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Susanna Hoffs To Release ‘From Me To You’ EP On December 4th!

Susanna Hoffs To Release ‘From Me To You’ EP On December 4th!

A Gift From The Amazing Susanna Hoffs!

Iconic singer/songwriter/musician SUSANNA HOFFS has a special holiday treat for music lovers, FROM ME TO YOU, a three-song EP of some of her favorite 1960’s gems.  A “labor of love” in her words, the EP features Susana’s interpretations of, The Jaynetts’ “Sally Go ‘Round The Roses,” The Beatles’ “All I’ve Got to Do” and The Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year.”

“It was a pure pleasure to record songs that I adore and have dreamed of singing for years,” Susanna says. Regarding the song selections, she says, “It’s exciting to be able to share some of my more obscure favorites. I think of this EP as kind of like a mix-tape that I’d give to a friend, except I decided to actually record the songs myself.”

FROM ME TO YOU follows SUSANNA’s critically acclaimed solo album SOMEDAY, released this past summer on her own label Baroque Folk, distributed by Welk Music Group. Reviewers were effusive in their praise for the record.  As American Songwriter noted, “The honey-voiced songbird delivers a solid album with a feel-good vibe, which sounds authentic in its union of 1960s simplicity and 2012 sophistication (à la Dusty Springfield meets Adele). … This is easily and undeniably Hoffs’ most definitive musical statement to date.”

Both FROM ME TO YOU and SOMEDAY were produced and orchestrated by the revered Mitchell Froom.

SUSANNA, who’s just wrapped up the first phase of her SOMEDAY tour, is excited about continuing to perform and make music videos in support of the record. She is also thrilled about the much-anticipated release of Under the CoversVolume 3 (the ’80s) with pop powerhouse Matthew Sweet in 2013.

“For me, the end of the year is a time to reflect on all the things that I am grateful for,” SUSANNA says. “This year, I’m especially thankful for the opportunity to make music for the pure joy of it, and to be able to connect with all the people who have given me so much support over the years. For that, I am truly grateful.”

Catch the always amazing Susanna Hoffs online at these locations:

http://www.susannahoffs.com

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSusannaHoffs

https://twitter.com/#!/SusannaHoffs

http://susannahoffs.tumblr.com

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Susanna Hoffs: Live Event To Celebrate July 17 Album Release With Grammy Museum Performance

Susanna Hoffs: Live Event To Celebrate July 17 Album Release With Grammy Museum Performance

 

Susanna Hoffs

SUSANNA HOFFS–singer/songwriter/musician and founding member of the Bangles–will celebrate the release of her new solo album SOMEDAY with a special event at Los Angeles’ Grammy Museum on the eve of the album’sJuly 17 release.  The Monday, July 16 event at the museum’s The Clive Davis Theater will feature an interview, moderated by Grammy Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, after which HOFFS will take audience questions and perform a selection of songs accompanied by a band led by SOMEDAY producer Mitchell Froom. She’ll also sign copies of the album.   For those who are unable to attend the Grammy Museum performance, Stage It is offering virtual front row tickets.  More details can be found at this location >

SOMEDAY is an intensely personal song cycle that doubles as a musical love letter to the music of the 1960s, which “has always been my reference point for everything,” says HOFFS. The self-released work will be released via her own label Baroque Folk, distributed by Welk Music Group.  SOMEDAY’s tracks include “Raining,” which recently premiered exclusively at RollingStone.com (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/song-premiere-susanna-hoffs-raining-20120619), the summery groove of “This Is the Place,” the evocative “November Sun” and the lilting “Picture Me,” with its Bacharach-style sophistication, lush retro arrangements and modern state-of-the-art production enclose HOFFS’ one-of-a-kind voice in an aural tapestry of velvet and lace.

For fans looking to preview SOMEDAY, a SUSANNA page has debuted on the fan-friendly Noise Trade site: http://noisetrade.com/SusannaHoffs. It features alternate versions of three SOMEDAY songs (“Raining,” “One Day” and “Always Enough”), along with two new tracks (“Petite Chanson” and “Summer Daze”), whichSUSANNA recorded with her SOMEDAY collaborator, Nashville musician Andrew Brassell.  In addition to herNoise Trade sampler, the site also features a SUSANNA Q&A where she talks about SOMEDAYhttp://blog.noisetrade.com/2012/07/five-questions-susanna-hoffs/.

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Susanna Hoffs Discusses The Creation Of Her New Solo Album And Much More!

Susanna Hoffs Discusses The Creation Of Her New Solo Album And Much More!

Susanna Hoffs is best known for her work as a member of one of music’s most loved and enduring all-girl groups, The Bangles. The group arrived on the scene in the early 1980s and ruled the charts with such classic songs as “Manic Monday,” “Walk Like An Egyptian,” “Hazy Shade of Winter” and “Eternal Flame” which launched them to super-stardom and earned them legions of fans worldwide. In the 1990s, the band members went their separate ways and would see Hoffs take on a solo career where she would release two critically praised albums. In the late 1990s, Hoffs reached out to the other members of The Bangles to record the single “Get the Girl” for the second film in the Austin Powers franchise. It didn’t take long for the creative juices to start flowing and the band announced their decision to reunite full-time in 2000. Together again, Susanna Hoffs, Vicki and Debbi Peterson set out once more to create what would become the band’s fourth album, ‘Doll Revolution’, which was released in 2003. With well over two decades behind them, The Bangles show no signs of fading away as they continue to tour and recently released their fifth studio album, “Sweetheart of The Sun”.

Her creative energy at an all-time high, Susanna Hoffs stands ready to debut her powerful new solo album, Someday” on July 17th, 2012. The album is produced and orchestrated by the revered Mitchell Froom and marks her first collaboration with singer/songwriter Andrew Brassell, an ultra-talented 27-year-old musician from Nashville, TN. “Someday” serves as an intensely personal song cycle that doubles as a musical love letter to the music of the 1960s, which have always been a reference point for her. The self-released work features the summery groove of “This Is the Place,” the evocative “November Sun” and the lilting “Picture Me,” with its Bacharach-style sophistication, lush retro arrangements and modern state-of-the-art production enclose Hoffs’ one-of-a-kind voice in an aural tapestry of velvet and lace. “Someday” also features updates of two older songs. One of them is “Raining,” which Susanna wrote with Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers back in 1989. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Susanna Hoffs for an in-depth discussion on the creation of this intensely personal album, the challenges involved, her continuing collaboration with Matthew Sweet on the “Under The Covers” series and what the future might hold for her in the months and years to come!

