Nikki Lane Is A Good Girl Gone Bad On Her New Album
Lane landed Dan Auerbach, fellow Nashvillian and one half of the Black Keys, as her producer and the duo created one of the strongest alternatives to modern country albums that 2014 is likely to see.
Radio.com caught up with Lane over the phone to talk about being a realist, her famous producer and friend Auerbach, how a studio should be decorated and why giving up New York City life can be a great decision.
Radio.com: Why did you want to work with Dan Auerbach on this album?
Lane: Again, organic. We made friends. I was friends with people he was making records for so I'd seen him in the studio with Hanni El Khatib and Bombino. It went really well. The guys in Bombino didn't speak English, they spoke some French. And their tour manager spoke French and some English. Getting to peek in on the studio and watch that [recording] happen, I was thinking it seems like this guy could work with anybody.
I'm difficult to work with, I think. I'm opinionated. I know I can't do it by myself because I don't have the vocabulary to direct five or six musicians. I have to find someone that I want to work with. When you're looking around for that person, you're hanging out with your friends and realizing that would be the most organic situation. I was trying to get in touch with Mark Ronson when I started thinking of making this next record because I liked his stuff. I had other people in mind but then the next thing I knew, Dan was the best option and he was right there. The Black Keys had just finished touring and he had down time. I slipped right into the equation. Luckily we wrote well together too.
Radio.com: At the end of the day, did he do your songs justice?
Lane: I think so! I think that the record sounds incredible. It's only my third time in the studio, ever, and I see a significant increase in the quality of the songwriting. I hear more of the little details that I would have put in the first record I recorded if I'd known how. The great thing about Dan's producing is that, while he's obviously putting his own style on it he's not layering it in Black Keys signature moves. He's doing whatever the song needs. For us, sometimes that took two or three different approaches before I was feeling like the track was supposed to feel. For example, "I Want My Heart Back" - the demo sounded so much different. It took me quite awhile to accept that Dan might be right in changing it as much as he did, because he heard it differently. In the long run, I really like the way it came out.
Radio.com: You recorded at his studio in Nashville. It's known for being a little eccentric and different in its set up. Was that your experience?
Lane: It's funny because his studio doesn't seem that odd. It's plain as day, to me. There's a big large control room on a big window to a big live room that is full of toys and then an awesome entertainment room to hang out and listen to records. To me that's very normal. I think people are really excited by it because it's so visually stimulating. He's an antique collector and his father is an antique dealer, so everything is cool and old. But that's what a studio should look like.
A lot of rental studios, that a hundred hands are in and out of in a month, are different because they lack those personal details when people are decorating for everyone else to come in and use the place. This is his personal studio for his personal projects, so it has a lot of character. Read the rest of the interview here.
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