Singer songwriter LAURA WARSHAUER launched her full-length album The Pink Chariot Mixtape on June 14th, 2011 on Pink Chariot Music. This led to her last single ‘To Will and Kate’ which is one of the four songs produced by Thom Panunzio. Laura recently received the first ever Buddy Holly Singer/Songwriter of the Year Award from the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame and Songmasters. Exclusive interviews and archived footage from Laura’s most recent series of recording sessions was filmed by Michael Lynn (Producer of E! True Hollywood Story). She is collaborating with big names such as Roy Bittan (E Street Band) who played keyboards on 3 songs and Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty, Smashing Pumpkins, John Mellencamp) who played percussion on “Little Lost Girls”. Laura is receiving great reviews from magazines and sites such as Mashable, Pop Culture Madness and The Comet, among others. Jay Z also commented “You are fantastically talented” which undeniably shows the wide audience that she manages to get on her side.
The Pink Chariot Mixtape has a wide variety of songs. “Explode” is a straight-up pop song, “Wishing Well” seems to recall Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, and “Rockstar” has a punky edge to it. Tell me a little bit about what inspired the different sounds.
I like to think of the diverse styles of my songs as the range of emotions that a person experiences in everyday life. “Wishing Well” is a bit more somber and introspective whereas “Rockstar” is cheeky and brazen. “Explode” feels like it’s somewhere in the middle of the other two. It’s interesting that you bring up Stevie Nicks. As I was writing “Wishing Well”, I felt very inspired by the song “Landslide”. Even more than the song itself, I drew inspiration from where Stevie was at in her life when she wrote “Landslide”. I felt like I was at a similar point in my life and career with my song. “Rockstar” was me trying to reconcile my fascination with “the dark side”. Paying my dues, I was rehearsing and recording in the Music Building in NYC, working relentless hours amongst a strange cast of characters. I was trying to piece together where I’d come from and where I wanted to go, using the “boy across the tracks” as a metaphor for pursuing a life in the music industry. “Explode” is another example of using a relationship metaphor for the everyday struggles of pursuing a career as an artist.
Your song craft is quite sophisticated and you’ve received numerous accolades for it, as well as praises from Jay-Z. How long have you been writing your own songs?
I feel like I’m writing the story of my life through my songs, where each one is like a snapshot of a given time and place. It’s funny though, my songwriting “voice” is almost like this narrator who exists somewhere in my mind and is sort of separate from the everyday “me”. I sit down with my guitar, start strumming away at my favorite three chords and singing melodies and lyrics over the top. Lyrics just come out naturally and suddenly I’ll have a moment when I realize where the inspiration is coming from. Rarely will I actually sit down to write a song about a specific topic.
You’ve worked with some well-known and respected musicians including Roy Bittan from the E-Street Band, and the drummer of John Fogerty’s band just to name a few. Did they offer any advice or did they just sit back and let you take charge?Honestly, Roy Bittan and Kenny Aronoff offered advice without even putting it into words. I learned so much just by being around them. I showed up at those sessions just ready to soak in anything and everything that I could. They were very encouraging to me as both a songwriter and singer, and more than anything, I felt a renewed sense of excitement to keep on building my career after working with such incredible musicians.
Domestic Abuse is an issue, which is close to you. You wrote “My Fault” for the 2010 iPledge Conference. When did you first start becoming aware of this issue and realizing that you could play a part in raising awareness?The song “My Fault” was written from a destructive relationship that I was in where at one point I was even physically pushed. I remember feeling really trapped and like somehow I was the one who was to blame for winding up in that situation. I immediately understood how strong women can wind up in these compromising and abusive relationships. It made me want to become involved with this issue. I performed two years in a row at the iPledge Press Conference and also at a shelter for women and children who had had to leave their homes because of domestic violence. I was humbled and motivated to do what I could to shed light on this important issue and in any way, offer a hopeful voice to those in need of knowing they’re not alone.You’re also inspired by Bruce Springsteen and U2 in their ability to connect with audiences. Do you hope for something similar with your shows?
Absolutely! Bruce Springsteen and U2 both establish a visceral connection with their audiences. Any great live performance, to me, is about the willingness to give a piece of yourself at a show and really commit to being in the moment.
“Sweet Seventeen” sounds a little bit different from the other songs on Pink Chariot Mixtape – it’s more open than the others. Is it autobiographical?Yes, “Sweet Seventeen” is autobiographical. I was looking back on being 17 and someone that I had really connected with. It had actually been nothing romantic at the time, but there always seemed to be something there between us. Fast forward a few years later and I randomly heard about another girl that he was dating, who I had also known from before. It inspired the song because it made me think about if different choices had been made, how my life could have been altered.
Now that you’re getting a lot of exposure, what do hope to accomplish next?I am most excited about touring and feeling these songs come to life on stage. My goal is to share these songs with as many people as possible. I’m looking forward to upcoming tour dates on the east coast with Bob Schneider and performing in NYC at the CMJ Festival!