As promised in my last coming soon post. I said Music is the rhythm to life and music scene is a big one in Shetland , I stick by that. So, this weeks ‘You Inspire Me’ story is musically tuned and super especial!! ‘cuz is not just about one musician … it’s about a musical couple!!! Now isn’t that super, two in one inspiration 🙂 And it’s about being #inspiredbyshetland !!
The FAMOUS FIVE Questions at the end are a “Do not miss”, to enjoy a giggle!
Together they set the stage on fire! Their voice is powerful, moving and talented. Together they are #TheVoiceShetland !
Hey Lisa & Craig, Welcome to Zindagi (aka Life) is Rawmazing!
Q- I would love my readers to know a little bit about you both, how did you meet and how did you become the ‘musical couple’?
We actually met a few times over the years before we ever got together. Our first actual meeting was at the North Star for a gig Craig was playing at with his band Beast Head. Lisa was giving the singer of the band trouble because a lot of the lyrics for their original songs were stolen from other famous songs and he said, “Don’t get mad at me, it’s this guy who writes the songs!” and pointed to Craig.
Needless to say, after seeing Craig’s face, Lisa suddenly felt very forgiving and instead of chewing him out about the lyrics, gave him a hug.
Being musical together just comes naturally – we are very suited in many ways!
Q- What kind of music do you do you mostly perform / follow?
Craig– All things rock for me! I listened to “doof doof” (dance) music when I was a youngster but now I am fairly exclusively rock and metal, all calm and intelligent people listen to metal don’t you know?
Lisa– I’m mostly in the same camp as Craig (rock and metal), but I also love singer songwriters, pop, and just women who make great music generally.
Q- So, tell us, who are your musical inspirations?
Lisa– I grew up loving the classic 90’s icons: Green Day, Hole, Skunk Anansie, Veruca Salt, L7, alongside a firm love of classic singer songwriters like Joan Armatrading, Leonard Cohen, Warren Zevon, Tracy Chapman etc. Then I started getting into metal in a pretty big way, enjoying the big prog-metal groups (Dream Theater, Aryeon, Rush, Opeth) in my later teens. Today I’ll listen to most things from cheese-pop through to electro through to scream/growl-based metal. I have no idea if any of my listenings translate into writing inspiration, but I’m sure they must! Also, I will forever and always love nu-metal and I don’t care who knows it.
Craig– In terms of bassists it would have to be Geezer Butler, Jason Newsted, Justin Chancellor, Geddy Lee, Mike Dirnt, Dave Ellefson, John Myung and Krist Novoselic (HAHA this list could go on a while so I’ll spare you anymore!)
Now, Craig, if I may, I will let the spot light go on our gorgeous Lisa – The Voice of UK! (& of course behind every successful woman is a superman!)
Q- Lisa, how did ‘The Voice UK’ happen to you? Tell us bit about your journey to fame?
I ended up on The Voice UK because it is my humble ambition to one day be a pointless answer on Pointless. Just kidding!
I’ll tell you the real story, which is long winded and kind of boring, but you asked for it!
In May last year The Voice sent a talent scout up to Shetland. I’m presuming this was part of the BBC’s commitment to involving all geographical locations in its work. I think it’s fantastic they made the effort to do that.
At that time, I worked as Marketing Manager for Shetland Arts. The Voice got in touch asking for advice on the best way to see a good cross-section of the local talent. We told them that the most logical thing to do would be to approach the Shetland Singer Songwriters’ Group that holds monthly open mics in Mareel.
Because we are logical and creative…
Sheila Henderson (who runs the group and is a talented singer songwriter herself) and I had started sharing hosting duties at the Singer Songwriters’ Nights, and we were worried our regulars would be scared off by the scout’s presence, so we both signed ourselves up to play. Our worries were unfounded and we ended up with a packed auditorium.
I never considered the idea of it going anywhere. I hadn’t really watched The Voice before (not out of dislike, I just don’t really watch a lot of live TV), but I had a vague (and now I know incorrect) notion in my head that it was only for singers who did riffs and runs, vocal acrobatics etc.
I played my version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah,’ accompanied by my partner Craig, and then we skinned out.
If you want to hear our version, here ya go!
A few days later I got an email from the scout saying she’d liked my performance and that I should come to an audition in Glasgow. While I was flattered, I said thanks but no thanks.
Lucky for me, she didn’t give up. She called me and disavowed me of my incorrect notions about The Voice. I was really impressed and tempted to go, but I couldn’t afford to travel to Glasgow.
I’d already been to Glasgow three times that year, Best Womaning it up for my best friend Andy. Check out my tiny suit.
But then our dog, Fizzgig, started having trouble with her breathing and the vet in Shetland thought it might be a collapsed trachea. Because she’s so small she could only be properly diagnosed in Glasgow.
I didn’t think anything would come of the Glasgow audition. But as you know, it did.
Oh and Fizzgig didn’t have a collapsed trachea, just a chest infection. So we all lived happily ever after!
Q-What made you pick Sir Tom and did you ever wish you had picked Will?
Lisa- At the point of my audition, I hadn’t slept in 23 hours (it was midnight when I went on), and the night before that I’d been on the boat in the middle of the north sea, sick for 14 hours. What I’m trying to say is, I had very little idea what was happening when I went out there, and I really wasn’t expecting to get a turn because I was struggling so badly.
Will gave a great speech (most of which was cut due to time constraints) that makes sense to me now but at the time was basically a foreign language, because I really couldn’t comprehend what was happening. Tom said something about how I could sing and move around the stage. My mind clung on to that like a drowning person finding a piece of flotsam in the waves. So I went with my gut and picked Tom.
I’m delighted I did because his guidance was what I needed: down to earth, kind, and full of experience.
