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Kami Lyle

A Conversation with Kami Lyle

Puremusic: It's so unusual that I do an interview at night.

Kami Lyle: Really?

PM: And it's also unusual, though it happens, that I get to interview one of my friends, that's always a pleasure.

KL: [laughs] Frank, I haven't done this in so long. Oh, my God!

PM: Well, we can regard it, being the friends that we are, as a kind of regular conversation in a way that we may get into areas that normally we wouldn't. So we'll just go where we go and see what it's all about.

KL: Okay.

PM: I'm so glad that there's finally a new Kami Lyle record.

KL: Thank you. Me too.

PM: I mean, what's the story of how the record came about? Is it kind of long and--

KL: Not really. The short version is that we play out all the time, and after gigs, everyone wants to buy stuff, and I never have anything. Everyone wants to buy the first album, but we don't really own it anymore, so we finally just said we got to put something together that people can be able to go home with. I've been making merchandise, sort of, out of hotel soaps and shampoos--

PM: [laughs]

KL:--using painters tape and Sharpie markers.

PM: Right. [laughs]

KL: I've been throwing them to people in the audience for freebies. But they usually wanted like albums and stuff to buy.

PM: Yeah, right. They didn't see the worth of your invention.

KL: No, I think a lot of them did, because they wanted those kamilyle.com hotel soaps, and the kamilyle.com shampoo and conditioner.

PM: Right. But then when you get to hankering for some music, it's actually got to be a CD, and nothing else.

KL: Yeah. And the kamilyle.com sterile gauze pads weren't very popular.

PM: Well, you only need them so often.

KL: Exactly. But when you do--

PM: You can't beat sterility.

KL: [laughs] Thank you. Or gauze.

PM: But what about the actual recording of this record? I know a little bit, but let's cover that in more detail.

KL: It's not very fancy or big production. A lot of it was kind of basically demos in a way. We recorded some things up here, and some were in Nashville.  We thought, all right, we should put something together. What do we have that's on tape? And then, what do we need to redo, like that. A lot of it is like first-take vocals, just things that I meant to just record once so I could remember how the song went that I wrote.

PM: For the benefit of our readers who don't know you yet, let's cover some, at least, of the story of the first record, because it was such a big deal.

KL: The first record, yeah, let's see. What was the first record? It does seem like a long time ago, now. The first record was really, really fun to get to do. And we got to do a lot of cool things, that came from doing it. The video was a blast, on VH-1.

PM: And the label was?

KL: It was on MCA Records.

PM: And you cut it in New York?

KL: We recorded in New York. The people that I worked with were mostly all in Los Angeles, but some in New York, MCA. Although Tony Brown is MCA Nashville, and he kind of got the whole thing started.

PM: He did?

KL: Yeah.

PM: That's interesting. And it was just a real top shelf, big budget deal right from the get-go, right?

KL: Yes. [laughs] It was a lot of--I think it was a lot of money.

PM: A lot of money, and the best players, expensive video by Thom Oliphant, right?

KL: Yeah.

PM: Although you and I are good friends, I'd never even seen that video from Polka Dots until today. It's pretty amazing.

KL: Oh, thank you. [laughs] When it was out, or when it was playing on VH-1, we didn't actually have cable, but once in a while I'd see it when we were in hotel rooms. And it's really weird to see yourself on TV spinning around in the rain.

PM: No kidding. I mean, it's classic rock 'n' roll that your video is out and you don't have cable.

KL: [laughs] Yeah, isn't that good? Never had, still don't. [laughs]

PM: Wow.

KL: And I think I do best that way.

PM: Yeah, yeah. It's certainly a school of thought that works for a lot of my artistic friends, for sure.

KL: I mean, we're not above TV or anything.

PM: No, you're not a kill your TV family?

KL: No. We are a tape our favorite soap opera every day and scream if one of us forgets to tape family.


PM: And shall we mention what that favorite soap opera is?

KL: Oh, most definitely. Passions, on NBC. And even if they hadn't just used one of my songs today on it during a brief love scene between Ethan and Glen, it would still be my favorite show.

PM: Wow. I'd heard that they used a song of yours. But they used one today?

KL: They've used like five, I think, now--five or six.

PM: That's amazing.

KL: It's totally blowing my mind. Okay, here's the truth. It was our favorite show for like a year and a half. [laughs] And then while we were watching it one day, the phone rang, and it was the musical director of the show. My first reaction was, "Don't bug me. I'm watching the show."


KL: No, not really. This is the one where the monkey is the registered nurse, and pretty much all the babies are stolen, unbeknownst to their parents. Everyone has someone else's baby, and there are a lot of witches.

PM: Oh, that's a good one.

KL: Yeah.

PM: That's definitely a good one, you can tell. So without having to spell it out, is that good bread when they use your tunes for the show?

KL: Okay, just between me and you, I don't really know. But we're looking into it.


PM: Oh, come on, you got to let me print that! That's funny--"I don't really know."

[Here we talked a little about some publishing matters, and how to pursue that revenue. Then her phone died.]

KL: Hi. Sorry. I'm all charged up.


PM: You probably tell that to all the guys.  continue

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