January 26, 2012
Before Christmas I asked for people to send me any questions they had for a direct interview between myself and you guys.. I was inundated with questions! So here's Part 1 of my Fan-ish Inquisition…
Dearest Lee, do you know when (and you notice I say WHEN not IF) you will be coming to Australia to croon to us? We are all really very nice and welcoming. And WHEN you come to Australia what are the top three ... experiences .... you would like to have? xxx Deana Hamwood
Hi Deana, yes I would love to come and play for you guys in Australia! It's somewhere that has long been on my list of places to visit and I get a lot of letters of support from there. As soon as there is enough demand out there to warrant me buying a plane ticket, I'll be there!
As for my top three Australian experiences.. I've heard a lot about the beaches over there, so it would be cool to check some of those out. I watched Wolf Creek the other day, is that place real? I'd like to see that.. oh and I'd love to meet Alf Stewart from the TV show Home and Away. He was like a second father to me growing up. I'd just like to sit with him for an hour and pick his brains about life and stuff.
Do you like Sesame Street? Laurrie A Thompson
I tell you what, in all seriousness Laurrie, I think that Elmo chap is a proper little dude! I saw this episode once where he had a little mini Elmo guitar and he wrote a song about some ducks. I think you can get it on YouTube. I highly recommend you check it out if you can.
hi lee, i saw you last year in july supporting Train at Islington Academy and i know you're busy with European and American tours but i was wondering if you were going to do a UK one? I live in Birmingham, and it's a bit hard to go to shows in london or america for that fact.
Thanks for reading - Lauren :)xx
Hi Lauren, thanks for your message. I am hoping to do a few shows around the UK in summer when I am back from the States. It's most likely I will head to the cities where I played with Rumer, Manchester, Glasgow, Sheffield etc, but I will make sure we keep a look out for something in Birmingham too. Thanks for still following!
We at the Street Team hear from fans across the globe who comment on how “genuinely nice” you are to them at meet and greets. To whom or what do you attribute this? Beth Brenner, Lee MacDougall Street Team
That's very nice to know, but I don't really see being nice to people as something to be commended. That must mean a lot of people in these situations are un-nice…? which is a bit of a shame. Why would I not be nice? Especially when people are so nice to me! I'm over the moon to be doing these tours and just as happy to be there as hopefully the people in the crowd are. If they have taken the time to travel to come and see me and buy a CD and t-shirt, it makes me a happy man and the least I can do is say hello. And I like making friends too so…
Would you know me if we would meet accidentally? Isabelle Rendle Hilger
Yeah of course I would! It's Isabelle right? From Germany!
Which do you prefer - touring or recording? :-) Abby Boles
Touring without a doubt. Although the feeling of capturing a song in the studio is pretty hard to beat, recording can be quite a long, arduous process. And I tend to over think everything. Life on the road is great because I am constantly living in the moment and constantly being stimulated by new people and surroundings. Plus it is the part where I get to meet everyone and perform and share the music I've written and that is what it's all about to me.
Have you ever smashed a guitar for the hell of it on stage? Would you ever if you could easily get another one? Or does this sort of thing make you cringe? Do you still plan to get other guitars like your own RichenBacker &/or a Bass guitar while keeping your Hummingbird Gibson? Nicole Fuentes
No I've never done anything like that, I can't afford it! A sound guy in Kansas City once hit my guitar with the end of a jack lead by accident, chipping the paintwork, and I went crazy at him! I remember seeing Kurt Cobain do it when I was a kid and I thought it was pretty cool, though years later I realised that even he used to swap guitars for the last song and only trash some cheap Walmart one. I thought that defeated the object a little. The closest I ever came was when I was in an indie rock band when I first moved to London and the guitarist did it one night at a show in St Albans. I don't think he meant to do it, but he snapped the head off this really nice guitar he had, and the crowd went mental! Once he had done it we thought we might as well make the most of it and we made sure plenty of photographs got taken. I think we knew he wouldn't be doing it again!
As for other guitars I would still love to get a Rickenbacker, and a Gibson J200. All my money goes on touring at the moment, but once I can save a little, other than a decent meal, I think they will be my first purchases.
What DID you and Albert Aguilar get up to in that hotel room? Deana Hamwood
Haha. Albert is a great guy and a really talented musician, but he really shouldn't be allowed to post pictures on the Internet ;-)
You have a true gift for writing. Do you have any stand-out memories, positive or negative, of the teachers you had throughout your school years, and how have they influenced your songwriting and/or performances? Beth Brenner, Lee MacDougall Street team
Thanks Beth, you have a true gift for flattery! But ha yeah I do have one that stands out actually. I did a music course at University and there were twelve modules, one of which being musical composition or songwriting. I was pretty excited about that one and I thought I would score top marks, but it ended up being my lowest score of the entire course! My teacher was like this hippy who knew every chord ever invented and I don't think she was too impressed with my refusal to modulate to the augmented fifth. In saying that, I did try to be a bit clever and rip off part of Bungalow Bill by the Beatles pretending I'd written it, but she probably smoked tea with Bungalow Bill back in the 60s or something and I think she saw straight through me.
What is your songwriting process...do you let ideas come to you spontaneously or do you actively sit down with the intent to write a song? Do you find certain environments easier to write in than others, such as your flat, a favorite coffee shop, the park, etc? Do you find there to be much of a difference in inspiration in England vs. the U.S.? Do you prefer driving to flying? Emily May
Every song is different really. When I sit down to try and write a song it sometimes seems impossible. But then I'll stop thinking about it for 10 seconds and a melody can just come from out of nowhere. Lyrics are different. Once I have the general idea or theme, then I have a just sit with a guitar and pen and try and carve words into shape. Thinking back about each song, I can usually remember where I wrote it, and they were all pretty much done in my bedroom. I was too busy having fun on the road last year to write whilst I was travelling, but this year I'm going to try and use the experiences more for new songs.
It's funny because compared to the places I've toured, I tend to think of England as being quite boring, yet England influences my songwriting massively. I seem to be writing about it all the time. London is just such an inspirational city. The history and the streets and the people.. But I think the US is just as inspiring, but in a different way. The sheer size of the landscapes and the freedom of the road and all that… after being cooped up on our tiny island for so long the US definitely has a seductive and energy about it. So yeah, and driving is the only way to go to fully experience that. I don't mind how long it takes, there is always something pretty to look at. Even when driving through the poverty stricken places out in the middle of nowhere, there's beauty in all of it.
Does the real "Joanna" know you wrote a song about her? What does she think about it? For that matter, does "Allison" know you call her out in a song too? Jessica Lea Riggles
I know she has heard it, but she didn't say anything to me about it. I changed her name because her real name didn't really fit. I think she knows. The lyrics are pretty personal, and pretty much word-for-word a conversation I remember having with her one day. She's probably pissed off cos I got the last word ha.
As for Alison.. there might be one or two young ladies who think that song's about them, I probably shouldn't say..
Part 2 to follow soon!