We are talking today about your new album “Someday.” My first question is: What inspired this album?

Susanna Hoffs – “Someday”

This album feels like it has been in the works, in my mind [laughs], for many, many years. I had been waiting to make a solo record and had been collecting material, going way back. Then The Bangles reformed, or sorta came out of hiatus, and started working again. Some of the songs, in my mind, that I thought would be on the solo record ended up on the Bangles record. For example, “I Will Take Care of You” ended up on “Doll Revolution” and “Under A Cloud” and “I’ll Never Be Through With You” were on the “Sweetheart of The Sun” record that just came out. Meanwhile, one of the things that really took it from just this thing I was carrying around in my head as a thought and a wish and a hope to make a solo record and turned it into a reality was a chance encounter with Andrew Brassell, who turned out to be my songwriting partner. It was just one of those things! I met him through my niece and they are both from Nashville. I never thought I would find this incredible writing partner in this kid from Nashville but that is sorta what happened!

We just unexpectedly started writing songs together and it was like we uncorked some creative energy and it just went and went and went! It was a cool series of kismet things that brought us together with [producer] Mitchell Froom, we had all of this material and we showed it to him and he loved it. Next thing we knew we were recording! It was kind of a bizarre series of events of all good things that led to it. It kinda reminds me that a lot of the things in my life that have come together and ended up being really good things were really unexpected. I met The Bangles through an ad in the newspaper. I met my husband on a blind date. I met Andrew Brassell and had an instinct to encourage him to move out to LA. I am rambling because it is such a long story but there is a continuity throughout my life that reminds me that it is good to put yourself out there, take the plunge and follow your instincts.

Can you tell us a little about the process of writing with Andrew Brassell and how that made the album take shape?

Susanna Hoffs

Yeah! It was an interesting point in my life because I was very ensconced in Bangles stuff, mostly touring and working on the “Sweetheart of The Sun” record. Having gone through a lot of different phases as a musician, going back to the first stuff I did through the whole ride through the ‘80s with the Bangles, leading up to having a family and being in the mode of multi-tasking all of the time, juggling music, family and being a mom, through all of that I found the thing hardest to focus on was writing. Suddenly, there was this 26-year-old kid from Nashville with a guitar basically glued to his hands, who was spending a lot of time around my house because he was friends with my niece. I ended up, and it is a long story, but I ended up having him stay in our guest room because he needed a place to stay. What happened was, as I was running around trying to get through the day dealing with all of my stuff, there is this kid sitting in the other room playing guitar 24/7. I kept hearing him from the other room and I would hear a melody in my head to go with whatever he was playing on the guitar. I would run in there and say, “What is that?!” He would say, “I don’t know. I am just making something up!” I finally said, “We should really write something. Together.” That is what started it all! The first song we wrote together was “Picture Me.” Even before we actually wrote that song, I had been getting more serious about working on a solo record. I had started to go through old boxes of cassettes and I was going through the archives I had of old demos that I had made. That is when I found the song I had started with Mike Campbell, I actually had a demo of it. We had completed a version of “Raining” back in 1989, using a lot of Mike’s musician friends. I had that song and a version of “November Sun” and a lot of other songs.

I asked Brassell, that is how we refer to him all the time, if he would learn a lot of my old songs because I thought, “How am I going to make this record and figure out how all of this music that spans almost 20 years of music makes sense together?” I had this idea to do a show and have Andrew play with me because if I could just sing and play the songs, I would know which ones went together and how the pieces of this puzzle fit! What ended up happening is we ended up writing one song, “Picture Me.” Once we had done that, we just wrote for several months, every day. We had enough that when we ran into Mitchell Froom, I told him I was really excited I had been writing again and I introduced him to Brassell. We ran into him at this place called Largo. We were there to see Ron Sexsmith, who Mitchell had produced, and a really talented singer/songwriter from Nashvile, Kaitlyn Rose. We just ended up in the right place at the right time, the three of us — Brassell, Mitchell and me! That was really the birth of the album.

As you said, you balance a lot of elements between your personal life and your career. What was the biggest challenge for you as an artist going into the project?

There was something so natural about the writing of this album. It felt so right when Mitchell got involved. His vision of what we were doing and the fact that he got it. It was kinda great that we didn’t have any demos because it got Mitchell pulling into the picture with the thing that he does so well, which is arranging. He is such a great musician and he was able to listen to the songs in such a raw form, literally two people sitting in a room with guitars playing. He was able to conceive how to make the record in a way that accomplished a lot of the goals I had in my mind of what my fantasy solo record would be. It was, in a sense, a semi-blank slate from which Mitchell could add all this palette of color to. We sat there for weeks and it was so pleasurable, it was so much fun. Mitchell would come over to my living room, where I have a piano. For whatever reason, it sounds really good in there. There is a lot of natural reverb because there is a lot of wood in there and the ceilings are weirdly shaped, it just sounds good!

Susanna Hoffs

We would sit there and we would play the songs, tinker with them and work with them. We would listen to how my voice sounded and how the guitar parts worked together and he would play piano. During the process, we would talk a lot about the different influences. It was a really creative period! We would get together from 12 until 6 everyday and just play! From that, with Mitchell at the helm with a lot of great ideas, we thought we should put together a great band, track things quickly and have me singing on a really good mic, in the room with the band. The drummer would be isolated enough that there wouldn’t be drum bleed into my mic. All of the musicians were really close to me and everyone played wonderfully. We really went for it and tried to record it in a very authentic way and very much in the mode of how they did it in the ‘60s. Then Mitchell had these really great live tracks with live vocals and he could work on orchestrations to fit in with the idea of my influences from the ‘60s. He and David Boucher, the engineer and mixer, asked me to put together a playlist of songs that fit into the feelings we talked about, that had those sort of pop orchestrations using strings, horns and flutes — a certain palette. Then we took a step back while Mitchell worked for a good chunk of time, really focusing energy on the orchestration, which was really challenging and fun for him.

All of this describing setting the stage of how we did it, back to your question, the challenge that was great was musically, not feeling like, “Oh, I will just fix it in the mix.” Or, “We will fix the vocal or piece it together.” It was a process of really figuring stuff out so you went in with the idea of “I’m performing.” I felt like I was up to bat, wanted to hit the ball and really do it! There wasn’t a lot of, “Oh, we will just use some tricks to make it good.” It had to be good! I can’t explain it any other way! [laughs] That is where the challenge came in but it was the best kind of challenge!

Is that style of recording an approach you think you will utilize more in the future?

Susanna Hoffs

Absolutely! In fact, I did a little show at McCabe’s and just to kinda make the night fun, I thought of a few cover songs I wanted to do. I got so excited doing those songs that a couple of weeks ago we even put the pressure on a little more, which was to record and mix a song a day! Not just record it or sing it live and track it live but do everything that was going to go on the song — any overdubs, any kind of harmony and mix it! It was kind of crazy but it was really fun! When you think about the ‘60s, they would record entire albums in one day! It was happening all the time! So much stuff was done live! You know, I just read Keith Richards’ book, “Life,” I listened to it actually. I read it right before I started the “Someday” record with Mitchell. Everything I got from the book about playing with musicians, being in a room, hearing how sounds bounce off other sounds — it is a mystical thing that happens when people are playing together and it is working. It is always the thing to go for! There are a lot of ways to make music and they are all valid but I realized that is the thing I really enjoyed doing so much in the past — in the early days of The Bangles and in making this record, you don’t need to worry about little details. You don’t need to worry if the mic has distortion on it because you belted the note a little too hard, if the guitar is bleeding into the mic a little bit and creating a little extra noise or if the amp is buzzing. It doesn’t matter! It is all part of it! It is all about the experience of it and trying to capture it. It is just a different kind of approach and I really like it. I learned a lot from Matthew Sweet that also informed this process because he really works this way, he doesn’t overthink it!

Speaking of Matthew Sweet, last time we spoke, you guys just put out “Under The Covers: Volume II.” I hear you have been hard at work on “Volume III.” Those are two of my favorite records. What can we expect this time around?

Oh, my gosh! Thank you! It is more of the same but this time it’s the ‘80s! We are having a lot of fun. I have never revealed the songs until after the records come out, it became a thing with “Volume I” and then “Volume II,” so I think I will keep it under the covers until it comes out! It is fun actually, revisiting the ‘80s, because for many years following and even in the ‘80s, I had an odd reaction to some of the stuff that was going on even though my band, The Bangles, was so associated with that time period. I grew up loving the ‘60s, so my reference point for everything has always been the ‘60s. I came of age in the ‘70s but I have always thought of myself in terms of influences, all of it came out of the ‘60s. I think that is still true. When the ‘80s happened, there was a lot of synth driven stuff and a lot of silly and quirky kind of stuff! [laughs] Even The Bangles, even though we were a garage band and always thought of ourselves as a ‘60s influenced garage band, “Walk Like An Egyptian” certainly became one of those quirky ‘80s songs that people now associate with the decade. Even at the time, I didn’t feel that much connection, in my mind, with other ‘80s bands, aside from maybe R.E.M. and certain other bands. Although, I can’t really say that now because now I love listening to ‘80s music! I guess my point is that I have come full circle back around to really, really appreciating the music of that time period. It is really weird. I had a funny feeling about being associated with the ‘80s for many years, like it wasn’t good to be associated with that time period. But people love the ‘80s and I think, in part, that is because it is such a fun era of music, There is a light hearted silliness about a lot of it, not all of it, but much of it.

When might we expect “Under The Covers: Volume III” to be released?

Tentatively, I would say early 2013. Very early!

Back to your solo album for a moment, what does the title, “Someday,” mean to you?

Susanna Hoffs

Oh, wow! Ya know, it came to me through a process of thinking about some of the lyrics and what some of the songs are about. But more than that, in a way, when we were taking pictures for the cover, there was a through line of hopefulness. There is something about my wish to make a record, my whole dream of being a musician starting when I was really young and going back to the inspiration I had that made me want to become a singer in the first place and made me love music in the first place. Something about this record really encapsulated that mood — that wishing and hoping for something. It is a tone and essence that has always permeated my thinking and my writing. There were also a lot of songs that had weather in them. There is “Raining” and “November Sun,” so there was sun and there was rain. There was the song “One Day” which has the line “One day, someday, I’m going to make you love me.” There was a theme of wishing and hoping for things and “someday … ” my dream will come true. In a way, that is what this record is to me — a dream coming true. It is really a special record and I am really thrilled it is finally seeing the light of day! The whole process of making it was in a complete “indie” mindset. I didn’t have a label, so it is a labor of love, really. I am so glad to have partnered up with Vanguard, one of the coolest labels around, to distribute it. It is very grassroots, the whole process of doing it and I love that! It cuts out the middleman, in a way. It is basically an art project, which I love. It is very different from the experience I had being on a label in the ‘80s, let’s just put it that way! However, it reminds me of the early days of The Bangles where we did our own stuff too. We were very do-it-yourself and had our own label. There are a lot of things that reflect back to my beginnings with this project.

In your opinion, what does the future hold for Susanna Hoffs? Do you have it plotted out or are you more inclined to take it as it comes?

Susanna Hoffs On Stage

Both! It is kinda both! [laughs] I learned so much about spontaneity from Matthew Sweet. There have been people I have come upon in my life, like Mitchell and Matthew or Vicki and Debbi from The Bangles, who I am able to take something from all of these collaborations and now with Andrew Brassell, as well. It is a weird combination of having to dream it and build it. What is that line from “Field of Dreams?” — “If you build it, they will come.” You have to be a bit of an architect, creating the structure in your mind and you have to keep track of it. You have to keep tinkering away and constructing this thing while living in the day to day moments of finding inspiration. You need to be able to see things when they fall right in front of you. A thought may hit me, a creative burst, an inspiration and I just want to run with it. It is really this combination of building it, being careful, creating something, hoping people will want to join in and listen! At the same time, I need to let my brain, my mind and my energy just be open. It is a really cool period because it is very open to whatever comes into my path.

One of the things I know that I really want to do is go out and play. I want to play small venues, so there is a really nice intimacy with the audience. There is something really special to me about that. It is less about the show biz part of performing and more about the connection with people and bringing it into almost a living room kind of feel. The thought of that is very exciting. The few times I have been able to have that with these new songs, I have really enjoyed it. I think it has been different, in some ways, than what the experience of what a Bangles show is. It is more stripped down, a little more vulnerable. I will probably do shows like that in the Fall.

I am also working on a bunch of cool extras to go along with the record. For example, I am making this book of old pictures from the ‘60s that I found at my mom’s house in some old photo albums, handwritten lyrics, a cool poster and I started working on those cover songs with Mitchell Froom, I haven’t figured out what I am going to do with them yet. I may put out an EP or something — we will see! My focus right now is the release of “Someday” and all of these extras that come along with it for those who want them!

That sounds great. It is cool to see you putting such a unique touch on the project.

