Tag: The Bangles

The Bangles’ Vicki Peterson Talks New Album, Saluting the Paisley Underground

Photo: Autumn de Wilde

It was the dawn of the Eighties when the Bangles (then known as the Bangs), the Dream Syndicate, the Three O’Clock and Rain Parade were all new L.A. bands at the core of the influential Paisley Underground scene.

Five years ago, the four groups got back together for a charity event that went over so well they decided to do something unique to celebrate their success. They each got to work putting their own spin on one song from each of the other three bands. The result is a new 12-song collection, titled 3 x 4: The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, which will be released on purple swirl vinyl, double LP and CD for Black Friday Record Store Day on November 23, with a wider release coming early next year.

Guitar World recently spoke with Bangles guitarist Vicki Peterson about the new album and more.

What inspired this new project? How did it all come about?

The record is a delayed outgrowth of a reunion we did a few years back. We all got together, Rain Parade, Dream Syndicate, the Three O’Clock and the Bangs, and did a series of shows in San Francisco and L.A. We had so much fun reconnecting that a week later, I was talking with Danny Benair (The Three O’Clock) and Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) about doing an album. But instead of recording new material, we thought a sweet project would be for each band to pick a song from the other three bands and cover it. It was a nice way to pay tribute to each other.

Who coined the phrase “Paisley Underground”?

It’s generally credited to Mike Quercio (The Three O’Clock). He was sitting down for an interview and someone asked him to describe what was going on and what the common thread was and he said, “We’re the Paisley Underground.” It was a movement and certainly not mainstream music. At the time, it was the early Eighties in Los Angeles. Punk was winding down and there was a rockabilly scene. All of us shared a common reverence for the music of the mid-Sixties to early Seventies. It was very contrite, and “paisley” really kind of says it best.

I want to ask you about the tracks the Bangles covered for the new album, starting with the Three O’Clock’s “Jet Fighter.” What can you tell me about it?

Generally, it’s the most pop tune on the album. It’s got such a catchy chorus and a great feel. It was one of the songs that when I heard it again sparked a lot of happy memories of going to Three O’Clock shows.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Vicki Peterson by Clicking Here!

Advertisements

Susanna Hoffs and Vicki Peterson Talk New Album, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen… The Bangles’

TheBanglesHand-selected from their personal archives, the Bangles’ new album, Ladies and Gentlemen . . . The Bangles!, is a 16-track collection of re-mastered Eighties-era rarities, demos and live recordings from the band that would burst out of the Paisley Underground music scene and into pop/rock super-stardom.

Unavailable for nearly 35 years, this “new” album, which is set for a June 24 release, includes their debut single, “Getting Out of Hand” (when they were called the Bangs), as well as all of the tracks from their self-titled EP, which was produced by Craig Leon (Ramones/Blondie).

With elements of Motown and punk-inspired beats as well as their trademark, jangly guitar sound and deep harmonies, Ladies and Gentlemen… The Bangles is as real and raw as it gets. Reminding us all just how connected Susanna Hoffs (vocals/guitar), Vicki Peterson (guitar/vocals) and Debbi Peterson (drums/vocals) still are to the music that inspired them.

I recently spoke with Hoffs and Peterson about the project, their careers, gear and more.

What made you decide to revisit your first EP?

Hoffs: It was the right time and we really wanted to make the music available to people. We had originally released the music digitally a few years ago but never got around to putting it into any other format. So when Omnivore Recordings approached us about revisiting it, we knew it was a cool idea.

Peterson: Part of the charm of this record is the distance of looking back and the perspective of what it sounds like. A lot of these songs were covers that we actually played in our live set at the time, and some of them like “Outside Chance” and “Steppin’ Out” pre-date The Bangs. I wanted to get the EP back out into the world again because I’m really proud of it. This album is very reflective of the things we love musically and why we became a band in the first place.

Hoffs: Whenever we do those songs in our set they take us full circle, but they’re just as fresh to us now as they were then. It’s the most core Bangles material that exists.

Let’s discuss a few of those tracks. What can you tell me about “Bitchen Summer/Speedway”?

