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Plumb finds a measure of sweetness in chaotic life

For The Tennessean

The similarities between Nashville native Plumb and Evanescence's Amy Lee are uncanny.

They both rock it neo-Goth-style. They have the same jet-black, curly locks. Both started their music careers in Christian music. Heck, they even have the same last name.

What sets the two apart is that Plumb (aka Tiffany Arbuckle Lee) began crafting her ominous yet radio-friendly alt-pop sound years before Amy even considered fishnet tights as a fashion accessory. In fact, Ms. Evanescence cites Plumb as a musical influence.

Following a busy year that included recording her fourth and latest effort, Chaotic Resolve (Curb), and giving birth to Solomon, the first child for her and husband Jeremy, Plumb sat down to discuss motherhood, chaos and becoming the next Bonnie Hunt.

Question: Your new album finally hit shelves on Feb. 28, almost a year after you finished it. Has the delay been brutal?

Answer: I delivered the record on March 18, 2005, and my son four days later, so the wait ended up becoming a huge blessing. No tours or promoting the new album meant I could spend more time discovering how to be a mom. Some girls are born to be mothers, but that was not me. I'm anything but a domestic goddess. I don't cook well; the house isn't always clean. So having the year off to get used to the ins and outs of motherhood was perfect timing.

Describe the meaning behind the title Chaotic Resolve.

Every song on this record was, is or very easily could be elements of chaos. The "resolve" is not necessarily that the chaos is fixed, but that I had just accepted the situation for what has been, what will be or could be.

Manic was written about a friend of mine who was emotionally either really high or really low. Life is great one second, horrible the next — I hate you, I love you. That roller coaster ride, although sometimes interesting, can be extremely frustrating. I found myself putting expectations on her and I kept living in disappointment when she wouldn't meet them. I learned that I needed to lower my expectations. The resolve amongst the chaos of her life was not that she changed; but instead, I choose to love and respect her regardless of how she made me feel. As a result, maybe the grace that has changed me will change her. But even if it doesn't, I will still love and respect her. You breathe a little easier when you take that pressure off yourself.

You use words such as "haunting" and "piercing" to describe the album. Are you really that intense?

To a fault, sometimes. I'm pretty dramatic. I don't know where it comes from, but I more or less act that out in my music. Onstage, I create a character that's mysterious, sad or happy, but as soon as I walk off, I transform back to being a mom, a wife, myself.

Looks like an acting career might be the natural next step.

I've thought about it a lot. I'd love to play a Bonnie Hunt-type role, as support to the lead character: The best friend who's witty and full of personality but doesn't have to make out with guys or say things I wouldn't want my son to repeat.

Your lyrics typically carry a darker tone. Which emotions do you find yourself writing about the most?

Typically, anger, pain, frustration . . . heavier feelings. It's rarely something positive that makes me want to write. There are a couple of songs on Chaotic Resolve that are kind of love songs toward my husband, but mostly it's therapeutic for me to write about things that tick me off.

That's very un-CCM of you.

It probably gets me in trouble sometimes, but if I'm being faithful to God, my family and my art, what the industry thinks doesn't really matter to me. •