Bonding with Warpaint’s Jenny Lee Lindberg and Sister-Collaborator Shannyn Sossamon
Shannyn Sossamon has scored mainstream roles in films such as A Knight’s Tale and The Holiday, while her blend of startling beauty and whip-smarts continues to land her on arthouse screens: she’ll next appear in Monte Hellman's neo-noir Road To Nowhere. The actor-musician has retired as drummer for LA-based indie quartet Warpaint, but recently directed a video for the hotly tipped band’s song “Undertow,” and her little sister Jenny Lee Lindberg still rocks as the bassist. The opening track “Set Your Arms Down” from Warpaint’s latest album The Fool plays on NOWNESS today. We sat down with the talented siblings, both Reno natives transplanted to LA, to talk musical roots and family ties.
Tell us how your sister has influenced you artistically.
SS: Jen kicked my ass to pick up a guitar and learn how to play. We inspire each other musically, filling each other’s empty rhythm pockets.
JL: Mostly her dancing. I looked up to how much she loved it.
Jen, when did you first pick up a bass guitar?
JL: I was 18 years old. I tinkered instinctively until my boyfriend, when I was 21, was a musician and made me practice for hours. Which lead to a breakup.
Shannyn, you played drums for Warpaint in the early years, before pursuing acting projects. How did that come about?
SS: When we first started Warpaint, we were all playing guitars and looking for a drummer to be a fifth member. One day, Theresa was playing a chord progression that would become the song "Stars." I sat behind the drums and started playing. I couldn't stop.
What was it like to form a band together?
JL: Awesome. We always had the same ideas about what we wanted musically. We know we are meant to collaborate.
SS: Our chemistry is too damn good.
Shannyn, how did you come to direct Warpaint’s music video?
SS: The girls knew I love directing videos and wanted to keep exploring it. They asked me to direct “Undertow.” It was a healing experience.
SS: A lot of falling in love. The magical highlight was traveling with Monte Hellman and his family to see Road to Nowhere at the Venice Film Festival. It's a different kind of glamour than what Los Angeles has to offer.
JL: A whirlwind! I'm doing my favorite thing ever—that alone is invigorating. Really hard work, but I got to be on stage for most of the year. But then comes the decompression when I get home. It's a strange combination.
How will you spend the holidays?
SS: Home. Cooking. Kids. Red Wine. Music. Books.
JL: Rest. Wreck. Rest. Wreck.
Photo by Mia Kirby