July 26th 2013
Lisa Marie Presley - the 45-year old singer/songwriter and the only child of Elvis Presley, has spent most of her life in the shadow of her famous father Elvis Presley and ex-husband Michael Jackson. We spoke recently by phone about her new music, creative process, tour, and of course her legendary father. And though certain subjects were off limits - like her religion, political views and ex-husbands (Michael Jackson, Nicholas Cage) - Presley was forthcoming about her life and work.
Her latest album "Storm and Grace", produced by 12-time Grammy winner T-Bone Burnett, was released last year. It's her third one, after "To Whom it May Concern" (2003), and "Now What" (2005).
"I'll start [the tour] at the end of August", she said at the beginning. " And it will kind of go until Thanksgiving."
LN: Do you like to be on tour?
LMP: "I love it, favorite thing - ever. I just love the interaction with the fans, and I like to see what they have to say. I love my relationship with my fans. It's just a nice, sort of exchange of energy between me and them. And then after, I love meeting them, talking to them... "
LN: Any bad aspects?
LN: Busy schedule, pressure etc.
LMP: "It can get tiring, but physically I'm not really a big complainer, so I more love it than anything bad about it with."
LN: The first single from your latest album "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet", it seems like a very personal song?
LMP: "I've never wrote a none personal song [laugh]. I mean - it's there, you know, autobiographical, something from my heart, so yes. It's no different than any other song I have written. It was how I was feeling at that the moment. I don't like to go into specifics about what my songs are about. It's just something I went through, and wrote about it. It's kind of explanatory, but I also like people to make what they want from it."
LN: When you write a song, from it comes from? What is the source?
LMP: "My life, and what I've seen and what I felt. Something that inspire me, something that upset me [laugh] or something I went through, it's just kind of outlet, it's very therapeutic for me. I've always look writing, since I was a child, poetry or anything... I just use it as an outlet for myself. "
LN: In which one you find yourself the most?
LMP: "In all my songs... really. I mean - when I write a sheet or whatever it is on my mind, what's happening with me. I find something how to describe in a way that could be universal for anybody to relate to, you know. It's very seminal. They all are me - autobiographical, something that is going on, that I've seen, or felt, something that someone else is going through..."
LN: How do you handle your celebrity life in the public eye as the daughter of Elvis Presley?
LMP: "I'm one of those people who are a little bit old fashioned, you know, I grew up - it wasn't so popular that, you know, most people avoided, trying to be in the tabloids, and trying to be in the papers all the time, and discus constantly, so I kind of end a bit old fashioned. I try to just keep it very separated. When I'm not working, and when I'm not out there and very, very I'm much a mother and a wife, and we have a life that is very separate and normal. And then when I'm working you switch ears and go into that. I keep it very separated. I can't have, you know... My mom raised me that way, and my father was the same. He would retreat after - he would do spells in the public, and do his touring when he needed to do, but then he would go back to Memphis, and it was kind of his safe place, and he would sort of retreat there. That's kind of how I do it - live normally when I'm not working. "
LN: Do you think that is harder for you to prove yourself as an artist, because of who you are - of who your father was?
LMP: "Yes, I will say that. That was the accurate, because there is a constantly comprising. I mean it definitely would be easier, I think, in any other position if I didn't have such a love for music - I would be something else. There is a constant pressure that wouldn't be on anyone else, obviously. I just look through the people and they are out there, that just love my music. I helped them, changing their lives in some ways, and that keeps me going. I hear the stories; I hear what they wanna tell me, if some song changed their life. Those things really matter to me. If I'm helping people, then that makes me happy."
"It's not definitely going to be easy for me, because it is always that "she's not him". These things happening [laugh], which I know is always there, but also there are those people out there that didn't matter, that just love my music, and that's that - that's what keeps me going. "
LN: Your father was the King of Rock 'N' Roll and you were married to the King of Pop. Do you see yourself as a part of the music royalty?
LMP: "I am not that kind of person that would call myself. Yeah, I would never call myself that way [laugh]."
LN: I mean - are you aware of that [laugh]?
LMP: "Yes and I understand. But I'm not someone who went around proclaiming for myself, I would say that. I understand it, and that's fine. "
LN: You are often surrounded by paparazzi. Is there a place where you can hide and fully relax?
LMP: "Oh, yes. I'm pretty good at keeping... I don't do those things like calling them, telling them where I'm going, and that's kind of what people do now. Things changed, and I'm not quite sure when, but it kind of turned into this people started calling them, and that was a trend that started, and haven't stopped. I think they love those people, and I don't do that. If they see me they get me, if they don't ... I kind of stay out of the way. I don't go where they hang out a lot. Sometimes I do, but there's a plenty of places to go where they are not able to see me all the time. I'm old fashioned about that as well [laugh]. "
LN: Do you have in plan to write a book about your life one day?
LMP: "I wouldn't say no. I don't have any plans at the moment, but I definitely - my favorite thing in the world is to read other people autobiographies, I love it. I thought about it, and thought, you know, still going through the things. So when I come to another end, maybe one day... It's not out of the question. I would like to have my life out there in my own words, rather than speculations."