Interview with award-winning songwriters Lindsay White and Veronica May of “The Lovebirds”
Interview by: Don of Don411.com
Coordinated by: Rachel Miller of Big Picture Media www.bigpicturemediaonline.com
Veronica May: I think we both have a vague idea about how it came about. I claim that I came up with it but the verdict is out. I know we didn’t put much thought into it. It was pretty spontaneous and I wouldn’t change it 🙂
How did you two meet?
Veronica May: Tinder… just kidding. Tinder wasn’t around when we met because we are old. We met through the music scene. Cathryn Beeks of listenlocalsd.com introduced us. She is the mother hen of the singer/songwriters in San Diego.
Why is it that folk music appeals to you?
Veronica May: I personally kind of fell in to folk music. My old stuff is completely different. Right now is the folk/blues phase but I know Lindsay and I aren’t forcing the folk. Things change and I think right now that is where we are. What I love most about folk music is that it tells such wonderful stories. There is a definite structure but there is so much flexibility within that structure. You get to see the craftsmanship of a song through folk and the folk folks are some of the best folks a folksinger could ever know. Good people who want to tell you something that means something to them in song. What a great concept. One of my favorite folk story teller duos is Berkley Hart, another is Simon and Garfunkel.
Lindsay White: My first introduction to folk music was Bob Dylan. I fell in love with the way such and meaningful words could be set to simple music. It was like poetry coming to life. In college I studied the effects of music in the 60’s era Civil Rights Movement – I learned a lot about how powerful music is – it can heal hearts, bring hope, create community, mobilize people, fight back, foster change, and so much more.
What are your future plans with touring?
Veronica May: More of it. I think we will do a lot of quick short-distance tours. Probably more festivals.
Lindsay White: I love touring and I hope it takes us all over the world. My dream would be to tour in another country.
What challenges had you both faced and how was it resolved?
Veronica May: That is a big big question. In short, my really huge ICU stay for a monstrous manic episode I about 3.5 years ago. My delusions, paranoia, anxiety and overall confusion lasted for about 3 months. It was hell on both of us. I refused to play music because it always takes me a long time to get my voice back and I’m not sure why so The Lovebirds pretty much took a long break. Slowly we began to sing again. It takes about a year to bounce fully back from an episode and it’s exhausting.
The other big challenge we had to face was our breakup and everything surrounding it. The initial breakup, the sadness, the madness, adjusting to new girlfriends, making sure they are ok during all of it…it’s been a ride but I don’t regret one moment of it.
Lindsay White: You can learn more about our advocacy/experience with mental illness at http://thesongstreamproject.org/index.php/shows/resilience/blessing-and-burden. You can learn more about our breakup at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3HtCQBLBfg&list=UUiIm91T_jXpFyVR7_nmct7A
What is the one thing you wish others would know about folk music?
Veronica May: It’s the music of the people. A lot of times it is music that reminds you of home. For example, a song about my grandparents’ cellar and what it was like growing up on a farm. It bonds people.
Lindsay White: People tend to lump all singer/songwriters into one category and call it coffee shop music. But there is versatility in folk music if you look for it. People may hear one of our songs and think they have us pegged as a coffee shop act, but we bring so much more to the table. One comment we often hear after shows is how there is a range in styles from song to song. Folk music allows the artist a lot of flexibility, and we definitely take advantage of that.
What was your most memorable experience on tour?
Veronica May: Going to Kerrville, Texas for the Kerrville Folk Festival. Out of 800 submissions we were a winner and I’ll never forget it. We were outside, it was pouring rain and there was a flash flood warning so the winners weren’t announced on MainStage. After hearing the final 30 people perform we really did not think we had an ice cubes chance in hell. We all went back to the “new folk” tent where all the other contestants were and they announced it under that tent. Lindsay was in a ridiculous raincoat and I, the stubborn mule, was freezing my soaked buns off. The announced us and we looked at each other with the “are you serious?!” look. We jumped around and cheered. It was great. I also had to push us out of the mud we were stuck in with the car. Being a farm girl has its benefits.
Lindsay White: Kerrville was definitely an unforgettable experience. Making a living as a musician is not easy, and it’s still something we’re climbing toward slowly. More so than the win, simply being around so many other people who acknowledged, related to, and validated our passion for music was the most rejuvenating feeling- even though we were dog-tired from traveling!
How should fans contact you?
Veronica May: A handwritten letter would be nice, but I guess for time sake you could contact us at [email protected] or just go to www.facebook.com/theLVbirds …then the really fun way which is www.TheLovebirds.com …it is fun because if you forget “the” and go to lovebirds.com you get a dating site. Either way you will be entertained.
Lindsay White: Also – come to a show! We love talking to people after we play!
What are some of your favorite websites?
Veronica May: I love theskimm.com. Shout out to my lady, Mandi, for showing it to me. It is a 5 minute update on all of the current global news of the day. When I need to laugh I go to damnyouautocorrect.com and www.blanksheetmusic.net where I can print any type of blank sheet music for my students and for when I’m composing songs.
Lindsay White: My staples are pretty much Hulu, where I watch Jimmy Fallon clips, and Netflix, where I watch movies like My Girl.
When not performing, what do you do for leisure?
Veronica May: In my spare time I listen to my records and I occasionally draw. I’m also currently working on my autobiography, “Dodging Bullets” because I have had the craziest life and I don’t wanna forget it all so I figured I would start it now.
Lindsay White: I like to play basketball and work out with my lady. I love writing in all capacities; I’m about halfway through the first draft of a screenplay called “Traveling” that deals with intersecting stories of coming out (or staying in). I’ve also loved thrift store shopping since I started going with my grandma when I was like five years old.
Are there any questions you would want asked of you that haven’t been in the past, and what would your answer be?
Veronica May: It would be, “what are your other passions in life?” And the answer: Music therapy. I am a board-certified music therapist with a focus on Neurologic Music Therapy which shines light on how music affects the brain. In short, music therapy is the use of music to achieve non-music goals. A quick example is the work I did with Parkinson’s patients. We use a simple formula to calculate their gait patterns, specifically their cadence. Then we apply that specific tempo and the results can sometimes be immediately evident. The rhythm stimulates the motor neurons and their gait pattern is smoother. You can learn more about music therapy at www.musictherapy.org. I’ve worked with the homeless, AA groups, stroke patients, ASD, cerebral palsy, cancer patients, Alzheimer’s patients, and the list goes on. If you know someone who loves music and helping people it’s the perfect profession…and yes you can get a degree in music therapy!
Lindsay White: I would like a kick-ass woman like Shonda Rhimes or Jenji Kohan to ask me for a song. I would like the sharp ladies of SNL (past and present) to ask for my friendship. I would like Milk Carton Kids, First Aid Kit, Patty Griffin, Ani Difranco, or Haim to ask us to go on tour with them. I would answer yes to all of these questions.