UPDATE: Check out the interview with Entertainment Weekly HERE.
Eliminated Top 12 contestant, Lacey Brown, spoke with the press today about her run on American Idol. She believes “low energy” may have caused her elimination. The judges were always asking for “more energy” and she tried to give it, but it wasn’t enough. Part of the problem is that she really loves to sing ballads.
Choosing to take the high road, Lacey didn’t comment on Alex Lambert and Lilly Scott’s claim that some in the group thought others were going home. She likes mixing and matching genres in her arrangements, and looks forward to getting back home and writing and performing music that fits her unique vocal style.
Read the interview transcript after the jump…
On conflicting criticism, did people get a sense of who she is as an artist? “It’s difficult with the criticism this year, because it has been a little bit confusing, and I would change things week to week. I’m a very different artist, a very different voice that’s not suited for a lot of different genres. I see myself doing more of a pop folk album. I definitely can see myself doing an album soon. I would love to do that. I want to give people the chance to hear something fresh and new and different. There’s not a lot of voices like mine now on the radio, I take pride in the fact that I’m a lot different. I’ve always been a little unique and individual, and I should try to embrace that in my performances. Hopefully people can get that, and hopefully they like it. I’m looking forward to writing some new music that fits my voice.”
People who were eliminated last week thought 4 other contestants other than themselves were going home. Did she sense factions within the group? “No, not at all. There’s two different approaches that you can take when you get voted off. You can be happy with the situation and make the most of it, which is the route I’m trying to take. I haven’t set my focus on anything negative going on. I didn’t sense that anything like that was happening. This is a reality show, and this is a show that someone has to go home every week. The fanbase is very very very important, I think it has been a shocker sometimes, but that is just the nature of the beast that is American Idol. That’s how the show rolls.”
What was her downfall? “It was probably, I have to say, energy. They kept asking for energy on songs, and I kept trying to give it, and they kept saying it was a sleepy performance and they wanted to see a little bit more energy, because I’m a happy and a bubbly type personality, and they wanted me to transfer that into my music. The issue that I was having, was that I really love to sing ballads, I love telling a story with a song. I’m very artsy, so that side of me comes out when I sing. I think I kept picking songs that I really loved to sing and really felt, and maybe it didn’t transfer as well onstage. So, maybe that was it. But I wouldn’t have changed any of it, because that’s who I am. Even though I’m a bubbly, happy person, not every song that I sing is gonna be uptempo. I’m not really sure, but even if it is, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.”
What did the judges say afterward? “I think they genuinely care about the contestants. It’s hard to hear their critiques, but they’re there to help you, and there’s a fine line between taking things personally, and taking what they say and applying it to yourself, and fix yourself, and work things out that you need to work out. When they came up afterwards, they had nothing but kind things to say—things like ‘this is just another step in your career, you have great vocals, you’re very unique’ They were full of compliments, because they want to see us succeed, and they don’t want us to feel like all hope Is lost, because it’s not. I’m in the Top 12 right now. Even though I got voted off, this is not the end all for me. This is a great opportunity to jump start my career. So I think that’s the point they were trying to make.”
Is she headed back to Amarillo TX? “First of all, I would like to say, I was very sad when I said a lot of nice things about Amarillo in my package the other night before I sang Ruby Tuesday. They kind of cut it up in the cutting room. They didn’t show any of that, and made it seem like I wasn’t liking Amarillo. But I love Amarillo. I’m from there, and I’m always going to be an Amarillo girl. I should be back in Amarillo next week sometime. I’m very excited to come back and see everybody. I’ll be around town next week, and hopefully people come out, or say something to me while I’m out there.”
Why did she sing Ruby Tuesday? “We had a very limited list, but I love that song, I think it’s a great thing for a girl like me to be singing on a big stage like that, and have a great message. So, and I connected with it—that’s why I picked it. Even after the 50/50 remarks that I was getting on how they weren’t really sure what they liked about it, I loved doing it. I loved the arrangement. A lot of my fans were really digging it too. It’s just a great song, and I was excited about Rolling Stones week coming up.”
After getting cut in Hollywood Season 8, what made her want to come back and try again? “I’m one of those people who gets very competitive, I decided it was way to much fun of an experience to not try again, to try to get further. If I would have made it, into the Top 36 last year, I wouldn’t have been able to come back this year. I’m really glad that I got a second chance. I’m really glad that I had decided to come back. I needed to work on a couple of things to get further in the competition. It wasn’t a hard decision, because everyone that was involved in the show—everything about it had just been a blast for me.”
