Interview: Tonia Broucek of The Lippies on their New EP and Struggling Through Quarantine

The Lippies’ new EP, Pop ‘n’ Lockdown, out now on Red Scare Industries, is an expansion of a single to three songs. The band originally planned to contribute the song “On Your Mind” to a compilation about President Donald Trump. That didn’t happen, and now Tonia Broucek and The Lippies have added two more songs for a collection of new music released during quarantine. New music is good. Nonetheless, the isolation has not been easy for the band.

Broucek, a mental health professional in Michigan, is pretty busy during these trying times. She’s essential to her community and working Monday through Friday, as well as weekends.  

“I mean as far as like everything, like normal life stuff goes, shit hasn’t changed that much cause all I do is work,” she says. “So that’s what I’m used to. But work has become a little more challenging now that our guys aren’t allowed to go into the community or go visit a family, that’s become a little more stressful. But other than that, I don’t know, life hasn’t changed that much to be honest with you.”

Broucek is working hard right now and The Lippies are supportive. A full length record has been put on hold. Like all musicians, they’ve had many shows cancelled, including a show with Teenage Bottlerocket.

“I have moments of crying out of nowhere,” Broucek says. “I’ll just cry. I’m realizing that it’s because I’m not playing music. I need to release that energy somewhere, which is why I’m crying. I’m thinking about it yesterday, and I feel like I should go to the middle of the woods and scream. But then I was like, ‘Oh, that was what shows are for me,’ so that’s kinda rough. I do need that outlet. My job is stressful, incredibly fulfilling, but it is extremely stressful and I do need that outlet. Like I think like the other guys need it too.”

Broucek is keeping notes in her phone. Lyrics and observations. She’s not sure yet how this life experience will affect the music, but she has some ideas.

“We work independently, you know, the four of us. We get our shit together, record with Rick Johnson from Mustard Plug, at his studio, it’s called Cold War Studios in East Grand Rapids. He was awesome, he recorded all of our albums.”

In summation, while putting out these three songs is somewhat cathartic, time will tell the impact this moment has on The Lippies and Broucek. She’s working hard through this pandemic, she’s present in her life and her emotions, and not sure what the future holds in terms of her songwriting.

“I guess depending on how traumatic this ends up being for me, I’ll probably end up having to write about this at some point,” she says. “But I don’t know. It’s weird, maybe it’ll be one of those ten times, where I’m like ‘fuck that, let’s forget it and move forward,’ or it might be something that I’m stuck on for the next few years.”

Pick up a copy of Pop ‘n’ Lockdown here

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