Interview: Lisa Coverdale from Hold Tight! PR
I was thinking last week; who is absolutely fundamental to my blog but never gets any recognition? PR people. Sure, the artists make the music but without their record labels and the PR companies, their music wouldn't get heard and promoted unless they do it themselves, which does seem like a lot of effort.
PR people work a lot. They don’t stop. There’s so much to do and I thought I’d give my homegirl Lisa a short break from supplying me with music in order to answer a few questions.
Lisa Coverdale is one half of Hold Tight! PR (alongside James Monteith from TesseracT). To quote their website: “Hold Tight! is a fast paced, affordable music and alternative media PR company based in the UK working with only the most exciting projects from around the globe.” In addition to this, Lisa also helps run Basick Records... very busy lady!
I’ve been working with them for a while now and have reviewed quite a few albums they’ve sent me including The Elijah, Campus, Karybdis and Collisions. They’re both lovely people who have a passion for music and I would highly recommend contacting them if you ever need and PR shizzle done for your band!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading this interview and laugh as much as I did!
What are you currently drinking/last thing you drank? If it’s not booze, you better have a bloody good reason...
Currently quaffing coffee, freshly ground, with steamed milk and chocolate sprinkles. I'm a PR person, our blood is 99% caffeine. It's 2.30pm, too early for boozy drinks and anyway I was a bit tinkled last night after only 3 Jack and Cokes, I'm a rubbish drinker. I don't do it often. Just not that into it.
What was your first ever alcoholic drink? How’d that go for you?
Babycham probably, a horrible…god I don't even know what it was, sparkly wine or something. It had a Deer on the front anyway. Sneaked some with my friend at her house when we were teenagers. It was gross. I've never liked alcohol really. I am rubbish at it.
One beer. One Spirit. One Non-Alcoholic drink. Go:
One beer – god no, it tastes grim. I have tried many, I just can't get on with it.
One Spirit – whiskey, preferably Jack Daniels. It tastes good, it smells great and after 2 I'm generally up for most things.
Non-alcoholic drink – fresh coffee, it's the tits.
What’s the most absurd thing you’ve done while drunk?
This is exactly why I don't drink. Drunk people are generally loud, lairy and very unbecoming. You've not lived until you've had to chase a drunken James Monteith (my partner at Hold Tight! PR/guitarist in TesseracT) around the streets to try to herd him into a taxi. My husband is the same. Men get drunk, turn into toddlers and run riot. He once stopped a taxi in the city centre of Glasgow, sprawled himself across it's bonnet, just to show the taxi driver a King Kong toy he'd got at Burger King. It didn't go down too well. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a rubbish drinker and if I start to feel drunk I immediately stop. Not a great answer I know. Must try harder.
Why’d you get into the music industry?
Probably because I live, breathe, sleep and eat music. Nothing else captivates me as much as music does. I listen to it non stop, I talk about it endlessly and I've always been going to gigs since I was a teenager. I never had the urge to be in a band, but I did love going to discover bands and then want to tell the world about them. Turns out that's actually a job, so I ended up in PR. To this day, nothing gives me more satisfaction than listening to a band, and inside something clicks and you smile and can't stop smiling and your next thought is – TELL ALL THE PEOPLE. I get to do that every day, I'm incredibly lucky.
What’s the first ever musical artist you ever remember enjoying listening to?
I've always listened to music, Shaking Stevens was my favourite when I was a tiddler, then I became obsessed by the usual pop bands, Wet Wet Wet, New Kids on the Block etc (yes…I am very old!). The first band I ever heard and went…holy shit (ok I was about 9…so maybe it wasn't holy shit but it was definitely along those lines!) was Guns n Roses. I'd only heard pop before that. Guns n Roses hit the UK radio waves in the late 80's on commercial radio and I was hooked. GnR were my entry drug to a world of amazing music.
If you could only ever listen to 3 musical artists again, who would they be?
Oh god that's easy.
Between the Buried and Me. I have a routine every day, I make my first coffee of the day to the sounds of Paul Waggoner widdling over his guitar. Go to 4.43 in Selkies, listen from there on. That's my 'making a coffee, chilling the fuck out' moment. Run that right to the end from there, listen to those guitars. Goddammmn Paul and Dustie are amazing. Love that band so much. The first time I heard them, I was like yeah this is ok, hang on is that a country breakdown…..shit did they just polka. I was hooked. Crazy progressive metallers. Did I mention I love them. Life changers.
