20 Questions: Lauren Ross of La Louma

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

La Louma

On Lauren Ross’s debut album as La Louma, Let The World Be Flooded Out, she explores heavy subject matter (wars, mental illness, physical illness) in an upbeat atmosphere, merging her classical training with her DIY queer punk ethos. Using music to shed light on dark subjects, her lead single “The Decline of Nations” was inspired by the horrors of the Syrian refugee crisis. Ross is also promoting the creation of Bitchwave, a creative collective community created for and by queer women and their friends. Let The World Be Flooded Out will be the label’s first release and is out 11/3/17.

What is your absolute oldest memory?

My absolute oldest memory is of the way the sun looked coming through the yellow curtains above my crib when I lived in San Antonio as a very young child.

What is your favorite film of all time?

The Color Purple. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with The Color Purple the book, The Color Purple the film, and The Color Purple the musical. The film is gorgeous and the casting is perfect. Plus, the melodies, rhythms, personality and soul in Quincy Jones’ score are all just MMMM!

Do you follow any professional sports? If so, which is your favorite team?

The only professional sport I follow is women’s basketball! I absolutely love the WNBA. When I lived in Olympia I was a Seattle Storm person, then I was a New York Liberty person when I lived there, and now I’m an LA Sparks person.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?

The Art Of Going For It.

What is your favorite National Park?

My favorite National Park is the Grand Canyon. A couple years back I badly needed to reconnect with my spontaneous, solo adventure self, to remind myself of who I am and what I’m capable of. So I drove myself to the Grand Canyon, hiked down one side, spent the night at the bottom, and then hiked back up the other side. On the ascent, I was determined to have the feeling of leading my own way and never be “following” anyone, so I hiked as fast as I possibly could to ensure that no one ever passed me. It was one of the most personally important things I’ve ever done.

Which social media site do you use/like the most? How can people find/follow you?

As a matter of fact, a week ago I signed up for my first ever Facebook account! I also made myself join Twitter and Instagram. I’ve surrendered and am joining the times! As such, I’d love for folks to find/follow me! My username is @laloumalauren on everything.

Ever bought anything from a late-night infomercial?

When I was around eight years old, I convinced my parents to let me call and order a triple set of bass angler fishing hooks I saw advertised on TV, which came along with a fancy looking piece of paper certifying my membership to B.A.S.S. (the Bass Angler Sportsman Society). I was stoked! For context, I grew up on a river with a lot of bass and catfish.

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal as a child? What was it?

A cow that I named Cowie!

What is your favorite board game?

Settlers Of Catan.

What is your best piece of advice for aspiring artists?

Make the music you want to listen to — not what you think other people want to hear.

What band or performer would you love to see, but haven’t yet?

I would love to see Fairuz, Nana Mouskouri, and Jean-Jacques Goldman.

What defunct band or deceased performer would you have loved to have seen, but won’t be able to?

I would have loved to have seen Umm Kulthum, Elliott Smith, and Tom Petty.

What is your favorite live album?

When I was in high school, the Indigo Girls 1200 Curfews live album helped me not feel so alone as a queer person growing up in the south.

At what age did you decide you wanted to be a musician?

I knew I was a musician the day I first picked up a flute. I was 11 years old.

What song really hits you in the feels and makes you cry?

The “Largo” (2nd movement) from Dvorak’s 9th Symphony.

What is the greatest live band you’ve ever seen?

Annie Clark (St. Vincent) is the best performer I’ve ever known. I first saw her play in 2003. She got up and played one song. She instantly floored, stunned, and silenced me and everyone else in the room. Deerhoof and Gossip/Beth Ditto are tied for second place!

In your opinion, what’s one way people can work towards making the world a better place?

Listen when other people share their stories. Really, really listen.

What is one surprising thing about you that most people wouldn’t know?

I’m a pretty darn good water skier!

What is one obscure fact you remember from grade school that stuck with you?

Mnemonic device for remembering how to spell Caribbean: Car.I.BuhBean.

What thing that everyone loves do you just totally not enjoy?

Coffee.

In your eyes, what is your biggest accomplishment in life?

Still being here.