How is the anticipation for ‘Wicked Will’ released in August 2011 shaping up, itching to just get it out there or resting before the mayhem?
It’s a bit of both, for us. We’re kind of building up steam within our camp, you know, it IS the calm before the storm, but we can’t wait to get Wicked Will out there. We tour on it starting at the end of July, and we’ll be gone a LONG time, so it’s totally gonna be shhhhhhhhh KABOOM!
How long have ‘The Ettes’ been ‘The Ettes’ and were there any other previous bands that members where in?
The Ettes have been The Ettes since 2003, when Poni and I started the band as an air band at a retail shop in Los Angeles, where we met. It was an excuse to get drunk and get into fights of righteous indignation. Who knew we could actually make music? I was a solo acoustic country singer before, and Jem was in a few bands in Florida that he totally will not allow me to talk about. One was profiled in Rolling Stone in 2001 though, that happened.
How would describe the feel of ‘Wicked Will’ in relation to previous albums and E.Ps?
I feel like we actually have a second to understand that we’re putting out an album! Usually we work so fast, and we just go go go, get it out there, we don’t even process that we’ve done something. It’s great, it feels great.
When performing familiar songs, which have been sung dozens, if not a hundred times, how do you make them different live after years?
It’s the synergy of being in a band together for so long, yeah it’s THAT song, that we’ve played a million times, but how are we gonna do it tonight? We take each other’s cues and see what the night’s energy infuses, what the crowd wants, what we’re feeling. It’s pretty rad, I mean, it would have to be, wouldn’t it? Or Paul McCartney wouldn’t tour anymore, right?
You guys have toured ALOT, what’s the longest you have been off the road and did this make you happy or restless?
We’ve never been off the road for more than a few weeks at a time, we took our VERY first break (aka a MONTH, ha) in the winter. We’re road dogs. We can’t really sit still. There exists a contingent of us people. It’s marvelous because we never say goodbye, man, we say “see ya when I see ya”.
What do you take on tour to survive, a favourite after show whisky, a shampoo, a DVD?
Sure, all of those things. I carry an entire suitcase of books, personally. My dad keeps trying to give me a Kindle for my birthday or Christmas or something, but I’m not interested. I love books. I love to touch them and disappear into them. Books on neurology, farming methods, I love science and history, cookbooks, all kinds of books. I take books, a candle, a pillow (I’m fussy about strange pillows), and in the US, my dog, Maxine. She’s almost 11. She’s been on every US tour. Now Poni has Gigi Allin, her rescue that we picked up on the road. We’re a traveling zoo. A loud, librarian, traveling zoo.
What music are you listening to at the moment, in your own personal downtime?
I never listen to new music, I think I get too much of it, doing what I do. I retreat to my favorite records, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks. Endlessly the Kinks.
Who has else producers, musicians, friends have been involved in the creation of ‘Wicked Will’?
That’s an interesting question. Lots of people. The chanteuse Fabienne Delsol. Musicians John Cauffiel (NY), Dean Jackson (Nashville), Ed Turner (London). Anyone who stopped by, really. Liam played a lot of little things too, that you might not expect. It always starts out with me bull headed, wanting to do and control everything, but at the end of the day, it’s always collaborative.
What are listeners to expect from the new album?
Menace. I find this album to be very menacing. And catchy. And a bit sad. And a bit hopeful. Like me.
What are ‘The Ettes’ plans for the rest of 2011?
We play a couple of festivals and shows this summer, including a Rock and Roll Girls’ Camp here in Nashville, which I just love, and then we’ll be on the road!!