However, I have no doubt I would have been equally happy if I’d picked Will. It’s a thought experiment I don’t really bother wasting time on, because there are too many variables.
I also don’t really do “what ifs” (makes me think: “what if your auntie was a man, then she’d be your uncle!” – basically, meaningless) nor on wishing I could go back and change things. I preach at the Church of Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa and say “wish in one hand, shit in the other and see which one fills up first.”
Q-Will you go back to The Voice or another TV talent show in the future?
Lisa– I don’t plan to, but I always keep an open mind. Ending up on The Voice in the first place was kind of an accident for me, but an opportunity I’m absolutely delighted I got to take because it could turn a much loved hobby into potentially, at the very least, a part-part-time career…
Plus OOYL, or whatever it is the kids say…
But I don’t feel the need to do it again. It was just perfect as it was.
If I was invited to take part again or scouted for something else I’m not saying I wouldn’t go for it, but it’d be a considered decision. It’d need to have at least as much integrity and respect for the artists as The Voice does, and it would entirely depend on the circumstances of my life at the time, just as it did the first time.
Q-Who are your favourites from this year’s show?
Lisa- This is a difficult question to answer because there were people I spent almost every minute of my days with (e.g. Sash) and people I only said “hi” to once, and that obviously has a massive impact on your emotions.
I’m a huge fan of Daniel, Sasha, Stevie, Sharon, Lara, Claudia, Emmanuel, D-Twinz, Shelly-Ann… but it’s too hard to choose just one!
Plus, Matt Eaves was freaking awesome and I can’t believe he didn’t get a turn.
Q- What role has Craig, your family & Shetland played in your road to success & fame?
Lisa- There are lots of words for what Craig means to me, but the one I always tend towards is “my favourite.” He’s just my favourite person in every way – I like everything about him! We’re very similar in a lot of ways, but completely different in others, and because of that we empathise strongly with each other but also push each to grow, challenge ourselves, move out our respective comfort zones, and be better people. So he’s played a very large role in anything I’ve managed to achieve since we’ve been together, and hopefully vice versa 🙂
My family means the absolute world to me. My parents instilled in me the confidence to believe in myself; Dad taught me to dream big and Mum supported me in anything I wanted to do. My sister is one of my best friends; she’s always been there for me. Having such a wonderful family has given me the privilege to be able to take risks that I may not otherwise have been able to take, because I know they’ll always catch me if I fall.
And finally, Shetland is amazing. The community here is just incredible! I had weirdly high social media scores and feedback on The Voice app for someone went out at the Battles stage, and I knew it was because the community here was sticking with me, because that’s what Shetlanders do. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by such a strong sense of community.
Over to both of you –
Q- Do you guys write your own songs and/or have a band of your own?
Craig – Lisa has been writing songs since she was about 8 years old and has always considered herself a singer-songwriter, not just a singer.
If you haven’t heard it yet, Lisa’s new E.P. ‘Liminal’ is available here:
Download: iTunes, Google Play, Bandcamp
Buy: Bandcamp, Mareel, High Level Music, Burra Shop, Scalloway Shop
Stream: Spotify, Soundcloud
Lisa– Craig also writes songs (mainly just the music part – Lisa will write the lyrics) and we also write together. We play together in Lisa’s solo band and have a grunge / riotgrrrl band together called Deathstar Canteen.
Q- Do you guys see yourself on the International/National stage as a couple, or what is your future plans ?
We would like to record at least one album, maybe do a little touring, just see what happens!
Q-Do you play any musical instruments?
Lisa –Yes I play guitar, fiddle, and a little bit of piano. I was in a fiddle group called Fiddle Attraction. Oh yeah!
Craig- I dabble in a bit of bass playing, in fact bass guitars are a bit of an obsession really! Been lucky to play in some really cool bands over the years as well.
Q- If you both get a chance to share the stage with an artist right now of your choice, who would that be?
Lisa-No doubt about it, Tegan and Sara.
Craig- If I could share the stage with any band it would be Metallica as they are the reason I ever picked up the bass in the first place (anyone who has ever had to listen to me can blame them!)
Q-Lisa, I have learned that you take music lessons sometime. What would your advice be to the budding artists?
Lisa- Make music because you love it and because it’s its own reward – the rest will follow. Work hard and be kind to yourself. Love what you do and believe in your own unique voice or sound, it will guide you.
Q- If you could use music to bring a positive change in the world, what would that change be & how?
Craig–More recognition for attractive bass players.
Lisa–To make more people think more critically, introspectively and empathetically about their values and behaviour.
Famous five Questions:
What is your animal spirit?
Lisa–Fox. Introverted, adaptable, thoughtful, a night person, guarded, very loyal and loving if you can get close to me.
Craig-Dog I think, as I am very loyal and have a very cute and cuddly persona (not my own words but I’m happy enough with that!
Craig- Where do fish keep their money?
A riverbank. They get their funds from a loan shark and count it with their own scales…
Lisa – What did one eye say to the other?
“Were you also really impressed with Craig’s answer to the fish question?”
Craig – If you could be a woman, who would you want to be & why?
Serious answer: Nicola Sturgeon. Joke answer: Lorraine Hall so I could try to remember my email password…
Lisa – What is the wackiest gift you have ever received or given someone?
I proposed to Craig on Christmas Eve 2009 and surprised him with a trip to New York 3 days later – I guess that’s a pretty wild gift! He sure wasn’t expecting it anyway 😉
Lisa & Craig – Which is the best vacation you’ve ever had?
We’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of incredible holidays – Iceland, New York, Florida, Norway, Warsaw, Paris… Couldn’t choose just one!
Now wasn’t that a fun interview and inspirational at the same time 🙂
So come back for more and come back soon
Until then ,
Zindagi aka Life is is Rawmazing so enjoy to the fullest xx