Interview: Alice Gold (+ Quickfire Questions #12)

By on Wednesday, 29th June 2011 at 12:00 pm

The lovely Alice Gold will be releasing her debut album, ‘Seven Rainbows’, next Monday (4 July) so we took the time to ask her some questions about the new release and of course give her the TGTF Quickfire Questions. We talk to the singer/songwriter about NME’s comparing her to two past greats of rock. And would you envision Miss Alice running around the woods, taking care of trees? No? Read on…and there’s a nice five-track sampler of songs from the upcoming release at the bottom of this post.

NME called you “part Joan Jett, part Tina Turner” – do you agree with this? Maybe you can talk to us about your musical influences.
Yes, I don’t mind those references actually…I think Joan Jett closer than Tina but what an honour to be compared to that hero lady. I think I have big hair, sing quite loudly and have a bit of a strut on stage, so I could see where it came from, yes. Neither have been influential as musical influences. I think the spirit of the ’60s, the freedom and classic sound of that older analogue music has been a massive influence as I grew up listening to Hendrix; Neil Young; Janis Joplin; Pink Floyd; Crosby, Stills and Nash, etc.

It must pretty exciting to be releasing your debut album next month! Tell us about the title, ‘Seven Rainbows’. How did you come up with it, what does it mean? Does it represent a theme for the album?
I am SSOOOO excited about my album release on the 4th of July. ‘Seven Rainbows’ is a lyric in one of the most important tracks on the album, ‘How Long Can These Streets be Empty?’ ‘Seven Rainbows’ is a memory I have of driving around a roundabout loads of times to keep seeing this enormously full and beautiful rainbow, the clearest I’ve ever seen. It was a very sad time in my life and the title was chosen to represent the journey I’ve been on since then…the ups and downs, etc.

If you had to describe to someone what your music sounded like, what words would you use?
Soulful psychedelic pop.

I read in your biography that you took the chance on going to America on a one-way ticket and went around the country in a Winnebago. This sounds like an amazing story…
It was a very special time in my life. I do believe that when you bravely walk into the unknown, life rewards you. It seems to be getting harder to do as I get older but trusting life at that time was a very rewarding journey. I met life long friends who looked after me over there even though I travelled on my own for months. It was a time in my life when I had no responsibilities, only to myself to write and record music, so I was able to throw caution to the wind and take off…I’m not sure I realised at the time how rare an opportunity it was…

After the release of your album, what are you most excited to be doing the rest of this year?
Meeting more lovely people and hearing them singing these songs with their own voices, in their own lives. As a musician, that is so important to me…giving them over and knowing they connect or provide solace in someone else’s life as they did in mine when they were written. I am also looking forward to playing Shepherds Bush Empire at some time in my life because I have a vivid memory of wishing for that when I was 16/17.

And on to the TGTF Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
Crosby Stills and Nash’s ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ and being swung around in my Dad’s arms who was dancing to it being played really loudly in our old sitting room,so loudly that it felt so different and I found it thrilling, an awakening or something…I must have been very small though.

What was your favourite song as a child?
Madonna was at her height in the ’80s when I was a small child and I can remember learning all the words and singing the Immaculate Collection in the shower loads.

What song makes you laugh?
Funkadelic – ‘Can You Get to That?’ – It’s the deep man’s voice soul singing, “I wanna know…” It’s an awesome track about the struggles of keeping afloat and Funkadelic always have a great sense of humour in their music generally…makes me smile big time.

What song makes you cry?

Pink Floyd’s ‘Great Gig in The Sky’….always has..always will. It’s something about the wordless screaming singing that I find so emotional. And I love knowing that it was the first time Clare Torry, the vocalist, had heard the music and was told to just let go,to see what comes out…fucking amazing…that’s what I love about music, that you can capture emotion like that? It’s out of this world.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
‘The Look of Love’ by Burt Bacharach. Still a favourite of mine, you can’t beat those old classic love ballads.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)

I was I have to admit a bit of a crusty in my youth! I had steel toe cap Doc Marten boots that I loved scuffing up and a German army jacket. The shame!? The Stone Roses are a band I grew up with and I listened to their debut album when I was sad or angry and it is a very emotive album for that reason, and I still don’t get bored of it.

Which song (any song written in the last century) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Is That All There Is?’ is a song that was written by American songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, written for Peggy Lee. PJ Harvey covered it amazingly and I’ve always LOVED the dark and wonderful lyrics…it always makes me want to waltz the room.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Ernest Hemingway because of his simplicity alongside worldly wisdom.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
My mum told me when she was ill that I would be a very good nurse? But otherwise I love the outdoors and I love climbing…so maybe a tree surgeon in the Amazon jungle?

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why?

Jimi Hendrix – ‘Are You Experienced’

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