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Alabama 3 - Interview

  by Philip Vincent

published: 18 / 5 / 2005

Alabama 3 - Interview


Country Acid House pioneers the Alabama 3 have just released their fifth album 'Outlaw'. Philip Vincent speaks to frontman Larry Love about it and the band's unique take on politics at a gig in Southampton

The Alabama 3 are neither three nor are they from Alabama. Formed in Brixton in London around a nucleus of Welsh-born DJ and singer/songwriter Larry Love, they are a loose collective and have a rotating line-up of between six and ten members. Best known for their song 'Wake Up This Morning', the theme tune to 'The Sopranos', the Alabama 3 have a massive following both in Britain and abroad, their self-defined blend of "Country Acid House" which mixes a country sound with dance and dub beats proving immensely appealing to often obsessive fans from all over the world. Despite dallying with major label Geffen in the mid 90's, they have put out all their releases on independent labels, and have to date recorded five albums, 'Exile on Coldharbour Lane' (Elemental, 1997), 'La Peste' (Elemental, 2000), 'Power in the Blood' (One Little Indian, 2002), 'Last Train to Mashville' (One Little Indian, 2003), and this year's 'Outlaw'(One Little Inidan), which came out in May. Pennyblackmusic spoke to Larry Love the lead singer of Alabama 3 during a soundcheck at their sold out show at The Brook in deepest darkest Southampton and the transcript below is what happened. The transcript does not put across Larry’s amazing Baritone welsh voice which is something to hear! PB: How did the Alabama 3 start out? LL : I got my first Akai S1100 in about 1986 at the start of the whole acid house thing and thought about putting country tracks with Acid house backings on them. It didn’t go too well though having Hank Marvin coming out of a deep House tune! PB: 'Outlaw' was a real grower for me, I liked it the first time I heard it but every time I have played it has jumped another step. Is that the plan? LL: Yeah, once we get you on the 12 step plan man, you are hooked. You are ours, worshipping at the church of Alabama 3. PB: This is your fifth album now. A lot of bands never get past album number 1 so to be on Album number 5 with no major deal behind you is a very credible feat. Would you ever consider accepting a major deal? LL: Well, we were given 2 million from Geffen in the mid 90’s to do an album but after spending most of it on bad things and hospital bills we kind of left them with nothing and so we have a bit of a name amongst the boardrooms of the industry. But if we ever did have no doubt we would probably do the same again. As for it being the fifth album, well I always knew our journey would be a long one, Country music crossed with Acid house is a bit of a fucking stupid place to start but I really feel with this album that we are starting to cut through the ether a bit more which can only be a good thing for us. PB: On the surface you come across as a non political band but once you start reading more into what you guys do and your backgrounds, that starts to change. What’s your view on British politics at the moment? LL: Well Coldplay at number 1 is precisely what is wrong with this country today, I hate them and Athlete and Keane and all those boring indie shit bands, They are there because Tony Blair is in number 10 and I think that Labour's third term is going to cause some issues. I’m looking forward to this G8 thing up in Scotland. It should be fun. PB: You worked with the Great Train Robber Bruce Richard Reynolds. What was that like? And how did it come about? LL: Fucking brilliant. We met him at a literary festival and we realised we had the same idealistic vision of this kind of cowboy and indians Americana and he said that when he was on the run with all the loot from the great train robbery he paid homage to the old train robbers by going down the old train routes and stuff like that. So I was just "Bruce, why don’t you make a list of those routes and we will put it on a record ?" His son plays harmonica for us and so we have all these pictures of him in Rio de Janeiro and shit like that. PB: You're perhaps best known for writing the theme tune for The Sopranos. How did that come about? LL: Their writer really liked the track and decided to use it for the intro. PB: That is a good jump off for a career in America. How well are you known over there? LL: It’s a bit of a mess really. I mean it's hard enough for us over here but how do you market a band called Alabama 3 in the country that contains Alabama especially when we aren’t American or a 3 piece! Fucking Nightmare! You got a cigarette? PB: No, sorry man I quit last week. Do you have any final words! LL: (in deep south drawl) There will be peace in the valley when we get keys to the house on the hill brothers and sisters, Thank you Larry Love pointless FM every morning 3 till 8. PB: Sounds good to me man! Thanks a lot. The photograph that accompanies this article was taken exclusively for Pennyblackmusic by Matt Williams

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Interview (2012)
Peter Allison talks to Larry Love from Alabama 3 about his band's hip hop and sample-infused latest album, 'Shoplifting 4 Jesus', and which finds them reflecting angrily on the global economy, digital piracy and the London riots.
Interview (2009)
Interview (2007)

live reviews

Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014
Alabama 3 - Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014
At the Academy in Manchester Billy Seagrave watches Alabama 3 play an exuberant yet thought-provoking set
Rock City, Nottingham, 12/11//2009
Academy, Manchester, 26/4/2008
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 8/10/2007
Brook, Southampton, 29/5/2005



Shoplifting 4 Jesus (2012)
Confrontational, yet hopeful new album from the Alabama 3 whose themes include the economic recession, digital piracy and the riots, and which finds them blending reggae and hip hop into their gospel/acid/country sound
M.O.R. (2007)
How Can I Protect You ? (2005)
Outlaw (2005)

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