Lisa Marie Presley's early attempts at breaking into the family business were overshadowed by the family legacy - she is, after all, the only child of Elvis, ex-wife of both Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, and survivor of a chemically enhanced childhood. But after taking some seven years out of the limelight to find her footing, Presley returns this week with the excellent T Bone Burnett-produced album "Storm and Grace," a vintage-sounding set of songs that gives her rich, bluesy voice the showcase it deserves. The first single, "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," is out now. She talked to us at a playground near her home in Los Angeles.
Q: Why did it take you seven years to do your third album?
A: I was exorcising demons. Shedding skin. I went through a lot of things. I got rid of everything I ever knew - people, things, labels. I just went through a whole whitewash and then I woke up and went through a processing period, moved to England and had some children.
Q: In a way this feels like the first serious album you have ever made. How does it feel to find yourself at 44?
A: In the past I was always pushed in the pop arena. I was never a pop star. I've always been a singer-songwriter. There was so much business going on and torture by the previous label. It was a constant battleground. It was never right. It was so not my nature. This is more who I am, without question.
Q: Did you feel like you were pushed into being a pop star in the first place because of your father and the family name or is it something you genuinely wanted to do?
A: I was always in the mirror with the microphone since I was 2 or 3. It's just that I'm a singer-songwriter. It's what I've always been. But with my former label I was constantly battling something. I could feel it. I wanted to hide behind a lot of production. It was safer. This is where I'm at in my life more.
Q: The good thing about the first two records is that everyone got over the novelty of you making records.
A: You're exactly right. It was a blessing. This time, I want the music to speak louder than my life or anything else that's spoken - not anything else I've done or my life. I did all those talk shows that were really uncomfortable and talked about the things I didn't want to. I feel like I paid my dues.
Q: Now you can let your daughter Riley Keough (star of the new movie "Jack and Diane") take it all on.
A: Oh, God. She's much more together than I ever was.