Hit songwriter LP takes another shot at performing
Sometimes the most innocuous of questions can lead to a completely revealing answer. Take, for example, the Georgia Straight’s interview with the woman known to her bank manager as Laura Pergolizzi.
The first thing fired the former New Yorker’s way is this: “Hi Laura—how are you?”
Her response is a quick and blunt “Uhhh, it’s LP.”
Despite how it might look in print, this comes across as anything but combative or pissed off. Instead, it’s best read as a statement. The songwriter-turned-singer might be considered a newcomer by those who are beginning to discover her considerable talents, but she’s been around long enough to know exactly how she wants to be presented to the world.
And, pretty quickly, it becomes obvious that she’s nothing less than pumped about where she finds herself today—even if people still, on occasion, call her Laura. After all, it’s not often that artists who are largely unknown to the mainstream end up recording with a charter member of the platinum-record club.
“I’m in the studio right now,” a friendly and upbeat LP says, talking on her cellphone from the City of Angels. “I’m actually at Rob Cavallo’s house right now. We’re working on my record.”
That’s right: Rob Cavallo, who, in addition to having helmed releases by Fleetwood Mac and My Chemical Romance, has coproduced every one of the records that made Green Day famous. That’s a pretty good indicator of LP’s status in the shark tank that is the major-label recording industry.
She literally knows the business, inside and out. Before she was a player, she fronted a turn-of-the-millennium, scuzzed-up garage-blues unit named after her. After going nowhere fast, she went behind the scenes as a songwriter. LP proved to have the golden touch. Her songs have been performed by, among others, the Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, and Heidi Montag. You might also have heard Rihanna crashing the top-10 singles chart with her “Cheers (Drink to That)”.
However, LP eventually decided she was ready for a return to the stage.
“I just decided to give it another shot,” she says, admitting that she’s a lot tougher now than she was during her first go-round as a performer. “I’m a lot more calm—it’s still hard, and difficult, and you can get freaked out. But I’m better at pushing myself. What I learned as a songwriter is that if you love what you are doing, you’ve just got to power through.”
As a taster for the album that’s currently coming together, LP has released an EP titled Into the Wild: Live from EastWest Studios, the songs showcasing her powerhouse vocals and a sonic approach that’s somehow both completely organic and gorgeously symphonic. She comes across as just as enamoured with the golden-hued ’70s rock of Fleetwood Mac (“Into the Wild”) as she is the soul-diva pop of Xtina (“Tokyo Sunrise”). And in case it hasn’t been stressed enough, she doesn’t just sing, she puts on the kind of clinic that makes you feel sorry for the limitations of most folks in front of the mike. Not that you’ll get Laur… er, LP to admit to her talent.
“I’m playing small clubs to 100 people, but I’m also playing all these festivals in front of big crowds,” she says, adding with genuine humility: “I’m just taking a blue-collar approach, and it kind of works.”
LP plays LIVE at Squamish, at Hendrickson Fields & Logger Sports Ground, on Saturday (August 25).