Deep in our bones we’re rocker chicks and we’re okay with letting our freak flag fly high and proud.
Larkin Poe bringen sozusagen „von Haus“ aus einiges mit, was kommerziellen Erfolg in der amerikanisch stämmigen Popwelt verspricht. Die Schwestern Rebecca und Megan Lovell sind junge, hübsche und talentierte Country-Musikerinnen. Diese oberflächliche Beschreibung erweckt sofort Assoziationen mit angekitscht-konservativem Biblebelt-Pop im Gewand einer pseudo-modernen Erscheinung – und wird den beiden Amerikanerinnen nicht entfernt gerecht. Der Southern Rock der Schwestern, den sie, seitdem die beiden als Teenager begannen gemeinsam Musik zu machen, stetig weiterentwickelt haben, präsentiert sich mal exzentrisch und kantig, mal sanft und feinsinnig und birgt immer wieder überraschende Elemente in sich.
Über die Jahre haben Larkin Poe eine treue Fan-Base hinter sich versammelt, was nicht zuletzt ihren energetischen Live-Performances zu verdanken ist. So zählt sich zum Beispiel auch der große Elvis Costello zu ihren Anhängern und Protegés und die Huffington Post wählte ihr 2014 erschienenes Debütalbum „KIN“ zu einem der Top 10 Veröffentlichungen des Jahres. Am 18. März veröffentlichen Larkin Poe nun ihr neues Album „Reskinned“, das die um fünf neue Songs erweiterte Neuauflage von „KIN“ ist. Das ist für uns ein guter Grund, das ausführliche Interview, das ich mit Rebecca und Megan Ende letzten Jahres per Mail geführt habe, hier mit Euch zu teilen.
How would you describe the sound of Larkin Poe?
We’ve always enjoyed experimenting with a lot of different genres of music, but now with all the raw electric guitar and grungy slide guitar, we’ve landed on roots rock and roll; it’s gritty and dirty without losing our American folk roots.
As sisters, you have been making music together since you were teenagers. Could you tell us a bit more about your musical development and -career?
It’s crazy to think that we’ve been playing music together for nearly a decade! In our teenage years, when we were starting out as ungainly, fledgling musicians, the idea of being a “professional” always seemed like a dream too good to come true. Frankly, it still feels a little that way. Another definition of “career” is “walk of life”, and that definition feels much more appropriate. Right now, we’re lucky enough to be walking through life with guitars in tow, and will continue to do so for as long as possible. We’ve gone from classical music, to american roots, to writing our own strange mix of musical genres, all with the support of many amazing fans and musical heroes, like Elvis Costello, Conor Oberst, and Kristian Bush. We feel very lucky.
Stubborn Love is a love song you wrote to each other. You express love and friction between the two of you. In what way do you think does your close bond shape the dynamics of the band?
As sisters who have spent the past decade working and making music together, our ability to communicate nonverbally with one another is eery. Onstage, in the studio, writing, working, we can communicate with each other effortlessly and sometimes weird people out with how in tune we are with each other. Conversely, knowing each other so well and having so many shared memories and experiences makes it very easy to know exactly which buttons to push when we’re having an argument. We always work through the rough spots, though – love remains through thick and thin. This is what Stubborn Love means to us; we stubbornly stick it out in spite of the tough times.
Rebecca once said: „In our previous projects, there was always this pervading polish of „politeness“ […].“ While in your first full length album „ Kin“ […] that polish isn’t present.“ Could you describe what you mean by that?
We grew up as classically trained musicians, so I think perfectionistic tendencies were bred into us. At the same time however, our dad was playing us classic rock n roll in the minivan: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, The Allman Brothers, The Band, The White Stripes… Their music couldn’t help but seep into our bloodstream. It’s taken awhile, but we always knew we’d reach a point in our lives where we’d no longer feel the need to be so polite, so “nice”, so perfectionistic. We’ve returned to our love of classic rock, hard rock, southern rock. Deep in our bones we’re rocker chicks and we’re okay with letting our freak flag fly high and proud.
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Your musical style seems to be evolving constantly with every year and every new release. Do you feel like love of experimentation is something that characterizes Larkin Poe?
We love to listen to and play a lot of different genres of music, so I think it’s natural that our musical style wouldn’t fit into a single box either. If you aren’t evolving, you’re stagnating. As songwriters we’re incredibly impatient and insatiable, as well, raring to go onto the next thing. I feel it’s healthy for an artist that hopes for a life-long career to change and morph as they themselves change and morph as a person.
Could you tell me a bit about the process of songwriting?
During the “early years” of Larkin Poe, it was always challenging for us to successfully write songs with one another. In retrospect, sibling rivalry probably had a lot to do with it. Leading into ‘KIN’, we decided to buckle down, put aside our different creative processes, and write together. Once we made the commitment, it was surprisingly easy! There’s so much of our communication that is wordless, so we can arrive at the same musical or lyrical conclusion almost simultaneously – it’s a pleasure; one of the biggest perks of writing as sisters.
You are known for your exceptional and powerful live-performances. What does touring and being on stage mean to you, also compared to the more quiet and internal process of writing and recording?
I think audiences are most struck by our joy and passion onstage. We always have fans come up after shows to say how refreshing it is to witness a group of people strongly connecting and enjoying the music and experience they’re making. We love going on a journey every night and love that our fans can feel that connection with us. Touring and recording are such wildly different lives! Touring is the extrovert: making friends, partying, late nights, seeing the world, waking up exhausted. Recording is the introvert: staying in, exploring your own thoughts, analyzing everything, thinking and rethinking your direction. Both offer their own pros and cons and too much of either makes you sick. Haha!!
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What are your plans for the next couple of months?
We’re still be touring in support of the album “KIN” for the rest of year.* We’re also in the studio recording new tracks and writing constantly. This year has been so incredibly busy and overwhelming, we’re looking forward to a bit of time off for family and friends. Maybe just a couple weeks?? 2016 is looking like another wild year, so we’ve got to gear up for it.
Anything else you would like to share?
We love to connect with fans! We endeavor to make our social medias a window into our lives, we love to interact and make people feel like a part of the story. Hopefully, people will come be our friends.
Rebecca Lovell: Gesang, E-Gitarre, Akustikgitarre, Mandoline, Klavier
Megan Lovell: Gesang, Lapsteel Gitarre, Dobro
Robby Handley: Bass
Marlon Patton: Drums
Thick as Thieves (2011)
Auftritte in Deutschland:
Grolsch Blues Festival, Schöppingen – 15. Mai 2016
Foto: Aaron Schorch