What were the things she needed to work on? “There were a couple of technical issues with my voice. Because it’s a little bit different, and there’s not a lot of people who sound like me, I needed to go home and figure out the kind of songs that would work with my voice. I tried out last year with a Patsy Cline song. Then, I tried Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” and different things like that, that seemed to work, but I needed to find more songs like those. I went home immediately afterward, and worked on learning as many songs that were great for my voice as possible, and singing them wherever I could. I wanted to work on technical things like my falsetto and different singer things. I think everyone should try to grow. There’s big artists that you hear and see all the time that have vocal coaches. Even when you make it, you still have to grow.”
Was it harder to be cut the second time? “Honestly it was hard both times. They were equally hard. I will say, hard is different from…obviously I got into the Top 12, I’m in the #12 spot in America right now, as far as American Idol goes, and that is not a bad place to be in. Was it hard? Yeah it was emotional, but I’m very happy with my spot, I’m very proud to be where I’m at, I wish I could’ve gotten a little bit further. But, hard or easy? It’s just been a blast up to this point.“
How did she feel about her elimination?, “I woke up yesterday morning and had the strangest feeling that I was going home. I told the other contestants and they were like “are you crazy? Why would you be going home!’ they were really supportive and really sweet. But something about it, something was off. It wasn’t that I made peace with it, I had just gotten used to it. It’s a hard thing to hear, but we were there in that moment…after you sing, you’re not in control of it. it’s been a shocker every week , who goes home sometimes…but that’s just the nature of the show. It wasn’t a shocker, but the reality of the fact was just a little overwhelming.”
More on waking up feeling she’d be eliminated “I can’t even describe that feeling, it wasn’t like a downer moment for me, I wasn’t upset, it wasn’t comfortable, or a bad feeling, it was just a feeling I had. I wish I had been wrong about that feeling, obviously, but nonetheless I had it.
How did growing up in the church (both her parents were pastors at the church she attended) affect her musical identity? ” I loved growing up in the church. I also went to school at that church, my parents worked there, obviously, so after school I was hanging out when they got off work. I pretty much lived at the church my whole life. I was very shy as a young girl, and afraid of people, and I decided one day, at about 13 or 14 that I didn’t want to be shy anymore. I decided that I had bigger things to do in life than be in the background and be timid. I had to really work at it, I had to go to the store and ask the clerk ‘were could I find such and such’ even if I knew where it was at, so I could grow a little bit in that area. I worked on it for years, and still kind of struggle with it. Not so much on stage, but in one-on-one type of things. Growing out of that, I think the church has really helped me, because, I automatically decided that I wanted to sing at that age. I got really involved with the music department at church, three times a week ever since. And lately, in the last 5 years I started doing gigs in town and things like that. I do think that because I’ve always been so involved, that helped me, even though I started singing at a later time in life. I really got that extra push from them. They’re really supportive, and they’re my family forever.”
Who were some of her biggest influences? Who would she like to work with? “I have a lot of influences right now. One of my biggest influences right now is Patsy Cline. We won’t be able to work with her, but I learned a lot from her performance, like on how to tell a story in a song and how to make you feel that you’ve fallen in love again, or feel like your heart is broken. She was a great performer. Also, there are new and upcoming people I’ve been following for a couple of years like Pete Yorn, who is just an amazing musician and singer who has a great vibe. Not a whole lotta people know who he is yet, but I think he’s upcoming. I have a lot of indie bands that I follow, I’ve got a couple of country bands that I’m really liking right now. I’m finding an influence from everywhere. You can tell from my style that I like to clash things a lot. Sometimes I take an Emo song and make it really folky, or take a pop song and make it country. Whatever it’s going to be, I’m want the styles to clash. I’m not comfortable singing a Rolling Stones song just like the Rolling Stones. It’s kind of cool to see the opportunity given to be able to do that on stage.”
Did she see any of her press, or any of the things people posted about her? Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer’s compliments? “I’m an avid twitterer and facebooker, I’ve tried to stay away from reading into it too much. I knew a great comment had been written in an article where Leigh Nash talked great things about me, I definitely read. She is a great vocalist, and I’ve been a big fan for years, obviously. Some things I read if I knew they were going to be positive. I try to keep the positivity around rather than the negative. It’s hard to do when you’re reading through everything. I made sure I knew what I was going to read before I read it.”
Did she base her version of “Ruby Tuesday” on Melanie Safka’s version? “I definitely listened to her version. It was a little bit of her arrangement that we tried to fit into my arrangement. But I also tried to put a new spin on the song. I don’t think my arrangement was exactly like anybody else’s. But there were some melody lines that I liked that a whole lot. So, yes and no. I really liked the arrangement. I played violin for a long time growing up and when I invited the quartet down on the stage with me and had that type of symphony feel to the song, I was totally digging it, and super happy with it. There’s a lot that goes into arranging a song, and I tried to make it as close to something that I would put on an album as possible. “
Interview with Lacey Brown – FOX 29
Interview with Lacey Brown – FOX 5