Kevin Winter, Getty Images T.I. and Lil Wayne are teaming up once again, only this…
- Posted on Aug 12th 2008 4:00PM by David Chiu
"Someone in the audience [was] like, 'More guitar! We don't need violin!'" Haden tells Spinner. "But then I got over it after a while. I was like, 'Screw you, I'm gonna keep playing the violin.' That's when I started noticing more violins in rock bands -- David Mathews Band, the Dixie Chicks -- [and] I felt more positive. "
The violinist, who is the daughter of renowned jazz bassist Charlie Haden, has since become a solo artist and a collaborator with the Decemberists, Beck, Bill Frisell and many other musicians. Her latest album is 'Hearts & Daggers,' her second project with accordionist and vocalist Miss Murgatroid (aka Alicia J. Rose). Featuring violin, viola, accordion and voices, 'Hearts & Daggers' is an ethereal-sounding work that shows some classical and avant-garde influences.
"I think that's why I like it so much," Haden says, "because you can't really classify it. It's open to interpretation. It's definitely not country."
Rose, who has known Haden since the mid '90s, describes 'Hearts & Daggers' as a "record without a genre." "It is filled with emotion and drama," she says, "even though it might be more abstract to the listener than it was to us. It was extremely powerful to have made this record. I feel like it took a lot out of us. "
'Hearts & Daggers' is the first new release in nine years from Rose and Haden since their previous effort Bella Neurox. At the time it was a one-off project, but it took the encouragement of a fan to convince the two musicians to work together again. "Alicia was just so swamped with her life," Haden explains, "and I was swamped with mine, that it ended up being now. "
For her own work, in addition to playing the violin, Haden also uses her voice to imitate the sounds of various instruments. "When my dad bought me a four-track for my birthday," she says, "I experimented with multitracking my voice. Then I was obsessed with it and wrote little melodies everyday on my four-track."
She put her voice to great effect on her 2005 a cappella interpretation of the Who's 1967 album 'The Who Sell Out.' "Pete Townshend heard it," Haden says. "Before I knew it I got to see the Who play in New York. It was such a cool experience." She has also recorded Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' and Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin'' a cappella, even nailing down Neal Schon's spiraling guitar playing on the latter song. (Both tunes can be found on her MySpace page).
"I believe in Petra as a completely phenomenal musician and artist," Rose says. "She doesn't sit down and write little tunes. Most of the time it's [her] modifying and reinterpreting other people's music, which she is amazing at."
Having recorded with her father and her siblings Rachel, Tanya and Josh for the first time together on an album of country songs, Haden is working on an a capella project of movie themes, including one from 'Superman.' "I'm singing all the strings and the horns," she says. "I'm enjoying myself a lot. Funny isn't the actually the word. For me, it's mind-blowing."