Yeah! It is all really personal and it is really fun. It has a different flavor to it than stuff I have done in the past, so I am very excited about it!

Last time we spoke, I asked if you ever gave any thought to an autobiography. You said as you start to get older you get a different perspective on things — and it might be possible. I talked to Debbi [Peterson] around the release of “Sweetheart of The Sun” and she said The Bangles might have something in the works — a coffee table book, perhaps. Any movement on those fronts?

Susanna Hoffs

It’s interesting! It’s a great question. The Bangles have talked about that. As the story of The Bangles goes, the fun thing that happens when Vicki, Debbi and I are together is that we each remember slightly different aspects of different events that had happened. It’s almost like that movie “Rashomon.” You’ve got the different perspectives and we kinda fill in the blanks where our memories lapse on certain events! It’s like puzzle pieces! When the three of us come together, it becomes complete and you can see the whole picture! That is the idea behind the coffee table book. It would include photos and interviews with us where we tell the story that way.

With me, a few people have asked me about creating a memoir. I have been reading and listening to audiobooks of other memoirs, like Keith Richards’ “Life” and Patty Smith’s “Just Kids.” Her book is one of the great, great memoirs. It is a great book and hearing her read it is a phenomenal experience. I tell everyone to go and get it or listen to it. As far as an autobiography from me — I don’t know yet! [laughs] I mean, the whole process of making “Someday” and going through these old pictures is definitely bringing up a lot of memories. You never know! I am just so busy with all of this that I don’t know when the right time to dive into all of that would be but it is definitely percolating in my mind! I just haven’t quite figured it out! I am too busy trying to stay in the moment, I guess! [laughs]

I heard the record and it is a very personal experience as you described. I think it is definitely something for you, your fans and music fans in general to be excited about.

Oh, I am so glad! Thank you!

Thank you for your time today. You have been more than gracious and we appreciate this unique look into creating the album!

Thank you so much and I hope to speak with you again soon!

Absolutely! Take care, Susanna!

Fans can find Susanna Hoffs on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Susanna-Hoffs/37364141771. Be sure to visit the official site for the Bangles at www.thebangles.com.

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SUSANNA HOFFS: Debuts New Song “Raining” – Listen Now!

SUSANNA HOFFS: Debuts New Song “Raining” – Listen Now!

Susanna Hoffs

SUSANNA HOFFS — singer/songwriter/musician and founding member of the Bangles–returns with a new solo album, SOMEDAY, on July 17. Beginning today (6/19), RollingStone.com is exclusively premiering a new track from the LP, “Raining.” Check it out here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/song-premiere-susanna-hoffs-raining-20120619.

‘Raining’ is a song I wrote with Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) back in 1989,”HOFFS tells Rolling Stone. “I rediscovered the song when I was sorting through a box of old demos and decided to update it with my writing partner, Andrew Brassell.”

“The song tells the story of an intense relationship that has just ended,” elaborates HOFFS. “Feelings of disbelief, confusion, desperation, longing and loneliness are revealed in the wake of the breakup. In the final refrain, the stormy emotions have calmed, and though acceptance comes, there is still the lingering sadness of missing someone.”

Produced and orchestrated by the revered Mitchell Froom, SOMEDAY is an intensely personal song cycle that doubles as a musical love letter to the music of the 1960s, which “has always been my reference point for everything,” says HOFFS. The self-released work will be released via her own label Baroque Folk, distributed by Welk Music Group.  SOMEDAY’s tracks include the aforementioned “Raining,” the summery groove of “This Is the Place,” the evocative “November Sun” and the lilting “Picture Me,”with its Bacharach-style sophistication, lush retro arrangements and modern state-of-the-art production enclose HOFFS’ one-of-a-kind voice in an aural tapestry of velvet and lace.

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The Bangles’ Debbi Peterson Discusses Their Return With ‘Sweetheart of The Sun’

The Bangles’ Debbi Peterson Discusses Their Return With ‘Sweetheart of The Sun’

Debbi Peterson is best known for her work providing the backbeat for one of music’s most loved and enduring all-girl groups, The Bangles. The group arrived on the scene in the early ‘80s and ruled the charts with such classic songs as “Manic Monday,” “Walk Like An Egyptian,” “Hazy Shade of Winter” and “Eternal Flame” that launched them into super-stardom with legions of fans worldwide. In the ‘90s, the band members went their separate ways and Susanna Hoffs took on a solo career where she released two critically praised albums. In the late ‘90s, Hoffs reached out to the other Bangles members to record the single “Get the Girl” for the second film in the Austin Powers franchise. It didn’t take long for the creative juices to flow and the band announced their decision to reunite full-time in 2000. Susanna Hoffs, Vicki and Debbi Peterson set out once more to create what became the band’s fourth album, “Doll Revolution,” which was released in 2003. With well over two decades behind them, The Bangles show no sign of fading away as they continue to tour and are back on the scene with their amazing fifth album, “Sweetheart of the Sun.” Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Debbi Peterson to discuss her past, her influences, the longevity of the band and what the future may hold.

How did music first come into your life?

Oh wow, it came in very early into my life. Actually, my older sister, Pam would get money for allowance, for doing chores and stuff, so the first thing she’d do is go buy records and she was … she bought a lot of Beatles records. So, that was playing constantly in the house. We always had a radio on and we would go on family trips and the radio would always be on. So, I suppose that pretty much got me started on it.

What made you take that big step to make music your career?

I think basically, I was like 12 or 13 and I really, really wanted to be in a band. I was a huge Beatles fanatic and I wanted to play bass or guitar. Actually, bass or guitar, but not even drums originally … funny. My sister had a band. Vicki had a band going with her friends in high school. She had a little high school band and they were sort of playing around and doing little church dates and school dates and stuff. At one point they were looking for a drummer, because they actually had a female drummer for a little bit and she didn’t work out, so they were looking for a replacement. Amanda, who was playing bass at the time with Vicki, suggested me and I’d never played drums before, because that wasn’t really the instrument I was planning on playing. That’s okay; I’ll give it a shot. I started playing and it must have been a natural thing because they all said, “Oh, you’re in the band. That’s great!”

It seems to be working out for you so far!

Yeah, so far so good!

The Bangles have a new album coming out, ‘Sweetheart of The Sun’. What can you tell us about it? What made this time right to get back together for this album?

