What truth can art teach us when that art is a lie?
When it comes to Indiana native, Haley Fohr, she’s spent the better part of this decade using her Circuit des Yeux project to influence the music scene in Lafayette (her hometown), Bloomington (her college town), Chicago (her new home) and the world.
After touring extensively last year to promote her most collaborative effort, In Plain Speech, she shifted gears early this year with a Chris-Gaines-meets-Ziggy-Stardust persona she's dubbed Jackie Lynn.
RELATED: Read our interview with Fohr from 2015
With the recent release of the self-titled Jackie Lynn debut, I spoke with Fohr (who speaks for Jackie) about influences and portraying Jackie live on stage before the show at The Spot Tavern in Lafayette on Sunday, August 21.
Fohr describes Jackie as cool and confident and, when I conduct this interview from a BMV parking lot – real professional here – she says Jackie wouldn’t even need a book when waiting at the BMV, since “she’d be lost in her thoughts.”
NUVO: I know Suicide was a big influence on the sound of Jackie Lynn. What else inspired Jackie?
Haley Fohr: When I was starting the project I was really getting into Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. I read the Gram Parsons biography, and just all the Kill Bill movies [were inspirations]. I think Uma Thurman is such a badass, in general. It’s kind of like powerful, country glamour. All the glitz and glam. It’s also all super American and down to earth. And I wanted it to sound like Suicide was the backing band, sonically. Suicide, I found at a pretty early age, so I thought it would be an interesting pairing.
NUVO: Do you think Jackie may connect with a different audience than you have in the past?
Fohr: Time will tell, I guess. It’s a different entity, so I hope people will react differently.
NUVO: Have you seen or heard praise from new fans so far?
Fohr: It’s hard for me to tell. It’s only been out for a couple of weeks. I’m learning not to really pay attention to affirmation and whatever is on the Internet. I think the Internet is a really weird place to be right now. This last year and a half has been really overwhelming for me. I feel really grateful to just be able to live my life as an artist, and do the best that I can in that platform.
NUVO: On your older song “My Name is Rune” you embody and escape as the character Rune. As a songwriter what is the process and benefit of becoming someone else?
Fohr: It depends on the situation. For me, with Jackie, I am able to open up to things that maybe I would be uncomfortable doing under my own identity, but I’m learning a lot about myself and it pushed me instead of my personal world view. And, with “My Name is Rune,” it’s really personal. It’s escapism, but it’s not a character really. I became infatuated with Rune for a period of my life, and I imagined myself as this person. Rune was a part of me and probably still is.
NUVO: Jackie Lynn starts out her album with “Bright Lights,” in which she seems very idealistic about living in the city and just life in general. Does she still embrace that optimism?
Fohr: She’s very mercurial, as am I. So who’s to say how she feels at any kind of point, but her outlook is overall positive, I’d say.
NUVO: Did the city in particular inspire her and the sound expressed on the album?
Fohr: She wrote everything in the city so, of course. Location does a lot to music, you know? All the bands that started at CBGB’s sound the way they do because of CBGB’s. Like if they were playing at Carnegie Hall they’d sound like a totally fucking different genre of music. Jackie’s music sounds like the city because she made it in the city.
NUVO: Is Jackie excited to go on tour?
Fohr: Yeah, she likes to move around. It’ll be good.
NUVO: Is she familiar with Indiana?
Fohr: I don’t know. I don’t think so.
NUVO: What is the process of bringing Jackie Lynn to a live a setting? What should people expect?
Fohr: I mean Jackie Lynn is a step in a direction for me as performer to become a shadow. I really wanted to become a shadow. So, you’ll see me becoming a shadow at the show, and getting one step closer towards the entity.
If you go:
Jackie Lynn, Paper Claw & David Nance Band
The Spot Tavern, 409 S. 4th St.
Sunday, August 21, 9 p.m.