Bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg of California indie rock band Warpaint, has started the new year touring in line with the release of her first solo record, Right On! under the moniker “jennylee”. The album is full of bass-heavy new wave riffs, colored with Lindberg’s dreamy vocal melodies. And Warpaint fans, no need to rebel – Jenny Lee will still be continuing with Warpaint as well.
Lindberg might have dropped her last name for this solo project but she hasn’t forgotten her friends or Bay Area ties. She grew up in Nevada, moving to Los Angeles after her teenage years where she met the members of Warpaint and went on to record two highly acclaimed full length albums.
Working with John Frusciante on their first EP, Exquisite Corpse, the band gained some traction and created a buzz for their first full length album, The Fool. Since then, the band has released their self-titled record, Warpaint, which actually materialized from warm up jams before shows during sound check. The band has evolved since their first EP, toured with Queens of the Stone Age and The XX. They’ve also played major festivals including Bonnaroo, Coachella, Reading & Leeds Festival, and the Hollywood Bowl, just to name a few.
Right On! which oozes influence of 80’s goth new wave and pop, conveys dance-type riffs of the Cure, mixed with the darker proclivity of Depeche Mode and heavy, ceaseless baselines reminiscent to Joy Division. It’s a playful exploration into the core of her soul, seemingly innocent but astoundingly layered and complex. Intentional or not, there’s a strong sense of personal identification jennylee exhibits and should reel in her fans to a much deeper appreciation of her, allowing herself to become more vulnerable – like a warrior without their warpaint perhaps.
We caught up with Jenny Lee to talk about growing up in Nevada, making a solo record and the passing of the iconic David Bowie. Jennylee plays the Chapel this Thursday, January 28th at The Chapel.
So your show in San Francisco at the Chapel is sort of a kick starter to your tour, have you been to the Chapel before?
San Francisco, being so close to where I grew up, it feels like a third home in a way. I’ve never been to the Chapel. I’m excited to play there and spend a few days in the city.
Do you have any plans while you’re here?
Gonna hang with my mama and all of my friends from Reno who have moved there.
You grew up in Nevada, do you ski or snowboard?
I’ve only tried each once. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that.
What was life like growing up in Nevada?
Very strange. Since being away from home all these years I miss it and have grown to appreciate the beauty. From watching boys skateboard in grocery store parking lots, to swimming in creeks, going to Tahoe and partying in the mountains, I’m rather pleased with all of my memories and have an ample amount of gratitude for that ‘biggest little city’.
You just released your first solo record, Right On!, what were some of the major differences making a solo record opposed to a Warpaint record?
I was on my own, I didn’t have my fairy warriors to chime in. It was really liberating and empowering to know I could fly solo, and realize my creative visions…
Your husband, Chris Cunningham, is an amazing video director and musician in his own right. Did he contribute to the record?
He inspired me pretty much every step of the way. He was super supportive and extremely encouraging.
Have you made a music video with him before?
I have not. He made some stuff for Warpaint’s last record though.
Bassist don’t usually make solo records. Who are your top three bassists you’d like to see make a solo record (past or present)?
Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers) made one, and Jah Wobble (of Public Image Ltd) has also made one. That’s already two off the list. Bernard Edwards (of Chic) isn’t with us anymore but he would be my other.
Warpaint covered the song “Ashes to Ashes” by David Bowie. How did his passing personally affect you?
It was a strange day. Warpaint was in the studio that day and we put his records on and cleaned, organized and got our space ready for recording our third album. His passing was heavy for so many people. I felt gratitude and inspiration. What a warrior. He paved paths for the masses. I feel lucky I got to be alive when he was.
What are your major goals for 2016?
Be better. (Inserts a laugh.) And feel joy as much as I can. Have fun. Create. Create. Create. Be an open, loving, kind and compassionate human. More of that, always!