Today I'm chatting to the very lovely, and hilarious!, Susan Lily, about her life as a country music artist.
Welcome Susan, let's get to it…
What inspired you to become a country music artist?
I always wanted to sing but never really made it out of the bathroom until I could do I could do it comfortably. So naturally, I took the comedic road as a stepping stone to becoming a music artist and songwriter. It’s normal isn’t? I was a standup comic for about 4 years and during that time I stumbled my way through song parodies and original comedy songs. I’d be so nervous about playing guitar that I made it part of my act to get my fingers caught in the strings on the fretboard or drop my pick. I also learned how to own a stage as big as any football field so the first time I sang with a band my personal space felt invaded LOL!!
Can you tell us a bit about your most recently released album,
“Miss You Much” is the third single from my debut album BUTTERFLY (out on CD baby) and is a song about missing my childhood and my home. I grew up (mainly cos I can’t get any lower) in a little town called HAY in outback NSW. I used to escape down the river with my dog (Snoopy), peanut butter sandwiches, a book, a drink and when I ran out of food I’d go home. Being down there gave me a sense of freedom and adventure. It’s hard to do that when we are grown up (though my inner child is still very much alive and kicking).
What are you working on now?
Yesterday my songwriting mojo jumped in front of me when I was walking to the tram stop. It sidetracked me with lyrics and melody which soon found themselves recorded to be worked on later. So now I’ve got two new songs that are shaping up really nicely. I recently quit my day job, packed up an entire house, donated gear to charities and friends, moved cities and, embarked on a beautiful new relationship with a man I’ve adored for a long time (sort of stuff you’d find in a romance novel *hint*). So, not much really!!!! My priorities are wide and varied. I’m beginning to network for gigs, muso friends and, venues. I made my debut last night at The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel and they almost needed a big hook to get me off stage. I’ve gone from being a very shy child to a stage junkie haha. I’m also busy with job applications, songwriting and arranging, plus rehearsing for the other open mikes that I’m planning to play at. I’d love to say that I have time to smell the roses but I can’t find any at the moment so I will just have to be happy with dancing in a pink tutu on the back of a white rhino (lol).
Have you got a favourite song that you sing? If yes, what is it? Believe it or not I love to sing my first single! It’s called “Got the Monkey Off My Back” and was released in Dec 2006. I never tire of it and so many people know me by it PLUS like or love the song. It’s my most requested song and such a blessing to me as it’s given me a foot inside the door of the country music community radio circuit. It was one of those songs that literally wrote itself. I had been talking about how great I felt about a burden that had gone from my life and a work mate said that phrase to me. on the way home in the car it suddenly popped into my head, lyrics and all. I had nothing to record it with so sang it over and over til I got home, ran up 17 steps, opened my double deadlocked front door, and found my cassette recorder. Six months later I began working with my producer (Paul Norton) on which song to use as my debut single. I was so embarrassed about what he’d think of the song that I nearly didn’t play it for him. He surprised me by saying that it was the best one to release and that was one of my first valuable lessons in songwriting for commercial release. I’ve felt great about it ever since and I’m not sure there has been a set where I’ve not played the song.
Swag or room service for a romantic date?
Does room service come with a room or would we be parking or in the bushes? I’m a tomboy at heart so I do know my way around a swag. I like comfort but that’s why I replaced the standard mattress with a you beaut self-inflating insulated one (plus it’s really great fun to try and deflate which can also lead to romance....oops! am I giving away too much? ;) )
Holden, Ford...or something else?
My pride and joy was a beige brumby ute. I know! People used to laugh at me and say it was a “pretend ute” but I loved that beast. I’d had it for six weeks the day it became a roo destroyer. $6245.10c later I had the front end of it put back together and then went on countless adventures across NSW and into Victoria. I used to make jokes about having a beige “uterus” (cos all the boys out home would call their utes that moniker) . I was a popular gal for awhile. Then tragedy struck me when I was t-boned by a truck flying out of a servo driveway. I’m very lucky to be alive but sadly Rufus (his name) didn’t make it. I cried the day the panel beater said he couldn’t repair him and asked if I could have a few moments to say goodbye. I will admit the scene of me splayed out on the bonnet crying must have looked a bit strange. I wanted to give them all something to tell their grandchildren. I have dreams you know, dreams of when I’m old and have bright pink or purple hair. I’ll be an old crazy lady on a pushbike. I’ll have bright pink lipstick on my teeth and my skirt tucked into my pants... at the front.... yeah, dreams eh. Something to look forward to!
Yes! Haha. I am partial to savoury foods. Don’t leave an open packet of barbeque or pizza shapes anywhere near me if you want one. I’m also very in love with silverside and white sauce with mashed potato plus I do enjoy bangers and mash. I’m also known for my love for Sticky Date Pudding. So well known in fact, that it’s no secret to anyone anymore. I even have people on FB commenting about it whenever the chance arises.
That’s a tough question: I’d have to say that comedies are my favourite genre. The Castle would have to be one of a number of “number one favourites”. Thoroughly brilliant and quintessential Aussie movie.
Favourite Aussie saying?
“tell ‘em they’re dreaming”
If you could have a kangaroo, koala, wombat, crocodile, galah or python as a pet which one would you choose, and why?
I’d have a galah as they are not as stupid as people make out. I’d train it to say silly left-of-centre things during conversation
Who would you like to trade places with for a day, alive or dead, and why?
Dolly Parton. I’d love to spend the day at Dollyworld being in-charge
If I looked in your fridge right now what would I find?
A sad looking shelf where the chocolate used to be.
Craziest thing you’ve ever done?
We had a bad taste party once and decided to get dressed up BEFORE we went to the supermarket to get our food supplies. I had green eyebrows and all my hair was plaited in various directions across my head. I’d made a tutu and wore it over mismatched clothing and footwear (yeah, odd socks and shoes). We danced around the aisles singing any ads we could remember. Then at the checkout when the girl asked “are youse guys having party?” we replied “nah, we’re having a quiet night in front of the telly”
If you were going on holiday tomorrow, where would it be?
I’d love to go to Texas, both for the music scene and the cowboys!
Four words that describe you…
Quirky, silly, fun, crazy
Thanks, Susan, it's been fun chatting!
If you'd like to find out more about Susan Lily please stop by one of her pages…
Susan Lily fanclub group FB
Susan Lily blog
Until next week, keep smiling and dreaming!