[Interview] Co-Writer/Songwriter Lowell for BLOODTHIRSTY
Still from BLOODTHIRSTY l Courtesy of Fantastic Fest

Elizabeth Lowell Boland, known by stage name Lowell, is a singer and song-writer that – honestly – we should probably pay more attention to in the States. Making her vocal debut in 2012, Lowell has been steadily working in the music industry with her debut album We Loved Her Dearly coming out in 2014 and her follow-up album Lone Wolf coming out in 2018.  When she’s not writing her own material, she has lent her songwriting prowess for artists Demi Lovato, Madison Beer, Hailee Steinfeld, and Bülow. Now we get to see her shift writing gears in what marks her feature writing debut in the recent world premiered werewolf horror film, BLOODTHIRSTY.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Lowell, via email about BLOODTHIRSTY, about how the film served as a bit of an autobiography for the performer, what it was like working with Amelia Moses, and the pressure that comes with writing music.

To start things off, could you guys talk about how this film’s story came to fruition?

Lowell: I had just returned from touring my debut record and was struggling to complete my sophomore album when Wendy suggested we try writing a treatment together.  We began talking about the music industry, the pressures I had been under up until that point as a musician, and the concept of being a martyr for art when you’re an artist. process of creating true art.

In the collaborative process in making the film, what was it like working with director Amelia Moses?

Lowell: Amelia is wonderful and we were so thrilled when she agreed to direct the film. I will say, we had been writing over several years and so by the time we were ready to shoot, I was pretty ready to pass the baton. As a creative, that can be really emotionally difficult to do but having someone as talented as Amelia only made me feel confident in where the film was heading. From day one I had complete trust in her abilities. She casted the film brilliantly and I was really impressed with her efforts to cast from within the LGBTQ community. From the day she came on, I was just delighted at every step of the way watching her bring our vision to life.

Still from BLOODTHIRSTY l Courtesy of Fantastic Fest

Since this film focuses on wolves (more specifically werewolves), what was your research process like?

Lowell: I don’t think either of us walked into this as die-hard werewolf fans. I have a personal connection to wolves and always have and so that’s what inspired the idea. I think I was artistically about to crack and we thought if I did, what would that look like. Therefore our relationship with the werewolf concept was more a study of humans than of werewolves. However we watched a lot of movies, and we had a lot of discussions, mostly based around what we didn’t like about the werewolves we’d seen until now. We explored the mythology as well but in the end, ultimately decided to leave most of that out.

Lowell, I really enjoyed the songs. They were simple, but the lyrics had that emotional thread that carried throughout the film as Grey changed and evolved. What was your creative process like writing these songs?

Lowell: Thank you. Honestly, as a songwriter, I’m always growing and this year was probably one of my biggest years of growth. I had written a collection of songs for the movie over the years and a lot of choosing which songs to put where was simply putting them in chronological order. The growth was completely authentic and natural that way.

What logistical challenges, if any, did you guys have in figuring out the right moments to input the songs in the script?

Lowell: I think the hardest thing was creating a song that was so clearly a symbol of development in Grey’s artistic abilities. There was a lot of pressure there, especially because we didn’t want the first songs to be “bad” either.

Still from BLOODTHIRSTY l Courtesy of Fantastic Fest

One of the topics of conversation in the film that circles back is this concept of predator vs. prey and having to make that decision to decide who you are. In terms of the entertainment industry and the arts, there’s still sort of that mentality in a way. What are your thoughts on that?

Lowell: I mean, so much of this film is autobiographical. I was struggling as an artist and I literally felt I was being eaten alive by the media, the expectation of my peers, and the pressure of being what an artist is supposed to be. The predator vs. prey concept stayed throughout the film and existed on so many levels, from the sexualization of artists, the power dynamics between the successful and the rising/ males vs. females, and even the consumers and the artists.

To wrap things up, how have you both been tackling the creative during this turbulent year? I know for myself I’ve been scribbling ideas down for when I one day have the bandwidth to tackle fleshing them out.

Lowell: I’m mostly back to my usual songwriting career. We’ve been zooming non- stop and truly I don’t mind it! I don’t miss the travel. Also with some spare time, I’m on to writing my first fiction novel!

BLOODTHIRSTY had its World Premiere at the Celebration of Fantastic Fest on October 1, 2020. To learn more about the film, check out our review.

Sarah Musnicky
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