Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 7th 2011 10:37PM by Kenneth Partridge
Growing up, you lived in both Sweden and England. What's the first pop music you remember hearing? Was it European or American?
I think it was a mix between the two. When I was really young, a lot of the radio stuff was American. But then the thing that I was really into as a teenager was a lot of British stuff, like Brit-pop and the Verve and all that kind of stuff. And then bands like Smashing Pumpkins. It's always been a mixed thing. When I lived in London, I got really into American music. When I moved to New York, I started listening to English music. I guess you listen to the music that's not around you as much.
When people talk about your music, they often mention classic Americana influences -- Neil Young, in particular. Where did that come from? I know your father was a musician.
I've been inspired by so much stuff. The Neil Young thing was because I grew up with my dad. He was playing more bluesy, rootsy stuff when I was growing up. I was in the studio with him a lot. He was more into that kind of thing. I guess that was probably why I got into that so early. My brother was into darker music -- some synth stuff, like Depeche Mode, and David Bowie. I got into David Bowie the wrong way around. Not the wrong way, but I started with the later days. I was listening to 'Heroes' and 'Low' my whole childhood.
Did you know at an early age you wanted to be a musician?
My dad and brother did it. My brother is nine years older than me, and he's been doing it his whole life. I was always around it. My brother had a studio in the garage, and my dad used to bring me to the studio as a kid. I guess I was always dreaming of doing that ... I started playing guitar quite late -- not when I was a kid, but maybe when I was 14. I was daydreaming about doing music. I was having bands with my mates, like a cappella stuff, when I was nine or something.
What prompted Alberta Cross to move to New York City?
It felt like when we lived in London -- I lived there for 10 years -- it was a scene there, and everyone sounded the same. If the music magazine NME would write, "the Libertines are great," or, "Joy Division are the best and ever," there would be 200 bands that sounded exactly like the Libertines. Interpol came out, and 400 bands sounded like Interpol. Everyone was trying to follow that. I think we got burned out on that. We never wanted to be a part of that kind of thing. Our music was quite a departure from that kind of sound. We felt like America has a bigger mix of everyone doing what they believe in. No one is really following everyone else in that sense.
Did living in Brooklyn affect your songwriting?
Yeah, where you live inspires you. I think we got inspired because it felt really new. When you move to a place and you're in a band, and you don't have a 9-to-5 job, you can go a bit off the rails, because you want to check out the nightlife -- and that was inspiring. In New York City, it's music everywhere. In London, you've got music everywhere, but in New York City, every bar has music, or a band performing, or a busker in the subway.
It's been about 18 months since you put out your debut album. What can people expect from the follow-up?
I feel like the last record, 'Broken Side of Time,' was cool, but we were a really young band. It was quite a hurried record. We didn't have enough time to craft some of the songs, and it was a little bit jammy. [This time,] the songs are crafted. I've been working to really finish the songs and work them before we go into the studio. I think the songs on the next album are going to be really strong. This one is really song-based.
A lot of people have noted your big stadium-rock sound and compared you to bands like Kings of Leon. Do you have those kinds of aspirations?
Sure, man, if the music takes you that way. I just try to write good music and good songs. We get that sound when we play together. That's what happens. It's not like we're thinking, "This would sound good in a stadium, man." I'll bring in the song, we'll jam, everyone comes up with their parts, and that's what it sounds like. We haven't got the [stadium] mindset, but the more people who hear it, the better. You're not going to complain about getting bigger.