10 December 2020
I fell in love with New York’s RICH GIRLS after playing their glowing 2016 EP Love Is The Dealer and astounding debut LP Black City on repeat. Music for mood-swing moments. Music for bluesy moments. Music for romantic moments. Wurlitzer jukeboxes should return to play Rich Girls on.
Once you’ve heard singer/songwriter LUISA BLACK‘s voice you’ll never forget her
soul-stirring, film-noir timbre. Gloomy and melancholic but also starry-eyed and
I also love Luisa‘s views on life, the Divided States of America, equality, tolerance and
daily reality. We talked before and I love to talk again with her. But before going to the questions and answers let’s listen to the Rich Girls song that, after countless spins, still makes me feel human…
What triggered you to cover Springsteen’s classic BORN TO RUN?
“I’ve always heard it as a very dark song about American desperation but it’s cloaked by this big up-tempo pop production. I wanted to bring the darkness of the song forward. That meant stripping away some of those freedom rock elements. Also, and I say this with all humility, I never loved the middle eight in the original. I think it’s a better song without it. Don’t throw Twitter rocks at me.”
New 2020 single THE FIGHTER came with the message ‘fuck bigots’?
Who are the bigots?
“We have so many flavors of bigots in America these days. It’s hard to choose just one.
But let me give a particular shout out to all the pumped-up geniuses waving MAGA flags.
A special brand of white nationalist dipshit. Enemies of democracy.”
What did you feel the moment the fall of Trump was announced?
“Oh man, was that rich or what? There wasn’t really a question that he would lose.
It was just a question of how badly and how ridiculous he would look denying it. What a total loser that guy is. The realignment felt good. In particular the sense of reconnecting to countries around the world. I loved that people everywhere were celebrating in the street.”
Suppose you were asked to rewrite and put new music to the National USA Anthem, no restrictions whatsoever. What would be the outcome, in sound and vision?
“This is an amazing question. Did you see the John Legend video of him singing ‘Georgia on My Mind’ a capella the morning the election was called for Biden? I would entirely pass the mic to a Black artist to sing about America as they see fit.”
How hard was/is it to survive as a musician in these surreal times?
“About the same as it ever was. If you rely on tour revenue though it’s not pretty.”
A lot of artists used/use social media frequently as a sort of (save)
stage to share music. Did you do something similar too, Luisa?
“We shot the Born to Run video under quarantine on iPhones while we were on separate coasts. That was our first virtual stage I guess. But we haven’t sorted it out yet. I’d really like to move to hologram tech. I’m not kidding.”
What was the best track and album you heard in 2020?
“Just under the wire! I like the new Shame single, Water in the Well. It’s probably not
the best of 2020 but it’s a kicker. Also even though it came out last year I listened to Andrew Bird’s Finest Work Yet a lot this year. I feel like it still counts because Covid-time
is bizarre. Bloodless is an incredible song for the moment.”
Prick of the year and hero-ine of the year?
“There are so many contenders for Prick of the Year. But I nominate all the GOP senators who saw fit to coddle a delusional scumbag without care for the state of our democracy. Also Kayleigh McEnenany, a liar. Yes, a woman but this is an equal opportunity award.
Heroine of the year: my friend Mare moved alone from NYC to the west coast
and started gender reassignment in the middle of a pandemic. Legend.”
What made you laugh crazily and what made you cry your eyes out
the past 12 months, Louisa?
“We’re in a mess in America right now. It’s bitter and non-stop. There was a moment this year when I realized how angry I was toward a whole group of people. I felt filled with hate toward perfect strangers and it was terrible. I don’t want to become that person. But you have to walk a line between accepting political differences and refusing to accommodate bigotry.”
Can we expect new RICH GIRLS music in 2021?
“I’m recording a new EP called La Novia right now. See you in early 2021.”
Which song will you play on 31st December at midnight?
“I can’t predict this.”
Xmas 2020 will be really weird. So, do you have any tips on how
to have fun during the festive season in these surreal times?
“Go outside. Get fresh air. Stay safe.”
Name three things you really want to see happen in 2021?
“More fascists defeated and ridiculed in the public square.
Open borders so we can visit the EU again.
Thank you for this interview, Luisa.
May the road rise with Rich Girls.
Have a safe Xmas and a reborn America in 2021.
As usual, we start a Q & A with music
and end the same way.
Here’s the 2018 debut LP
RICH GIRLS: Facebook