Pink Floyd. My husband got me into Pink Floyd and opened a whole new dimension of music to me. I love everything about them. Live at Pompeii was a game changer for me. Watch that dvd. Now. Watch Nick Mason absolutely blissing out during One of These Days. I dare you not to be captivated by that. Dude is rocking a headscarf and a butterfly on his shirt and having the time of his life. He loses a stick, doesn't care, keeps going. David Gilmour looks over smiling. Epic moments like that make music really special for me. Watching musicians in the moment, lost in their art, it's just gorgeous to see, rather than a band clearly going through the motions. That's the difference for me, feel your music, don't just repeat it night after night, like it's a chore. Pink Floyd are my favourite band of all time because they got it, the music, the artwork, everything. Making music a complete artform isn't easy, but they managed it and still are the masters of it. No one can touch them. Yeah I love them….a lot. http://youtu.be/YgvAwBDbuIo
Ok the last one is hard….not as easy as I thought. It's between Tool, Dying Fetus, Blotted Science and Yo Yo Ma. You see my issue here – more progressive metal, death metal, crazy instrumental metal or a Cellist.
I'm going with the cellist.
Yo Yo Ma – I love classical music of all sorts but what really hooks me in is always the Cello. Right now I'm addicted to his JS Bach - unaccompanied cello suite No 1 in G major, I love the whole 6 unaccompanied Bach suites he does. There's such a purity and clarity about listening to the cello pouring out it's notes that's incredibly beautiful and calming. http://youtu.be/dZn_VBgkPNY
Why the hell is your PR company called that?
I should know the answer to this but I don't. I joined the company after it was created, and I've actually never asked the question. If it's any consolation, I ran my own PR company before joining Hold Tight! PR and it was called Invisible Hippo. I guess PR companies just like odd names.
You shouldn’t really feel guilty about any of your choices in music, but really, what’s the one musical artist you feel really embarrassed about telling people you listen to?
I don’t, I have nooooo shame when it comes to anything in life and music is up there with that. I listen to so much music, some of which other people would consider crap, to me it's all just part and parcel of the same artform, whether it's good, bad, commercial or not – if it makes you feel good, if it strikes a chord within you, then go for it. So this is you wanting me to name and shame now…..have you seen my Last FM? In any given week I can be jumping between Btbam, Rihanna, Abba, classical composers, Katy Perry, Chimp Spanner, Stevie Wonder, Khanate, Shania Twain and Cannibal Corpse. Is there one that is considered worse than all the rest by other people? Um…….ok fine, I like the Spice Girls.
What are you currently eating/last thing you ate?
Oh god….this is the wrong day to ask this. I mentioned earlier I was on a rare night out last night, and had a bit to drink. We got kebabs on the way home, I reheated mine and ate it for breakfast. OH GOD THE SHAME….this is worse than the question above about guilty music choices. I once woke up after a very very drunken night, asleep face down on a kebab. Classy. I didn't need to reheat it which was a bonus. I did have to rock up to my neice and nephews Christmas event at their primary school a few hours later, still in the same clothes I'd had on the night before, reeking of stale booze and kebabs. That's perhaps a personal highlight right there. There are reasons I don't drink. I should probably avoid kebabs as well.
Yes, I can cook, I love to cook and I'm told I can cook very well. Signature dish is steak and guinness pie, followed by homemade wild berry cheesecake. I made a TesseracT themed steak pie once, it ended up a bit wonky but we got there in the end. Picture to the right. Sometimes I'll make cakes and take them to gigs, so far Chimp Spanner, Uneven Structure, TesseracT, Monuments and Periphery have all had themed cakes with their logos or faces etc on when they roll into town. I try to avoid processed food or junk food as much as possible (the kebabs are a weakness….I'm still in shame!) and everything we eat is cooked fresh, from as locally sourced ingredients as I can find. I love cooking. Will I make you an awesome sandwich? If you make me a nice coffee and sing to me whilst I'm making you it, yeah sure.
One Fruit. One Vegetable. One Meat. One Cheese. Go:
One Fruit – mango. OMNOM get in my face you wee orange orb of awesome.
One Veg – brussell sprouts, I love those wee baby cabbage fellas, most other folk hate them, I eat them by the truck load.
One Meat – I'm a sucker for a good fillet steak. Done rare, dripping with blood, with a great blue cheese sauce. Oh god I'm drooling.
One Cheese – any blue cheese, the stinkier the better. No wait. ALL THE CHEESE. ALL OF THEM. I can't decide, cheese is my weakness. It would be like making me choose my favourite child. Can't do it. ALL OF DEM CHEESES.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
McDonalds – seriously what's in that crap. Even the burger buns look plastic. The only meal you can eat which doesn't fill you up, doesn't taste how it should and looks like it was made to last a thousand years. That's some seriously odd stuff right there.
