Courtesy of Cabo Wabo It didn't take Mick Fleetwood and Nicole Atkins very…
- Posted on Feb 10th 2011 2:30PM by DJ Lanphier
DJ Lanphier for AOL
It would seem that rebuilding from the ground up has been good for Atkins, especially when it comes to creativity. "There's a lot of different styles of music on the record." she tells Spinner. "I think of it as a house and each song as a different room. Each song has its own space. You're not going to decorate every room in your house the same."
It's a creative approach borne of the organic manner in which musical inspiration comes to Atkins. "Honestly? It's just fun. Most songs come to me when I'm walking or on the train," she says. "I'll be walking down the street and a melody will pop into my head, and then the mood will come as well. Melody and mood are the first two things that happen when I'm writing. Then if it's something that breaks me out of my head, I'll record it on my phone. I'll sing it with fake lyrics, then write them later. You look at my phone, there are hundreds of arrangements on it."
Like most things in life, Atkins' creative juices come and go. "Right now, I'm in a pretty intense writing period, which is great. Sometimes I won't write for weeks. I always say 'Maybe I'll walk more,'" she says with a laugh.
Inspiration and a love of music were all around when she was growing up. "I was sitting in the backseat of my parents car after I got the Led Zeppelin box set when I was in the eighth grade," she recalls. "Listening to the solo on 'Heartbreaker,' I was like, 'Oh my God!' It was a pretty intense moment."
Heading out on the road for an extended tour sits well with Atkins. "I've always been a traveler. I'm a gypsy. I move around. I'm just as inspired by New Jersey and Brooklyn as I am by North Carolina or Austin. I co-wrote a lot of the songs with Robert Harrison from Cotton Mather down in Texas," she says. "It was nice to escape and go to Austin and finish my work."
Now, Atkins is already looking to the future and new songs. "I want to start writing more melodically complicated ballads," she says. "You know the band Bread, their song 'If'? I had no idea it was by Bread, and I went through a life-long battle not liking them because my mom loved them. I would be like "Ewww!" when my mom sang 'Make It With You.' Anyway, I heard 'If' the other day, and I thought, 'This is Bread? It's the best ballad I've ever heard!' Music from back then was so melodically intense. It's inspirational."