Interview – Liza Colby of The Liza Colby Sound

The heart of New York is resilience, hard work, and independence. This is exactly the attitude Liza Colby takes to her music. A born and bred New Yorker, Colby has a charismatic quality about her. Blessed with a passionate, soulful singing voice, matched with the grit of a Garage Rock band straight out of the past, and combined with an undeniably seductively sexy stage presence, you have The Liza Colby Sound.

Making a name around NYC for over a decade now, she and her band are set to drop a new album come this spring and are now preparing to bring their talents to the European market with an extensive tour through April. Anxious to get out there and blow them away, Colby sat down to talk her love for Rock-n-Roll, recording a new album, the prospective of acting, plus more.

Cryptic Rock – Established for a decade now, The Liza Colby Sound is a powerful Rock-n-Roll band out of NYC. For those unfamiliar with the band, tell us a little bit about how it all started.

Liza Colby – My husband, Geoff, then boyfriend pushed my music on his friend Adam Roth (Del Fuegos, Jim Carrol) our late guitarist, with the classic “You should check out my girlfriend’s stuff.” Geoff had some clairvoyant insight to connect us. Adam asked if I was looking for a bass player and drummer too. So, in a phone call I got an entire band. Adam Roth and Charly Roth (brothers), Charly (drums), Alec Morton (bass).

Not long after Charly Roth named us and we have been in a musical love affair ever since. Ten years seems like forever and nothing at the same time. We have had very high highs and low lows. We are still doing it. I love our band, I love my bandmates. The only change in the lineup is Jay Shepard on guitar, who is a stellar addition to LCS.

Cryptic Rock – It is great to see you have stuck with it, because you certainly have something cool going on. As mentioned, powerful is a fitting word to describe the band’s sound. As a vocalist, you have a soulful style and delivery that immediately grabs your attention. What inspired your approach to the music?

Liza Colby – Yowza! The answer is too vast! It’s a lifetime of music, cities, paintings, parents, friends, loss, enemies, alchemy, art, more art. It’s the slow realization that I can do something mixed with the reality of what I can’t do but want to do. It’s a grind and I am of service to the muse.

Cryptic Rock – Well, you are doing a great job of standing out with something unique, as well. Beyond the sound of the band, you also bring an intensely engaging live show. What is it like being on stage for you?

Liza Colby – It’s a very familiar place even if it is a new stage. We spend the majority of our lives in yesterday or tomorrow, neither of which actually exist. The stage offers an opportunity to be in the moment – to be here now. That being said, I think it’s important to put on a good show. It’s a privilege to be on stage and because of that I believe it is the responsibility of the performer. People spend their hard-earned money and time to see you play, so.

Cryptic Rock – And you absolutely give them their money’s worth. Speaking of performing, the band is set to embark on a European tour with a run of shows starting in March. How excited are you to tour abroad?

Liza Colby – We love being on the road. This is our second time over to Europe and we are playing a slew of new countries that we are very stoked about. Whether we are playing in the states or overseas, it’s a trip to be in a new place, play our music and have faces we have never seen know the words to our songs. One of my favorite things about being on the road is the isolated focus; all you have to do is be at the next gig. The band gets in this sweet groove, being both super tight and loose; playing within that is killer.

Cryptic Rock – It sounds like you really get lost in the performance. Beyond touring, you are also set to release the album Object To Impossible Destination this spring. A collection of raw, soulful, real Rock music, what was the writing and recording process like?

Liza Colby – The writing process for this record was fast. All of these songs, with the exception of “Young Girl,” came to fruition very quickly, and that theme carried over to the recording process. We had been touring and playing these songs, so when we went in the studio, I felt like we blinked and were done.

Cryptic Rock – It will be exciting to finally see the album out. There is no denying The Liza Colby Sound’s music has a seductive quality. Is that something that comes naturally when creating the songs?

Liza Colby – Music and sexuality have been intermingling forever: songs are an excellent vehicle to drive that home. I love the power of seduction and playing in all the colors of it: the coyness, the power, the vulnerability, the aggression; it’s a fun line to toe.

Cryptic Rock – It certainly bleeds through in your music. You actually recently appeared on the new Netflix series Russian Doll. What was that experience like? Furthermore, have you considered working in television and film more?

Liza Colby – I have a little cameo in the final episode and it was a blast. Natasha Lyonne is a long time friend. I love the show, I think she killed it. Not to mention, it was great to see the East Village illuminated through her vision. I have lived here for over 11 years and she nailed it.

I am always open to TV/film. As a working artist I really enjoy working in new mediums. I got called to do a scene for a movie called Leave Not One Alive with Melissa Leo, to be released at a future date. Getting to work with brilliant women like Melissa and Natasha is a huge honor.  As long as I am working I am a happy.

Cryptic Rock – Awesome, hopefully more acting gigs come up for you. Going back to the band’s sound, you certainly have soul. That in mind, who are some artists that you enjoy listening to?

Liza Colby – So many, but right now I have been digging in on The Equals, Little Richard, Tommy James, The Remains, James Carr, The Groundhogs, The Yardbirds, The Impressions, Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters, and Nolan Porter.

Cryptic Rock – Those are some killer influences of R&B and Classic Rock. Last question. On Cryptic Rock, we also cover movies, particularly Horror and Sci-Fi. If you are a fan of these genres, what are some of your favorites and why?

Liza Colby – Horror movies fuck me up. The Blob (1988), Candyman (1992), Hellraiser (1987), and The Shining (1980) ruined me as a kid. The Mothman Prophecies (2002) with, what’s his name, Dick Gere had me driving in my ’96 Jetta with the lights on inside of the car at night for months.

The only Horror movie I have seen as an adult was the French flick High Tension (2003). My friend tricked me into watching it. I did a self-check and was like, “Yep, scary movies still fuck me up!”

For Sci-Fi, lemme think, lemme think. I take my coffee black, cock hard and my Sci-Fi the opposite of how I take a cock; soft. Spaceballs (1987), Total Recall (1990), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Back to the Future (1985), Ghostbusters (1984) – does that count, I dunno? But I’d happily kill a full bag of Skinny Pop Popcorn before the title sequence is over and crush a soft Sci-Fi film and be a happy camper.

Warner Bros.

Spring 2019 European Tour Dates:

3/21  Halmstad, Sweden – Cafe Vinyl

3/23  Norway, Classic Rock Cruise

3/24  Karlstad, Sweden – Bull Bar 

3/28  Erfurt, Germany – Muzeumskeller

3/29  Lichtenfels, Germany – Paunchy Cats 

3/30 Middelkerke, Belgium – La Baranquilla

3/31  Weert, Netherlands – Bosuil

4/4  Donostia, Spain – Gastropote 

4/5   Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain – Jimmy Jazz 

4/6   Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz 3

4/7   Madrid, Spain – El Sol 

4/8  Leon, Spain – Babylon 

4/9   A Coruña, Spain – Mardi Gras

4/10 Santander, Spain – Rock Beer The New

4/11 Orléans, France – Blue Devils

4/12 Paris, France – Supersonic

4/13 Krefeld, France – Kulturrampe 

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