LITA FORD "Like a Runaway Train" 

By Sgt Deth

We are proud to present a recent Interview with metal goddess Lita Ford. She started out in the ’70s with the Runaways, an all-girl hard rock band. Then she went on to start her solo career, which has been around since the early ‘80s. I have seen Lita play a lot of different music over the years. There has been more mainstream rock that has made it on the Billboard top 100 chart. Then there has been some really hard metal with screaming guitars that is my favorite. A lot of her music focuses around the guitar, but her vocals have always been top notch as well. She ranges from the soft heart felt vocals, to all out metal power. I was always impressed by her talent. Good to hear that she has no plans on quitting the music scene anytime soon. She says below that there will be more touring and album writing. Enjoy!

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: How do you feel about the Runaways’ debut album turning 40 years old on June 1st 2016? 

LITA FORD: Boy Time sure flies when you’re having fun! Ha Ha!  I’m very proud to have been a part of the Runaways.

WC: Were you a starving artist back in the days of the Runaways? 

LF: No, never was a starving artist because my parents always supported me if I ever needed them. They would never have let me starve. I had a car and roof over my head and always had money for food. The least amount of that money came from the Runaways.

WC: Do you stay in touch with any of the Runaways, such as Joan Jett for example?  

LF: We do all have separate lives. 

WC: Was starting your solo career pretty much your own idea, or were you influenced or provoked by anyone? 

LF: My solo career was completely 100% my own idea. Never anyone else’s idea.

WC: How did you first meet Ozzy? 

LF: Through Sharon, who was my manager at the time.

WC: We saw you perform in Dubuque, Iowa earlier this spring and you were amazing and full of energy. Are you ever exhausted after performing live?

LF: No, actually, I believe sitting still is most exhausting. Rocking out only pumps you up and excites you.

WC: Do you have plans to keep on touring for a while?

LF: I am nowhere near ready to stop touring. I hope to do another album soon and also a major motion film about my life away from the music industry, living on a deserted island.

WC: Do you like playing small venues vs larger ones? 

LF: I enjoy both, so long as the sound system is ok. We can rock both.

WC: Do you play in any clubs off tour in the L.A./Hollywood area just for fun? If so where?

LF: The Whisky-A-Go-Go is my home club hangout. Also the Canyon Club is a great venue. We recorded the live album at The Canyon Club, released in 2013 called THE BITCH IS BACK, Live.

WC: Are there any special throat treatments or exercises that keeps your voice in tip top shape that you can share with us?

LF: I try to stay away from things that blow on me. Like the A.C. in the car, on the plane, so on, or a heater. Air dries your throat out. But, I do like to use a fan on stage sometimes. Especially, when you are touring in changed climates every day. If you go from snow to heat. If you come off stage soaking sweaty wet, don’t go directly under the AC. Cigarettes, hair spray, cologne are hard on your breathing before a show. I try to warm up by singing a song back stage while playing with a guitar. If not I’ll sing to my laptop, or whatever music is playing, or just acapella.

WC: Where did you find guitarist Patrick Kinnison, and was he already familiar with your music?

LF: Patrick picks up music very fast, he is hungry to learn new things on guitar and vocals. Patrick is an old band mate of our bassist. Marty O’Brien. Marty suggested him and knew he would fit right in. When he auditioned for the band there were a few things to learn, mainly grooves. It took a little while to feel each other out, so to speak. He is a ‘90s boy, and I am a ‘70s and ‘80s girl, which musically means we both came from different pieces of cloth. But now, Marty, Patrick and I click perfectly. I know he, Marty and Bobby Rock, our drummer, always have my back.

WC: Do you have plans to write new music with your current lineup?

LF: Yes, we are writing now, the process is slow and it will come together when the songs are right, but for now we are focusing on the new Time Capsule CD, and the new book LIVING LIKE A RUNAWAY, A MEMOIR. I also like to write with Gary Hoey and my lyricist Michael Dan Ehmig who are both awesome. If anyone brings a new song to the table and it is great, we never turn it down. It doesn’t matter who writes it.

WC: You told us in Dubuque that you used to hang out with Eddie Van Halen. Did you ever jam with him, or perhaps write any music together? 

LF: The only time was when I went to his house and he showed me how the solo to [Michael Jackson’s] BEAT IT. I was about to audition for Michael Jackson when Jennifer Baton quit his band, and the song they wanted me to learn was BEAT IT. Edward showed me the solo. He also played me versions of Van Halen JUMP before the album was finished. Otherwise, we basically just partied a lot. Ha Ha! 

WC: How many guitars do you have? And what is your favorite? 

LF: I’m really not sure how many guitars I have. I lost a lot of guitars in my divorce. But I was able to keep my favorites which are the ones I use live and have from the early 80’s and late 70’s. The newer guitars Patrick and I both have are Ovations and Taylors.

WC: Do you still learn new guitar techniques to this day? 

LF: I try, even playing your own stuff can be a little hard to remember at times. I was in the Ovation Factory yesterday and I picked up a guitar that had a special tuning on it. Sometimes different tunings can be inspirational to write a new song.

WC: Do you play any other instruments besides guitar?   

LF: I can play bass. I played bass on the very last Runaways album. I can also play a little keyboard.

WC: What do you do for fun when you are not shredding the axe?  

LF: Eat and Sleep. LOL!!! 

WC: How long does it take to put on those skin tight leather outfits, and does someone have to help you get them on?  

LF: Someone has to help me take them off, because once they become wet and sweaty, they stick like a second layer of skin. But I can get into them on in about 20 minutes, including boots and accessories. I usually just grab whoever is available to help peel off the shoulders, then the rest of the suit I can wiggle out of by myself.
WC: Do you have any Spinal Tap moments from either the Runaways or your solo band that you can share with our readers? Any crazy tour stories, etc?

LF: If you want crazy stories I would say take a glance through my new book LIVING LIKE A RUNAWAY.  There are plenty of stories in this book! I also talk a lot about other famous people I have known over the years. Some really funny stuff. Very Spinal Tap.

WC: Any final thoughts to share? 

LF: You’ve got to read my book, and please listen to Time Capsule. It has a lot of people’s favorite musicians on it, you will love the book and love the music on the cd. Also comes in Vinyl. Also, come see us play, we start October with Halestorm. God bless.