Awhile back we went to an underground party following the opening of a show by artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. The room was dark and there were beautiful people standing around psychedelic sculptures (think Daria Werbowy in jeans and a tee and crystal castles made from silver sea urchins). Then the hum of an amplifier and a few organ chords, and suddenly we are standing next to Psychic Ills playing as if it were a high school basement acid-throw-down. Beyond the sheer uninhibited joy and incredibly deep pleasure of hearing them, was seeing them, and her - specifically. Elizabeth Hart. The bassist mega babe who took our hearts. Unanimously we identified as having serious girl crushes and then stood entranced by her hip length dark hair covering her delicate features and floor length bohemian gown patterned with tiny purple flowers. It was love at first sight, and destiny to meet, as it were. We shared things in common, like strong female friendships and an ex-boyfriend. We sat down recently with this epic babe while she was home in New York on a break from touring with Psychic Ills for their new album, Inner Journey Out (for which Justin and Jonah did the album artwork). We first dipped her in glitter and shot three rolls of film. Here are answers to a few simple questions, seeking to find out more about the illusive enigma that is Elizabeth Hart...

What is a movie that never fails to make you cry?

Practically anything can make me cry.  I watched 'Heathers' again recently, that made me cry.

Which song feels like your theme song when you're in your element?

This changes often and depends on the element and my mood.  The past couple of months I have been listening to a lot of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, there voices together are heavenly and I love the stories old country songs tell.  At the same time I have also been listening to a few different Lot Radio dance mixes, they always put me in a good mood.  One song that I can always go back to because of the nostalgia it carries is Q Lazzarus' 'Goodbye Horses'.  It's kind of a theme song for me and some friends... makes me smile, cry and dance all at once.

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I've worn the same motorcycle jacket for at least 10 years at this point, I guess that's not an outfit, but definitely a staple in my wardrobe and something I could see wearing forever.

What is the most memorable note or letter ever written to you?

A friend wrote me a letter when I was going through a bad break up, that snapped me out of my heartbreak almost instantaneously.  It was very straightforward.  It was a long letter but in a nutshell, she basically explained that all the space that I was holding for that person was now open for something else to come in.  He and I simply were not from the same village... I was a strawberry and he was a plum and we didn't match.   

What is your favorite weather?

Summer, swimming in the ocean is one of my favorite things.  

If you could live anywhere other than New York, where would it be?

Maybe Austin, Texas or somewhere in California?  A place that is warmer most of the time and an easier lifestyle sounds pretty appealing at this point in my life.

Qualities you look for in a friend?

Loyalty, common interests.

How many times have you felt like you had to be more masculine than feminine in order to be respected as a musician?

I haven't really felt like I needed to be more one way than the other necessarily.  I also used to play in two other bands that were all women and in Psychic Ills I have always been the only girl.  The dynamic is definitely different and the perception is as well I think, but it hasn't made me feel as though I needed to be more masculine or feminine to be respected.  Its funny though, this question does remind me of what a reviewer from the NY Times said about SKINT (an all female music/dance group that I performed in for several years) when we performed at the Kitchen a while back.  He described us as wearing "mostly trashy, mostly white underwear," which was so far from the truth, and that was probably the least sexist thing he said!  He did preface the article with, "However much I feel like a dirty old man..." so go figure. 

Who are your favorite female artists in music?

There are so many amazing women in music who I admire but Dolly Parton and Stevie Nicks are always at the top of the list.

You have to have at least a few male groupies??

Eh, I don't think so... besides touring just isn't that sexy.  It's so amazing to get to see so many different places, meet new people and play every night but it's work too.  

Why the bass?

Its the rhythm and the heartbeat.

Psychic Ills

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PHOTOGRAPHY BON JANE