With her big blue eyes, dark hair, and diminutive stature, one would be amazed at the powerhouse voice and indomitable spirit that is the essence of Laura Warshauer, both on stage and off. Laura has that rare quality very few artists’ possess: She makes every person in the audience feel as if she is singing only to them. After her set at Lollapalooza, we caught up with her to hear about her performance and what she channels on-stage just before the clouds rolled in and the storm forced everyone to evacuate Grant Park.
DK: What was it like playing your first mainstream, large-scale festival?
LW: It’s so surreal. The past couple of days I’ve felt like I’ve been on a tight rope where I’ve been so empowered and excited and on the other hand, I’ve been so anxious and nervous. Basically on the edge.
DK: But that’s what keeps you going, right?
LW: Oh yes. I took a lot from Springsteen’s keynote speech at SXSW where he pretty much addressed this issue dead-on. It was really moving and I left it knowing who he is and that he gets it so much. He was saying that you should have two completely conflicting emotions in your head and if it doesn’t drive you insane it will make you great. He ended the speech by to stay hard, stay hungry and stay alive, and remember it’s just rock n roll.
DK: Is that what you did?
LW: I went in with that attitude and that’s what I was able to do.
DK: How was the crowd?
LW: They were awesome. It kept building, which is always a good thing. It was a nice sized crowd and when I took the stage, there was more energy from people. Then that genuine sense of connection and it felt like the songs were getting through, especially some of my newer songs that I’ve been excited about because of their message and how they’re saying it. There was something in the show that I’d never experienced before which was that I could see the immediate feedback in people’s faces in songs. To me they were singing my song right now.
DK: Pretty cool isn’t it?
LW: It was unbelievable. It’s so much more about your fans and the audience than it ever is about me and what’s going on on-stage. You’re supposed to stoke the fire and with this particular song called “Running From The Grave,” which encapsulates who I am as a person and artist and reflects who I am as a Jersey girl. When I was singing, I felt like people were connecting with that song in particular.
DK: Do you find living in L.A., with 70 degree temperatures and the sun shining year-round to be inspiring from a creative standpoint?
LW: Definitely. I’m much more of a sun person more than I’ve ever been. When I was younger I wasn’t a summer person and didn’t particularly like the heat. There’s certain energy that comes with it, like you’re glad to be alive. When it’s sunny, you psych yourself up to get through your day.
DK: What’s the most random thing that’s happened on your trip so far?
(As we asked that, by a strange stroke of luck or just an amazing coincidence, festivalgoers were instructed to leave Grant Park because of major thunderstorms that were impending. Read more about it here)
LW: Probably what just happened! I’ve never experienced anything like that before!
DK: What’s next for you?
LW: I’ve been in the studio and we’re going to be shooting a video for “Running From The Grave.” I just did my first national tour opening for Bob Schneider.
DK: How do you know him?
LW: I’m in a songwriting group with him, Jason Mraz and Ari Hest. We need to write a song every week based on a certain phrase. Whether it’s ‘living in yesterday’ we need to come up with a song that has those words. There’s like 20 of us and it’s been going on for 10 years so I’m honored that he asked and that I’m a part of it.
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