Well, it was probably playing around for a while, probably doing some shows under the radar and working on songs. We had a bunch of old songs. You know songs from like … some of them from early 1990, some of them from the mid ‘90s, some from early 2000. We just thought, you know we thought let’s just get this together. Let’s make an album. Let’s do this again. We haven’t done one for so long and we’ve just sort of been playing shows and just playing casinos and under the radar shows. We just really wanted to get together and create something new. Actually, this has sort of been a while in the making. It actually started in 2009.

What can you tell us about the writing process of the album? Has that process evolved through the years or how does that work exactly for you guys?

Well, we actually disbanded in ’89 and then we got back together in 1999 and we started writing again. That was really what kind of brought us back together. Susanna and I started working on songs and then Vicki got involved and then Michael. A lot of it was some of the songs actually, from this record are songs that we wrote when we were not together in that sort of little break period in the ‘90s. But a lot of them are sort of early getting back together songs – writing songs like some of them like “Mesmerized” is one that Susanna and I started, I guess mid ‘90s. These songs are a collection of tunes that really help in going on for a while and I think it’s kind of cool, because it says so many different aspects and so many different time periods on this record.

Yeah, it’s really neat, because listening to it … it’s almost like discovering an old friend in a way. It has a familiar feel, but it is new. It’s really kind of an interesting record.

Yes, yes, yes, it’s great! It’s sort of comfortable and just like you get all the vocals and it’s a lot of older Bangles sound to it, but then there is also a lot of new elements put in.

What was the biggest challenge? Obviously, your time-frame here is kind of with the song writing as you just mentioned, what was the biggest challenge in putting this together?

Well, a lot of the challenges. We are a family, so just trying to balance the family and be able to do the work. It’s just trying to balance, that is already hard enough. I’m sure any working parent would understand that. But that and also we had some challenges actually recording it, because we were working in Matthew Sweet’s studio to do the … get the drum tracks down and some of the guitar tracks down, but things weren’t quite working out there. So we moved to, Vicki and Susanna both have Pro Tools setups, so we moved to their houses and kind of there was a lot of shuffling back and forth from place to place, so it was to get it all together, but we managed to do it and I think it sounds really good.

You mentioned Matthew Sweet. What do you think he brings to a project like this?

I think a really creative guy. He is very talented. He was actually … I enjoyed working with him. He was very much like a cheerleader, like egging me on – that’s great, that’s great! I’d sit there and say, “Well now, maybe we should do it again.” [laughs] Things like that. He was very positive, but it’s one of those things where we wanted to try doing things at a different place and he wasn’t willing to really move from his studio. So, he’s one of those guys that he’s kind of like stays put in his one place. He’s more comfortable with that. So, that’s why I think this is kind of working out after a while. But I think he’s a very talented guy and I really liked working with him.

You ladies are obviously known for so many iconic videos. Any plans on doing a video for this at all?

Oh, who knows? Do people do videos anymore? [laughs] We might do a YouTube video, who knows? I mean there are some funny ones out there, I’ll tell you. I don’t know yet. We were just … we’ll see how that goes. See how people react to the record and we’ll see what happens.

What do you attribute the longevity of the Bangles to? Obviously, you took a break there for a little bit, but you guys have been around for a long time and keep moving forward.

Yeah, that’s … I just think it’s because we’re all really good friends. We, I think in the ‘80s it just got so crazy and there was so much work and we were like on top of each other all the time and we had no break from each other. Then, when we took that break, I think it was the time for us to get to work with other artists and to mature and to have families. Now, I think the reason we’re still hashing it out and getting along is because we actually, if anybody has a problem or disagrees with something we talk it out and we try to resolve it and make sure that nobody is unhappy, because I think in the ‘80s we didn’t have enough communication, so we kind of learned from that. So, I think that’s what’s keeping us going – communication.

Looking back on your career, as you kind of mentioned it’s definitely a growing process. How do you feel you’ve evolved as a musician through the years?

I think just because I’ve been doing it for so long, I will or sort of I’m older and wiser. I have a more kind of broad outlook on music and I’ve been able to play some guitar too, which is nice to be able to do that, because I like doing drums, guitar, I like to play bass. I like to play different instruments. So, I don’t know, I guess the more you do it, the more you listen to other music, the more you pick up things is just something that you keep doing it long enough, you just get better and better.

The music industry has changed so drastically from when you guys started out.

Yeah!

Do you think it’s any easier for women in the industry today?

I don’t think so, no. I mean, I think it’s as far as like the diva lead signer type thing, yeah, or your Disney girl or something, but as far as a band with all female musicians it doesn’t seem to be any easier, which surprises all of us. Because we were thinking oh, us and the Go-Go’s and other people that maybe, there would be a breakthrough and women would finally get a chance to be accepted in rock for what they are as opposed to just being sex symbols and sex icons. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened like we thought it would anyway.

You definitely made an impact. I’ve talked to so many female groups and the majority of them do bring up the Bangles when asking about their influences.

Well, that’s great. That’s really great. Yeah and I know they’re out there and I just, I hoped more and more of them get to get heard because I know there is some out there that are truly amazing.

I’m sure you guys have seen a lot in your time over the years and probably have a tale or two to tell. I was curious if we ever might get some sort of autobiography out of the band, where you could share some of those stories?

Ah, that’s sweet. Actually, that’s something we keep talking about – the Bangle’s coffee table book with pictures and stories! [laughs] We’ve actually sat down and recorded some of our little tales, tall tales, that we have! [laughs] But yeah, that’s definitely something we’re working on!

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone looking to start out in the music industry and make it a career like you have?

Well, it’s getting so different than it was, because back in the old days you used to have to tour and tour and you sort of break … go from the ground up kind of thing and nowadays, there are so many different ways and some ways it’s good, because you got the Internet to get yourself out there with YouTube and whatever and Facebook. All I can say is do what you believe in. Stick to it and don’t give up, because sometimes some people will say stuff about your music or your, you know, personally about you and you just have to go for it. Just go for what you believe in and stick to it.

Do you have any tour plans in the works for this album? I know you’ve been doing some shows on the side.

Yeah, yeah, yeah! In October we’re going to go to the East Coast and do a little bit of the Midwest and come back to the West Coast in November.

How do you guys keep that interesting and exciting for yourself, as well as the fans? Is that something you even have to give any thought to?

Oh yeah, yeah, we’re always giving it thought. We’re always thinking okay, what else can we do to make this better? Usually a lot of times it’s switching songs around and trying to make it a better set – something that works better. Maybe if it’s more energetic or that finding out which song goes with which song, you know, just to make it more interesting. Sometimes we do write little medleys in the song, like “Walk Like an Egyptian” we’ll throw in a different song in the middle and make it more interesting. Things like that and we want to, for this next tour unfortunately, money wise we haven’t got a lot to do a major presentation, but we’re definitely going to get some kind of lighting so it looks a bit more interesting and exciting for all.

