Interviews no image

Published on February 12th, 1998 | by Gerry Galipault


Laura Love is loving every minute of it

Don’t try pulling a fast one on Laura Love. She’s not the gullible type.

The Seattle-based singer-songwriter was convinced everyone was in on an elaborate joke over the holidays, leading her to think that former Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt was using “I Am Wondering,” a bouncy track off Love’s Mercury Records debut album, “Octoroon,” during her Stars On Ice routine.

You are so wrong you can’t be right, Love would tell friends. She went to the Internet to prove them wrong.

“I was doing a search to find out what music she was using,” Love said recently. “It wasn’t an updated search, so the only song that came close to sounding like mine was Melissa Etheridge’s ‘I’m the Only One,’ so I thought, ‘This is a big ol’ lie.’

“I didn’t think much about it until my publisher called me up and said, ‘Laura, dahling, I’m sitting here watching television and I’m watching the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and Katarina Witt is skating to ‘I Am Wondering.’ Laura, this is so wonderful.’ “

Then came a phone call from Witt herself shortly before a Stars On Ice performance in Seattle last month.

“I’m just sitting here reading or something,” Love said, “and the phone rang. I said, ‘Who’s this?’ She says, ‘This is Katarina.’ ‘Katarina who?’ ‘Katarina Witt.’ I was like, ‘Get out of here!’ She invited me to the show and we had a really nice time. I got to meet all these skaters, like Scottie Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi. I’m used to meeting rock stars, but not Olympic skaters. It was so bizarre.”

Bizarre, maybe, but not too farfetched.

“I Am Wondering,” its rapid-fire word play wrapped around what Love calls an “Afro-Celtic pop” rhythm, is just the kind of offbeat, thoroughly enjoyable treat that Witt’s choreographer was looking for.

“It turns out her choreographer was in a record store in Connecticut,” Love said, “and she asked the guy behind the counter, ‘Hey, what’s hot (in music)? What do you like?’ He put my record in her hands, and she listened to it and loved it. So that’s how it got all started.”

The Witt influence, a recent stint opening for Rusted Root and a renewed push by Mercury has led to a long-overdue groundswell for “Octoroon,” released last May to instant critical acclaim but a mere blip on record store cash registers. It has sold more than 50,000 copies.

“By my own standards, it was doing great before all this,” Love said. “On my own, I never could’ve sold this many records. I don’t think by record company standards it has been a huge success, by any means. They roll on hits, that’s their big thing.

“I mean, (fellow Mercury act) Hanson probably sells 50,000 a day. That seems horrifying that something like that could even happen. It’s kind of an axiom that if you are successful very quickly, you’re also discarded very quickly, and I want to have a career. I want to do what I’m doing until I’m 80, you know. I don’t want to be on every single channel and in everyone’s face for six months to a year and then be reviled. And that’s record companies’ definition of success, more so than my own.”

At age 38, Love is a late bloomer in big-label terms. She was perfectly content releasing her funk ‘n’ folk material on her own label, Octoroon Biography, until the Mercury deal surfaced and was too good to pass up.

“I wasn’t really looking for this at all,” Love said. “In my early teens and 20s, I really wanted to be on a major label. ‘I want a record deal, I want a record deal, I want a record deal. Oh, God, please sign me.’ In the meantime, I thought I needed music in my life, regardless of whether or not a record company is involved, so I made my own record company and I just went on and did my thing.

“I learned all the facets of the industry and assembled this team of people around me who booked me, managed me and promoted me. It was a healthy living, and we were very successful at it. We were playing all these shows, and people who were on big labels were coming up to us and saying, ‘Man, the way you’re doing it is the way to do it. As soon as I get out of my contract, I’m doing what you’re doing.’

“I resisted for a long time. I had some label interest, and then Mercury came up and said, ‘Look, we’re not interested in controlling you. We’re going to let you make the records the way you’ve been making them and stay out of your way.’ Right on.”

If the popularity of “Octoroon” continues to spread, that’s fine with Love. It will allow her to carry on her mission: to save a pollution-ravaged creek near her home.

“I work on this creek in my spare time,” she said. “It’s threatened by development, by people that don’t know the value of the creek. This is a very economically depressed neighborhood; people are dumping their oil into it, using bleach in it. It’s so delicate and so fragile. I’m taking every cent I make and buying bits of land along this creek. It’s very cheap land, because this is a very poor area. It’s been known as Poverty Gulch.

“I put out a newsletter, and I have community meetings and I talk to the kids. … I go around this neighborhood and act like a bag lady. I’m in bib overalls and I go with a shopping cart and pick up trash, and people ask what I’m doing.”

It would be great to have a hit record, Love said, “so I could really buy that land outright and not have to make these monthly payments that scare me to death.”

BWF (before we forget): Laura Love is in the air on the Web @ or via e-mail.

Tags: ,

About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑


    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    April 16, 2021 » Paul McCartney, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, NEEDTOBREATHE, Fitz, Escape the Fate, Engelbert Humperdinck, Saint Raymond, London Grammar, Andy Stott, Midland, Liquid Tension Experiment, Julia Stone, etc.

    April 23, 2021 » Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Todd Snider, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Steve Cropper, Imelda May, Tracy Lawrence, The Immediate Family, Justin Moore, Pærish, etc.

    April 30, 2021 » MONSTA X, Julia Michaels, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Thomas Rhett, Birdy, MercyMe, The Dropkick Murphys, Guided By Voices, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, Róisín Murphy, Miloš Karadaglić, Tony Allen, etc.

    May 7, 2021 » Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Van Morrison, Weezer, New Order, Nancy Wilson, Judy Collins, Aly & AJ, Travis Tritt, Sarah Jarosz, Procol Harum, Staind, Mandy Barnett, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Iceage, etc.

    More New Releases » May 14 and Beyond: St. Vincent, The Black Keys, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, Alan Jackson, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Blake Shelton, Olivia Rodrigo, twenty one pilots, Gary Numan, John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band, Mat Kearney, k.d. lang, Moby, Ashley McBryde, Texas, Shannon McNally, Rise Against, Black Veil Brides, Crowded House, Liz Phair, James, Tristen, MARINA, Garbage, Wolf Alice, AFI, Cold Cave, Gary Kemp, Paul McCartney, Joshua Radin, Tom Odell, John Grant, Beartooth, Laura Mvula, The Wallflowers, Ida Mae, The Wandering Hearts, Maggie Rose, Candlebox, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.

  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter