Philly-based Lisa Christ Superstar has announced the release of their debut LP, “Soundtrack of the Floating World,” on Nov. 5. Produced by Grammy winner Joe “The Butcher” Niccolo (James Taylor, Jazzy Jeff, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel), the album’s 12 original songs explore themes of grief, liberation, strength, forgiveness and fate with Lisa Flynn’s blistering guitar work and Eric Perfect’s booming, driving percussion. Lisa Christ Superstar will perform at The Fire in Philadelphia on Nov. 6 in celebration of the album’s release. For details, visit firephilly.com.
“I was in a band a few years back, and we were playing this packed house,” says the frontwoman. “I was just finishing a ripping lead, when I heard someone yell from the crowd ‘Lisa Christ Superstar!’ and Lisa Christ Superstar the band was born that night. When my husband Eric and I got together, we started the band Workhorse III, and it ruled. We played a ton of shows and put out three records that I am very proud of. But last year, right before COVID, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was like screw it. I wanted a fresh start, and Lisa Christ Superstar is all me.”
Lisa Christ Superstar’s songs are multi-genre (rock, hard rock, psychedelia, Americana, prog, etc.) and draw from influences including The Beatles, Yes, Iron Maiden, Keith Moon, The Monkees, The Doors, very early Def Leppard, Rush, and Jimmy McColloch.
Following her diagnosis and recovery from breast cancer and her work as a nurse on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, Lisa connected with Niccolo to record the band’s first album. “We were all set to record, then I needed surgery, so we postponed it for a few months which turned into a year because COVID hit,” says the guitarist. “It was a huge triumph for me because at one point I really thought the world was ending, my world at least. But to be able to play music and record again was such a blessing.”
The members of Lisa Christ Superstar have been steeped in the local music scene for years. “I’ve put my heart and soul into the Philly scene,” Lisa said. “I’ve not only shared the stage with Philly’s best bands, played in bands with Philly’s best musicians, I’ve booked at some of our most legendary clubs, including The North Star bar, the Balcony and Trocadero. I co-founded Relapse Records night, Sugar Town and more recently Mistress of Mayhem featuring women in music. I also had the honor of booking and playing the last Philly show at the Trocadero. Philly is a working-class town and when our fans have worked all week and still have time to support us, that inspires me to continue to do Philly proud.”
PW recently caught up with Lisa to talk about the band’s music and career.
Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you become interested in music? Who were some of your early influences?
I started playing guitar at 4 years old and, I remember going into Sam Goody with my dad to pick out my first guitar instruction book. I was so proud of myself as I grabbed a Walt Disney songbook and took it to the counter. There was a young guy ready to ring us up, when he looked at my Disney book and said, “You don’t want that, you want this,” and he slid a Lennon and McCartney songbook into my hungry little hands! Bang! He changed the course of my life! The only song I knew was “Yellow Submarine” cause it was, y’know, a cartoon. So that was the first song I ever learned how to play and my love affair with my guitar and The Beatles began.
Talk a little about your writing process. What inspires you to write songs?
My writing process changes from song to song. Sometimes I come up with a killer riff, or a chorus pops in my head. One of the songs off our new record, “I’m Going Under,” really wrote itself. I had all the lyrics and music done when our beloved furry baby Harry passed. My old set of words were meaningless. The new lyrics just flew outta me from the pain and sorrow I felt. I’ve always written better with a depressed heart.
Your debut LP, “Soundtrack of the Floating World” drops on Nov. 5. How did it come together? How can people get the album?
Our album was written over the course of a few months, but I had to get surgery and then the pandemic hit so it put us off like a year until we could record it. Some of our songs came together just jamming at practice. It’s so cool, like we start with nothing and then the air is filled with this song that didn’t exist five minutes before, creativity is magical! You can get our album on our brand new website: lisachristsuperstar.com, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music or any of our live shows.
You’ve been a part of the Philly music scene for a long time. How has it impacted your music? What’s the scene like now, as we begin to emerge from the pandemic?
The Philly music scene is vital to me. It’s raw and powerful and makes me feel alive. You could see John Entwistle at Upstairs at Nicks, then walk down the street and check out the Rollins Band at the Khyber, or head over to the Troc and get destroyed by Slayer. I once joined five bands in one night bouncing back and forth between Nicks and the Khyber, it was electric! I had a great job booking the Trocadero Balcony and Northstar bar for years and that really gave my musical career another dimension. I wanted to bring the best acts to our city, and I did. I’ve spent years rocking many clubs in this town with just a fantastic array of musicians. I know I bring that Philly rawness and power to every stage I play. It’s who I am.
I’m stoked to see the clubs opening again and bands getting back to playing live. We just played our first show since the pandemic began, and it was like we never left. I think everyone is just so excited to get out and see live music again. Philly people work hard all week and there is nothing like getting out on Saturday night, being in a hot, sweaty club, having a beer and seeing a band, but we need to be safe and keep our fans safe as well! So if we have to wear masks and get vaccinated to see and play shows again, man, I’m all for it.
What will your fans see when they show up at The Fire on Nov. 6?
They are gonna see me shredding on stage with a great new set of songs that we have never played live before! And our debut album will be available for the first time!
What are the best ways for your fans to stay current with what you’re doing?They can always hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or through our website lisachristsuperstar.com. We have a mailing list you can add your address to, where I sent out all our news and updates!