Hoffs: That song actually pre-dates the Bangs. David Roback (Rain Parade/Mazzy Star) and I were really into surf stuff and started my very first band. David took that sound and “Mazzy Starred” it into a song we called “Speedway.” It was one that I brought in during the early period of the Bangs and we crafted it more.

“I’m in Line”

Hoffs: That was one of the first songs that we all wrote together as a band. It had Mamas and the Papas harmony but with a Motown feel underneath in the rhythm section.

How much influence did being part of the Paisley Underground have on you?

Peterson: It was a huge influence. Part of it was because it was a community of friends who were all inspired by the same kind of music. There was a musical aspect where I’d just get blown away by the anarchy and freedom that I heard on stage. It definitely influenced the way I approach guitar.

Hoffs: All of the work that we did to form the band and create our sound stemmed from our influences, and that’s what we shared with many of the bands we found ourselves working with. The fact that we found other like-minded musicians and that it caught on as a scene was an acknowledgement that things were going our way. It really developed a big following and there was this great feeling of community and camaraderie.

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Susanna Hoffs & Vicki Peterson By Clicking Here!

Bangles Guitarist Vicki Peterson Discusses the 30th Anniversary of ‘Different Light’

BanglesWhen the Bangles released their sophomore album, Different Light, in 1986, it represented something of a departure from the guitar-driven, Sixties-oriented sound the band had been known for.

With its eclectic mix of radio-friendly pop, dance and Motown groove, Different Light would go on to become one of the year’s biggest albums, yielding the hits “Walking Down Your Street” and “If She Knew What She Wants,” plus the Prince-penned “Manic Monday.”

The album also gave the Bangles their first Number 1 song, the quirky yet strangely infectious “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

Below, Bangles guitarist Vicki Peterson recalls the making of Different Light and the tidal wave of success that followed. We also discuss her current work with the Bangles, the Psycho Sisters and Continental Drifters, gear and more.

When you look back at Different Light with 30 years of perspective, what comes to mind?

Different Light was a really important record for us and transitional in some ways. We had started out as a very raw garage band, and the first full record that we did with Columbia had more of that Sixties, guitar-rock sound. Different Light has some songs that kind of veered away from that. In some ways, it was a little uncomfortable, but new things always are.

What prompted that change in direction?

We were trying to feel our way through growing up as a band, and that started happening with that record. It was a band decision. Instead of staying in one spot musically and working directly from that Sixties, guitar-based platform, we launched into other things. David Kahne (producer) did a lot to take any ideas we had and was musically creative as an arranger. He was actually the one who brought us “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

You can read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Vicki Peterson by Clicking Here!

Guitar World: Bangle’s Susanna Hoffs Discusses 80’s Album with Matthew Sweet

UnderThe CoversFor “Sid ‘n Susie Under the Covers, Vol. 3: The ’80s, Susanna Hoffs’ third album of cover songs with power popper Matthew Sweet, the Bangles vocalist/guitarist stuck to a decade that was very kind to her — the 1980s.

Unlike the duo’s two previous albums, which focused on material from the ’60s and ’70s, Under the Covers, Vol. 3 relies less on mainstream hits and focuses more on deeper album tracks.

Along the way, Hoffs and Sweet paint a broad spectrum of sonic art — complete with totally gnarly renditions of tunes by artists including Roxy Music, the Smiths, XTC, Lindsey Buckingham and R.E.M.

I recently spoke to Hoffs about the new album, which will be available November 12. We also discussed a few of her favorite memories from the ’80s.

As an added bonus, here’s my favorite Bangles song from the 80’s.

GUITAR WORLD: How did you and Matthew Sweet decide which songs to cover for this album?

Because we’re both fans of the music, it was so easy to pick songs. The hard part was actually trying to stop [laughs]. Musically it was a challenge, but it was a lot of fun finding ways to reinvent the songs and put our own stamp on them. We also got to think outside of the box because we approached things as a duet. It gave us a chance to really get into the emotion of the songs.

You can  the rest of my Guitar World interview with Susanna Hoffs by Clicking Here!