Last week we introduced you to Katie Cole’s American Country meets British Pop sound. Since then, So So Gay has had the pleasure of asking her all about her new album.
So So Gay: How are you doing? In a couple of weeks your new single will be out – are you excited?
Katie Cole: Super excited. I literally spent a year making this album, so it’s been a nice exercise in patience to not explode. As an artist, I really want to share my music the second I’ve made it. It’s taken time and practice for me to learn that it’s better to spend the time and plan a release so that you focus on a song or a video. Then you’re telling fans one or two big things, instead of a lot of little things that can be overlooked. I’m really excited to finally be able to share all the work that’s gone into this song.
What has been your greatest musical influence so far?
Firstly, if it wasn’t for me raiding my mum’s music collection, none of ‘this stuff’ would be happening. As for music and songwriting icons, I really absorbed a lot from various bands. I wouldn’t say there was one main contender. I learnt the importance of interesting guitar riffs and non-standard song arrangement from bands like Stone Temple Pilots; lyrics and melody from Sheryl Crow; vocals from Annie Lennox, and songwriting 101 from Carole King. It all kinda goes in my ‘music brain’, but those are the main culprits!
You are an experienced performer and songwriter, but do you prefer one to the other?
I truly love both equally. They are both a joy, and a challenge, in their own right. I get to use my intellect and story telling ability when writing, but my heart and sense of humour when performing. I like telling stories and interacting with the crowd. They are both amazing. I also love being in the studio a lot. I get to play mad scientist there. I like wearing many hats.
After moving from Australia to California
Yes. Massive culture shock! I had previously visited Los Angeles twice, before re-locating there soon after. Driving on the right, from the left side of the car is easy. Weird, but easy. The big things for me, were in fact the little things. Everyday slang and my foreign accent were the big things that took some work to overcome communication breakdowns. Using words like ‘soda’ and over-pronouncing the ‘r’ in certain words so I’m understood took time to adjust to. I still get asked if I’m British sometimes. I say ‘yes’ on occasion too. Haha. Things that I miss…hmm. My family. But aside from the obvious, I miss Melbourne coffee and the food culture there. I miss little cafés, delicatessens and independent greengrocers.
Your last album had a distinct alternate country/pop sound to it. Will the new album be similar? Can you drop any spoilers to whet our appetite?
I have been describing this new album as British pop meets American Country – drawing from my influences in both the UK and USA. After I released my previous EP , the title track, ‘Lost Inside a Moment’ (see below), seemed to really capture people for whatever reason. I got a lot of support from UK radio, and US fans liked that song. It had elements of pop and country with a great story. I sort of used that song as a measure for what I wanted to do for my new album. I was listening to a lot of Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac and wanted to aim for the new record to have a bit more of an Americana feel. Something classic. My record producer, Howard Willing, managed to pull in Kris Kristofferson to sing on one of my songs called ‘Penelope’. I wrote that song to be sung by a wise and well-travelled character. Then I decided to record it myself and Howard brought in Kristofferson at the last minute. Totally amazing stuff. I am aware of this; it’s amazing.
Although you’re already popular in the US, and of course Australia, we’re just getting to know you here in the UK - do you plan on performing in Europe in the future?
I was out last September to support my last big UK single called ‘Sunrise’ and played some acoustic shows. I am going to be back in London in early February 2013 to support the record release and will be touring. Still locking in dates, but I’ll be there. Hopefully, I be able to get out to the surrounding countries too. Fingers crossed.