She’s got the medicine that everybody wants- Grace Potter interview 2

Two years ago I had the opportunity to speak to Grace Potter as she and her band, the Nocturnals, were passing through the Carolinas in support of their debut album.

Once again, the band is playing a string of dates in the Carolinas, but this time, the band has a brand new self-titled record that debuted in the Billboard Top 20,is currently the album of the month in Playboy and has received accolades from every major music publication in the Country.

Grace was kind enough to give me a few minutes of her time as the band continues grow their audience- the old fashioned way- through constant touring and hard-work.

CH: Hello Grace! Congratulations on the immediate success of your new self-titled cd. I think you debuted in the Top 20..

GP: It did!! I am so excited!

CH: You have new band members working with you since we last spoke.

GP: That’s right, we have a North Carolina girl, actually!

Y!W: Catherine Popper…She worked with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals didn’t she?

GP: Exactly, exactly. And we have Benny Yurco. To be honest, Benny was always kind of the fifth Beatle in the band, anyways. He knew all the songs, he knew all the ropes, but he wasn’t expecting to get in full-time. When it was time to reform the group- instead of just replacing our former bass player, I thought it would be more interesting to kind of recreate the band, and get a new energy and a new focus. Having five members certainly adds a depth and allows for more sonic elasticity.

CH: The production on this album certainly showcases that, and it actually sounds like a band that is playing live together, enjoying that experience, and not just piling up tracks…

GP: We were playing live together, so I am glad you picked up on that. Most of the lead  vocals are live, and the backing vocals are obviously overdubbed. But there is very little overdubbing that went on. You know it is like when you make a really, really good pancake or something- sometimes you only have to put syrup on it, and not butter, or chocolate, or powdered sugar or all that other crap…(laughing) In this case we just put a little syrup on it and it was good to go.

CH: When I spoke to you two years ago, I asked you “What is next?” as your career path or trajectory was already on a straight path up. Since then you have done the Good Morning America show (again), which for many is a lifetime experience…

GP: An early lifetime experience (laughing)… early a.m.

CH: And you are doing the Tonight Show ( also again)… you certainly have shown me what is next…

GP: You know, when we did those two shows on our first record, it was really our training ground… rock band boot camp. This time around, we are really able to enjoy it, and it feels less like a whirlwind, and more like what we were born to do.

CH: You have really engaged your audience through things like your facebook page and viral videos of acoustic performances for the songs on your new album that you have been posting on your website…

GP: Mtv is gone, you know, and the only way to make people feel like they are seeing the real thing is to shoot a band in an irregular situation. Where they are playing their instruments live, and you can tell it is all real, and you can tell it is all coming from the heart. We have eight of these viral videos that we have done, so we are slowly putting them out. It has been a really fun journey.

As far as facebook- that is all me, well the facebook is not me, but I twitter, and the posts that I do go to facebook. I now have that instant connection with the fans. We have such a crazy life, so it is kind of our diary and running commentary… I am slowly starting to understand it, although I still do not know how to sign into facebook (laughing)

CH: You are touring again…. well, check that… do you ever stop touring?

GP: We very rarely stop touring…it has been a part of our identity since the beginning and it is something that I love. We create waves, not metaphysically but physically. we go out there and we play to people, and we look at their faces. That’s how we know- that is how we identify success- through the look on people’s faces at the end of a night.

CH: Well- I thank you for your time and look forward to being one of those faces at your show at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh on July 21.

GP: Thanks again, Clay!


About stratoclay
father, husband, musician, employee, writer... in that order

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