Is there something in your mind that pops out as a maybe a career defining moment for you?

Yeah, well this is one example. We were – it was 1986 or ’87 – it was ’87 and we, there was a BPI Awards in England that they had and they have at least one international artist who would win the Best International Artist and we got it that year. It was like Peter Gabriel was there, Kate Bush, Eric Clapton and all these people were there and we just felt like wow, we’ve been accepted with our … these amazing, amazing artists and that was quite a defining moment, I think.

Do you feel there are any misconceptions about The Bangles?

Yes, definitely. I don’t know about so much anymore, but it definitely in the early days or even in the mid ‘80s people – no one believed that we could play our instruments. They just thought yeah, oh look at those pretty little girls onstage and they don’t even play and it’s like yeah, we do. So yeah, that was a big misconception too.

What do you think the future holds for The Bangles? Obviously you have this album and the tour, but hopefully no plans on packing it in anytime soon.

No, no, no, no, we’re not planning that! We’ll keep going. We’re going to try to think of a way here. No, it’s who knows, but the way the music business is these days and the economy and everything who knows what’s going to happen, but we’re going to keep on doing it. I mean, we made this record, because we wanted to make a record and our fans want to hear new material. So, we just keep hoping that people will like what we are producing and we just keep going out there and doing shows, because we love to go out and play.

Is there anything you want to say to your fans before I let you go?

The only thing I can say is YAY! Finally you guys get to hear some new stuff and sorry it took so long, but enjoy!

It’s been a pleasure talking to you. I really appreciate your time and like I said, we will be spreading the word. Thank you so much.

Great! I appreciate that, Jason. Thanks.

 

For all the latest news and tour dates for The Bangles, be sure to swing by their official site at www.thebangles.com. ‘Sweetheart of the Sun’ hits stores on September 27th, 2011!

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The Bangles Return With ‘Sweetheart of the Sun’ On September 13th!

The Bangles Return With ‘Sweetheart of the Sun’ On September 13th!

On their forthcoming album, SWEETHEART OF THE SUN, THE BANGLES capture the two crucial elements that created the bond that formed the group:  their common love for rock’s golden age and the crystalline sound they quite naturally created.

SWEETHEART OF THE SUN (Model Music Group), the group’s first album of new material in nearly eight years, is filled with a fresh batch of definitive BANGLES songs.  Due out September 13, SWEETHEART OF THE SUN reveals THE BANGLES–guitarist/singer Susanna Hoffs, guitarist/singer Vicki Peterson and drummer/singer Debbi Peterson–at their equally beguiling extremes, as soaring folk-rock harmonies coexist with adrenalized rave-ups inspired by the band’s roots in Nuggets-era garage rock.

“As we were finishing the record,” says Vicki, “we started to realize there was a unifying theme–paradise lost in Southern California, the perception juxtaposed with the reality of it.” Susanna picks up the thought: “L.A. is like paradise–the sun shines 360 days a year, the flowers are always in bloom–but meanwhile, so many people are walking around alienated, depressed and anxious.”

Some of the 10 original songs on this 12-song album are new, while others had extremely long gestation periods, tucked away, but not forgotten, as Susanna puts it. The oldest, dating back to the early ’90s, is Debbi’s high-revving aggro kiss-off “Ball N Chain”; while the three of them jointly came up with the newest song, the shimmering opening track “Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun),” during the recording sessions.

“I think it’s important for all of us to keep moving on and creating,” says Debbi.  “Because that’s why we got into this in the first place.”

SWEETHEART OF THE SUN was recorded by Matthew Sweet (Susanna’s frequent collaborator) at his home studio in the Hollywood Hills, with much of the overdubbing done at the home studios of Vicki and Susanna, and mixed by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Wilco).  THE BANGLES cut the album with bassist Derrick Anderson and keyboard player Greg “Harpo” Hilfman, both of whom have been playing with the band for some time. String wizard Greg Leisz, one of the most in-demand players in contemporary music (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Matthew Sweet, Lucinda Williams, Bon Iver) adds pedal steel, lap steel and mandolin to a number of tracks.

Thirty years ago guitarists Susanna Hoffs and Vicki Peterson and drummer Debbi Peterson formed THE BANGLES in a Brentwood, California, garage. Their 1984 debut All Over the Place captured the group’s inventive incorporation of’60s folk rock, sunny SoCal harmonies and Beatles/Byrds/Beach Boys/Big Star godhead.  Throughout the 80s, the group went on to dominate the charts with hits like “Walk Like An Egyptian,” “Eternal Flame,” “Manic Monday” and “A Hazy Shade of Winter” before they disbanded in the late 80s.  They officially reformed in 1999 to record “Get The Girl” for the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

The complete track list for SWEETHEART OF THE SUN is as follows:

Annalee (Sweetheart Of The Sun)

Lay Yourself Down

Under A Cloud

I Will Never Be Through With You

Through Your Eyes

Ball & Chain

One Of Two

What A Life

Mesmerized

Circles In The Sky

Sweet And Tender Romance

Open My Eyes

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Susanna Hoffs Talks ‘Under The Covers Vol. 2’ And The Bangles New Album

Susanna Hoffs Talks ‘Under The Covers Vol. 2’ And The Bangles New Album

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Susanna Hoffs is best known for her work as a member of one of music’s most loved and enduring all-girl groups, The Bangles. The group arrived on the scene in the early 1980s and ruled the charts with such classic songs as “Manic Monday,” “Walk Like An Egyptian,” “Hazy Shade of Winter” and “Eternal Flame” which launched them to super-stardom and earned them legions of fans worldwide. In the 1990s, the band members went their separate ways and would see Hoffs take on a solo career where she would release two critically praised albums. In the late 1990s, Hoffs reached out to the other members of The Bangles to record the single “Get the Girl” for the second film in the Austin Powers franchise. It didn’t take long for the creative juices to start flowing and the band announced their decision to reunite full-time in 2000. Together again, Susanna Hoffs, Vicki and Debbi Peterson set out once more to create what would become the band’s fourth album, ‘Doll Revolution’, which was released in 2003.  With well over two decades behind them, The Bangles show no signs of fading away as they continue to tour and are currently working on their fifth album.

