Im Interview: LPX
I’ve been following your career for a while now. It all started with MS MR back then. I was even at a small concert in Berlin. Your energy and creativity have always fascinated me. Where do you get this energy from? What inspires you?
Lizzy Plapinger/ LPX: Ah! First of all, thank you – it’s so meaningful to me that you (and so many others!) have continued to support me and my art since MS MR. I’m super grateful for that. I have absolutely always been a creative and high energy person and I really believe the two are inextricably linked. The more creative I am the more high energy I become and vice versa. I think both are deeply rooted and fueled by my enthusiasm and general curiosity and passion for people and world around me. I try to lead with levity, authenticity and pleasure for the process. I’m inspired by so many things – color being one of the most obvious – and most recently by the Memphis and Bau Haus design movements, as well as artists like Grace Jones, Yayoi Kusama, David Byrne, Verner Panton, Remi Wolf, Pee Wee, Fran Drescher! I love and am inspired by anyone and anything that is boldly and inclusively authentically their self ! It encourages me to feel I can do the same.
You seem to lead a very colorful life, you love colorful and flashy clothes. You embody all this in your music, your songs seem to reflect your life. Can you tell us how you create a song?
I’m so glad that comes across and is clear. I’ve always felt a connection between the visuals and music (clearly, since that’s been such a defining factor of MS MR and LPX that I’m so proud of). Part of this past year for me has been taking that aspect and myself more seriously and considering myself a more HOLISTIC artist. I want to continue to push myself and the project more to experiment , honor and explore how each medium influences and extends into the next. With color, fashion and music – that all exists in the same song for me. Down to what I wear in the studio while I create or fantasize about how the song might come to life when performed or the visual I see in my mind when listening to the music or feeling the words. Blurring the lines of reality and fantasy always feel like a fertile place to play. It’s often when I’m not in the studio but doing something ELSE that a song starts to bubble up. I could be walking the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan watching the sky swirl in neon pastels with the city starting to electrify underneath, or painting at home in joyfully not caring about the mess and paint splashing back at me, or doing something as mundane as washing the dishes etc. All of a sudden I’ll find myself singing a melody, or a phrase will repeat itself in my mind, and if I’m fast enough I can grab my phone to record it. I have SO many ideas on my phone – like little pieces of glitter. The best ideas are the ones that I can’t get off my mind and I find I continue to add to over time, like collecting the puzzle pieces as you go. Reason in the Noise and Delayed Gratification were both songs like that for me. OR it’s something as magic as being in the room with Mike Irish (who produced this entire EP) – who will capture me IN a moment of energy and let me sing freely stream of consciousness on the mic and then later we’ll go through like panning for gold to find the best pieces. New Mood was written that way 30 minutes after I broke up with an ex so my adrenaline and anxiety and joy and fears were all jumbled and lived at the surface of my feelings. That song perfectly captures a very honest and exact moment in time. I love the freedom and experimentation that Mike so generously supports and encourages.
You write pop songs for our generation in my eyes. They are incredibly intelligent and powerful pop songs. But your songs still sound indie, is that intentional?
I appreciate that! Thank you! I love to make music that blends genres and influences and provides something a little unexpected. I love big pop melodies and I love the ENERGY of a more indie/punk/rock sound. When I write I’m often dreaming about what it would feel like to play these songs at a festival or in a stadium – I’m obviously a significantly smaller act than has that opportunity (at least right now) to play in those spaces. But whether it’s a DIY punk show, club show, opening set, busking on the street – I want the music to transport myself and an audience to a feeling that is LARGER than that moment itself. I think they’re indie songs with big aspirations and sing-a-long melodies that hopefully feel welcoming, empathetic and encouraging. Songs I hope that could easily be sung along to – whether that’s by yourself walking in headphones, or next to hundreds of people at a show. The indie side keeps the music charmingly raw and intimate but the pop side says – I’m dreaming bigger.
One of my all-time favorite artists is James Murphy. Somehow the sound of your new EP reminds me of LCD Soundsystem. Is that because of New York City? I’ve never been to New York myself, but that’s how I imagine the city. Fast, galloping and incredibly colorful. Is that what it looks like? Or can you describe your New York to me?
wow! What a HUGE compliment! That’s very kind. I think we both share influences from the NYC punk and DIY scenes. NYC is a really diverse place so I think the references need to be as wide and welcoming as the city itself – I hope I’ve achieved that. I live across the street from a bar that’s always blasting pop and rock, next to a house that’s always playing old latin music, behind a club with a DJ who spins Disco and house, next to a rehearsal space for indie and punk bands – everything is always spilling into another and you can’t help but love the blend. Beyond that I think there’s also an
element of an “un-fuck-with-a-ble” attitude that is undeniably New York that I try to wear in my music proudly as much as I can.
We have been living with this virus among us for a year. For a year I have hardly left the house. How were you during this time, what did a day in your life look like during this time?
I’m a SUPER social person so this past year living and spending so much time alone was a huge adjustment. But with so much time on my own it really forced me to keep myself busy, curious, interested. With the present seemingly on hold and the future so unclear, I mostly used it as an opportunity to go back in time to read, watch and listen the things that had been eclipsed by a culture that otherwise prioritizes the new – which I also obviously love. But there’s something really special and inspiring about doing your homework and learning the path of how so many of my favorites artists came to be – like a treasure hunt or family tree of artistic influences. My language for expression and knowledge has expanded significantly because of it, and for that I’m grateful. It’s definitely had a huge impact on the art I want to make moving forward.
What does your day usually look like? Do you make a resolution every day to experience something special today? Or are there also days when you just want to be lazy?
I like my day to be a combination of discipline and freedom. Maybe in the past I was more work oriented and consumed by to do lists haha But I think this year has taught me that the balance of personal and professional can co exist. I like not really having a schedule and bouncing back and forth between work for Neon Gold or LPX while also making time for myself personally – whether that’s going for a walk, or rollerblading, or meditating, writing, painting etc. The line between what’s work and pleasure has always been almost non existent for me since I love what I do so much. And as the ways that I want to express myself expand so do my professional interests. I obviously also have completely lazy days – but that in and of itself can also be special
The bonus track on your new EP is a ‚Le Tigre‘ cover version of ‚Deceptacon‘. The sound suits you incredibly well. Could you imagine to go further in this direction?
Absolutely! I think more than any other track I’ve recorded that cover really exemplifies the energy of the LPX live show. I’ve been working on trying to merge and reflect the show energy better in the recorded music and this song feels like a great step in that direction! Though I’ll admit, as I start to write for the next body of work my influences and references are a little different than they’ve been to this point which is surprising and exciting to me… we’ll see…
Last question: What are your plans for 2021? What are you most looking forward to after we get through this pandemic? Do you think life will be the same again?
My plans for 2021 are to keep growing as an artist and continuing to share my work along the way – like releasing this EP, dropping a furniture collaboration (more on that soon), play in New York where ever and whenever I can (including performing at this DIY pop up art show tonight which I’m SO excited about). I also just signed up for some welding and carpentry classes that I’m psyched on. I want to continue to experiment in visual arts and also keep writing towards what’s next. I feel strongly I’m on the precipice of entering a new and very different kind of chapter with this project and I’m REALLY excited to spend a lot of this year starting to put those dreams and ideas into action
Photo by Josefine Cardoni