Other than that, maybe squid. You just chew and chew and chew and chew and still it bounces back to the shape it was when you started. It's like trying to eat an elastic band.
What sports do you follow? What are your teams? Do you play or are you a fat bastard?
I am officially a fat bastard, unless Zumba counts as a sport. I love to Zumba. I don't follow any sports, not really my kinda thing, although if the football world cup is on I'll watch some of that, world class football is gorgeous to watch when played well. Used to follow the tennis, used to follow Formula 1, now don't really have time for any of that. Used to surf a bit back in the day, but other than that – nah…I am officially rubbish and in need of a body overhaul. I love hill walking…can I turn that into a sport? Is listening to Between the Buried and Me a sport, I'd be a pro-athlete at that.
What would you do if you came face to facewith an antelope? [Courtesy of Jadeski]
Oh god I love this question, probably smile, say hello, hug it's neck and then have a discussion with it. I'll talk with, at and to anything. It's a trait I think I may have inherited from my mother. Sable antelopes look metal as fuck, so I'd probably throw the horns beside it, take a picture, upload it to facebook, that's what you do isn't it?
How many times can you bounce up and down on Satan’s big old trampoline? [Courtesy of Chris - @ckdsaddlers on twitter]
Let's be clear here, are we talking about an actual trampoline that Satan has or are we euphemising for his dick. If it's an actual trampoline, I'll go all night on that thing, I love trampolines. Just gimme a bottle of water and occasionally chuck some food at my face and I'll bounce until the end of days. If Chris is asking how many times would I bounce on Satan, I'm guessing probably once, I have no doubt that his penis is barbed and would probably impale me, gut me like a fish and I'd just slide off, never to be seen again. Interesting question Chris.
What would you be doing if you weren't doing PR/Record label stuff?
I guess I'd go back to my old job which was in Marketing and PR for corporate clients. Ughh…no I wouldn't global corporations are evil. There, I've pretty much guaranteed I'll never get a job again. I'd love to be a forest ranger. Seriously, if I had to give up this, I'd retrain, become a forest ranger and spend all my time outdoors in the wild, tending to forests and sorting stuff out there. I'd also learn to yodel.
What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve currently got in your hangbag?
Dude, have you seen my handbag, it's like the aftermath of a disaster in there. Honestly if I took a picture right now you'd go…wtf is that. Ok…I'm going in…hang on. It's very heavy, I was out at a listening session last night and had cameras, batteries and video stuff with me….
Sunglasses, stamps, receipts, headphones, make up, painkillers, a business card for Chamber Studios, battery packs, sugar, pens, more headphones, train tickets, necklaces, a canon powershot camera, a canon dslr camera, a canon 580EX II flash unit, a canon 50mm lens (I swear this is all coming out of one handbag), more makeup, another set of headphones (3 so far), earplugs, a bank card (wondered where that was), gift vouchers, more painkillers, polo mints, a hello kitty toy, cat treats, an issue of metal hammer, a sock, £1.46 in loose change ratting about at the bottom and a set of Kiss playing cards. Out of all of that – to me the most bizarre thing is the sunglasses – it's never sunny in Scotland and it's rained continuously for about 3 months now. No idea why those are in there.
Are the rumours that you personally iron every single t-shirt that Basick Records sells before they get posted true?
So in between helping Barley to run the record label, running my own PR business, writing interviews, running a house, caring for two very very high maintenance cats and being a good samaritan, I now have to iron t-shirts too. Amazing, are you fixing cars whilst writing reviews? The rumours that I put horses heads into the beds of online journalists who ask me if I iron is true, I'll give you that much. And no Nate, I won't do your washing; you've already got me making you a sandwich.
And finally, where’s that goddamn sandwich I asked for earlier?
HANG ON…..did we get married?! At what point during this interview did I become your bitch? HAHA, you cheeky monkey. Get up to Scotland; I'll make your sandwich gladly. Thanks for a great, interesting, odd but fun interview.
I’d like to thank Lisa for taking the time out of her busy schedule to inform us that she will make me a sandwich, she doesn’t think that bouncing up and down on Satan’s penis would be very comfortable and of the contents of her handbag.
I'd also like to thank both Lisa & Jim for sending me a lot of heavy metal music to review and for supporting my blog! You guys are awesome!
It’s been a pleasure!
Check out Hold Tight! Online:
And Basick Records: