I had the honor of interviewing Alison Pipitone from the Alison Pipitone Band. They have just come out with their new album Big Wide World and just released their first video from this album, the song Helpless.
Me: Hi Alison! First off thank you for doing this interview with me, so can you give me a brief history of the band.
AP: Hi Andrea, thanks for having me! Well, This particular band has been together for quite some time... Pat Shaughnessy became my drummer in 2003 when - never having heard each other's music - he agreed to go on tour with me. I think we met on a Thursday and we left town the next Tuesday, in the snow. Talk about trial by fire! Then Gray & my sister joined the band a couple years later. I knew, of course, how talented they both were, but they were in other projects early on. First I just asked them to sit in at certain shows, then they both officially joined the band. I met Sheila Connors in a songwriting workshop; again, one thing led to another. I've been surprised at how often she can play with us, since she is SO - I mean SO busy with other bands and schools and the theater. Usually I invite her to join us at the bigger shows on bigger stages.
Me: About the new album Big Wide World, how does it differ from your other albums?
AP: This album was great to record, because for most of it, I had the luxury of time. We did rent a studio for the drum & most of the bass tracks, so for that part we were on a definite schedule. After that, Mike Rorick (the producer) arranged it so I could work from home. For Gray & I, I think that was very low-pressure and freeing. The overdubs and backing vocals were definitely more on a schedule, and many were at the mercy of my horrible engineering skills. But since I was friends with everyone who worked on it, they were very patient.
Me: What made you pick Helpless for your video?
AP: I like the video because it's one interpretation of the song Chrisanne Bellas and Matt Holota had everything to do with how the video looks - the theme - setting - everything. Basically, the band just had to show up. It's true that I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to how I am represented....BUT in this case I knew I could trust Matt and Chrisanne implicitly. I really like what they did with it, and apparently, so do a lot of people!
I would have to agree, Alison I just checked you have over 1,100 views in just 6 days. That’s incredible – congratulations!!
Me: Tell me a little bit about your new addition to the band?
AP: Yes, Erik Vickerd is my new bass player. I love that guy - so far, I only have one regret - and it is that I always thought his name was spelled E-R-I-C.... and it's not. He's got more of the Viking spelling going on. Needless to say, on the CD, the video, the press, the whole nine yards - I spelled his name wrong. But he is such a gentleman he never made me feel bad.... He just said Eric would be his stage name. He is excited about playing out a lot, and his optimism is quite infectious. Not to mention the fact that he's a hell of a good bass player. He's got great music sensibilities and is a real strong contributor to the band.
Me: Anything you want to say about the show tomorrow at the Forvm?
AP: I hope the audience likes us. If they don't we're screwed.
Me: Any upcoming shows or projects you have planned?
AP: We're always planning something...we have some cool summer shows coming up, including Buffalo Pride...We are sort of scattered around town throughout the spring and summer. We really appreciate when our fans make the effort to come out and hear us!
Alison it was great talking with you and I can’t wait to see you and the band play this summer. Tomorrow, February 21, 2014 you can see the Alison Pipitone Band open for The Reunion Beatles from California The Forvm is located on Maple Road, Amherst, NY. The show starts at 7pm and tickets are $20.00 at the door. Click the links above to see the video or get to the bands website. Check out Andrea’s photography on Facebook @ Photography by Andrea. Website coming soon!