Badassery Knows No Bounds: An Interview With Alt-Rock Band Cold Bassist, TEDx Speaker, & Newly Published Author Lindsay Manfredi

Lindsay Manfredi, bassist for the alternative rock band Cold, author, and all around badass is a master of many trades.

Manfredi, a talented singer-songwriter on her own accord, got a spider tattoo over twenty years ago to honor her favorite band at the time, Cold, while she was working on her own projects- little did she know she’d soon be performing with them.

In 2014, the lead singer, Scooter Ward, reached out after hearing Manfredi play and she officially joined the band. The band has sold over one million records in the United States, and their most recent record, The Things We Can’t Stop, debuted at #34 on the Billboard charts. Despite the band’s 2020 tour being cancelled, Manfredi has credited the time at home with allowing her to focus on completing her first book.

Unfuckwithable: A Guide to Inspired Badassery is a memoir, detailing Manfredi’s personal development. Having dealt with bullying and abuse over the course of her life, Manfredi hopes to make a positive impact on others by sharing her personal experiences. She shares what she has experienced growing up in the Midwest, joining her favorite band, and her everyday life. The book covers the highs and lows of being a performing artist, and shares the valuable lessons she has learned while being in the music industry for over twenty years. A heartfelt and personal book, she hopes that she can help readers discover who their authentic selves are, and what they truly want to do. 

In 2010, Manfredi co-founded Girls Rock Indianapolis, a non-profit summer camp for girls ages eight to sixteen. The rock and roll summer camp aims at providing girls a safe place to grow their personal and musical skills. The camp encourages girls to use music as a means of creating personal and social change, while creating a safe environment for them to collaborate with others and experiment musically. The camp fights sexism by empowering young girls to use their voices. Manfredi’s projects have touched many, as she continues to blaze her own path in the industry.

Manfredi’s talents go beyond her musical endeavors, as she is a two time TEDx speaker, luxury candle maker, former ghostwriting and social media marketing campaign owner, and a frequent speaker on social media marketing panels. Her expertise and creative drive knows no bounds.

So where did you grow up and who or what got you into music?

I grew up in Kokomo, IN. A small little city about 35 miles north of Indianapolis. While I sang in the church choir, I didn’t really have my own sense of what I loved. I always loved hearing Tears for Fears on the radio in the carpool on the way to school, but it was really Debbie Gibson and Madonna that had me singing, and Courtney Love years later that made me pick up a guitar. The 90s grunge era definitely shaped me as an artist. 

How would you describe your musical style?

My music style varies according to what project I’m working on. I love so many genres and styles of music. I’m an indie/alt rock fan for the most part, so I love that I get to play that with Cold. I guess that genre is pretty on point across the board for me musically.  

I read that Cold was your favorite band prior to joining, and that you even got a spider tattoo to honor them while you were working on other projects. What was it like to join them?

Being able to join one of my favorite bands was a very surreal experience. It still sometimes is. I feel honored and blessed to be able to work with these amazing artists. I’ve also worked consistently on music over 20 years. So, there’s some validation in the fact that I never gave up on it, despite the many bands I had been in over the years. 

What is one of your fondest memories of either recording or touring with Cold?

I think one of the greatest memories was being asked to play “Just Got Wicked” halfway through Breaking Benjamin’s sold out Scranton show in 2019. We were in PA rehearsing for the Broken Human Tour, and BB was playing about 30 minutes from us. Nick hit up Ben and told him we were in the ‘hood, and Ben asked us to come do a song. Being able to play to 15K people with Ben and Shaun Foist, on top of it being our first performance as the new Cold lineup, was pretty insane and completely magical. Which was also the catalyst in Scooter doing the song “Far Away” with Breaking Benjamin. 

I see you founded a nonprofit rock and roll summer camp for girls, which is awesome. What inspired you to start that program?

I was just a co-founder. It was really Sharon Rickson who brought Girls Rock to Indy. She had gone to Seattle and volunteered at their chapter. When she came back, she asked a few of us to be on board and lift it off the ground in Indianapolis. So, myself, along with Ashley Plummer-Gilchrist and Tasha Blackman, helped her and we also started the band Neon Love Life. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than me, that could help nurture music and growth into young girls. That was one of the most rewarding things of my life, and also, being able to do a TEDx talk on it was pretty incredible. 

What has been the most rewarding part of watching that project flourish?

The fact that GRI is almost a decade running strong is the most rewarding part. I’m no longer any part of it, as I’ve been in California for over four years. But I love watching it continue to thrive. 

I see you owned a ghostwriting and social media marketing company before you started doing music full time. How has that impacted your musical career? 

As a ghostwriter, you’re asked to get out of your own writing style and step into someone else’s shoes and write in their voice. Which is comparable to working with other people and music. I have to listen and learn the music style of people I work with and serve their songs. Also, as an online marketer, I have a pretty solid marketing background, which has helped immensely with my musical career and my career as a new author. 

You just released your first book, Unfuckwithable: A Guide to Inspired Badassery— congratulations! Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I was going through a pretty nasty breakup, which inspired birth of this project. I was reading a lot of books to help get me reacquainted with my true self and the power I had over what was showing up in my life. I needed to go back and just get to the core of my being because I had let someone try to control and gaslight me for years. It was just one of those things where I had gone through such a rough time, yet I had the Universe also bless me in a million ways, such as a new beginning with Cold. I felt called to share those experiences to give others hope and inspiration.

You credit quarantine for giving you time to focus on finishing Unfuckwithable. What was that process like? 

I had made the decision to self-publish my book this year after nearly 75 query letters and proposals to agents and publishers were rejected. It was during the process of me looking for an independent editor, that Rose Gold Publishing reached out and asked for the manuscript. I sent it them and within a few days, I had an offer and contract. That was in February 2020 and my book was released in June 2020. At the time of signing the contract, Cold had just booked our spring tour and were getting ready to leave for rehearsals in PA. The quarantine hit literally two days before my flight out. So, while we thought it was going to be a month-long quarantine, we now see how the pandemic has affected live music in an unprecedented way. I literally lost my income for the year, so I had to pivot my thinking and way of working. And while it broke my heart to not be on stage, the silver lining was that it gave me the time to really focus on working with my editor and making the final manuscript flow as it does. But as a creative, I have the worst ADD. The release of the book would have probably been delayed had I been on tour because all my focus would have been on that rather than working on the book edits.  

What advice do you have for creatives looking to make an album, write a book, and so on?

My biggest advice for creatives comes from the movie Field of Dreams and LL Cool J.

1. Build it and they will come. 2. Doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well. 

Create the thing – that means taking the time to practice, write, edit, go back, re-do, re-write, re-edit. Whatever you do, you have to do the actual work. I talk about all of these things in my book. Doing the thing well comes from the work, then the practice. If you have a vision, don’t dismiss it. Don’t care at all what anyone says about it. You have ideas placed into your heart and mind for a reason. It is your responsibility to allow your creativity to flourish. Co-creating with the Universe is something no one can touch. Listen to your heart, do the work, and do it well. 

What might fans expect from Lindsay Manfredi to close out the year?

There are currently things I’m working on that I’m not able to share right now. I will say there is rarely a dull moment. I also have to be patient and allow things to flow in perfect timing. Maybe these things will happen this year, maybe next. But I promise you, I am creating with amazing artists.

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