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INTERVIEW WITH LARRY LOVE - WHATSONHIGHLANDS
INTERVIEW WITH LARRY LOVE - WHATSONHIGHLANDS
Published on: 29 November 2013 http://whatsonhighlands.com
Ahead of their Inverness gig on 08 Dec, the founder member of the
acid-house-meets-country combo tells us about wiseguys, the death of
the music industry and why they love the Highlands so much. ALABAMA 3
must have played Inverness and the Highlands more than any other
visiting band over the past few years and they’re always a whole lot of
fun. Ahead of their gig at IRONWORKS on SUN 08 DEC, we caught up with
the group’s LARRY LOVE to shoot the breeze.
* You’ve been regular visitors to these parts over recent years. Have you got a bit of Highlander spirit in your souls?
Yeah. There’s nothing like taking the low life to The Highlands. We
played there recently at the Belladrum Festival, such is our cultural
cache that we were invited to perform at the 21st birthday party of the
lord of the manor’s son. That was really good and it was only a couple
of months ago. I mean I’m a Welshman and Jake (Rev D. Wayne Love) is a
Scotsman, which means we’re all f***ing mad. We’re quite at home there.
* There can’t be many bands who have consistently released as much
material as you over almost twenty years. How do you keep so prolific?
In spite of Alabama 3’s penchant for all things sex, drugs and rock
n’ roll, we’ve always been grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to
make music. Consequently I’ve always liked to think that there’s a work
ethic which is based on the fact we are blessed to have had that
opportunity. I think it’s really sad seeing musicians lose the plot,
getting f***ed up on drink and drugs. We don’t hold much truck with
whingeing junkies or rattling alcoholics in the band. You can shake,
rattle and roll as much as you want in Alabama 3 but we still have to do
Everyone had us down as quite notorious hell-raisers, which I
suppose we still are, but that has always been tempered with work. Both
Jake and I come from backgrounds of schemes, either you worked down the
pit or down in the steel yards, quite working class backgrounds really.
If you come from that place and then you get paid to mince around the
stage with a microphone I always thought, well why not?
* Way back when you launched yourself as the First Presleyterian
Church of Elvis the Divine (UK) did you honestly feel you’d still be
going strong almost two decades later? Was there a plan for world
Our initial manifesto was ridiculous. We were mixing country and
western with techno together with fake American accents at the height of
Brit Pop, which was on some levels career suicide. On the other level,
I’m not sure we’re masters of the art but we’re increasingly finding
that Nashville is going to Detroit for dance beats and Detroit’s going
to Nashville and Alabama for blues. Our vision has remained true.
The cosmology of the band and our agenda has allowed us to continue
because we’re so weird. We’ve always been on the margins and there’s no
one else quite like us so we’ve never been tainted with any particular
brush and consequently whitewashed and blanded out with all of the rest
of the Brit Poppers, who you don’t see much of these days. God bless
them. Wear our embrace.
* While loads of bands have suffered in the internet age, you
seem to have thrived with a massive online fan base. Why do you think
what you do has such a global appeal?
We anticipated the death of the music industry a long time ago.
We’re quite techno savvy in that sense and we welcome it. The record
industry was a f***ing con anyway. The artists were getting 16% of what
they were owed and the other 84% was going to the record labels. That
was a totally incongruous and incompatible situation. Like any
capitalist venture it becomes a victim of its own success. It becomes
bloated and it excesses. I think our fan base recognizes that.
We’ve got a tremendous live reputation, which has kept us swinging. I
think the fact that we can break Alabama 3 down into various component
parts like the Alabama 3 DJ set, the acoustic set or the full band means
that we can communicate our aesthetic on a wide variety of platforms,
which is another good reason how we cover all other bases. We can travel
light or we can travel heavy baby.
* You’re always going to be particularly famous for providing the
theme tune to The Sopranos. Has that made you every wise guy’s
favourite acid house-meets-country rock combo? Did you ever get to meet
James Gandolfini? (below)
Yes and yes! There’s that DJ Avicii. He’s just said he’s invented
the blend of house music with acid country house. He sold millions of
records because he had the great idea of mixing country and house music.
12.5 million dollars, or something like that he’s made on one single!
He went to Nashville where they’ve got that whole Miley Cyrus crossover
shit going on at the moment. Gangsters seem to like us!
We met James a couple of times and were privileged to have been in
his company. He was a good fella! He likes to party, probably what
* What’s been your proudest moment?
I think there’s been a lot of them. Meeting people like Patrick Hill
(Birmingham 6), Gerry Conlon (Guildford 4) was pretty f***ing good.
Then you meet people like Bruce Reynolds and Howard Marks.
A recent one was at our studio when we were honoured with an award
by the Mayor of Lambeth Council for our ghetto initiative. Steve from
IDK has been taking youth off the street and working with them and
teaching them about music production. I’m not going to be proud of
selling records or being top ten. Any f***er can do that if they’ve got X
Factor behind them. That can all be done with a load of money and a
* For anyone who’s been living in a cave, run us through the characters that constitute the current A3 line-up.
Rev. D Wayne Love on vocals, Aurora Dawn lead vocals, Rockfree Bass
on guitar, Spirit of Love on Piano, Owen on sticks, Stevie Nicked on
guitar. We’ve currently employed Wizard for sequencers and bass. And
then me-Larry Love or Gary Glove Puppet looking for his strings, or
someone to pull them.
* What treats are in store for anyone going to your Inverness gig?
It will be exactly the same as the show you saw before, only
different! In all seriousness, if we were to give you that answer there
would be no point coming to the gig.
* Any New Year’s resolutions?
Every Monday is a new resolution. The resolution will be televised!
* And what are your plans for 2014?
Developing our record label Hostage Music and our club Brixton Jamm
for cultural domination. I’m quite looking forward to going to Ibiza,
America, Ireland, Australia, having a top ten hit and getting remixed by