LAURA COX – An Interview with the Artist

After her explosive debut “Burning Bright” released back in 2019 via earMUSIC, the French guitarist/singer Laura Cox is back with her new full-length “Head Above Water” with renewed energy. What has to do her stay in Portugal and the COVID pandemic? Well, discover it in our chat with the artist!

LAURA COX - An Interview with the Artist

Interview by Miriam Cadoni

LAURA COX - An Interview with the Artist
LAURA COX – An Interview with the Artist- Photo by Le Turk Photography

After her explosive debut “Burning Bright” released back in 2019 via earMUSIC, the French guitarist/singer Laura Cox is back with her new full-lenght “Head Above Water” with renewed energy. What has to do her stay in Portugal and the COVID pandemic? Well, discover it in our chat with the artist!

Hi Laura, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine. How are you?

I’m fine. I’m excited about the release of my new album. And I’m looking forward to my tour starting again. I’m excited about what is coming.

The album released in January is called “Head Above Water”. What can you tell me about its production? If I recall correctly, the previous full-length dates back to 2019. So, it was pre-COVID.

Yes, you’re right. It took me quite few time between the two albums. I was not inspired by this chaotic period. Given this, it turned out more complicated to begin writing once again. Also, I didn’t want to force myself because anything good can come from that.

So, I just let some time pass. I took some time off in Portugal near the ocean during the lockdown (s). I needed some distancing, and this period gave me a different and fresher mindset. It worked to the point that I feel so motivated to begin working on the next album. In the end, even though it took some time, I can admit that I’m satisfied with the outcome.

You just told me about your experience in Portugal. And as life teaches, every happening comes with a silver lining. So, which is the main lesson that your period in Portugal taught you?

You know, it’s not just Portugal per se, but it’s even the period between the lockdowns and COVID. Because during that time, we had a lot of time to reflect on what we would like in our lives. So, during the past two years, I had time to think about my plans and goals with my music. In truth, before COVID, I was satisfied but always on the road.

I didn’t even consciously think about what my team was doing. All these months away from the music business and without the possibility to play, offered a lot of time for reflecting. Indeed, the main lesson that I have learned is how to lead my musical project. I was passively listening to everybody to the point that it wasn’t my project.

Logically speaking, the next step is learning more about the band’s input on this new album. From what I recall, “Burning Bright” is centered on you, while in “Head Above Water,” I have the opposite feeling. So, while listening to it, I felt it was much more organic.

It’s funny that you say that because it didn’t work like that. It was the opposite. The thing about “Head Above Water” is I came to a realization mostly when I was alone. And, this time, my effort was even more than the prior occasion. And that is for that reason, the album is much softer and has country influences in its sound compared to the previous ones. For me, this album represents a solo effort than a band one.

I tried to use more bluegrass instruments, such as banjos and lap steel, to give those extra-musical nuances. The creation process was smooth. Together with the band, we had a nice dynamic. So, I composed the basic ideas, and later, we went to the rehearsal studios, where have re-arranged everything.

This album also marks the collaboration with Ted Jensen. How was working with him? How was this experience for you?

I was aware of his work, and I have some of his albums on which he collaborated in my collection. So, I’m grateful that the label put us in touch because, without the support of earMUSIC, it wouldn’t be possible to work with him. When they offered me this chance, I took it.

It was an honor to have been working with him. It brought our music to life. I can still denote the difference between the mix before the mastering on my computer with our tracks after the mastering. Of course, I can still recognize our sound, but he worked his magic on our songs. He made our material shine. It’s a bit difficult to explain [laughs]. Overall, he sounds crispier. Everything is more sparkly.

LAURA COX - An Interview with the Artist
LAURA COX – An Interview with the Artist – Photography by Christophe Crenel

As a title album, “Head Above Water” can be used for different interpretations. Which is your interpretation? And, which is the main trait d’union between the lyrics and the title album?

First, I like the title album and its opening song because is a positive message. However, it can be related to the period of the pandemic. Additionally, I love “Head Above Water” as a title because it is water-theme related. As I mentioned, I composed the album in Portugal near the ocean. So, it evokes me of that specific period of my life. In a way, life is unpredictable as the ocean. So, you have to fight to come through it. I think everybody can relate to and interpret the title as they fit.

Before our chat, I had the time to check and re-read some old press releases concerning your previous album, “Burning Bright,” where you are affirming to feel much more self-assured about your singing skills. How about now?

I think every album is an improvement. Indeed, I feel much more I’ve finally found the correct manner to express myself. For example, I’ve learned to take references from my role model and not copycat them. I’ve learned to appreciate my vocal qualities by working through my limits. On this album, I was more confident and less stressed. And I’ve learned to sing according to different techniques.

Despite the unbelievably increased prices of the rented artist’s services, are you planning to bring “Head Above Water” live?

We’ll start touring in March by touring in France and Germany mostly. But I’m sure we’ll be able to perform in different European countries. I hope to visit UK and Spain with a small stint. We are trying to find reliable booking agencies for the US and Australia. Notwithstanding this, from March until the end of the summer, we’ll be busy promoting our new full-length “Head Above Water” live.

So, Laura, we reached the end of our interview. Thank you so much for dedicating some time to speak together. Just feel free to conclude our chat as you prefer.

I’ll conclude by saying keep listening to good music, whatever the style. Music is one of the most crucial things in life. And keep us supporting the live scene and the bands. Then, I hope this year we meet each other on the road.

LAURA COX – An Interview with the Artist

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