Singer/Songwriter Lorraine Lewis is probably best known for her work with the rock band Femme Fatale. Since the band disbanded she has released several solo albums in the country, new age, and rock genres. She can currently be found working with the band L.A. Nookie. I recently sat down with Lorraine to talk about her career and influences. She is without a doubt a very interesting character.
Maximum Ink: Since there isn’t really that much about you as a person out there, would you mind telling our readers a little about where you are from?
Lorraine Lewis: I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico best known for awesome green chile, skiing and hot air balloon festivals. I’m 3rd in a family of 6 kids and I taught myself how to play a sloppy guitar on my mom Stella’s acoustic that was hiding in her closet. I used to listen to the Allman Brothers, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young, but it was seeing David Lee Roth in Van Halen that made me want to be a rock star!
MI: Who are some of your influences?
LL: I still consider David Lee Roth my biggest influence, not really for his voice as much as his “I don’t give a Fuck attitude” and “it’s not who you know, it’s how good you look” attitude. I love that! Charo was a big influence on me as well as Tina Turner and The Dvinyls. I also like Joan Jett, Nickelback, Stone Temple Pilots, Motley Crue!
MI: What first led you to become a musician?
LL: When I was a teenager and going to concerts, my girlfriends wanted to get back stage to meet the band. I wanted to be the band it’s that simple. The big lights, big sound, people screaming! That was enough for me…and David Lee Roth making it all look like the best job on the planet!
MI: What is your fondest memory over the course of your career so far?
LL: On tour with Femme Fatale in Joplin, Mississippi! It was our first show, and in between our set and set up for Cheap Trick, I heard the crowd screaming insanely. I thought “Wow, David Lee Roth must be here”...but the curtain had opened up and they were screaming for US! ...major chills!
MI: You have worked in various genres. How did you work in each of those differ? You always seem to come back to rock. Why do you think that is?
LL: Obviously rock is a part of my DNA. I love alot of different types of music from punk to country to classical. I try different things, sometimes it’s just a matter of where I find my self geographically or socially. But the bottom line is “I’m an 80’s rockstar that’s rockin’ again!!”
MI: What made you decide to try you hand at country music? Do you enjoy Nashville much?
LL: I love Nashville. I have a good friend that lives out there and we write together. Her name is Jan Buckingham, she’s a crazy chick that likes living with bunny rabbits. Crazy is a part of her genius though and I’ve learned a lot from her about songwriting. We’re still waiting for some of our stuff to land though. We’ve had songs on hold which seems like forever.I haven’t been back since last October so a good writing trip is long overdue…but baby, I’ve been rockin’ !
MI: Can you tell us a little about L.A Nookie?
LL: L.A. Nookie ....is all Sex, Sweat and Swagger, which will grow up to be Femme Fatale by next spring. I wanted to put an All Star rockin’ cover band together with a bunch of cute blond girls! Cute blond rockstars are hard to find believe it or not. So L.A. Nookie is Lisa Leveridge that toured with Courtney Love, Alex Kane (yes a dude) that was in LSD and toured with Marky Ramone, Mike Duda who plays bass for W.A.S.P. and Mike Dupke on drums who plays drums for W.A.S.P. ...there is also a revolving line up of guest stars like ATHENA on drums and Jeff Young. I’ve also invited Share Ross for a few shows. We play covers like “God Save The Queen”,“Celebrity Skin”, and of course “Waiting For The Big One”.
MI: How would you describe the L.A Nookie live show?
LL: L.A. Nookie live is like a volcano meeting a star studded typhoon with Kettle One vodka shots, screams and loud guitars. Plain and simple.. we crush.
MI: Do you find people underestimate your abilities since you are a woman?
LL: I don’t think I’m underestimated by others, but sometimes I underestimate myself. I guess you call it insecurity. Not because I’m a woman but just because I’m human.
MI: What do you think is the best advice to offer girls growing up in today’s world?
LL: Good question. I would tell girls growing up to “Go For It”...rely on yourself, not a boyfriend or your friends, make your dreams come true, work hard and keep your eye on the ball. Don’t get hung up on the first boy you kiss, life is sweet and the road is long and full of adventures you can’t even imagine.
MI: How has the music scene changed most since you started you career? How would you like to see it change next?
LL: The music scene is so different now than it was when I had my deal with MCA. Girls doing rock was not as accepted as it is now Sure there were ground breakers like The Runaways and Janis Joplin, Heart- but for the most part getting on the radio with a rock single was almost impossible. They usually had one female in rotation so breaking in was tough. I’m so happy that women are all over the radio now.
MI: Do you ever miss the Glam days?
LL: hose days in Hollywood on the Strip were amazing!! I have great memories of that time…Guns & Roses, Poison, Motley Crue, The Whiskey, The Roxy, The Rainbow! I don’t miss those days but I relish in them. Good times. Good times.
MI: What are some of your hobbies?
LL: I am a major dog lover! So I like hanging out with my dogs. Walking with them downtown or a dog park. I love coffee so finding a great soy latte is fun for me. I like running on the beach, hanging in Las Vegas, New York, or Hollywood. And I love finding new dive bars….the darker and dingy-er the better. Most of all I love life and love laughing.
MI: You are are friends with Athena Kottak I understand? What is she like as person?
LL: Athena! Yes I love that girl. She’s one bad ass drummer with a sweet smile and big spirit. She’s not afraid of anything and I love that about her. She makes me laugh and together we pretty much need a security squad cause you know a beer bottle will probably be flying through the air at some point once we get going.
MI: What projects are you currently working on?
LL: Athena is a part of L.A. Nookie for sure. We’re working on some new songs and have some secret projects in the works. Reality, Music, Comic Books…who knows what’s next, stay tuned!
MI: When you time comes how do you hope to be remembered?
LL: I’d like to be remembered as sweetheart bad ass rocker with a big heart for animals and children.
MI: Anything you’d like to say in closing?
LL: In closing I’d like to thank you for the interview and thank you to all my friends and fans for digging what I do no matter what it is…look for Femme Fatale next spring and summer on tour and L.A. Nookie!!! Come visit us on Facebook, Myspace and Youtube and www.lorrainecafe.com Cheers for now!
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