CCM Magazine recently had the chance to connect with Liz Vice to ask her some questions that range from where she grew up to what books, movies or music have recently been influencing her personally or professionally. Here is what she had to say.
Where are you from originally?
Portland, OR, well, I was born in LA and my mom, pregnant at the time, moved to Portland when I was 4.
If you had only five words to describe your new album, it would be…?
Honest, sincere, truth, free, and relief.
Do you have a favorite song from the new album? Why?
“Baby Hold On” is my favorite from the album. I will be honest, I don’t know why I keep doing music other than I felt called. It’s not something I eat, breath, and sleep, being a performer that is, but it is something that I think I was called to do. I have been sent out to bring the good news and sometimes it’s the people who I sing for that remind me of my hope in the healing and love to come. “Baby Hold On” was written with my friend Dana Halferty, I met Dana on set and 2 -3 years later we were writing songs together. I wrote this song after one of my worst tours ever. I told the LORD He asked the wrong person to do this job and that I told Him I wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t want it enough. I cant read the stories in the bible without reading many many stories who told God He asked the wrong person for such and such task.
What’s the Story Behind the Song “Baby Hold On”?
“Baby Hold On” was written with my friend Dana Halferty. I had just experienced one of the hardest tours in my short four years of doing music. Broken foot, 4 different drummers, inexperience of leading a band and traveling, exhaustion, and never feeling like my purpose and passion aligned with one another. I wanted to give up and when Dana asked me what I had to say, it was “Baby Hold On.”
What led you to pursue a career or ministry in music?
I love movies. I am a storyteller and a sucker for a good story. I love music but it’s different when you worry about numbers and fans and image. I didn’t pursue music, it came howling after me. I remember when I started going to a local church in Portland. Hearing the worship music made something in me come alive. I’ve never heard music about Jesus that felt so real. So deep. So “authentic.” So “in the world and not of it.” This little nudge to sing background vocals wouldn’t go away. I would have to audition to join the team. I did. I got in but not on a Sunday yet. I sang background at a thursday prayer and that led to me singing background on a Sunday. One Sunday my friend Joe asked if I wanted to lead a song. I think he wanted to have more women lead and so I did and the rest is history.
Do you remember that moment when you realized you wanted to make an actual career out of music?
I remember the moment I knew this was something I was going to do. There was a married couple who enjoyed my singing. When the husband was diagnosed with cancer that was incurable, they asked if I would sing at a party they were having to celebrate him while he was still with us. That was so hard I couldn’t even stay in the house to hear people give speeches. I am kind of sensitive when it comes to sickness and death because I’ve had my own experience with it. It was months later, to a year, when the wife asked if I would sing for him as he passed from this world to the next. I watched a man pass away and my voice accompanied him. That’s when I knew. It was reaffirmed when a young woman, at my first solo performance, came to me in tears and told me I almost made her believe in Jesus. I hope I never forget that moment.
If you could potentially tour with any other artist or band (that you haven’t already), who would you choose and why
ADELE! Done. Why wouldn’t I want to tour with Adele? Is it wrong to assume that she has a fine balance of music and living her life with her family. I would open for Adele (hire my best buds to sing BGVS) and then maybe I’d do a duet with her and then we’d talk about life and dreams and drink tea and have biscuits and clotted cream.
What was the last song you listened to on your playlist or stereo?
I am currently listening to Bloom by Lights & Motion and a sleep playlist on Spotify. I love, love, love meditative, ambient, background music. I feel like it’s hard to stay anxious while listening to this music.
What was the last book you read?
I just finished Fashioned to Reign and just bought a book by John Mark Comer called God Has a Name (excited to read this because there is a lot of undoing to be had with how I’ve seen God)
Name a song that you wish you’d written (and why).
“Found” by Toulouse, it’s so beautiful and visual and I literally feel like I’m floating through the night sky when I listen and I can see God forming a human in the palm of His hand.
When was the last time that you had a surprising or particularly memorable moment at a live show and what was it?
Morro Bay. I had an outer body experience. I felt like I could see myself on my knees worshiping God as the people had their arms around each other. Then a woman, who I say dancing in the audience, told me she had a brain tumor and had to spend over a year learning how to walk and all she wanted to do was dance. She danced at my show. When the Kingdom is near the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the leper is cleansed, the poor receive the Good news. The question John the Baptist had for Jesus before His death became real to me that night.
How did you arrive at the name of your new album?
Dude, like I said, I wasn’t gonna make another album unless God did it through me. “Save Me” is one of the first songs I wrote. The fall of 2015 to be exact. Maybe 14 so I guess it’s not exact. I was in an airplane thinking of names. I suck at naming things. Save Me came to mind and I knew that was it.
Are there any underlying themes or threads that tie this project together?
That it’s ok to say you’re not ok. That you don’t have it all together. We are a vapor, “here today gone tomorrow.” God understands.
How important is your faith or spirituality within your music?
I am not good a compartmentalizing my faith with my everyday life. How I love is birthed from the Holy Spirit who gives me the ability to love. I once heard from a pastor, “Jesus was killed because of who He ate with.” Am I willing to live a life that is open minded to how God decides to remind all people they are loved?
What message do you hope listeners will take away from your music, regardless of what they believe?
That life is nuts. You will experience more than you can carry and that God says “and one just like this (loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind) love your neighbor as yourself” so that we learn how to lean on one another. We can’t do life alone. It’s too hard! And when it gets too hard, sometimes you just have to cry and then eat some delicious shoestring french fries with a salad and a nice glass of wine and laugh.
Liz Vice is currently on tour in the US. Check o ut these tour date on her website: www.lizvice.com
Levitt AMP: Free Outdoor Event
Moon River Music Festival – Coolidge Park
Chattanooga, TN, United States
3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill
Ballroom @ Thirty One West
Headliners Music Hall
Christ Community Chapel
The Magic Bag
High Noon Saloon
First Avenue and 7th St Entry
Des Moines, IA
Los Angeles, CA
Moab Folk Festival