Formed when their frontwoman was just nine years old and with a voice and guitar-driven swagger that instantly conjures up images of Janis Joplin and Susan Tedeschi, Hannah Wicklund and The Steppin Stones have consistently stood out as a young band on the rise.
The band’s self-titled, fifth album [produced by Sadler Valden and set for a January 26 release] draws from the guitarist’s classic rock influences, which range from Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck to Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty. The result is a fiery combination of blues-rock passion that pays homage to her musical roots while giving them modern, 21-century feel.
With her tasty fret work and tireless work ethic, Wicklund is a guitarist to watch for 2018.
Guitar World recently spoke with Wicklund about her new album, songwriting, gear and more.
How would you describe your style of music?
It’s raw but very authentic and genuine. It’s also a good representation of what the last year and a half of my life has been like. This new album is my most mature piece of work as far as sound goes, and an ode to my classic rock roots.
What’s your writing process like?
Honestly? It’s different every song. There have been songs that begin with a musical idea approach, where the riff comes first and is followed by forming a melody. Other songs could start from just a lyrical idea.
Something else I’ve been doing lately is taking a strong title and writing the song from there. “Shadow Boxes” is an example of a song I had originally written and then scrapped everything except for the title. Then there are songs like “Crushin”, which is more of a riff-based, bluesy song. I’d been playing that riff for a long time and developed it into a song.
Let’s discuss a few other tracks from the new album, beginning with “Bomb Through The Breeze.”
That’s a song that Sadler [Valden] and I co-wrote in one sitting. It started out with the riff and then we took cues from each other and built it from there. It’s a song about standing up for yourself.
You can read the rest of my
Interview with Hannah Wicklund Here!