Published on December 19th, 2017 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Lucy Woodward On Her Latest Album “Til They Bang On The Door,” Touring With Rod Stewart & What’s Coming Up For Her
First signed to a major label as a teenager, Lucy Woodward has been through a lot within the music business. She experienced the “Jingle Ball” radio circuit, thanks to her hit song “Dumb Girls.” She has written a Top 40 hit for another artist, as done with Stacie Orrico’s “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life.” She has sung alongside major artists like Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Pink Martini, Randy Jackson, Gavin DeGraw and Joe Cocker. Woodward has also had the experience of reinventing herself a few times; after her early 2000s pop radio spell with Atlantic Records, she turned up the jazz for Verve Records with Lucy Woodward Is… Hot And Bothered.
Last year, Woodward put out her latest full-length album Til They Bang On The Door. Bang was released by GroundUP Music, a record label overseen by the band Snarky Puppy, as distributed by Universal Music. Woodward has been touring a lot with Snarky Puppy as of late, while also playing her own fair share of headlining gigs. I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Woodward during one of her rare breaks from touring for The Hype Magazine and below are some of the highlights.
You released Til They Bang On The Door last year. Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Lucy Woodward: I have a few favorites but live I love playing “I Don’t Know” which is a Ruth Brown cover from 1959. The original is so eerie with their strange horn harmonies and I wanted to take it a step darker. The groove is infectious and I could play that tune for 20 minutes straight. I don’t, but I always want to. Another favorite is “Never Enough” which I started writing in a hotel room in Brisbane. I was on a chaotically-amazing tour with Rod Stewart and was getting over a horrible breakup. The melody poured out of me one night as soon stopped to think about what was going on in my life at that time. A diary entry that I never thought would make a record…
What else are you working on at the moment? More touring with Snarky Puppy? Still on the road in support of Til They Bang On The Door?
LW: I am back and forth to Europe a lot these days. Recently, I have been working on Big Band arrangements of my material for different Big Bands in Europe and the U.S. It’s exhilarating taking my little songs and having them blow up sonically for a 19-piece brass band. It’s not traditional Big Band, way more rock & roll.
You were on the road with Rod Stewart for years as one of his featured vocalists. Having played some of the world’s biggest stages, did that change your perspective on playing clubs and more intimate venues?
LW: Absolutely. Everything about playing in an arena or stadium is a huge and the rush is beyond description. I realize I still like seeing faces in an intimate setting though, there’s more of a “people connection!” But I learned so much about looking “out” to the back of the room more, I think. And watching Rod do it every night is mesmerizing.
You have successfully balanced a career as a solo artist and a sideperson and session musician for a decade or so. How do you manage to work on so many projects at once?
LW: I don’t manage it well! (laughs) It’s a juggle in my brain all the time but I realize I just have to compartmentalize my days and hours properly. I need structure. I know my brain thinks a certain way in the morning — tech-y, analytical — as opposed to the evening — creative. Well-being is a huge part of my life to balance all the chaos and travel, but if I sleep, drink buckets of water, eat clean and laugh a whole bunch, I manage. A glass of wine every night helps, too.
When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?
LW: From a super young age, I was always a people-watcher. I can go anywhere and just stare at people. I just stroll for miles and observe and I am always content. So weird and creepy but humans are fascinating. Otherwise, I love to salsa dance. That’s from growing up in The Bronx.
What’s been your favorite album of 2017?
LW: This might be 2016 but I am still obsessed: Emily King’s The Switch.
Finally, Lucy, any last words for the kids?
LW: Put your phones and social media-izing down and start living life, kids! It tastes and smells sooooo much better!