LP‘s third album, Forever For Now, was released from Warner Bros. in June, and this fall, the out musician will be bringing her new songs to the stage on tour. Having written songs for some of pop music’s most famous stars (Rihanna, Cher and Backstreet Boys among them), LP has also found success with her 2012 single “Into the Wild,” which is also included on the new album.
The ukelele-playing star has been releasing albums since 2004, her sophomore effort, Suburban Sprawl & Alcohol, written with Linda Perry. It’s been 10 years between that album and Forever For Now, and LP has become a sought-after songwriter and artist in her own right. We spoke with her about her new album, upcoming tour and lending her song “Wasted” to The N’s beloved teen lesbian series South of Nowhere.
AfterEllen.com: This is your first album for a major label. Was there an innately different process for writing the new songs?
LP: Yeah. I mean, it’s the same it’s different. There’s different expectations and different things that people want and there’s more people after you and more money involved so it’s like getting through an obstacle course a little bit.
AE: How does that work for you creatively? Does it make it easier? Harder?
LP: It’s a little of both. It makes it much harder.
AE: Was there anything that is a positive creatively?
LP: Yeah, it pushes you. You have to really kind of deal with it. You have to please certain people and you have to dig into your own shit to find the common ground because you’ve gotta please some people, especially where I’m at. I don’t feel I’m at the point where I can just do whatever the hell I want and whatever the hell I want to happen will happen.
AE: I know you worked with Linda Perry on your first album. How was that working with her and would you work with her again?
LP: Of course I’d work with her again. She’s brilliant, you know. It was a great experience. She’s very talented and very original and she’s a character. I’m honored to be in a room with her.
AE: Have you seen her show (Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project) on Vh1 at all? I was wondering if you feel you have a similar process when you’re writing with other artists.
LP: I’ve been out of the country. I haven’t seen the show yet because I’ve been in Europe for a month but I did work with her—no, I’m not a producer. She’s a producer. It’s like watching Prince, or someone like that. She’ll do whatever she has to. I don’t do that. She’s very hands on and she’s very good at shaping—like a lot of great songwriters are just very intuitive people. You walk in the room and they fucking place you right there—“Ah, that’s who you are.” And they won’t tell you that but they’ll start by steering you toward what they see as you and depending on how adept and deep and intuitive they are, they can do it better and better. I think she’s right on.
AE: You’ve worked with some incredible artists including, recently, Cher. Is there anyone you’d want to write for specifically?
LP: I don’t know, you know. I always wanted to write with and for great singers. I would love to work with Coldplay someday, someone like that. I would tell you people that probably wouldn’t work with somebody else or don’t need to: Adele, gosh, whoever. I don’t really sit there and have a wish list of people, to be honest with you, When it comes up, I do it. I don’t think that way. I think I’d want to write with any number of charting singers.
AE: Can you tell me the story behind the album name, Forever For Now?
LP: Well I was writing a song and it had a line about “forever” in it and what happened was [the producer] was saying, “What do you want to put down as the name?” when we were doing it on ProTools. And I said “I don’t really want to call it ‘Forever’ because it’s kind of generic in my mind. And then she goes “Just call it Forever for now.” And when she said that, we both looked at each other like “Forever For Now!” Holy shit. Then it just became deeper and deeper and that happened when we first wrote the song and by the time the album came out, it felt like the title and the depth that it had, I felt had a lot deeper meaning.
AE: Did you feel pressure after the success of “Into the Wild”? It was such a massively popular song.
LP: Yeah, I did. I do. I have. It doesn’t end.
AE: I’ve always really loved your song “Wasted” that became the South of Nowhere theme song. Did you watch the show when it was on air?
LP: Oh yeah, I loved that show. The straight girls that were actors on it, they played fake lesbians. I actually liked the show. It was able to keep my attention. There were some—I don’t remember the girl’s name but the blonde girl on it—
AE: Spencer. That was her character’s name.
LP: Spencer, yeah! She had something, I thought. There was something—I don’t know. Well, first of all, she’s hot but I just felt like—I liked the show a lot. I thought it had a good message.
AE: What can you tell us about the tour and what we can expect this time around?
LP: I’m thinking of a huge, huge fireworks show, just absolutely defying the fire code. I don’t know. I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I’m just bringing the magic and we’ll see what happens.
AE: Lastly, people really love your fashion. Can you tell us how you got your sense of style and where you get your clothes from?
LP: It’s called I spend a lot of money [laughs] I like clean lines and tighter clothes. I had a girlfriend in the fashion industry before and she turned me onto different sensibilities. I feel androgynous and I like to dress that way. I get a lot of suits made for me as well, just because I feel like it’s really not that expensive and you’ll just wear it. If you want to wear a men’s suit, I don’t really like wearing a men’s suit that’s made for a dude twice my size.
Check iamlp.com for tourdates. Forever For Now is available now.