She was born into an Italian-American Catholic family and was raised as one of six children. She and her siblings were gently goaded to learn to play a musical instrument at an early age by their parents – both of whom were musicians themselves. Lisa Germano wrote her first fifteen minute opera on the piano at age seven. Lisa would later on learn to play the violin, the stringed instrument that would ultimately guide her to stardom in her professional musical career.
She first played in a professional capacity as John Mellencamp's violinist and fiddle player on his The Lonesome Jubilee – the 1987 hit album. Lisa then spent the next seven years working with him over several other musical projects and tours. During this time, additional tours and recording sessions with Simple Minds and the Indigo Girls gave Lisa Germano the impetus to do something on her own.
Her first solo album came out when Lisa Germano was 30 years of age. It was titled “On the Way Down From the Moon Palace”. The lo-fi album was put out on her own recording label – Major Bill – in 1991. This was to be known as Germano’s baptism by fire introduction into the solo artist scene.
Unfortunately, sales of the album were low – but due to her naturally evident talent, the album caught the attention of Capitol Records. She signed on with Capitol and took only two years before releasing her second solo album, “Happiness”. Germano was unhappy with her major-label deal and signed with Ivo Watts-Russel’s 4AD Records in 1994.
With 4AD records she reissued a new version of her “Happiness” album.
By the same year, “Geek the Girl” was also released. This critically acclaimed album garnered Lisa her greatest praise from the media sector, becoming one of the noted albums from the mid-1990 era.
Two years later in 1996, “Excerpts from a Love Circus” was released and was given acclaim by the whole range of print magazines ranging from independent-oriented magazines to the titans: Spin and Rolling Stone. Sales of the album also flopped however, and after releasing “Slide” in 1998, Germano took a hasty respite from the music scene. In a matter of months, she cut her ties with 4AD.
That same year, Germano was hired as member of “The Smashing Pumpkins” as a violinist and for backup vocals. She left before the tour began for reasons unknown.
Germano continued songwriting in collaborative efforts with artists like David Bowie, Anna Waronker, Eels and Neil Finn on various projects. She did all this despite moving to Hollywood to take on a small job at a book store. She also released two collections of songs from her back catalogue independently, “Concentrated” and “Rare, Unusual or Just Bad Songs”, both in 2002.
Also in 2002, Lisa Germano signed up with ARTISTdirect imprint Ineffable. She would release “Lullaby for Liquid Pig” with the label before the imprint closed down.
In July of 2006, she released “In the Maybe World” under Young God Records, a label owned by Michael Gira of the Swans and home to Devendra Banhart and Angels of Light.