Dana Fuchs: The Music Says It All

Musician Dana Fuchs is known for blues-rock and soulful songs, and her nine albums. And she is known for her acting on Love Janis in an off-Broadway musical about Janis Joplin, which ran from 2001 to 2003. She was chosen because of her raspy voice to perform in the movie Across the Universe and earned a Golden Globe in 2007. Fuchs is on tour now and was recently interviewed by Jupiter Index about her recent release “Love Lives On.”

Jupiter Index: There are many musicians that can define what soul and blues music is, but your music is very much soul and blues-rock based. Can you talk about what draws you to those two forms of music? What power does this music hold for you?
Dana Fuchs: As the youngest of 6 kids I was fortunate to grow up on many different genres of music. Classic rock being one of them and one of my favorites. I didn't realize at the time how rooted in traditional blues classic rock was! So it all makes sense that the 2 genres came together for me. The power for me is in the raw emotion. Both styles have it. Classic rock has a screaming wail that rips me to pieces and blues has a deep mournful wail that simply guts me. The 2 together make a bomb!

A few years back you sang a cover of Otis Redding “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,“ and you nailed it on stage. What was it about that song that spoke to you?
Everything Otis has ever done really speaks to me, but this one goes back to the mournful wail mentioned above. When I saw footage of him singing it live at Monterey Pop I was utterly floored and speechless. With tears streaming down my face I felt a burning desire to the core of my being to someday even achieve a tiny fraction of that raw authentic soul.

Which artists do you regular listen to and what makes their composing different for you as a songwriter? I always need to check in with Dylan, Tom Waits, stones and even Queen. I somehow never think to mention that Freddy Mercury is one of my musical heroes. My dream is to someday cover 'somebody to love'.
Which methods best work for you when it comes to your songwriting?
To not overthink and just let a story I’m burning to tell - whether it's personal or someone else's that moved me - just take me where it needs to go.

There are many new artists emerging in music – can you tell us who are some of the up and coming musicians that catch you both for their songwriting and music?
Well, I suppose Gary Clark Jr and Marcus King aren't so new anymore, but really love them and to see them having a lot of staying power. i just discovered from a friend's recommendation, Jorja smith. She's a beautiful artist inside and out and someone to lead the next generation.

What are your hopes for the coming year?
To find a balance between music and motherhood. Keeping tons of energy for both an enjoying the hell out of it all.

by G.M. Burns