Exclusive Interview: Lee Moretti
Facebook is such a powerful platform in networking, and connecting with musicians. One of the best interactions has been with the talented and beautiful Lee Moretti, The Furies. The Experts got together and came up with a set of questions, in honor of Third Eye Blind's 20 years In The Blind.
Lee, Thank you for sharing with 3EB Lifestyle and being a part of this tribute. We Love You! - Editor's Note
3EB LIFESTYLE: As a women in the music industry, what was it like being in Third Eye Blind, a male dominant band and crew?
LEE MORETTI: Everyone in the band as well as the crew always treated me with nothing but the utmost respect. But one thing in particular that I truly appreciated at the time was the fact that I didn't feel I was treated differently in any way from any other person contributing to the success of the tour. This, in my mind, is very important. In order to eliminate gender bias in the music business, musicians as well as crew need to be able to treat their peers like professionals as well as equal team members, regardless of gender (this of course also applies to sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any difference between us all). For me, my time touring with Third Eye Blind was always a perfect example of this. We worked together, we played together, we celebrated together.
3EB LIFESTYLE: What was is like touring with Third Eye Blind?
LEE MORETTI: Loads of fun, definitely some of the best times of my life. I love to travel, so in truth touring is pretty much my perfect way of life. But all the bandmates in Third Eye Blind as well as the crew have very different and varied personality types, so it makes for a really dynamic musical and social experience. Some nights everyone would just be exhausted and need to crash as soon as possible, but other nights we would all be crowded on the same bus until the wee hours talking, drinking, and dancing.
I have a lot of incredible memories of touring with the guys, but I'll talk about a few here. One was walking around the French Quarter in New Orleans with Stephan and getting fitted for a corset there that nearly made me faint (it was seriously crushing my ribs, they don't mess around down there). Another was our band and crew Easter family dinner in Nashville. Filming the Bonfire music video was also incredible, full of light and heart and a natural chemistry between everyone.
3EB LIFESTYLE: What were your favorite songs to perform with Third Eye Blind?
LEE MORETTI: In no particular order - Wounded, God of Wine, Bonfire, Dao of Saint Paul, Faster, Camouflage, Anything, Narcolepsy, London. On tour my parts for a lot of those songs were significant, but also I find all of them to be really fun to play live and also particularly moving. On bass - God of Wine, Wounded, and Narcolepsy are particularly fun. I like anything with a heavy groove and playing as part of a rhythm section with Brad is in my opinion a dream come true for any bass player. He's a fantastically skilled and intuitive drummer, and he makes the bass player's job insanely easy.
3EB LIFESTYLE: While in Third Eye Blind, which band member did you click with the most?
LEE MORETTI: Okay so I have to admit I thought about this quite a bit and I can't choose. I can, however, break down some particular feelings about some bonds that I feel were forged.
Stephan had been supporting me and giving very poignant advice since my time in The Upwelling, so taking cues from him as well as playing alongside him became a very intuitive and fulfilling experience. Plus he and I see eye to eye on a lot of things socially, politically, and musically, so having discussions with him became something that I very often looked forward to. Brad is simply an incredible drummer, and to date one of my favorite drummers in modern music. Playing with him was always incredibly easy and he's also a very grounded human being with a great sense of humor. Kryz actually joined the band a couple years into my working with them, so it was fun to go over parts and harmonies with him and bring some fresh ideas to the table together. He's also one of the funniest people I know, with a sort of social ease about him that makes other people instantly comfortable.
3EB LIFESTYLE: How did you initially hook up with The Upwelling? Did you help write with them at all?
LEE MORETTI: I came across The Upwelling entirely by chance which is still something I think about often, to this day. They had some ads out on the internet that they were looking for a lead guitar player. At the time, I was in my third year at Berklee College of Music in Boston and feeling quite antsy, so I decided to take the drive to Queens and audition. It just so happened that we clicked, and the rest is history! I moved to New York within a month and we were on the road almost instantly. It's sometimes astonishing to me, because if I had chosen to ignore that ad (which was very nondescript), my life would be entirely different. I also nearly missed my audition that morning, because I overslept. Life is a very funny thing.
Ari, The Upwelling's lead singer, is really the one responsible for the songwriting in the band. I was however, responsible for my particular guitar parts. So I would say in The Upwelling (at the time I was playing with them), Ari was responsible for the songwriting while the band helped to arrange the songs.
3EB LIFESTYLE: What are some of your favorite up and coming bands?
LEE MORETTI: One is definitely Gallant. He's a young R&B artist who really broke through last year. Check out his song "Weight in Gold" (chances are you've heard it already)
A second is a Boston based band I love called Bent Knee who most recently toured with Dillinger Escape Plan -
Then there's Roz and the Rice Cakes, who have been around for a while but who are super innovative.
3EB LIFESTYLE: You’re a well-rounded musician, and we all know the Bass is what comes natural to you, but what is your absolute favorite instrument to play?
LEE MORETTI: I guess my favorite is always going to be guitar. It was my first instrument (essentially my first love) and even when I get sick of it I always end up coming back to it. It's the instrument I know most proficiently and it's the one I have a performance degree for. You can't escape those first loves, sometimes.
3EB LIFESTYLE: What is your favorite electric guitar to play? (Tele/Strat/LesPaul)
LEE MORETTI: This is tough to answer because all electrics are made to suit certain kinds of playing and styles, I would say that it depends on the situation. However, my Gibson ES-335 was my first real guitar so I believe I'm always going to be partial to that model. I tend to be more of a Gibson girl than a Fender girl. As guitars go though I prefer the 335, Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Telecasters most.
3EB LIFESTYLE: Do you prefer song writing with the guitar or piano? Why?
LEE MORETTI: This purely depends on my mood. I went through a phase where I ONLY wrote on the piano because it has such an expansive range and honestly at the time I felt limited by what the guitar could do. I would play a few different chords and riffs and I thought to myself "Blah, so what?" Piano really broke up the monotony for me for a while, and I wrote a whole batch of songs on it. Then that allowed me to come back to guitar with fresh ears and really pop out some riff oriented rock songs that I loved. Truly, I need both for my process.
3EB LIFESTYLE: Tell us about your band The Furies!
LEE MORETTI: The Furies is an all female Rock/Pop/Alternative band based out of Boston, Providence, and New York. We've been together for a number of years. The band was first formed by myself and my lead guitarist Sonya Rae Taylor in 2011 as a duo, but we released our first EP "Omens" in 2015. We toured the midwest and south, as well as all along the east coast and have opened for bands like The Ataris and Big Scary, and most recently opened for Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and The Indigo Girls at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion for the Four Voices tour. Our EP was also named in the top 5 by the Telegram for "Best New England albums of 2015." We believe in song and riff driven rock with a bluesy edge, and rich, layered vocals. Check us out here or on Itunes, Spotify, etc:
3EB LIFESTYLE: Do you have any new music coming out?
LEE MORETTI: Yes! We are currently working on our first full length, which we are hoping to put out by the end of this year with a tour to follow. Be on the lookout! :)
3EB LIFESTYLE: How does being in an all female band, The Furies, differ from being in an all male band, Third Eye Blind? Is there any difference?
LEE MORETTI: I would say there is a difference, but only because men and women are socialized to behave completely differently and relate to each other socially in completely different ways. I would say it's very much the same experience in terms of professionalism and in terms of drive and putting on the best show we can. Very little difference, in that way. I have been blessed in that I have been surrounded by insanely skilled and talented musicians, both in The Furies and Third Eye Blind.
As far as differences are concerned, I've noticed that in all male bands (this is definitely not Third Eye Blind specific) members tend to be more linear and direct in terms of trying to solve a musical issue, whereas in The Furies, we try to think outside the box first if we feel we're running into a brick wall. We also have tended to try and solve musical problems intuitively first, and then supplementing with more linear problem solving if necessary.
3EB LIFESTYLE: Where can Bostonians see The Furies play?
LEE MORETTI: We frequent clubs in the area like The Middle East, The Hard Rock Cafe, and Great Scott. However, we will be playing a show in August in Boston at either The Middle East Downstairs or Brighton Music Hall. Please keep an eye out! :) The Furies Shows
3EB LIFESTYLE: Do you plan on heading out to see Third Eye Blind on their Summer Gods Tour?
LEE MORETTI: Yes! Just got to see the guys in Boston at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. Maybe I'll run into you all at a few more shows as well!
3EB LIFESTYLE: Do you have any words of wisdom for female musicians trying to break into the music industry?
LEE MORETTI: Yes, a few. We work in an industry that is still openly hostile toward empowered, self directed women. My advice is be open to input, be open to new experiences, don't be afraid to take risks. Work hard, think big (advice from my mother), and never, under any circumstances, let anyone try to tell you who you are. That's for you, not for anyone else. And believe me, they will try, at least once.