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A Dirty Dozen with MEREDITH LAZOWSKI – June 2022

| 21 June 2022 | Reply

Photo credit: Jen Squires

According to a recent press release: “Toronto-based Americana singer-songwriter Meredith Lazowski is set to release her debut album, Other Way Home, independently on June 17, 2022. Other Way Home presents a collection of 10 distinctive songs, each beckoning like a siren tempting us to take risks and face our undying desires, the songs mirroring the landscapes of life – from the vast spaces of the prairie, to the haze of the urban bar, and to the solitude of a cemetery. Other Way Home offers listeners a journey of new beginnings, of familiarity, of both the place and the feeling of home, of old chapters not forgotten. It is an album for those looking to get lost on a journey and then find their way, encouraging the listener to rethink love and friendships, and blending landscape and soundscape in a unique fashion. Lazowski has created a sort of aural wayfaring map for us to enjoy.” We get Meredith to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

My latest release is my debut album, Other Way Home, which is made up of a collection of songs I have written over the past 15 years or so. This album is all about finding my way back ‘home’ creatively and establishing my sound and voice as an artist. This album has a feeling of continuous momentum in it, my recommendation is that it is best listened to in motion. A fun fact that not most fans would know is that my sister sang backup vocals on some of the tracks and that my dad has a featured guitar solo on the song “December.”

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I grew up playing music with my family. My sister and I started by learning to play conservatory piano at a young age, and then I really wanted to learn how to play guitar. Eventually, I taught myself how to play guitar, and then as a family we started playing more music together; it helped get my dad back into guitar and us all learning songs together. It really became our evening ritual. Once I wrote my first song, “December” — I was about 14 — I realized that it was something I wanted to pursue and learn more about. I put music on hold for many years while I pursued a career in design/tech, but I am happy that I made my way back to it.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

This is a hard question, as there are so many people who have influenced me musically over the years. If I had to pick one it would be Neko Case. She has the ability to create so many unique sounds and stay true to herself artistically. Her songwriting is also very visual, something that I feel is a big factor in mine as well.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would love the opportunity to work with Feist. She is such an incredible creative and also takes such a unique approach with her performative experiences she creates. As a designer as well, that is something I am quite interested in doing more of.  It would be incredible to work with her on a song and learn from her process.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love playing sports to help unwind — for years, I have been playing hockey, basketball, and ultimate frisbee in facilitated leagues in the city of Toronto. I grew up playing hockey and competitive basketball when I was younger and never really stopped! It has become a part of my routine.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I am a mellow alt-folk/country artist with some touches of blues and Americana. I have had some people I know say that there are some Norah Jones vibes in some of the tunes. That is unexpected but also would make sense as she was an influence of mine growing up!

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

This is a great question! I am lucky to have been working with some talented and lovely bandmates, and I would say we all have our moments for each.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I had the opportunity to meet Calexico years ago after a show in Toronto and that was a treat!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

My favorite thing about being a musician is that you have the ability to create something that can then have an opportunity to directly reach people and impact them. Every song can have a different meaning or be a part of a certain experience, memory, or more for an individual. Not many industries allow that opportunity. I love creating experiences, and when I am not making music I am usually helping create digital experiences for people or companies. I would love to eventually start my own company and create something from scratch that also has the opportunity to impact people either digitally or physically.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I have always wanted an interviewer to ask about why I choose to do both music and design. I would answer that they both have the opportunity to help create and shape experiences. And as much as I regret not getting back into music earlier, I feel like design has helped to shape me musically and taught me skills that can be applied back to music like business, brand, digital, and performance experience, etc. I would say that I usually get asked a lot about music influences, yet I still believe it is a great question to continue to ask as the response continues to evolve!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I wish I would have come back to music earlier. I put it on hold for most of my 20s, and, in a way, I feel like I may have missed out on some experiences. But at the same time I feel like the influences and events that occurred over that time have just been a way of shaping me musically. I may be catching up, but I feel like my other path has also helped me bring a different perspective to the mix.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

This is a difficult question, and I have so many that I would love to have been witness to! One that had a huge influence on me was Gillian Welch’s Time (The Revelator) album, released in 2001. For years, I would listen to that album back to front. I have especially fond memories of driving in the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada with my family in the summers while we were visiting with my extended family. There is the simple magic on that album, and it would be incredible to witness that rawness in person.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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