We had the good fortune of connecting with Kasey Lansdale and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kasey, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Nacogdoches, Texas, which is East Texas. Anyone from there will tell you it’s not like the rest of Texas. It’s stocked with eccentric characters, it’s swampy and filled with trees, and I have no doubt that helped shape who I am, and how I am. For all intents and purposes, I grew up in a normal way. Whatever that means anymore. I had a mom, a dad, a brother and lots of critters around all the time. It was and still is an area of deep poverty, though I never understood to what extend until I got older. By the time I was born, my parents had settled into a rhythm in their careers and I was fortunate enough to be able to travel and explore the world from a young age. But that feeling of desperation always hung over me and those around me. That’s the feeling everyone has when they come from a small town in nowhere middle America. I think all of that encouraged me to always keep working. To be open to possibilities because you realize nothing is handed to you. Something might get you in the door, but you have to show up having done the work. That idea that you have to keep moving forward, that you have to create and make something happen, that’s the mentality of the working man which for better or worse, is synonymous with the south. I have a tough relationship with the south and Texas specifically, but I do believe that idea of hard work and perseverance is one that is encouraged and lived by there. It’s a place where a handshake still seals a deal and your word is your bond, and the idea of doing any different would bring real shame to you and your family. You grow up with a sense of honor and pride because in many cases, it’s all you have. All of that translates into my work, my business, and my brand. My hope is always that my word and my intent can be trusted, and that people know they can count on me to deliver whatever the job.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When people ask me what I do, it’s always hard to pinpoint the exact answer, but in one way or another, I create. First and foremost, I’m a singer/songwriter, but these days, during the pandemic, I’ve been fortunate enough to have other skills to lean on during this time when we aren’t able to play live or travel comfortably. Lately, I have been writing fiction more than ever before. I always dabbled, some on my own, some in collaboration with others, most often my father who is an author, but dabbling has gone to full time activity. I have a lot of projects I’m proud of, so that’s a tough one to answer. The new single I released early last year got picked up by Billboard Magazine. We shot a video and I was performing it on weekends and then suddenly, it’s put aside while we navigate our new reality. I don’t think that song, GOOD GIRL, got the moment it deserved, so I say I am proud of it and look foreword to giving it some time when I can. But beyond that, I think the most recent thing I am proud of is a new short story I wrote called Resonator. I’ve written other things and other genres, some of which came out this year, but Resonator was special because of the lineup. I’m a huge fan of the editor, personally and professionally, and beyond that, it’s the first book I’ll appear in with my father, for a story that we didn’t write together. My family has always been close, but nothing like what we are experiencing to make you hold your loved ones tight. It feels wrong to list off one thing after another that I’ve done, that can all be found on my websites or my socials, or on the World Wide Web, so I’ll jump to the question of what do I want the world to know? I want the world to know that I am always learning, always trying, and always hoping to spread joy and knowledge with those around me. That most of what happens comes from showing up. I made a lot of hard choices, and most of them were made so I could leave with my held held high. To respect my position and honor who I am as an artist, a woman, and a person. Things might have been easier had I just gone along to get along, but then that wouldn’t really be who I am. More than the art, I hope I leave a legacy of being a good human. I don’t always succeed, but I always try. That theme creeps into my work, my brand, and my life over and over again. It’s why the coming of age stories are so important to me in written word and song. If I’ve learned one thing along the way, it’s that we just don’t know. We all have a plan, and life does what it wants. All we can do is try to prepare the best we can, and hope we remembered to show up with our pants on the right way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend come in for a week, here is what that itinerary would look like: Day One: arrive and recover from the traffic from the airport. Beg my friend to not make me go back out there and to please allow me to order in Thai food. I can’t name a specific place anymore, as my favorites have recently closed. Day Two: Morning: Try out a weird fitness class that my friend from back home wouldn’t believe, (think, silent disco yoga) then grab a slice at Joe’s on Hollywood Blvd. ( I would appease them if they needed to do the walk of fame, having once been enamored by this idea myself) Then, we would end at Griffith park with a hike at sunset, then stop at the observatory and take in the view. I love that view. Day Three: Realize we did too much yesterday and take it easy by driving out to the Huntington Library in Pasadena and walk around the property and check out the collection. We could have a bite at the cafe on site, then end up on Colorado Blvd for shopping/dinner/people watching. Day Four: Decide we are young and fun and no one can stop us! Start at Central Market Downtown and grab a meal, then check out the Bradbury building and ride Angel’s Flight. I’m a big fan of the Bosch Books, so I would point out all the places that are mentioned in the books and the show. Then, head over to the last bookstore to show which books feature which places. Then, end up at Bottega Louie for dinner and treats. After this, it turns out we are not as young and fun as we thought, and head home as it gets dark. Day Five: Beach Day. Head out to Santa Monica Pier, walk around and grab bad tourist food. Maybe rent a bicycle and ride over to Venice. Then, work our way up to Malibu and visit The Getty Villa. Once done, stopping at one of the wineries on the way home, my favorite is The Rosenthal. Day Six: Go to Beverly Hills and eat lunch somewhere overpriced and drive down Rodeo Drive. Spend the rest of the day at the Getty Museum and marvel at the beauty of everything. Day Seven: Homestate for Texas breakfast tacos in Highland Park, Afternoon game at Dodger’s stadium (specially if they’re playing the rangers) Bowling and Pizza at Highland Park Bowl! Day Eight: Drop them off at the airport and sleep for two days. Have fun! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The list here is too long to print, so I’ll make it short and sweet. Overwhelmingly, the strongest forces in my life are my parents, and I am forever grateful.
Christy Burleson Photography