In 2006, music fans were in for a real treat as Hoffs teamed up with power-pop master Matthew Sweet for one of her most memorable projects to date. The duo set out to create a powerful album of their favorite songs of the 1960s which was titled, “Under the Covers, Vol. 1”. With the success of that album and the fact that they had so much fun creating it, it was only a matter of time before the duo would reconvene to create ‘Under the Covers, Vol. 2.’ This time around they have set out to explore the diverse sounds of the ’70s from power-pop, glam rock, progressive and classic rock. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Hoffs to discuss her past, her influences, her collaborations with Matthew Sweet and the status of the upcoming album from The Bangles.

How did music first come into your life?

My Mom says that as a baby, I had would rock and move around in the crib when I heard music and she would find the crib across the room. I have always been totally affected by music and I have always loved music. I think it was in elementary school that I got my first guitar. My uncle was a really good guitar player and he started to teach me how to play. I started writing songs when I was eight years old. I was always transfixed by music. I don’t know what it is about it but it has always moved me.

What drove you to make music your career?

hoffs_4When I was growing up I was very, very much involved with dancing, theater and all of the arts really. I was sort of exploring all of them. I was a very dedicated ballet dancer, starting in elementary school and into high school. I ended up going to UC Berkeley after high school and I started in the theater department. Then I switched to dance and then I ended up in the art department. It’s funny that a lot of musicians go to art school, but that is my story too. I think it was a combination of things. I think it was what was happening in the late seventies with punk rock. There was something about bands like The Ramones coming to prominence that made it feel like it was an obtainable goal, I think. [laughs]  As opposed to earlier stuff in the seventies where you would go to these giant stadiums to see bands like The Who or Led Zeppelin, where it seemed so far away and unreachable. There was something about the bands that were starting to emerge in the late-seventies that made you feel like “Wow! I could do that! I know four chords!” It was something that I had always dreamed of in away but I didn’t think that I could go for it until then. At that time, with a lot of those bands coming out of New York, it didn’t feel like it was about the music business or anything like that. It felt like it was coming out of an art movement. So for me, as a student of art, I connected with that. For me being in a band was kinda like doing an art project. I sorta thought of it in those terms. I never thought “I need to make a demo and get signed.” I wasn’t thinking about it in that way. I was thinking about it as an art form and how to express myself and using it as an extension of everything else that I had been studying and exploring.

Who and what were some of the influences that have helped shape you, the musician, that we know today?

I would say the Beatles have been one of the biggest influences all the way through. My parents were always into music. My mother particularly was into pop music and my father was more into classical. She brought home all of those records right when they came out, so my brothers and I were very obsessed with the Beatles. Growing up in Los Angeles, you are in the car a lot. You find yourself going from one end of town to the other, stuck in traffic and listening to the radio. My mom always played Top 40 radio, which was pretty amazing in the sixties! I got to hear everything from Bob Dylan to the Beatles to a lot of the great female singers like Petula Clark, Lulu, Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick singing all the great Burt Bacharach songs. I was influenced by a lot of things. In the seventies, I graduated into more rock stuff but also lots of singer/songwriter stuff. That is one thing that Matthew Sweet and I discovered in covering songs of the sixties and now the seventies on Under The Covers Vol. 2, is that the seventies were a very diverse era for music. It really covered everything. Including disco! [laughs] Rock, more mellow singer/songwriter stuff, punk rock and progressive rock, that decade it had it all. When we decided to cover the Yes song, “Your Move/All Good People,” that was a turning point in our way of looking at the record. We ended up recording 39 or 40 songs because we wanted to dive into all of those different genres. It was very difficult to figure out how to put them all together and which songs would end up on the record. We have a bunch of bonus tracks that will be coming out over the next month because we have covered so much material.

Under The Covers Vol. 2 is your second collaboration with Matthew Sweet. How did the two of you first get together?

hoffs_6I met Matthew in the nineties. I was a big fan of his music, particularly the Girlfriend record. I thought it was an astounding record, the sound, the songs and everything about it. The voice and the production were amazing. I had an opportunity to work with Fred Maher, who produced Girlfriend. I think I met Matthew in the studio and we just stayed in touch over the years. I was working on a solo record with Greg Leisz , who is all over the Under The Covers records. He is a phenomenal player who plays great pedal steel and lap steel. Matthew was doing a little acoustic show and Greg was playing with him. They invited me to come sing with them and I thought to invite Mike Meyers to see the show because I had a feeling that Mike would really like Matthew’s music. It turned out that I was right about that and Matthew, Mike and I started a little band, Ming Tea, just for fun. That band ended up being a way for Mike to work out his Austin Powers character. We approached the band as if it were in the sixties where we all had pseudonyms. It was a funny little thing but we ended up doing quite a bit of music for the Austin Powers movies. My friendship with Matt grew from that. The Bangles were doing a show for a charity at that same little venue where we had seen Matthew, called McCabe’s, we invited him to come sing with us. Matthew pulled me aside and said that he had heard, funnily enough, a couple of cover songs that I had done way back in 1983 or 1984. I had done a couple of Velvet Underground songs. One was a song that had been written by Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground had done back in the sixties called “I’ll Keep Up With Mine.” He had heard that song when he was in high school. He said that he had always had the idea that he wanted to work with me. I said “That’s fantastic! I would love to work with you on something!” It morphed from there to “Lets definitely make a record together!” and that became this series of cover records.

You have quite a few talented guest musicians on the new album, what can you tell us about that and how it came about?

hoffs8When we started approaching the song  “Your Move/All Good People,” we started to have this fantasy “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get Steve Howe from Yes to play the guitar parts!” Those parts are so specific to him, so difficult and he is so amazing. So, Matthew decided to explore on the internet and see if he could somehow find Steve that way. He went on the internet and found a site called something like “The Steve Howe Appreciation Society” and he wrote them an email. Sure enough, he got a response and it went from there. We were able to send the tapes to England and Steve played. It really felt good when he responded to our track and our vocals. We had all of the vocals on there and scratch guitars, but everything else was on there. It was so exciting for us! When we got the music back from him, it was just so magnificent, what he did. To me, only Steve Howe could play those parts. That started us thinking about getting in touch with Lindsay (Buckingham) who both Matthew and I know. Lindsay came over to my house, where I have a little studio, thanks to Matthew. He helped me put together a little studio at home so that I could occasionally work independently on our record. With the technology now, you can actually email stuff back and forth. It is quite amazing compared to how things were in the eighties. Things have really changed! Dhani Harrison (son of George Harrison), who I have known for a number of years because he came to a bunch of Bangles shows in England to our great delight and surprise, is on the album. I have stayed in touch with him through the years and have gotten to know him a lot better in the last year. I called him up and asked him if he would want to perform on one of his Dad’s songs, “Beware Of Darkness,” and he was so happy to come over and play guitar on that. It worked out really well!

hoffs_2Could we expect to see an
Under The Covers Vol. 3 in the future?

