Catch up with LA-based quintet Alice Underground and watch the video for their latest single "Superman" off their album, Cambria Sessions, out now.
What brought you all together?
The short answer is music. We've either played together in different bands, opened up for each other in other bands, or connected from singing or playing together at shows. I will say that with each member, the kindredship was lightning fast. The beauty of meeting a kindred spirit is that you know instantly that they're a kindred. So, with each member, there was an instantaneous musical kinship that brought us together. Now we all play together in 4 different bands under the umbrella of The Alice Project, and we absolutely love creating together.
Which musicians have you been influenced by, individually or as a band?
We all have pretty diverse taste in music. I think the rule of thumb in our group is that if it has some soul and imagination, we'll probably love it. I myself have a great affinity for Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, Bjork, Nine Inch Nails, Florence and the Machine, Tool, and Pink Floyd, to name a handful.
What words would you use to describe your sound to someone who had never heard your music?
Gypsy swing with a protopunk edge
What were your inspirations behind your single and the video for "Superman"?
The song was originally written as part of a storyline from the album. A man that one of the girls is in love with has gotten himself in trouble because of trying too hard to be a hero. Ultimately, the song is about how in love, we can either put someone else on a pedestal, or we struggle with being put on a pedestal. In the end, I want to love a person as the real human being that they are and not as a superhero.
Could you tell us more about your Cambria Sessions album?
The album represents the collaboration of many like-minded artists in our community. The band worked with the amazing writer, Shawn Strider, who is also the head of the Sypher Arts Studio that we are a part of. We also had a chance to bring in the musical talents of Eru Matsumoto, Joe Berry, and Jordan Roepke to create the album. The album art was created by the incredibly talented artist, David Mack, and our live album release included the dancers who we try to include in many of our live performances. The album was written with the storyline in mind of two girls who are trying to make their dreams come true in Hollywood in an imaginary golden age, a time that never was. After going through a series of challenges, the ladies finally decide to pack up their car and escape north to Cambria. Cambria in reality is a beautiful town along the coast of California; it feels like a magical place where people can go to re-find themselves and hear the whispers of the muses. I’ve always had a particular affinity for surreal art, the kind of art that takes you on a journey and makes you feel shifted when you experience it. What I can tell you is that these songs represent chapters of life. Some of the songs for me, personally, are songs that I feel I have finally found my voice and my sense of self-empowerment. The album represents heartbreak, longing, regret, adventures, laughter, and various forms of love. When we put the album together, we spent many, many hours, with a detailed brush, with the process always including a great deal of joy from the collaboration with each other and the people that have surrounded us in this project.
Is there a track off that record you'd call your favorite?
This is definitely a difficult question. I view songs as children of sorts, and it really is impossible to choose favorites. Each one draws on various heart strings, and so each song really does have a special place. Perhaps I can say that the song that makes me feel the most empowered on this album is "Hard to Resist". I wrote that from a place of truly trying to find my own empowerment after a difficult breakup. But I really do love all the songs. ;)
In one sentence, how would you sum up Cambria Sessions?
A musical journey, infused with love, longing, and laughter, that takes you there and back again.
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
When I create music, it is my intention to create something that people can connect and relate to. Perhaps they can be inspired to create for themselves or to have something to sing or play along to. Perhaps they have a song that helps them get through a difficult time. I myself have certain songs on other people's albums that I've listened to over and over when I was going through hard times. So, I hope that I can pay it forward and add more music to the world that serves that purpose. I also hope that our music can bring people joy, make their feet tap, and take them on a journey. But, really, these are all merely intentions. I find that a really important lesson as an artist is the art of letting go. Once I have created a piece of art, it's not up to me how people will feel or interpret it. I can hope, but it really belongs to other people once I've released it out into the world. My job as an artist is to just keep making art.
Is there anything you want to add?
I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to get to know us a little better. And to thank our supporters for the incredible love and support that makes what we do truly magical.