YBP Interview: Nicole Atkins

Boy do we have something special for you today! I’m putting my normal music drivel on hold for this week, because as you can already guess by the title of this post, I have had the opportunity to interview an extremely talented musician who goes by the name of Nicole Atkins. If you don’t already know her you are in for a treat. Along with this interview, Nicole has provided us with a song off of her new EP, entitled Nicole Atkins Digs Other People’s Songs. The song is a cover of “Under the Milky Way”, which was originally done by an Australian band called The Church. So here is the interview, I hope you enjoy:

Middle Distance Runner: To me, your music seems very dramatic and emotional. How important is emotion to you in the music you make?

Nicole Atkins: Extremely important. It’s really the biggest reason I write songs. To try to work through different emotions in life. Also, I like my songs to feel like mini movies. I try to not just sing about a situation or a place but also try to get (to) the listener about what it feels like to be in it or there.

MDR: When did you realize that being a musician is what you wanted to do with your life?

NA: When I was in art college and realized that I had way more songs and gigs than paintings.

MDR: If you could have any other job besides being a musician what would it be?

NA: Maybe an illustrator for science or medical journals, or an owner of a music venue.

MDR: Who has been the most influential person in your career as musician?

NA: Probably most of my family. They have always been really supportive and have all of these great tragic yet humorously dark stories that make good fodder for songs.

MDR: If you could sing a duet with anyone dead or alive who would it be?

NA: Definitely Roy Orbison or Edith Piaf

MDR: I love your song “Neptune City”. What is it about?

NA: The first half is about my mom’s little brother Dom that passed away when he was little. Its about him looking down on his funeral procession and realizing he can’t go home again. Then the second half is about me. I just moved back to Neptune City after living in NYC and was frustrated by being there and just saying that maybe if I could just learn to appreciate how pretty the river is and shit that I could love it there again.

MDR: Who is funnier in person? David Letterman or Conan O’Brien?

NA: They were both pretty damn funny! Draw!

MDR: What was it like to perform on those shows?

NA: It was really awesome. Super fun. We met so many cool people too, like Dennis Hopper and Slash. Playing on shows like that definitely makes you take a step back and just say “wow, how did i get here?!”

MDR: I hear you are a big fan of David Lynch. What is your favourite of his films?

NA: I always switch between Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. He is the master of the haunt.

MDR: What is your favourite city to play in?

NA: Austin, Texas for sure. Great people, music scene and food. Can’t beat it.

MDR: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you perform before playing a show?

NA: A little warming up and a little Jameson.

MDR: What was the most memorable show that you have played?

NA: Off the top of my head it would be our set at Bonnaroo. It was the second time we ever played a festival and had a pretty good slot. Just having a bigger stage and a bigger crowd I had so much fun playing I almost cried. A couple times during the set I just couldn’t stop laughing too it was just such intense fun.

MDR: Finally, Are you a fan of any of the artists that have contributed to the Yellow Bird Project?

NA: I am! Big fan of The National, Devendra, The Shins and The New Pornographers. I actually just sang backup on Carl Newman’s new solo record that comes out this month.

So there you have it, Nicole Atkins has great taste in music! I just want to thank Nicole again for doing this, we loved her answers. You should all go out to see her play live. She has a few upcoming dates…take a look:

11/05/2008 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live

11/07/2008 – Washington, D.C. – The Rock and Roll Hotel

11/08/2008 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theater

11/13/2008 – Cambridge, MA – T.T. The Bears

11/14/2008 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom

11/26/2008 – Ashbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony

And here is that delightful little cover that I promised you:

Nicole Atkins – Under The Milky Way

Until next week…

The Middle Distance Runner

One comment for “YBP Interview: Nicole Atkins”

  1. […] is an absolute must on your morning web browse! Look for his interviews with Birdie Busch and Nicole Atkins. Move over caffeine, hello YBP […]

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