Musician Dylan Hundley is the lead singer for Lulu Lewis, a New York City band that she founded with her husband, guitarist Pablo Martin. Dubbing themselves a “Harlem Punk Rock” band, their influences include punk rock, goth, psychedelia and soul.
Hundley is no stranger to the spotlight. As an actress she appeared in several films, the most high-profile of which were 1990’s “Metropolitan” and 1998’s “The Last Days of Disco,” both directed by Whit Stillman.
The biggest surprise about Hundley is her secret identity as a mother, raising a child in New York City’s suburbs. But she doesn’t see any contradiction between her role as a mom and her role at the microphone, and one gets the sense that despite the many twists and turns she took in her life, she wouldn’t do any of it differently.
The Z Review caught up with Dylan Hundley and subjected her to our grueling “Five Questions” treatment. She was kind enough to forgive our interviewer’s mistaken understanding of her filmography in the second question and finish up the interview anyway, for which she has our undying gratitude.
TZR: Tell me how Lulu Lewis was founded. Did you have a long history in music that led you to work with your bandmates or is this a new thing for you?
DH: Lulu Lewis was founded by me and my husband, Pablo Martin. I have been in and around the music world nearly my whole life in various ways from DJ to A&R and on but, this is my first band. I had a few of the songs we do for some time and tried to find to musical partners in the past but, it never worked until Pablo. Our synergies are happily many. He and I are the foundation of Lulu. Live we play with some great folks. Consistently with William X Harvey on bass and Jay Mumford on the drums. We’ve also been joined live by Jay Dee Daugherty of the Patti Smith Group and Hamish Kilgour of the The Clean. Really honored to play with all these gentlemen. All wonderful musicians.
TZR: Do you ever want to get back into acting or was that just a one-time thing?
DH: Ha ha, it wasn’t a one-time thing. I just only had success as an actress in one film. I followed that path for some time. I don’t plan to go back. My biggest creative passions have always been film and music. However, music has always been much more meaningful. Being the front of a band is way more satisfying than acting to me in a film to me. It’s like live theater, which is also more fun than film. It’s so present and alive. Can’t be beat in that regard. I think my years as actor prepared me for this in many ways. What I learned there, as in how to be a good live performer, I’m able to carry over to this. I’ve thought that maybe doing this has made me a better actor too possibly but, I love what I’m doing here so much, I only want to follow this to where ever it takes me at this point.
TZR: How has Lulu Lewis been received by audiences so far? Do you have plans coming up to release it to a wider audience somehow?
DH: Audience reception has been really wonderful in many ways. Deeply grateful for this. My favorite part in this regard is the inspiration we seem to provide to people. At nearly every show we do, someone comes to me after to share how they were moved by the experience to go home and finish a creative project they are in the midst of or one friend came to me after a show to tell me they were considering quitting what they were doing and our show enlivened them to keep going. These types of sentiments move me greatly. It’s what I want to get out of a show! And what my favorite artists do for me. My favorite compliment overall was wonderfully weird. A kid came to me after a gig and said…first, you were Lady Macbeth…then you were Stevie Nicks…and then you turned into a witch. I loved that.
In terms of a wider audience, certainly. We’ve just released an EP and plan on having the full LP out by end of year. We’re just starting to get some great radio play and press so, hopefully this starts to carry us far and wide.
TZR: You’re over 29 and a mother. Is there anything about doing this at this stage in your life that you hope your son will take positive lessons from?
DH: It has taken a lot of time, courage and risk on my part to go out here and do this very un-apologetically. Society doesn’t make it easy for anyone to flourish. Not really. Much less a woman. I’m not a cynical human, I’m not. Possibly foolishly optimistic at times but, even so, it took me a long time to get here through many an obstacle.
People have a hard time letting themselves out of their respective boxes. I’m deeply empathic to that. I got out. I dearly hope the lesson to my son, when he is old enough to understand, is to be courageous for himself, his creative passions, his needs as a human and, kind within doing so to others. Stay out of the box in all ways.
TZR: Iggy Pop vs. Alice Cooper. Go.
DH: You know me! With all due respect to Mr. Cooper, and he deserves his due as a courageous dude who did some awesome off the charts stuff at a similar point in time, Iggy is probably my biggest inspiration as a performer and musician. Very biggest. My love for him is profoundly deep. When David Bowie died I felt like I lost a family member and could barely move from bed for 3 days and cried off and on for longer. When Iggy goes, and he seems really healthy so, I think we have awhile thank goodness, I may mourn for a year! So, in short, James Newell Osterburg Jr.