After working in the financial world, Lisa Linehan traded it all to pursue a musical career.
She released her first album, Attachment Theory, in 2007, which chronicled Linehan's love for the quieter side of the singer-songwriter spectrum, much like her idol Sarah McLachlan. Since then, Linehan has spent her time planning ahead, coordinating the Chick Singer Night at the House of Blues in Dallas, and singing the National Anthem at professional sports events. Linehan talked with us about the journey that brought her to a life of music, and what the future may hold.
Your bio states that your decided to make music a career after an emergency plane landing. Can you tell us a little more about what happened, and how it changed your life?
I always loved music and singing but was also strong in math and business. After college, I took a job that offered the most money - I worked in finance but knew there had to be more to life than counting dollars. It wasn't until I contemplated the end of my life (when I had the emergency plane landing in 2001) that I realized how short life is...after that realization, I quit my job and went to music school in Hollywood. I started writing music and finding my own voice.
Tell us a little about the recording and release of your album, Attachment Theory. What was the experience like?
When I was in graduate school at UCLA, I studied Attachment Theory. I applied the theory when working with moms and kids in a domestic violence shelter. I shared my love of music, and I found that music was just as healing for others as it was for me. I was inspired to record an album, and I compiled my songs into a kid and adult-friendly CD. I recorded the CD while I was in a full-time master's degree program. It was an intense time, and my schedule was challenging. However, my producer was flexible and extremely talented. I am proud of what we created. I cherish each CD sale and each time I know someone is impacted by the recordings.
It seems you’ve lived in a few interesting locales. How did you end up in Dallas, and what do you think of the music scene in town?
I moved to Dallas for a marketing job. It was a great opportunity, but the company folded last summer. I decided to stay in Dallas because I fell in love with the lifestyle, the people and the access to entertainment. I live in Victory Park, walking distance from American Airlines Center and House of Blues. The music scene here is established in some respects (there is a history with Deep Ellum). However, the indie music scene seems young and fairly unestablished. My reference point is Los Angeles, where the scene is drenched with artists. I think Dallas presents a unique opportunity for budding and established artists alike. The Big D loves entertainment. I would like to see more associations for the artist, such as a Grammy (NARAS) chapter. We could also use an equivalent of thelamusicscene.com...
Do you have any plans for any special performances or a tour in the future?
I would like to go on a national tour, but for now, I'm looking to book as many small Dallas venues as possible. I would like to sing for every Major League Baseball team in the U.S., as well...stay tuned about that!
What’s the next step for you, recording-wise?
My next recording project will be an EP - likely a 4-song release. I also am the owner and founder of Zoe Darling Records. I'd like to add other indie artists to my label. I have learned so much over the past decade, and I would love to use that knowledge to help other artists find the resources they need to release a quality CD with integrity.
You’ve sung the National Anthem at quite a few sports events. Is that song as hard to sing as they say, and do you ever get nervous in front of so many people?
It can be nerve-wracking to sing in front of 30,000 people, but I love it. The more, the merrier. I'm not a very private person, so I love to share my voice with the world. One day, I would like to play an entire show for that many people. For now, I appreciate my couple minutes of fame...I love being the celebrity at a game. I have been singing Anthems for major sports teams since 2001, so I feel confident when I'm about to perform, and the only nerves are good ones.
Tell us about this Chick Singer Night at the Dallas House of Blues, and your part in it.
Chick Singer Night (CSN) is a 20-year institution. It is an organization with branches across the U.S., and now in Sweden as well. It allows female singers to showcase their vocal and/or songwriting talent in front of a tight band. I performed at CSN twice in Hollywood at The Knitting Factory. When I heard about the 20th anniversary party in L.A. with Paula Cole, I emailed the founder, Lori Maier, to congratulate her. I also said that Dallas needed CSN. She asked me to be the Dallas Director, and I said yes! Everything fell into place from there. I have chosen the singers for the first show, which will be at the House of Blues Restaurant on April 26th at 6:30PM. I also appointed a music director, David Brown, who has put together our band. I plan to hold a regular CSN Dallas show once a month. We will also have a slot called "Are you man enough?" to give guys a chance to participate. CSN is a step in the right direction for the music community in Dallas.
What are some of your favorite albums or songs?
My favorite album of all time is Sarah McLachlan's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. I also really like a variety of albums, artists and songs; I love a compelling vocal with a cool beat: Lady GaGa, Britney Spears' Circus, Matchbox Twenty, Tori Amos, Coldplay's Viva la Vida, Nickelback's Gotta Be Somebody, The Killers' Human, Paula Cole, OneRepublic, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, O.A.R., Rascal Flatts, Chris Cornell with Audioslave and Soundgarden, Buddha Bar, Gavin DeGraw, The Fray, Puddle of Mudd, 3 Doors Down, Seether, Counting Crows, Linkin Park, Zero 7, Aqualung, Baxter, Benjamin Biolay, Blue October, Clear Static, Depeche Mode's Precious, Duran Duran, Edwin McCain, Everything But The Girl, Jackopierce, Pink, Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, Pat Benetar, Paramore, Rihanna, Robbie Williams, Shiny Toy Guns, Sia, Snoop Dogg, Thievery Corporation, Sting, Stone Sour and 10,000 Maniacs' The Big Parade.