Interview: Tera Lynne Fister Celebrates the Release of Her First Single, "Hell Raiser"
Tell us a little bit about how you got in to music.
My mom always said I came out of the womb singing. She said I could sing before I could form sentences. I would sit in my car seat and mimic the radio. It actually got to a point growing up where my family was telling me to be quiet lol because I was always humming, singing, or screaming. I sang at school and took piano, guitar, drum, and vocal lessons all through grade school. As far as the business side goes, I started working at my local music store, Tower Music, when was 15. I had to actually get a workers permit because I was too young, but it’s all I wanted to do. This is the same store where I took all my lessons growing up so they were basically my second family. Then at 21 I packed up all my things and moved to Nashville. I’ve been doing music full time ever since.
Who inspires you, musically and personally?
Musically I really am obsessed with Dave Grohl. I love how loud his guitars and drums are mixed in the Foo Fighters records. I am a complete sucker for a rocking head banger. I think “Best of You” is truly an amazing piece of work. I am also inspired by Kacey Musgraves with her subtle stunning voice and the emotions in her lyrics. I love all the breathing room, sonically speaking, in her records. I adore the simple yet profound lyrics and writing of Merle Haggard. I love the wit and banter of Hayes Carll. I think you can hear a little bit of all of them in my record. They are who I grew up listening too and adoring so there’s no way they didn’t sneak in there, probably unbeknownst to me at the time.
Personally, my mother inspires me daily to be a good person and just be a good human. That’s all the world needs. Her memory reminds me to put others before myself when I can and to always have a willing ear. I am also inspired daily by the fellow artists around me. My friends who are on the same musical journey I am who are independent artists putting all of their hard earned money into themselves and their art. It is hard, time, emotionally, and money consuming. It is not an endeavor for the faint of heart. My musical community is so impressive. I cannot believe they let me in the doors sometimes. But I am REAALLLYYYY happy they do!
Congrats on your self-titled debut album. What is the story behind it? How does it reflect where you are in your life?
To keep it short sweet and simply. My favorite line to describe the album is “28 years of Tera in seven songs.” It is a diary. It reflects on where I am in my life in all my personal relationships, including the one I have with myself, which I believe is the most important one.
Was there ever music playing in the kitchen growing up?
We left it on 92.3 WIL St. Louis country radio station day and night. My mom always said it was for the dogs, but I think we all agreed we just loved having music in the house. Do you cook as much as you can when off the road or do you prefer eating out?
I love cooking. I truly believe it is an art all on its own. I love feeding those I love. But I am also the queen of wanting to try new restaurants that just opened. I love seeing how the chef cooked the meal and what flavors he or she chose to compliment the meat or side dish. It allows for neuron connections that maybe I haven’t made yet and can now have in my tool box when cooking. That’s why I love to eat at vegetarian and vegan places; I learn SO much just being a customer there! I have actually thought about getting a job at one of the vegetarian places in town just for the knowledge it would provide me with.
What’s your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Salt and garlic hands down, and lemon. I love lemon on a lot of things. Tell us about one memorable meal you’ve had during your travels. What did it involve?
The best breakfast I have ever had in my life was when I was in Berlin. It was the most simple things, avocado toast and eggs, and I am telling you it was life changing. I have plans to go back to Berlin just to get back to that restaurant. The bread was fresh and homemade in the restaurant, the eggs were from down the street, and whatever they did to that avocado mash I have not been able to recreate it to save my life. God I love food.
Is there anywhere you have wanted to travel or a restaurant you have always wanted to dine in that you have not yet? Or somewhere you cannot wait to get back to?
I have always wanted to go to India and dine. I love Indian food and to be able to be in the actual environment I would be so humbled and stuffed. I would probably be in pain most of the time from trying everything haha! One food you sneak a little extra of when no one is looking?
Ice cream! Ice cream has been my weakness since birth.
After playing a late show, what is your go-to food?
I try not to eat late. But desperate times call for desperate measures, breakfast food is usually my natural instinct.
Aside from your passion for food and music, what's the one thing that really keeps you ticking?
My family. I have a pretty story book family. Now, not to say we're not all little weirdos in our own right (I am speaking about my direct family - my brother, sister, dad, and me), but we love and support each other no matter how tough or what is going on. We are all close to each other and we will not let anyone fail. If it is heart driven and sincere and the work has been put in, we will make it happen. Plus, I have two awesome nieces and nephews that have been an absolute blessing to have around. I learn so much just being with them. And I have gained an amazing brother and sister via marriage. Family is what keeps me ticking. I would never want to let them down or cause them pain because of poor decisions on my behalf. They are my grounding and my wings all at the same time. Everybody “Awwwww” now lol Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why?
First Watch. I keep that place in business. First Watch, if you’re reading this; 1. You’re welcome. 2. Help a sister out! Haha
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Pink hair. Tattoos. A sassy attitude to go with her edgy guitar licks and gritty power vocals. If you’ve ever listened to live music in Nashville, you may have seen this soul bearing independent artist entertaining locals and tourists alike with her band, Lady and the Gents. Tera Lynne Fister catches the room on fire with a magic her mama used to call psychedelic honkytonk rock. With a family line of musical talent and exposure to a wide variety of genres since childhood, the St Louis native is now making her music her way in the heart of Music City. Her self-titled debut album, set to release February 21, 2020, is what the songstress affectionately labels “28 years of Tera in a 7 song diary” and will feature the first of three singles dropping as early as November 15th. An all-star team includes co writers and producers Thom Donovan and Christopher Griffiths of the Will Hoge band, as well as five time Grammy award winner Ray Kennedy, who mastered the project. Always one to collaborate, Tera has also lent her talents as rhythm guitarist and background vocalist for Kelsey Hickman, opening for acts like Neal McCoy and Alabama. She can also be seen singing BGVs on tapings of “Real Country”, a singing competition that aired on the USA Network in 2018. Eight years of honing her craft professionally in Nashville has reiterated the importance of growth, community, and perseverance for the self-proclaimed “searcher of art and lover of color”. Tera’s creative input and gifts of empathy and compassion are just the right combination for communicating with audiences on all levels, creating a sense of nostalgia and oneness.