Lila Rose has been passionate about the environment and the challenges it faces since she was very young, and in April channelled this passion into her phenomenal album We.Animals. Both proudly affirming in its messages and a thrilling listen, the LP has received acclaim from critics and fans alike. Culturefly spoke to Lila about the power of art in affecting topical issues, as well as the nature of her live shows and possible future releases.
Your fantastic LP We.Animals. was released in April, how was the reaction to that and what have you been up to since?
Thanks so much, so glad you like it. The reaction has been really amazing! It was a bit of a slow start due to several behind the scenes factors, but now that it’s out, and we’ve got several wonderful music videos behind it, it’s starting to soar. Since then we’ve been playing a lot of shows, and preparing for the coming West Coast tour which starts in November. I’ve also got a little electronic side project I’ve been working on.
The album is staunch and unapologetic in its messages and themes regarding the environment. Is it fair to call it a protest album, or does it serve other purposes?
It is intense, and upfront in its message, you are right. I suppose you could call it a protest album however that sort of nudges it into a certain box which I don’t think it fits into since it’s much more subliminal and poetic in its approach to the message.How much of an impact do you think music can have on such big political issues as ecology and the environment?
I think music and art can have HUGE impacts. Music is something that travels beyond boundaries of language, skin, borders, background, etc. It is a universal language and for that reason is potent in its ability to share a message or story.
When do you think this passionate stance on the environment began to take form, and when did you decide to use your music to promote it?
It started at a very young age. It’s really weird and hard to say where it came from. My guess is mostly the influence of my father who I would call a surface environmentalist (not avid, but informed enough, and caring on the points he is educated about). I was about 6 when I started to make decisions for myself in favour of the Earth and her creatures. Since I started making music about 10 years ago, I knew I wanted to integrate the two worlds, but didn’t know how to without it sounding corny or preachy. It wasn’t until about 2 and a half years ago that I knew I had no choice but to write about the issues which were literally “pounding up inside of me” [a line from one of Lila’s songs]. I just had to get them out… I believe our Earth is in a state of emergency and it is my responsibility to speak about that seeing as it is something I am educated in and caring about.How have you incorporated the messages of the album into your live shows?
Well we have a new theatrical multi-media rig we perform with, dreamed up by my collaborator, Daniel Garcia and myself, and created by a team of incredible individuals. We use a variety of media forms to bring the message forward in the shows – 3D mapping (visuals), sculpture (we had a cage built, from within which I sing), audio (the obvious), among other forms… it’s full on!
Are you likely to continue the theme of ecological responsibility on future releases or was this a one-off?
Well, yes. I’m sure it will pop up and weave itself into future projects seeing as it’s so important to me however it’s likely I will not make it the focus of the next album. I have other things in mind.
There was a three year gap between albums last time around, will we have to wait that long again for new material (we’re not sure we can last that long)?
Thank you! I doubt it, and I hope not! I am already on the lookout for the next collaboration.