Lisa Germano | InterviewWhen you confront stuff you get rid of your anger.
Lullaby for Liquid Pig
One of the “Teen Creed” tenets on a plaque that my parents nailed to my bedroom wall as a youngster read: “Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Singer/songwriter Lisa Germano knows a thing or two about confrontation, and debates (calmly) whether a Joe Pesci modus operandi is necessarily naught.
How do you react to confrontation? I actually like it because it gets things done. I spent a lot of years not being confrontational, and I think that when you’re like that you hold a lot of anxiety and anger and it makes you sick.
I think that confrontation is facing a foe or something you don’t agree with, and being confrontational means you’re essentially a hot head. But maybe that’s not even bad. It means you’re really direct. I got fired once, actually twice, for being confrontational, in the music business. But what I learned was that I didn’t do anything wrong. But I didn’t really care. You have to be prepared for the risk that you take.
In everyday life, when is confrontation justified? It depends if something happens that you feel you need to stand up for. Driving in LA is really irritating. If somebody takes my parking spot, sometimes I will get out of the car and say: “That was really, really nice.” It’s hard for me to shut up, and I will do that because otherwise I just get angry. I’ll take it home and be mean to somebody else. I think that anger spreads when you’re not confrontational, which is just the opposite of what people think confrontational people are – angry people who want to fight all the time. When you confront stuff you get rid of your anger. But you can’t beat up people. That’s different – that’s being violent, I guess.
How do you feel about spectator sports – isn’t that a form of confrontation? I see that as entertainment. I like to watch sports because it’s so amazing to see these people do amazing feats. Like when a quarterback throws a long pass to this person and it goes absolutely right into their hands with five people around them. It mind-boggles me. I like to watch those kinds of sports because they’re exciting when little miracles happen. It’s bad when people care too much about winning, but I don’t know if that’s confrontational.
How did you deal with things when you were younger? I let people step all over me. I was really sick and kind of agoraphobic. Before I got therapy, when I was 25 or 26, I was a mess. It was all because I was shy and scared to say what I thought, and it got to this point where I couldn’t even leave the house without being afraid of where I was going. When I started to get therapy, I did so for one reason: John Mellencamp asked me to join his band. So I went right into it and my therapist taught me how to confront things, and my panic attacks lessened.
What’s your opinion about the confrontation in ? I’m not somebody who thinks war should exist at all. We’ve learned from history about how this absolutely should never happen again; it makes no sense. But by them confronting this, they are getting things done. But they shouldn’t go to war. So it’s is definitely affecting me. I feel depressed a lot, but I don’t know what else to do but sign petitions and write.
There’s only so much to do. I think you have to try – I think writing or being creative always helps the world, in an unconscious way. I read an article the other day that I really like by an author named Arundhati Roy about how being active and positive is very powerful, and it’s harder to do that to get depresses and apathetic. So that’s a food thing to do – challenge yourself to rise above it instead of the easiness of just giving up.