I would love it! That would be great!

Will you and Matthew be hitting the road in support of the album sometime soon?


The record comes out on July 21st, 2009 and we are singing and doing a Q&A at The Grammy Museum in LA. I have never actually been there before but they tell me that it is a very nice place. It is going to be a kinda of ‘Inside The Actor’s Studio’ type thing. That will be our first performance and we will be playing six or seven songs. Then we have a short run of shows, starting in September. We will be doing New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. We are also going to Chicago next week to play an acoustic thing. So far it is all very intimate venues with me, Matthew and probably one other guitar player, so we are approaching it as an acoustic thing right now and we’ll see what happens. Last time, when Under The Covers Vol. 1 came out, we played with a whole band and that was a lot of fun! This time we are just starting out with the acoustic shows and hopefully there will be more!

I understand that you are also headed to the studio to work on a new Bangles album. What can you tell us about that?

Yeah, The Bangles have been touring on and off for almost the last ten years now, but we have been focusing on playing live and not recording. We made a record in 2003 but it has been quite a few years now and we realized that we really have to buckle down and focus on it. We have been collecting songs for years for this record. We started the record a few months ago and we are about three songs in and are sorta doing them in batches of three and are about to dive into the next three. It is going incredibly well. I don’t know, I don’t want to put a deadline on it because I am going back and forth between doing the stuff with Matthew and doing Bangles stuff and doing my own stuff and I have got two kids so it is kind of a busy time! [laughs] Hopefully by the end of the year, at least the recording part of it will be done.

I am sure you have seen a lot over the years and probably have a tale or two to tell. Will we ever get an autobiography out of you to share any of those stories?

No one has ever asked me that! That is a really interesting question! Maybe! It is funny how you start to see things differently as you get older and you do have more perspective. I find myself realizing that I am forgetting stuff, so it is probably a really good idea to start writing stuff down before I do forget everything! [laughs] The Bangles have worked with many of the same crew that has been on the road with us for 25 years and sometimes one of them will say something like “Don’t you remember meeting Keith Richards?” and I’m like “Really? I met Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones?!!!” and he is like “Uh yeah, don’t you remember?!!!” I don’t know! [laughs] A lot happened! That was a very busy time for The Bangles! It could potentially become an absolute blur if I don’t think about it. It’s a good idea. Maybe Vicki, Debbi and I could write “The Bangles Story” or something. It’s an interesting question!

hoffs_9I was just curious if you personally or The Bangles have been approached for any reality television projects, especially with something like the recording of a new album.

I have been many, many, many times! [laughs] I have never really wanted to do it. There was a period of time where Charlotte Caffey, Kathy Valentine, Vicki Peterson and I had an idea where we wanted to do a television show related to all girl bands. It was a concept that we had and were working on for a little while. We are good friends with those girls. It always struck us as strange that there weren’t more all-girl groups. I don’t mean girl singing groups, I mean bands that play and sing, write their own songs and play the instruments. I don’t know why there haven’t been that many. It is just so strange to me. You can count them all on one hand, the all-girl bands that have survived in the music business. I am not sure why it hasn’t become more of a natural thing. We never thought it was that big of a deal to be girls in a band. And we never thought of it as a novelty thing by the way. But yes, I have been approached but it is not something I want to do, at least not right now.

Looking back on your experiences with The Bangles, to what do you attribute the longevity of the band?

I think that it is because there is a certain chemistry between all of us and we have been so lucky that the records that we have made have somehow managed to stay in the culture. They represent something that continues to mean something to people. It is interesting to me, now that I have more perspective, how the eighties and songs like “Walk Like An Egyptian,” “Manic Monday,” “Hazy Shade of Winter,” and “Eternal Flame,” have a certain nostalgia that people have very strong memories toward, and a whole new generation of kids are discovering all of the songs from that period and they are very intrigued by it and the whole feeling of that era. That is a phenomenon that I have been noticing, because I have a 14 year old and a 10 year old son, and they are very aware of songs  because they keep resurfacing. The Bangles are constantly getting requests for the use of their music on things like ‘Family Guy’ and other things like that, ya know? They are out there and they are still played on the radio, so it’s great for us. There is a connection to the music and I think that there is something about that time period and the eighties that is kinda fun, fairly light hearted and a bit escapist. I think that now with things like the economy and the different situations going on in the world, people are looking for entertainment.

hoffs_5I would definitely agree with you on that.

Times are hard and I think that when times are hard there is something really appealing about escaping into fun music. I recently got satellite radio in my car and they have so many choices, ya know? For the sixties, the seventies and the eighties and so many cool stations. I find myself drifting to the eighties channel and I never thought I would say that because I am so obsessed with music from the sixties and seventies! Maybe it is a cyclical thing. I remember back in the seventies, there was this whole fascination with everything from the fifties. There were shows like ‘Happy Days’ and I remember that there would be school dances with fifties night and everyone would dress up in bobby socks, saddle shoes and the skirts. I don’t know, I wonder if it isn’t because things tend to go in cycles like that.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to those who are just starting out and considering making a career in the music industry?

I was talking about this recently and it ties into the covers records actually. I think for me, I came to music because I loved it and I am a music fan. I never really took lessons. I always kinda learned music, I don’t read music, and I learned by the old fashioned folk way of singing along to your favorite songs and learning to play songs that I liked. In a way, it was by learning to play covers of things that I liked that I figured out who I was. I taught myself that way, so I always suggest to people that if there are songs that you love, learn them! I think for Matthew and I, we sort of experienced music very much the same way. He was obsessed with music as a kid. In doing these covers records, we have gotten to deconstruct many of our favorite songs and figure out what they are all about and how they work, instead of just sitting back and listening to them. Now we have a new way of seeing them because of the way we had to learn and record them. Matthew played all the bass parts and it was really an interesting learning experience and process. So again, I always recommend to people that they learn how to play their favorite songs and it will help you when you sit down to write a song, having sort of studied your favorite songs.

Thanks for taking the time out to talk with us, Susanna!

Thank you so much!

– –

Want more of Susanna Hoffs and The Bangles?

Check out all the latest happenings with Susanna Hoffs and The Bangles by visiting their official site at www.thebangles.com.

Check out the official Myspace page for both volumes of ‘Under The Covers’ at www.myspace.com/sidnsusie.

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