This month, Prudence from Off The Record chatted with the lovely Leesa Gentz from the rocking, lyrically alluring band ‘Hussy Hicks’. In between releasing their new single, ‘Get Ready’ as well as playing two epic sets at the recent Bluesfest Byron Bay with her musical partner in crime, Julz, Leesa is also an avid reader, and took time out from her busy schedule to talk about all things books, music and eBay kindles!
Are you reading anything at the moment? Tell me a little bit about it.
At the moment I’m about halfway through Middlemarch by George Eliot and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a beautifully written novel set in the 1830’s that explores the status of women in provincial society in England and is written by one of our great female authors. She portrays some really interesting female characters and gets pretty philosophical, it sometimes bends my brain a little but I love it.
Any books that have influenced your music or your life in some way?
Absolutely, I often jot down ideas and turns of phrase while I’m reading and then re-visit them when I’m sitting down to write songs, I try to learn about communicating a point of view using different approaches to language and plays on words. I read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy last year and several of my new songs are directly influenced by that book, Tolstoy is an absolute master of detailed description and I found his writing really inspiring.
Favourite authors or genres?
I’m a sucker for a good dystopian future novel, my all time favourite is Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace but I’m a huge fan of Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins.
What makes you pick up a book?
I pretty much pick up a new book as soon as I finish one – I love a good recommendation because it gives you an insight into what really clicks with different people’s brains. For about three years I worked my way through a kindle that I bought on eBay and it was loaded with books, dozens of authors that I’d never heard of before – including David Foster Wallace – and whoever owned the kindle before me had exceptional literary taste!
If I came over to your place, what books would I find on your coffee/bedside table? ALDI catalogue or Proust or…?
On the coffee table is a large hardcover ‘American Roots Music’ which is a beautiful and super interesting history of roots music, perfect for just flipping through while you’re on the couch, and a copy of the *Bleach program. Bedside table at the moment has my songwriting book, my Kindle and a copy of ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ by John Kennedy Toole – which I haven’t read yet but Julz recommends it, so it’ll probably be next on my list.
A world without books and music would be…. cold. I have no idea how we would express ourselves creatively – it’s not a pleasant thought.
To read more interviews, gig and book reviews or to just get in touch for a good old chin-wag, be sure to find Prudence from Off TheRecord on FaceBook – @offtherecord1979 – or email her:firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE (c) Wesley Hetherington