Singer Lauren Pritchard writes an off-Broadway musical

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Posted: Oct 26, 2015 9:38 AM
Singer Lauren Pritchard writes an off-Broadway musical

NEW YORK (AP) — There's so much music flowing through Lauren Pritchard that it fills two people.

The singer-songwriter, who made her Broadway debut in the original "Spring Awakening" in 2006, re-christened her rock side LOLO and released the EP "Comeback Queen" this summer.

She's on tour this fall, just as her new stage musical, "Songbird," opens at 59E59 Theaters. "Songbird," for which she wrote the music and lyrics as Lauren Pritchard, is about a fading country star coming home.

A full-length LOLO album, "Weapon for Saturday," is planned for spring, featuring the infectiously cool title song in which she boasts: "I'm the baddest car in the parking lot/ Hottest gun that the preacher shot."

The Associated Press caught up with the Tennessee-raised artist to ask about her dual identity, revisiting "Spring Awakening" and her biggest influence.

The Associated Press: You sing blues, hip-hop, country, rock and soul. Do you prefer one?

Pritchard: For me, whether it's something I'm writing for someone else, something I'm writing for me, or something for 'Songbird,' it all originates in this really bluesy place. And then what happens is you put it on a different voice in a different body, you change the instrumentation, you change the key of the song. There are all these contributing factors that can adjust the heaviness or the softness of that bluesy origin. But I do know that it comes from the same place.

AP: How to do keep track of it all? Are you a good compartmentalizer?

Pritchard: Part of the way that I made it easy for myself to split my lives is literally give them different names. One is my own name, my birth name. And one is LOLO because for me the only thing that those two things have to do with each other is me. They are the same in a sort of soulfulness, but in theory they're not the same. To me, they warranted different names. That was how I was able to clear it up for myself, too, internally. It's been incredibly helpful.

AP: What kind of songwriter are you?

Pritchard: I've always been, maybe to a fault, a very honest songwriter. In some ways I feel like I'm terrible with words when I'm just talking. But I can write. Maybe it's a clearer, more direct place in my mind. I use less words, which is probably helpful. If you want to know how I really feel, listen to the last few songs I wrote.

AP: Who might we be surprised you're a fan of?

Pritchard: Eminem. 'The Marshall Mathers LP' is in the top five of my favorite albums of all time. I think that I gained a lot of my lyrical wordiness appreciation from him. He's one of my favorite songwriters of all time.

AP: You saw the new "Spring Awakening" featuring actors using sign language. What did you think?

Pritchard: I think it's really beautiful. I mean, obviously I'm biased. But I thought that since the lyrics and the story itself are very dense — it's a lot of information to retain — there's something about incorporating the sign language into the telling of the story that makes you pay even more attention to the words, which I really appreciated.

AP: Might you be lured back to theater?

Pritchard: I do think that if the right thing did come along and presents itself as far as theater and acting goes, I would do it. But especially considering that I spend most of my time touring, committing to a show for a year is a lot to think about.

AP: How does it feel to be both a stage writer and a rock star?

Pritchard: I now feel like I'm using myself to my full potential. It's not that I wasn't doing that before. But if you're only working on one thing, you're closing off another part of your mind. I don't have to do that anymore.

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Online:

http://www.59e59.org

http://weaponforsaturday.com