Hollywood Sentinel

Alison Sudol is One Fine Frenzy

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An Exclusive Interview with A Fine Frenzy's Alison Sudol
by Bruce Edwin

Bruce Edwin: And I read that you opened for the Stooges!

Alison Sudol: Yeah…

Bruce Edwin: That amazed me, because I got in to the punk scene at an early age, and what was that like for you? Are you an Iggy fan or what?

Alison Sudol: Well, I think I didn't know enough at that time about Iggy, and I was researching like crazy, before we did the show, and was just absolutely like falling over, blown away by him.

Bruce Edwin: Awesome.

Alison Sudol: Like, when I was doing the research and stuff, so I think performing on the same bill with him, it meant so much then, but it means even more now, I think as I've gotten a little older, but I was bragging to any body and every body, and I'm not the bragging type, but I was telling every body.

Bruce Edwin: Ha, I would too.

Alison Sudol: and the Kings of Leon were on that same bill too, it was crazy, but yeah, just watching him up there, blew me away.

Bruce Edwin: I bet, I saw an interview with him (and I'm bringing this back, so bear with me), I saw an interview where he said if he could have started out doing more blues or classical type of stuff, he would have done it, but he needed to make money, and rock and roll was a gig he could make money at, and now he's going off in to other areas he originally wanted to do, but it seems like you've got some more, I won't say rock and roll can't be dignified or a high art, because I think it can, or pop music for that matter, but it seems like you've got a lot more intelligence, or academia, or scholarly qualities behind you more than the average rock or pop singer out there, you're name I heard was obviously taken from (a line from) Shakespeare, so, can you tell me about that? Is there an area of study that you are heavily in to and influenced by aside from your music, or what?

Alison Sudol: Well I think, I didn't go to college, I figured I'd postpone it, because I was 16, I graduated high school early...

Bruce Edwin: That's incredible....

Alison Sudol: And I was really young for 16 in some ways....

Bruce Edwin: Yeah, and smart obviously...

Alison Sudol: (laughs) Nerdy! So the idea of going to college where people were like drinking, and partying, and smoking pot, it was too much. I was too scared. So I put it off, and then I never went, and a part of me has always felt, well, you've got to keep educating yourself, to justify not going to college, so, I just always try to read as much as I can, and try to talk to people that are smarter than me, and have done more, and try to absorb, you know, because, this lifestyle can lend a lot to one's intelligence. It can help you, you can learn so much from the places that you go, and the people that you meet, if you choose to make that a point, you know, or, you can just like drink your self in to a stupor...

Bruce Edwin: Ha ha!

Alison Sudol: You know, but, I'm not very good at that.

Bruce Edwin: That's awesome, that's very wise of you, very cool, you know, as a student of the world per se, with travel, that is an education unto itself, that's great.

Alison Sudol: Yeah, that's what I got.

Bruce Edwin: Definitely, that's very, very cool. Your songwriting is so highly developed for any one, but particularly for an artist of your time, kind of early in your career, and you've probably been asked this many times, so forgive this, but when did you really start formulating your songwriting?

Alison Sudol: When I graduated high school, I met a few people who introduced me to other people, and I ended up being taken under the wing by a songwriter, (...) and she just took me to every writing session she went to...

Bruce Edwin: Wow.

Alison Sudol: And she took me every where, every where! And (she) was not easy on me by any standards (..) You know what I mean?

Bruce Edwin: Ha, yeah.

Alison Sudol: So she did that, and then she just kind of let me go when I needed to go, and go on my own, you know, and I had a band, and it was terrible, and blah, but I just kind of learned through trial by fire essentially, but I did what I didn't want to do, and then I stopped everything, and just sat down at the piano, and started honing in on what I really wanted to do. From all of that other stuff of learning, and working with other people, and being taken in different directions, and absorbing, it was then like O.K., now you've got to find you in that, that was at 19, and the first song that I wrote was 'Almost Lover,' which is weird...

Bruce Edwin: Wow, ha!

Alison Sudol: Yeah, like literally the first song I wrote by myself on the piano.

Bruce Edwin: Wow, amazing, beautiful song, I love that song by the way...

Alison Sudol: Thanks, it was a start, and it was honest, you know?

Bruce Edwin: Yeah. I know, as I'm sure you do, a diverse array of artists or artistically inclined people, and some of them believe that their artistry just comes from them, do you believe in any so-called spiritual inspiration, or element beyond the physical realm that inspires you?


Don't miss part two of our exclusive interview with Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy in the next issue of The Hollywood Sentinel, out December 1st, 2009. A Fine Frenzy wraps up their nation wide U.S. tour on Tuesday, November 17, in Los Angeles, California at El Rey, and Wednesday, November 18th, in Anaheim, California, at House of Blues.

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