We caught up with Lindi Ortega, one of Canada’s most interesting up and coming singer-songwriters on the eve of her tour with Social Distortion.
NT: When did you discover your love of singing and playing guitar, I think your self taught?
LO: When I was about 15/16 I learned how to play an old classical guitar my dad had bought for my mom.She showed no interest in it, but I sure did. My dad showed me two chords and I picked up the rest on my own. I started singing in high school, and the more I performed the assemblies and verity shows the more I was addicted to singing and wanted to do it more and more.
LO: Did you always know you wanted to perform for people?Yes, after the very first show I did in front of people I knew it was something I wanted to continue doing.There’s nothing that’s quite as amazing as connecting with an audience through music.
NT: Were you always a fan of Alt country?
LO: I was a fan of full on country. I loved the old Traditional tunes by Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. Then I got more into the outlaws. Country music was always present. It just played more of a role in its influence on my music the older I got.
NT: Who were some of your biggest influences that got you into songwriting?
LO: Well I also loved Leonard Cohen. Thought he was a brilliant poet and lyricist. For my record Little Red Boots, Johnny Cash was a big influence.
NT: Being a fan of the Kinks, I have to ask what it was like opening up for Ray Davies? Quite an accomplishment, lots of people would give anything to have that opportunity.
LO: It was amazing! He was a really cool cat!
NT: Having sang back up on a Brandon Flowers tour, do you find there’s much less pressure when it’s not your own show?
LO: I think its a completely different ball game. Personally I like the one where I am swinging the bat! I never let pressure get the better of me no matter what the situation.
NT: You wrote all the songs on ‘Little Red Boots’ were you involved with much of arranging the music as well
LO: Well I had the songs written on guitar, there wasn’t much difference in arrangement from my guitar versions to the full band versions. But I can say that the musicians brought their own thing to my music which I truly appreciated and was honoured to have a slice of their talent on my recordings.
NT: Some of the songs dealt with some pretty dark subjects, was it an emotional period for you when writing ‘Little Red Boots’?
LO: Life is emotional. There are always gonna be dark moments, they are unavoidable. I will always write about them!
NT: Can you tell me five of your favourite records
1) Johnny Cash Live from Folsom Prision
2) Timber Timbre Creep on Creepin On
3) Hank Williams (Box Set)
4) Ponderosa Moonlight Revival
5) Lightnin Hopkins The Collection