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 the work.

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 domination?

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 killed him.

* 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 marketing strategy.

* 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 Salvador Dali.