The Ettes Talk "Wicked Will"
Tue, 06 Sep 2011 15:05:18
The Ettes Videos
On Wicked Will, The Ettes sound like they should be playing somewhere inside of a Quentin Tarantino flick. Their sexy, sultry rock walks the line between seventies punk and sixties pop, and it makes for one hell of a ride. Singer Coco is a chanteuse in her own right, and she wouldn't be out of place kicking ass right next to The Bride herself. As soon as you hear her spunky and smoky wail, you'll fall under The Ettes' Wicked spell…
In this exclusive interview, Coco spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about Wicked Will, telling stories, her reading list, and so much more…
Did you have one complete vision for Wicked Will from start to finish?
We usually work pretty fast on putting something together. When we have a name and an emotional or musical thread running through, we work really fast. We'll do all of the songs at once and write them together. I think that when we were recording the album we found that they felt interconnected to. It wasn't just about writing them and having them be connected in that way or recording them and having them all sound the same. Naturally, they felt connected musically and thematically and still totally different. There are different songs on there but they all have that same thing. To listen to it and have that come across is really rad. I don't know if it's something you can plan for, but it's a really cool result. You want an album to feel cohesive. You want to go from start to finish.
What threads everything together?
It's a lot of raw emotion. Our live show is really cathartic for all of us. There's this menacing violence involved in every show. Someone always ends up bleeding or bruised. We were touring a lot. When we were writing the second album together, I think a lot of that came through. The thread is that intensity and realism that's part of who we are as a band and definitely part of who we are as a live act. We got to communicate that in the recording really directly.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
It's cool when it happens. It's hard to set out to do and still come across as being genuine. The most important thing is having that. Musically, the vocals and sounds are very clear. Maybe it's easier to understand the story we're trying to tell. It says, "This is how I feel. I wonder if someone else feels the same way."
What fosters that visual sensibility?
I read a lot. I actually have a whole extra suitcase full of books. I don't get a lot of influence from new music. I see my friends' bands and what turns me on is if they're really into their show or they're really expressive musically, vocally, or verbally. That stuff is impressive and I respond to that. Because music is all I do, I take solace in other media that gives me space to form. It's like a well. When you make an album, you use everything that you have. I'm constantly putting things back into that well, and it usually comes from books. Movies are really great too. I'm definitely a big movie fan too, especially older movies and film noir. That contributes. I love language and anything that communicates in an effective way.
What are you reading right now?
I'm not reading a lot of fiction at the moment. I read a lot of old children's books from the 1700s and 1800s. Then, I read a lot of Edgar Allan Poe, Edward Gorey, Roald Dahl, and anything that's kind of lyrical in that kind of language. That sparks my interest. From the New York Times bestseller list, I'm always into things like The Disappearing Spoon about the Periodic Table of Elements, The Tell Tale Brain by V. S. Ramachandran and things like that. I really like books on science and chemistry. I like to learn. It runs the gamut. I also read cook books. I don't know how much that would contribute to my creative side and writing music, but I find them very relaxing. It's a vacation from the musical part of my brain and just about learning. I love history books.
What's the story behind "My Heart"?
Live, that's a real barn burner. It's sort of examination on modern relationships, what's expected of you, what you really want and what makes you happy as well as what the other person wants and what makes them happy. There are a lot of social constructs that run contrary to your natural inclinations. What does that mean?
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