Suzie Stapleton comments on the host of wonderful musical cameos on the Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project…
S] Hi Suzie, how are you today?
I’m doing alright thanks. Excited to finally share this album with everyone – it’s been 8 or 9 years in the making. A labour of love.
S] Talk to me about the Jeffrey Lee Pierce Session Project, and The Task Has Overwhelmed Us, what does it mean to you?
I’ve been really lucky to be involved with this project. It was a chance encounter in 2013 that made me cross paths with Cypress Grove – the producer behind the project. I was still living in Australia at the time and I was in the UK on a very DIY tour. A friend of a friend invited Cypress Grove along to my London show as he’d been looking for a female vocalist to do some work on the project.
He ended up inviting me to record some backing vocals for the third album in the series “Axels & Sockets”. After that we continued working remotely and he invited me to do a track on this record. Over the years he asked if I could help out with bits of writing, producing, arranging etc. for other tracks on the album. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve been able to work alongside many of my heroes – Dave Gahan, Duke Garwood, Mark Lanegan, Nick Cave, Debbie Harry…
And of course, having the opportunity to deep dive into the music and lyrics of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club has been such a pleasure – and an education. Jeffrey’s artistry is so unique. I think that’s why his influence reaches so far. His blend of different genres, visceral performances, and evocative lyrics, and wonderful storytelling are truly the work of a one-of-a-kind artist.
S] What have been the major challenges of pulling it together?
Well, it certainly took a long time to get to the release date! Many things slowed down the process – the pandemic, of course, didn’t help. Having so many artists involved meant that we were often waiting on people’s schedules to clear around touring etc. Furthermore, the project is a charity project, so there wasn’t a big budget to record anything – so we had to be very resourceful when planning all the sessions. However, all the artists have been wonderfully generous with their time and contributions.
S] How do you look back on ‘We Are The Plague’ as a record now?
I haven’t listened to it for a long time – but I am proud of that record. I produced the record myself which is a lot to take on. It’s a lot of hats to wear and it really took a lot of hard work and focus to get it how I wanted it. I mean, records never sound how you hear them in your head, but you learn to let go of that a bit and allow them to take shape in the real world.
Weirdly, we never got to tour that album as it came out bang in the middle of 2020 – so it kind of froze in time a little. I’m looking forward to getting back on the road next year and letting some of those songs out to play.
S] Is there anything you’d like to plug?
I’m currently working on my second album, and will have some tour announcements for the new year coming up soon. If anyone wants to stay in touch then please join my newsletter at www.suziestapleton.com
“The Task Has Overwhelmed Us” from The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project is out September 29th via Glitterhouse Records.
The album features Dave Gahan, Nick Cave, Debbie Harry,Mark Lanegan, Warren Ellis, Mick Harvey, Lydia Lunch, Cypress Grove, Mark Stewart, Jim Jones, Jim Jarmusch, Humanist, Peter Hayes, The Coathangers, Suzie Stapleton, Duke Garwood & more
For more visit: www.suziestapleton.com
Photo by Frederic Saez