Lisa Mills plays Worthing Pier’s Southern Pavilion on Thursday, December 11 (with support from Devenport, doors 7pm, show 8pm) on the back of her new album I’m Changing.
“When I wrote the song, it was a statement about the state of my relationship,” says Alabama-based Lisa. “Basically I was saying ‘I am changing, and you are staying the same.’”
So who was right?
“Difficult to say! I would say it has to be a team effort. You have to both be changing or both staying the same, I should think. If one of you is changing and the other one isn’t, that’s when it’s going wrong!”
But the good news is that the struggle makes for good music at least.
“The original album I’m Changing came out in 2005 and had nine songs on it, but it has been out of print for years and years. I never had any proper publicity for it, and it was never for sale over the internet. It just languished for several years. But some of the songs I was doing live, and people were wanting them on an album.”
So Lisa went back, added three new songs and re-recorded two already on there, put it all back together again and repackaged it as a new release. In a sense then, it takes Lisa back to her mindset back then.
“Songs are like having a diary,” she says. “Every song has an association or a story.”
But however much you change in the years since, they always remain you: “A good song always transcends time and space. Even songs that I have sung for years still take on new meanings. They are like old friends and new adventures at the same time. They are my past, my present and my future all together.”
It just happens naturally, as does absorbing where you happen to be.
“I write American southern roots music which is basically blues and gospel and soul and country and folk.
“It’s a blend really of all those genres, but I am also informed by that feeling of places. It’s actually very tropical where I am. There is a kind of languidness about the place. There is that feeling in the air.”
Lisa comes to the UK off the back of a date in Amsterdam: “But there are many reasons to come to the UK. I have been touring over in the UK for years.
“It has almost become a home away from home for me. I have got this new CD out, and it gives me the chance to have a UK launch for it now.”
2005, when I’m Changing first came out, was a landmark year for Lisa who’d enjoyed a vibrant and varied career which included appearing on records alongside Robert Plant and Jeff Beck as well as fronting Janis Joplin’s former band Big Brother and the Holding Company.
But then, nine years ago, Lisa decided to branch out on a solo career , as she says, to ‘tell her own story’.
The debut solo album was followed up three years later byTempered By Fire.