Hey friends, in August I decided to start posting one interview with an artist/musician every month. These are interviews that have been posted on the e-zine I co-run with my friends called, The Waking! You can see the first interview I posted with Joy Williams below. This month I want to share with you guys an interview with an incredible artist, Lanae Hale!
Honesty and vulnerability - that is the main theme that runs through the beautiful, acoustic guitar driven songs of Lanae Hale. We discovered her music a year ago and were completely captured by her willingness to share her heart so openly. Lanae was kind enough to answer some questions for us about her music, and her past struggle with self injury. We want to thank Lanae for taking the time to chat with us! Hope you enjoy! :)
TW: Can you tell us the story of how you started playing music and writing songs? Was music something you always wanted to do?
Lanae: I have LOVED music and have LOVED singing ever since I can remember! I grew up in a very musical home. My mom is a singer and my dad is a singer/songwriter and self-taught guitar player! I picked up the guitar when I was about 14 and started writing songs! They would just come out of me. Writing songs was and still is like journaling my heart out, but instead of in a notebook, it’s to melodies.
TW: Your latest album,"Back & Forth", which released in 2009, has some of the most beautifully honest songs we've heard. What inspired the songs on this album? And what was the writing and recording process like?
Lanae: My songs are inspired by life! They are inspired through my personal life experiences and struggles and in those I’ve observed.
Recording is one of my favorite things to do! It is such a creative time! I normally travel and perform alone, so It’s so nice to get into the studio and hear my songs put to interesting sounds and instruments. The possibilities are endless in the studio!
TW: The title track, "Back & Forth", is such an honest and transparent song. Can you tell us the story behind this song and what inspired you to write it?
Lanae: God gave me this song, but at the time I didn’t really know why. The Lord made it much clearer to me after my album came out. That’s when the spiritual warfare came on strong! Satan is NEVER happy, when believers go out in faith and obedience and speak about hope! I realized then how much that song meant to me!
TW: Self injury is an issue that's really close to our hearts here at The Waking. You've mentioned it's something you struggled with in the past. Can you tell us your testimony and how you came through such a dark time?
Lanae: Well, I struggled with the addiction of self-harm for about three years when I began to have lots of suicidal thoughts. I had grown to hate myself and I had forgotten where my hope came from. I ended up reading a scripture in the bible, Psalm 147:3 that says “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” At that point, I had taken control of my own life and was trying to numb myself from emotional pain, but I was SO desperate for healing. I knew I had to let go of control and ask if Jesus would heal me. That’s when the long journey of recovery began. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, but Jesus was with me every step of the way! If I fell, He was right there to pick me up with His arms of grace and help me start again…clean and without shame or guilt. AMEN!!!
TW: What has the response to your testimony been like? And what would you say to other people who are struggling with this issue?
Lanae: I love that people feel more comfortable to come up and talk to me after a show about life and struggles. I think when we are honest and vulnerable about our personal struggles, satan’s lies become exposed and therefore begin to lose power!
TW: Do you sometimes find it difficult or uncomfortable to address such a hard issue or is shedding light on it more freeing?
Lanae: I have been SO grateful that the Lord has been able to use the junk in my life to help bring hope to those who feel trapped and unfixable. I was there too, but the Lord truly is the ultimate healer! It is so worth it to me to expose my past, so that others who are struggling with the same things can see that there is hope and healing!
TW: We love the empowering lyrics of song, "Here's To The Girls". It speaks the heart of so many girls out there. What's the story behind this song?
Lanae: I met a girl and heard her story. She had an extremely rough life and it broke my heart. It seems to be a pattern with most girls that I meet. There is so much heartache hidden underneath! Most girls don’t feel beautiful or worth it!
TW: We here at The Waking promote creativity of all kinds. What are some things that inspire your creativity?
Lanae: Being outside, listening to music, riding in the car at night with the windows down, looking at the stars, talking to my best friend (my husband) about life, the ocean, the mountains, a good book...
TW: When you write songs you just seem to put your whole heart out there, and that's what truly draws us to your music. How do you think we as followers of Christ can create art that is honest and real, as opposed to songs full of "Christian clichés"?
Lanae: Just be real and vulnerable! I think we fall into a trap of trying to create a perfect Christian bubble life on the outside, because we are afraid of judgment if we were to reveal our inner struggles. The truth is, life can be messy, and painful and EVERYONE has something they struggle with! I don’t care who you are! As believers and followers of Christ, we have hope! This life is just a vapor, it will soon fade and our hope rests not in this life, but in our eternal one with Jesus!
TW: I read that you're in the studio right now recording another album! You just posted a beautiful new song called, "Crossroads", on your "Life with Lanae" video blog. We loved the line "I know that your cross is my road home". Can you tell us a little about the meaning behind this song? And is it going to be on your upcoming album?
Lanae: I wrote Crossroads after having a hard conversation with an old friend who had walked away from the Lord! She had decided to take life into her own hands and do things the way she wanted. Unfortunately, it led her to a very dead end and she tried to commit suicide. I was devastated, because, I knew what she needed. She needed Jesus! I knew that in her life she was at a crossroads and I ached for her to remember and recognize that the cross was her only way back home!