Recently Lesbian Life had a soothing encounter with Amber Tisue aka Solace and Fury
. While one would think by title of her act, that it consists of many band members, the powerful musical force of Amber Tisue is one. She is the Solace and the Fury. This Southern Californian writes, produces, engineers and sings her own material. She has the liberty of inviting musicians into the studio to add their spin on her quiet storm. When performing live, she summons musicians to join her on stage, but never the same ones; therefore each live show experience will be different. Amber Tisue grew up listing to music her mother played in their home like Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell and Sarah Mclachlan to name a few. This blend of musical influences played a major part in Amber Tisue creating her style of music - which by many has been called Wintery because her music gives you a feeling of relaxing with friends in front of a fireplace on a cold winter evening. We talked with Solace and Fury about the meaning of her stage name, as well as her sexuality and how her broken heart inspired her to write the songs on her new CD entitled "Winter."
Lesbian Life: I was a little confused when I saw your stage name. Is Solace your name and Fury the band name?
:I’m basically the brain behind the entire operation, I write all of the music, I record all of the music, I arrange it, I engineer and I mix it, it’s kind of a one women show. While I’m recording I have friends who are musicians play on the record and some time those same musicians play with me for live shows. But basically the name Solace and Fury came from my emotions. When I write my music sometimes, I write from a place of solace and sometimes I write from a place of fury… just anger or sadness, or just a mixture of murky emotions. So I felt like putting those two words together kind of pull at each other, and I feel like the music does that to the listener.
I know that you play piano, guitar, electronic instrumentation, and of course lead vocals. I read that your music was described as winter on the East Coast, how so?
A friend of mine was describing how my music makes him feel he said "I picture myself in a cabin on the east coast somewhere in upstate New York, just candles and it’s snowing outside and you just get the feeling of East Coast winters."
I know the title of the CD is entitled "Winter", is there a particular track you are pushing?
As a song writer I have my favorites, but according to my fans a lot of them like "The Vampire" a lot of them like "Still", a lot of them like "Answer."
I noticed when I was listening to the album it was very emotional. There were happy songs, sad songs. Were you at a special place when you recorded this album?
Yes, very much so. I was going through the worst heart break of my life so far and the only way I know how to really deal with the emotions I was experiencing which ranged from rage, to sadness to anger to desperation. To lose love and at the same time try to find that silver lining, that lesson, that hope, and that everything is meant to be - so yes I guess I was writing from this place of emotional turmoil and sort of mourning the loss of something that I thought was real.
So would you say writing this album helped you get through this crisis?
If I didn’t have music for an outlet for those emotions, I don’t know if I could have dealt with what I was going through. It really came from my soul and my heart.
Explain the concept of your CD cover what is the meaning of the pomegranate?
I kind of had a vision of that cover and my dear friend Monique Michaels took all the photographs. I was going through her portfolio one day and I came up on this gorgeous picture of this pomegranate that was just stabbed through, it wasn’t even growing on the tree, it had fallen on the tree - the tree branch and stabbed through the middle, looked like someone had just mangled it and left it there to rot. I said oh my God, that is what my heart feels like, I said I have to use this on the album somehow, and I just kind of had this vision that this should be interpreted as my heart literally…put it in the upper right side of my body (on the album cover) and put the black and white photo of me behind it which was meant to be a lack of emotion, a lack of color, a lack of feeling and then opening you up and there’s this bleeding heart (laughing) it encompasses everything I was going through at that time.
Who were some of the artist that influenced you?
Oh Gosh, I love all genres of music, but the main ones are pretty obvious I grew up listing to. The bands that I really started getting into where Nirvana in my teenage years. I always had an insanity for the classics like Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell is a major influence Sarah Mclachlan of course such a pioneer for women in music and female singer-songwriters, I love Massive Attack…I love all genres.
How old were you when you started playing music?
I guess I was thirteen when I first found my mom’s guitar in the closet. I just kind of took it out and started playing with it and fell in love immediately, got her old song book and started teaching myself a, b, c, b minor, a minor (laughing) and progressed far enough to what I could teach myself and then got into lessons. I took lessons in high school. I was in choir in junior high, the drama club. In high school I was more involved in sports - water polo.
So where are you from originally, or you from Southern California?
I am! Well technically I was born in LA I grew up here until I was 7. My parents divorced, and my mom and I moved to San Diego. I went to high school there and then I went to college up in San Francisco. I just fell in love with the city up there - spent the last nine years up there and moved back to LA just last May. I live out near the beach in Santa Monica. I kind of came full circle. I don’t know if I’m going to stay in LA but, I’m here for now, and I’m going to see what this city brings me. I’ve met so many beautiful people so far, genuine people which is strange because LA has such a bad rap for users and abusers and the people I’ve found and surround myself with are just genuine, and beautiful, I am very lucky that way.