Q&A: A Fine Frenzy
Before taking to the Push Play Project stage at our Beverly Hills shop on October 4th, Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy is sounding off.
A: To begin, tell us about your new album PINES.
AS: The entire record is a story, and each song is a chapter that leads into the next. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like it. We recorded the album live, which was incredibly freeing. You can feel the room, the instruments, the breathing, my foot on the piano pedal. You can hear all the bumps and creaks of my voice—not perfect at all, but human and real.
A: How did the album’s title come about?
AS: The record tells the story of a lonesome pine—the last tree standing in a wasteland where a great forest once lived. There’s a tremendous amount of longing—or pining, as it may be—so the name is partially a reference to that. It’s easy to spend days and decades consumed by the memory of something lost. Sometimes, you have to go on a journey to leave the past behind and find a new way to live, which is what this record is about: choosing to live, let go and grow.
A: What do you love most about your work?
AS: Every aspect of it—writing, recording, playing shows, connecting with people along the way. It’s fun and scary and makes me uncomfortable. I just love it. Even when songs keep me up all night wanting to be written or I have to perform with the stomach flu. It’s all part of the adventure.
A: Speaking of performing, do you have a go-to stage outfit?
AS: I try to shake things up, but a cream blouse, black or navy skirt and tights tend to win more often than not. I’ve “experimented” in the past and the pictures live on to haunt me. Sometimes, I’ll wear a bigger piece of jewelry so something sparkles. I like going on stage feeling comfortable in my own skin, but also like something special is about to happen.
A: How about a favorite fall staple?
AS: A great blazer is a must—preferably in navy. And a good pair of leather boots for tromping in the leaves.
A: Tell us five things people might not know about you.
AS: I’m allergic to pretty much everything—lots of sneezing happens on the Frenzy bus. I only learned how to ride a bike a few years ago in Amsterdam. I am a terrible skier—like legs-flailing-poles-flying-menace-to-society bad. I hula hoop to relieve stress, and because it’s fun. I had Queen Noor of Jordan over to my house for tea once—we sat in my backyard with the dogs barking and planes flying overhead. She is amazing!
A: Say you weren’t making music—what would you be doing?
AS: I think I’d be writing children’s books. Or maybe something totally different, like running an old-fashioned ice cream shop with a little library attached to it. A sticky library. Who knows!
A: Before you go, any parting words for your many fans?
AS: Even though I can’t always thank you all individually, I hope you know that I listen, remember and am inspired by you, your stories, your love and your support. I made this record for everyone I’ve met along the way, in hopes that the music will be a friend to them and help them through difficult times, because they’ve always been such wonderful friends to me.