Room Thirteen caught up with the lovely Lisa Mitchell for a chat. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her new album ‘Wonder’, touring and life after Australian Idol. Here's what she had to say:

R13: For all those reading this and don’t already know; who is Lisa Mitchell?
Lisa Mitchell: (Laughs) I dunno. I’m just me.

R13: How did you get involved in the music industry?
LM: I think officially it was when I was on TV doing Australian Idol. It wasn’t the right thing for me to do but I guess that would be my first break into the industry.

R13: Do you think that you have had to prove yourself more since you appeared on Australian Idol?
LM: You know what, I guess I didn’t try out for all the same reasons that a lot of people would try out for. At the time I was in year ten at school and I didn’t really care about being famous or anything like that. Australian Idol came through our town which was near Melbourne. Usually you weren’t allowed instruments in auditions but this was the first year that you were. We were allowed to play an original song so I felt like there wasn’t anything that I had to compromise for.

R13: How long have you been writing your own songs?
LM: (Laughs) I think since I was like seven.
R13: Wow, seven?
LM: Well as long as I can remember at least.

R13: There is an honest vibe to your music. Where does that come from?
LM: I don’t think that’s a conscious decision but I think some people write honestly and some people write fantasy. I do a little of both. A lot of it is like writing a diary...

R13: You’ve co-written songs previously, how have you found that process?
LM: I don’t like co-writing at all. It is always a completely different project to what I do on my own. I’d much rather be writing my own songs. It’s hard to feel satisfied with a song that you’ve written with someone else.

R13: Looking through your bio and previous interviews, I’ve noticed that your age seems to be mentioned before your name. Do you ever feel disadvantaged as a younger artist trying to make your mark?
LM: I don’t think that I’m any more disadvantaged than any other young person in any other occupation would. Apart from you know, feeling young and wishing you were older.

R13: Who are your influences?
LM: I grew up listening to 60’s and 70’s folk. I like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan. There are heaps of artists that I admire. I guess that you can hear some of these influences in my music.

R13: Will people listening to your album hear any of these influences?
LM: I guess that subconsciously what you grow up listening you start to emulate it, you can’t really help it.

R13: Who are you listening to at the moment?
LM: I’m listening to so much Joni Mitchell at the moment. I’m like a Joni Mitchell freak. I’m also listening to a lot of The Go-Betweens, a friend of mine gave me their CD.

R13: You get likened a lot to Regina Spektor and Feist; are these comparisons ever daunting?
LM: I try not to think about it. I love Regina Spektor and I love Feist. I take it as a big compliment whenever I’m likened to them.

R13: Have you ever heard any other interesting/weird comparisons?
LM: I don’t think I have heard any funny comparisons but I know that a lot of people have been likening me to a female Lou Reed, the guy from the Velvet Underground.
R13: That’s a pretty nice comparison.
LM: Not that funny though.
R13: (Laughs) But a good comparison to put in print though.
LM: (Laughs) Yeah. By the way...

R13: You were born in the UK, but have spent the majority of your life in Australia. Do you still feel any connection to the UK?
LM: Totally! My dad is Scottish and I definitely always feel at home here. I have two passports, one for the UK and one for Australia which is pretty cool. I can come back here whenever I want. We lived here until I was four so I do remember vaguely living here. We lived in Canterbury for a while and Greenwich near London. All my family live near Glasgow now.
R13: Do you get a chance to see them much?
LM: I’ll actually see them next weekend. I’m playing a show in Scotland and the contingent always comes down to cheer me on.

R13: So you’re album has been out about six months now; where did you record it?
LM: I recorded a whole lot of songs for the album in the UK with this guy called Anthony Whiting. When I got home I listened to it back and I didn’t like it, it just sounded a bit flat really. I kinda wanted to re-record a whole lot of them. I ended up doing all of it again with my friend Dan; he’s a producer and in a band called Evermore in Australia. He’s one of these people whose a freak, he just does everything. Before the album we had done the two EP’s together, so we re-recorded all the songs together. Saying that there are still a few tracks like, “Stevie” that we used the recordings from London.
R13: So where did you and Dan record then?
LM: At their little farm outside of Melbourne. They have this lovely little home studio. His mum and dad where in the farm house and they have the shed that has the little studio in. We’d record all day and then Diane his mum would be calling us because lunch was ready. It was so nice, and we were in the country too.

R13: So how long did it take you to record your album?
LM: It took about a month to record, but I think I spent about three months in the UK. Since I was seventeen I’ve been back and forth constantly. When I was seventeen I did a stint over here for about six months and since then I’ve been back and forth every few months.
R13: Do you think that your music has evolved with you travelling around so much?
LM: Totally. Well most of the songs on the album are kinda missing home songs, like yearning songs. I think also at that stage I had just moved out of home as well, so just aside from the fact you’ll miss home no matter where you are. Even if you’re down the road just not living at home, you’re away from that nest that you’ve been in for the past 17 years.

R13: You’ve been touring around the UK and Australia. Where you planning on going next?
LM: America is definitely on the cards. Probably next year, it’s exciting. I think from what I’ve gathered from touring in the States there’s so much to cover. Every state is like a country, so it’s just a case of doing the rounds. I’ll be going every.

R13: So going back and forth from Australia to the UK and then touring; what’s the first thing that you do when you get home?
LM: Well at the moment home is in Melbourne. I live with my sister and so we’d probably go to a bar called Prudence in Melbourne and have a few drinks. Have an espresso martini, just my sister and our house mate Hamish.
R13: Is it difficult to adjust to “normal” life?
LM: You know what at the moment normal life and travelling life is the same thing. One big blur of living out of a suitcase.
R13: I guess this means you never have to backpacking huh?
LM: Touring is just like glorified backpacking. It really is.

R13: So how do you feel about the future? Where do you see yourself going?
LM: I’m just so happy with right now so I don’t mind. Things just fall into place so if I could just keep doing what I’m doing now I’d be very happy.