve board and being laid down on tape, it's like a warm blanket for the brain. When you're working in a digital form, it's so harsh; it's almost painful. Your ears get more fatigued if you're mixing all day.
When you make a solo record, it's you. It's your name. It has to be the right songs for how you feel.
When you're in a band, inevitably, someone is siding with someone else, and you're fighting over something that happened in the band five years ago.
When you're in your mid-thirties, the cult of people who have children around you all want you in their cult, and they constantly ask you, 'So when are you going to have a baby?'
When you're talking about your own music every day, listening to bands, going to festivals, you can kind of lose sight of your initial connection with music. Instrumental music - especially jazz - helps me refocus. Music, Chants & Rapps
You can find me at three in the morning in my living room with a glass of wine and really bad '90s trip hop beats blaring from my headphones. Morning
You never know how things are going to turn out in a movie. You can imagine a scene one way, and it can turn out to be completely the polar opposite of what you expected. You just have to roll with the punches.
You wouldn't want to be in a rock band - trust me. Trust

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