The interview is postponed by an hour and now I have more time to build up my nervousness, even though I know I have no reason to be nervous. After all, we’ll be interviewing Elisabeth Maurus, also known as Lissie, on a grassy plain with the sun overhead and light mood all around.
Elisabeth tells us that music has been with her since childhood and singing and songwriting were natural byproducts of her love of music. When asked where her songs come from, she replies that the lyrics are born in isolation whenever she has the chance to be alone with her thoughts. She says that music is a way for her to be understood. For her, the ability to state her own opinion is important, as are the evidently personal stories she tells in her songs. The songs are a way for Maurus to express herself, discuss her feelings and, you know, be a normal, nice person.
As the interview progresses I find myself enjoying this woman’s company. She appears to have her feet firmly on the ground and I believe the things she says. Maurus, who dropped out of college, talks a lot about the importance of music and how she makes music specifically to be performed live. When we asked her about her new album that is due in September, Maurus adds that she feels the band is like two different entities: one in the studio and another on stage.
Maurus is known for her powerful interpretations and gets excited when we ask her how she feels about being compared to such artists as Dolly Parton. She says she’s never heard that comparison before and that it is a great honor. She adds that Dolly Parton is a fine artist whose songs have a lot of meaning. We continue to discuss performing live and we want to know what goes on in her mind before a show and right after she steps on stage. She says it depends on the gig. One time the only thing in her mind during a song was a craving for the popcorn they’d popped before the show. She adds that the best situations are those intense gigs where thoughts aren’t allowed to wander but where the mind is blank and the focus on the music is total.
As the interview draws to a close I’m left with a feeling that this woman is someone I could easily become friends with and talk until the night is upon us. The last turn of our talk takes us to the gig she is to play here at Ilosaarirock this evening. We ask her what she is expecting of tonight’s audience: “I want everyone to freak out over us!”
Text: Essi Orpana
Photo: Veera Konsti
Translation: Jyrki Laitinen