London born singer/songwriter Zoe Scott has been playing guitar and composing songs since the age of 9 and was trained in theatre at a palace in Rome at the Piazza Venezia. She acted briefly is several horror films and during her earlier years she lived in a tent with her sister Victoria.
Zoe’s fans may recognize her voice from the commercial for Gillette Venus Razors and her latest album Woman on Top features the work of The Wax Team (Rhianna, Nora Jones), and master mixers Jim Scott (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Mike Shipley (Aerosmith, Shania Twain).
Maximum Ink: Your parents where artists.Do you think it was helpful to your musical aspirations to have the support of such creative people?
Zoe Scott: My upbringing was highly creative and it has very much influenced my ability to sit for periods of time in a house, cave or van, and focus on writing songs. I think my parents are very inspired people who have a great sense of joy de verve. You have to have quite a lot of mojo to want to move to the other side of the world and make rock and roll. My dad introduced me to rock and roll with his music collection and beat writers like Jack Kerouac. The artists were very much talked and discussed and idealized in my household. My dad describes himself as a boho, sort for bohemian. My parents were beautiful and talented in the 60’s. I think there was some kind of ideal growing up, which was artists contribute a great deal to the spirit of the world and it’s a cool thing to be a free thinker and observe the world through artists eyes. They were, however, incredibly shocked when I said I wanted to go into rock and roll and move to Los Angeles!
MI: What was it like to live at the Piazza Venezia?
ZS: To wake up in an Italian Palace, age 21, and go “This is my life” is something I will never forget! I had a magical journey in Italy, so Italy is still one of my favorite places to be in the world! When you entered the big golden doors into the Palazzo there was a chain of beautiful salons, with these huge windows that overlooked this wonderful courtyard with a huge fountain in the middle, and a huge veranda where we all ate and looked out over the beautiful, Orange rooftops of Rome. I was in love for the first time, I was making horror movies as an actress and it was just an enchanted period of my life; almost like a movie. My ex-boyfriend’s mother, whom we lived with, was like this austere Contessa out of a movie like “Death in Venice”. She was extravagant and extraordinary. I was the beautiful, little Anglesina and Rome has remained this magical Shangri-La for me. One never quite comes down from an experience like that.
MI: Why did you decide to give up acting?
ZS: I wasn’t finding the parts that I was being offered very exciting. I didn’t like the rejection involved in the audition process. I wanted to write my own movie! This is it: the story of Zoe! I had an affair with an actor that really, really put me off the whole process. I came out to Hollywood and was shown around by the co-producer of Pretty Woman, Gary Goldstein, and Hollywood at the time seemed rather superficial compared to the creativity I’d experienced in Rome. I was back in England, I read a bunch of biographies and discovered the Doors.
MI: Do you ever miss the days of living in tents, caves, and shacks and recording my generator? What was that like? Do you ever miss it?
ZS: Yes, sometimes. The freedom, lack of responsibility, the beautiful universal role that could transpire each and every day. Spontaneous meetings, just chasing the muse, and going on adventures. I remember one time I bumped into Ian Asbury, the lead singer of the Cult, out in a K-Mart in the desert. We hung out in my shack. Surprising things like that used to happen every day. Surprising things still do happen every day, my life it just a bit more structured now. But I love the fluidity of travel and freedom and being the queen of my own destiny
MI: What is it like to hear your voice on a razor commercial? Did you ever think that’d happen? Where you a fan of the original version of Venus?
ZS: I was a big fan of the original song. I am, in fact, a big fan of the original Goddess of Love, Aphrodite! In fact, I think in a past life I was probably a member of her cult. I believe sex is sacred. Yeah, it was fun to hear my voice on the commercial, another day in paradise.
MI: You live in a rainbow colored bungalow in CA you call The Happy House. Do you feel color has a positive affect on your creative talents?
ZS: Yes! My house and garden are full of colors. I’ve lots of roses in the garden. It’s like a rock and roll English country garden. All the rooms of the house are different colors, it’s a very romantic atmosphere. Feminine with a bit of edge. I love the light green of my bedroom, leading out to the garden. My mother especially made me aware of colors growing up. As a painter she’d always say when looking at nature “look at the beautiful colors!” My house is full of my parent’s paintings.
MI: What led you to create the Woman On Top album? How would you describe it’s sound to our readers?
ZS: My ambition and my sense of humor! I wanted to create an album that I felt was very world class. I wanted to take my songwriting skills up to a whole new level. I was newly single, and all my feelings were being burped up into my songs, so the record really saved me from either getting into another bad relationship or losing my mind. But as the emotions began to clear I became more and more joyous about being single again and I realized there was a real positive to it, and that was that I was getting to know myself. I realized that I’d achieved a lot of great stuff and that I really felt on top. The song “Woman on Top” is supposed to be great fun, it has serious connotations of course, but a lot of my songs are about liberation, I’m a real rebel. Often my songs are sticking a finger up at somebody who’s trying to put me underneath them with a cheeky, British sense of humor. My record is a celebration, it’s fun it’s sassy and it’s all about being a woman on top.
MI: What was it like to work with The Wax Team, Jim Scott and Mike Shipley?
ZS: The The Wax Team are edgy very creative, they are ON they doing a lot of great projects..Wally Gagal is a bit punk in his sense of humor , Xandy Barry is more sensitive and Romantic a bit like the two sides of me…they are very talented team, love working with them, they totally got my sense of humor !!! I said lets make WOMAN ROCK, hey I got these lyrics…I can get it somewhere else and Wally would bust out a guitar. JIM SCOTT is a wonderful soulful profound human being, he’s a real truth speaker and he’s been a guardian to me and my musical aspiration for several years, we met in Cello studio’s when I first arrived in Los Angeles and he kinda adopted me and my sister. He’s so talented look at everyone he has worked with, the Chilli Peppers, Dixie Chicks, Dido. Tom Petty…the list go’s on !!! He’s like a fine artist….like a formula one race car driver in the version of a record mixer…I love to be in the presence of Jim because he loves Artist and he’s just so kind and nurturing and he has always believed in me…Its always deep working with Jim ...He always is there Birthing the Next bit of You… Mike Shipley mixed last year while I was in Europe so we have never officially met, we communicated by phone and email, but I love what he did with the mixes, he’s more polished.
MI: What projects are you currently working on? Where can fans go for the latest on your career?
ZS: ZOE SCOTT.COM….I’m in the beginning stages of promoting my new album, developing my live act, playing out a lot, with a great new band. I’m also developing some TV shows. I hope to be filming travel shows with a difference. You’ll be seeing lots of me!!! Get on the bus its going to be fun!!
MI: Do you have any advice to offer those wishing to pursue a career in music?
ZS: You got to love it more than anything else… its like a marriage there are good days and bad days, you have to work at it. Find a great Mentor like I found Jim Scott…Its a team sport so find a group of creative people you fit into and start creating with them. Do YOGA to balance the highs and lows and if you want to be really successful get the best therapist you can afford dig in do the work.. and develop your own creative voice its like an obsession a meditation, like developing your own language…but the support is key !!!