Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer has been famous since her band's "Kiss Me" blew up in 1999. Quickly followed by the release of a second single, a cover of The La's "There She Goes," Sixpence None the Richer was sky high at the beginning of the millennium. However, when their follow up album, Divine Discontent, was released in 2002, the band began a slow devolution until they finally separated in 2004.
The two founding members, Nash and her songwriting partner Matt Slocum, went their separate ways for much of the last decade. Slocum toured with bands The Choir and Over the Rhine and recorded studio sessions with dozens of other musicians. Nash released a critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful solo album, Blue on Blue.
In late 2007, Slocum and Nash decided to give Sixpence another try, reuniting and releasing a Christmas album, something they felt their fans had always wanted from them. They've got another full-length completely recorded and ready for release in March of this year, Lost in Transition. But before that, they'll be at the Super Bowl Village.
NUVO: What's new in your life?
Leigh Nash: I just put finished a record back in November, so I've been doing promotion for that, and there's always raising my son.
NUVO: How old is your son?
LN: He just turned eight. He's in second grade.
NUVO: Is he showing any interest in making music? Were you involved in music from a really young age?
LN: I loved old country music, which is what first inspired me to sing. I was in choir growing up in school and in church. Henry, so far, he's been showing an interest in the drums. His dad plays drums. And [my son] is kind of showing a natural ability with music thus far. Since his dad plays, we haven't gotten him in to any lessons yet, but his dad works with him.
NUVO: Let's talk about the literary bent that run through some of your music. I know your band is named after a line from Mere Christianity.
LN: Yes, that's correct. I'd say for my partner Matt, [literature has] been extremely influential. He's always reading a book, even back when we first met. Back in high school, I was reading what I had to read but I didn't get into reading [for pleasure] until later. But Matt, he's always been inspired [by books].
NUVO: Are you reading anything interesting right now?
LN: A Family Thing, I'm loving that. And another book, called "Falling Upwards" by Richard Rohr. That's a fantastic book, one of the best I've read in a long time.
NUVO: This is a Super Bowl performance. Are you a fan?
LN: My husband's family is from [Seymour] Indiana; he is a really big fan of the Colts, and we spend a lot of time with his family up there. So when the Colts and the Titans are on, we're watching. Otherwise, I'm not a natural football lover.
NUVO: Take me through your new album. What new musical developments are on this album?
LN: I think it shows maturity. We've gotten older and have had the chance to be influenced by more music, and life, and I think that shows. I think the songwriting is stronger than ever. I'm still the singer, so it still sounds Sixpence. We got to work with a producer i've admired for a long time named Jim Scott and he did a really beautiful job producing the record and helping us shape what it would become. It's not real rushed like some of our previous records have been really heavy on strings. It's still pop, it still sounds like sixpence. I guess should say pop waltz. The basic elements have not changed. If you still like my voice, then you'll like it.
NUVO: Do you ever feel trapped by the massive success of your band's two singles, "Kiss Me" and "There She Goes?"
LN: I really don't get asked a lot. I guess I do feel a bit trapped, but I'm really thankful. Without some success, we might have hung it up by now. But it was a lot, really quickly. And it was at a time of life where we were about to start our families. I don't know, just the way things have shaken out, where there's been a long pause between records, [actually] more than a pause, more like a chasm. Now I'm a little bit intimidated to come back with a new record because it's been eight or nine years now. But it is a gift. But a lot of people do remember our name, so it's not like starting over. We'll have to do a lot of promotion though, to get people [listening to this record].
NUVO: What advice do you have for local singer-songwriters that have been making music for a long time?
LN: The most important thing right now is to stay on top of technology and the creative [arts]. And it depends on what your goals are. A lot of people don't necessarily have a goal of having a big hit. They're satisfied by writing songs they're proud of and getting them out to whoever wants to hear it. That's how I felt before all that crazy stuff happened [with the success of the singles], and that's how I feel now. And don't rely on managers and labels, there's so much more that you can do by yourself. I think that artists that are emerging now are a lot more aware of how much you can do alone. My main advice is to be as business-savvy as possible.