Talk It Out with Jodi Leib
Without HOPE there would be no music
Hollywood, CA, 2003
Jodi: I'm here at Goldfinger's in Hollywood, talking it out with Hope.
Hope: Talk it Out with Jodi Leib.
Jodi: What's up, girl? So, what are you going by, what is the name of your band?
Hope: Hope. We're just going by Hope.
Jodi: It's Hope, and tell me about your demo deal.
Hope: Right now, we have two songs recorded, and starting tomorrow we're going to start recording a third one, and we actually have a fourth also that we're going to add on to it, but we're writing a bank of them, so going to have probably six to twelve in the end of it all.
Jodi: Awesome. Now, this is with your producer?
Hope: Yes. I have two producers.
Jodi: So, they're investing in you for your album?
Hope: They are producing the demo, and then we'll shop the demo to major record labels, and review the song on the site www.musicresearch.com, try to get some exposure.
Jodi: Cool. So tell me, what are your songs about?
Hope: To be honest, the songs are a reflection of where I was at the time when I wrote them. The songs are about my own history and when people hear them they can relate to them because people go through phases in their lives. Like, everything to me is about being a strong woman in today's world.
Jodi: Totally, totally, totally. What kind of strength do you need to make it in this world, do you think?
Hope: A lot of singers have tried to go against men and that's not what I'm trying to do, because I love men, of course. It's not about that. It's being strong and independent and being able to take care of yourself, not having to rely on anyone else and telling the truth, because people have brought me down in my life, which is why I've had to search my soul and reach different points and I've come to conclusions about my life, and I've grown from them. Every experience is a good experience. A singer like Ani DiFranco, when I was in college, helped me realize I wasn't the only one in a place like that, and when I sing on stage and people come up to me afterwards and say, "Oh that song really...did you write it for me?" It just makes me feel really good. Yeah, I wrote it, but I'm not the only one who feels that way.
Jodi: Now, do you feel like you have punk influences? Do you have a particular style?
Hope: Yes, I believe my style is mostly Rock with a bit of Pop sensibility. My influences are older bands such as The Doors, and newer artists like Ani DiFranco. My style is me, whatever presence I give off on stage. I've always related to a lot of people, Goth, Punk, whatever. I'm just trying to be free, trying to express.
Jodi: Now what I'm fascinated by in Hope is hope in general. Just the concept of hope, I find it very difficult to separate you being a woman named Hope and the concept of hope. Do you align yourself with that. Is that something -
Hope: I do associate with my name. Remember the story about Pandora's box? At one time in the world, there were no such things as sadness or hunger, jealousy, laziness, greed, or anything like that. There was death but it was like a long sleep with no suffering. Even after Hermes directed warnings to never open the box that the Gods had given as a gift to Pandora, curiosity got the best of her and finally caused her to decide one morning that she should take a little peek in the box. She opened it and out flew all the terrible things like greed and envy, hatred and cruelty, poverty and hunger, sickness and despair, and lots more. Pandora had set them free. She cried for them to come back but they didn't. Even now, they bring us misery and lots of trouble. Who put those terrible things in the box? No one knows for sure, but there was one good thing in there. It was Hope. So now, when there is trouble and sadness among us humans, we have Hope to make us feel that tomorrow will be better. I guess my songs are about pulling through difficult times and that's Hope, right?
Jodi: Do you have hope?
Hope: Of course. You got to.
Hope: Well, if you don't, I don't know how we'd keep living here.
Jodi: What do you mean?
Hope: You've got to have hope for something. That's why people believe in religion. That's why people believe in anything at all, cause you hope that there's something better.
Jodi: So life sucks and you hope that -
Hope: I'm not saying that life sucks, I just saying that there's hope for something bigger. I think everybody hopes for something bigger or more than what they have and if they don't then they're awesome, more power to them, because I wish I was there.
Jodi: I have suffered through tremendous amounts of hopelessness in my life. I didn't realize it until recently how truly hopeless I've been in my life. I don't know that I've ever really had hope until recently. I always hoped for material things and I still do, but that's not really the true meaning hope. To me, hope is a bond. When I was very young, about twelve or thirteen, I lost my hope. Then I saw a glimpse of it about ten years ago but still I remained hopeless. I only rediscovered hope a few months ago when I got sober. You're right, hope is feeling that there is a future ahead of me and no matter if I make it or I don't make it - if you reach your goal or you don't, there is still a soothing knowing or feeling like there is a possibility, a dream, that I as an individual can move towards, and a connection that keeps me there.
Hope: Well, yeah. Like none of us ever know what's going to happen. No one knows what's going to happen. I've rejected the meaning of my name my whole life, because it's my name, but truth is, it's really nice to be able to hope for something, because if there wasn't hope, I think we'd all be pretty lost. I've just recently found hope in my life. It's weird to even hear those words come out of my mouth, because it's my name after all, but um, yeah. We all go through really difficult times, and we just grow stronger and realize what hopes are reality. What things you were wishing or hoping for that were kind of like, whatever, and then turns into something that's actually possible. One of my songs is called Chasing Rainbows. I sort of feel like I'm chasing rainbows, I'm chasing after this illusion that started out as an illusion, but could possibly turn into a vision, maybe that will end up as an illusion, but, I keep chasing it cause who knows? Right? That's what hope is. You gotta hope for the impossible, something that might not really be there, but if you don't go after it, you'll never really know.
Jodi: I think that's beautiful. I think that is what is so cool. So, good luck. Peace and love and harmony. Is there anything else you want to say to your fans or new fans?
Hope: I hope I get fans. I just hope that I can touch someone in anyway possible like other singers have touched me. I would love to do that.
Jodi: What actions are you going to take to reach out to your fans?
Hope: I'm going to keep singing. I'm going to keep trying to portray as strong as I feel at points on the stage, because when I get off, women come up to me and they're like, "You're so strong, how do you do that?" That's what I want to do, because the truth is none of us are always that strong all the time, but knowing people think that I am that strong all the time makes me realize that none of those singers were that strong all the time. It's a state of mind. It's something you can give and pass on to other people. It's a state of mind that I have temporarily and that I lose, temporarily, and then when I lose it, I look back and I'm like, "People know that. People tell me that I was strong." The singers that I listen to, they were rockin' and they knew what was up. I'm gonna maintain that. In today's day and age, it's hard for women to stay strong. It's strange because this is an equal world now, but it's not, and we all know that.
Jodi: Totally. Well, I think you're brilliant. I really do. I think you're a genius. I have hope, you know? I think you helped me rediscover my hope.
Hope: See, that's what I live for.
Jodi: I think you're an angel. I really do.
Hope: That's what I do it for, for comments like that. It's all worth it.
Jodi: I hope you can continue to touch the lives of people and to bestow them with your graciousness and your grace and you're really a very positive spirit in the world. I value our friendship.
Hope: Me too. Now, let's get to the show.
Jodi: Great. Let's go. Let's rock on!
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Talk It Out with Jodi Leib's Hope Interview was taped in the Summer of 2003. Talk It Out (c) Jodi Leib, 2003. Reprint by Permission at firstname.lastname@example.org.