Grace Potter: "Do I Want To Do The Katy Perry Thing?"
Wild and free like much of what you'll find in Vermont, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have had the opportunity to grow on for four albums on Disney subsidiary Hollywood Records. They've never stood still, passing from rootsy jam to southern rock to the atmospheric dance-tinged modern pop of 2010's self-titled album and culminating in a woolly blues-tinged album that retains the pop hooks, infusing them into surprisingly taut and moody seventies-inflected rock. Potter's got the pipes to pull it off, and a lively personality that translates into fun, freewheeling performances.
After dueting with Kenny Chesney on the hit "You and Tequila" in 2011, Potter's profile leapt, and doors opened. But stardom didn't appeal to her as much as making the music she wants - so she didn't cater and willingly let the chips land where they may on their latest, The Lion The Beast The Beat. We caught up with Potter in Nashville, where she and the Nocturnals were rehearsing before leaving on tour.
Up on the Sun: How did you get drawn into music?
I grew up with hippy parents that really nurtured whatever creative force was going to take hold of thier kids. My brother and my sister both found their path in poetry and art, respectively. And I seemed to grab a hold of music and never let go, mainly because I was and still am legally blind.... as a two-year-old I would be listening to pop songs and I would make up my own harmonies and sing my own words, and kind of correct what I thought was wrong with the song...
I wonder if that one dim sense made your other senses stronger, especially in learning to play by ear.
I think so. That's why I'm superstious--I have this argument all the time with friends who've had LASIK surgery. They're, "You just have to do it, you have to get LASIK," especially because part of my job is not falling off the edge of the stage.
But I have this weird superstition about it that I was born exactly the way I am. It's like any other thing - I wouldn't get a boob job, why would I get an eye job? I don't know. It's weird.
While the last one was poppy and upbeat, and I'm sure that was fun, I was wondering if this one - because its much more of a rock album - isn't a little more enjoyable to get onto the stage and into the clubs.
Yeah, not to say that I didn't love every piece of the making of the last record - and that's the thing, the making of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' eponymous album was so much fun. We had SO much fun making that record. And this record was much more tedious and I was way harder on myself. It was a very intense immersion into creatively where we wanted to go as a band. And not always a fun journey.
After the jump: "Each album is really only a marker, just a mile ticket for us."