Olivia Jean, who dropped her debut solo LP last October titled, Bathtub Love Killings, is a multi-instrumentalist who cut her teeth in the Third Man Records stable backing folks as varied as Karen Elson, Wanda Jackson and Jack White in addition to fronting the much-loved Black Belles. Jean has accrued a lifetime of experience in a few short years, from highlight performances on The Colbert Report, Conan, Late Show With David Letterman and The Grand Old Opry stage.
Produced by Jack White, Bathtub Love Killings showcases Jean as a songwriting force to be reckoned with. Playing damn-near every instrument she could get her hands on, the result is a well-rounded, catchy record that’s chock-a-block full of ear worm moments. A feast for the listening.
Some weeks back Surf Collective caught up with Olivia to see what inspires this beauty when home and on the road.
What is your favorite city to travel to?
My favorite city to visit is Los Angeles, California. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan – so although L.A. is not an entirely exotic or hard to reach location, it’s dramatically different than where I grew up. I find Los Angeles very exciting.
You’ve stayed in a lot of hotels, do you have a favorite that’s inspired you?
My favorite hotel is The Ace Hotel in New York City. It holds a sentimental value to me. It’s the first hotel I stayed in traveling for Third Man Records. They have great food, great drinks, and the decor is very unique.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I don’t have a particular restaurant to mention, but I am always on the hunt for good Thai food.
Favorite dish to make when home?
Gluten free pizza (from scratch!). It’s a difficult task, but totally worth it. I’ve had to follow a gluten-free diet since age 15.
Favorite item in your wardrobe?
The Brooks Brothers suit that The Colbert Report supplied me for The Black Belles appearance.
Who’s your style Icon?
Nina Hagen – a beautiful, avant garde, punk hero. I find her image in the 1970’s to be the most memorable.
Any personal style tips for girls out there?
Don’t wear shoes if you can’t walk in them.
Coffee or tea?
I’m a coffee junkie. There’s always a pot of coffee brewing at my house.
Item you couldn’t live without?
All of my instruments. They are the most sentimental, important, and valuable items I own.
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Favorite song or album?
I can not give a favorite song or album ‘of all time’, but at the moment my favorite song is “Dream Lover” by Bobby Darin, and my favorite album is Tom Waits ‘Real Gone’.
Favorite visual artist?
My friend Jack White. I’m always impressed and inspired by his work, whether it be music, art, wardrobe, or decor.
Favorite museum to draw inspiration?
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, PA.