After three years on the road, Alabama Shakes is nearing the final four shows of their extensive touring. But their momentum is not even close to slowing down. With mention of a new record in the works, the band with many fingers in the genre bucket (including Southern rock and soul revival) are just picking up speed. Lead guitarist, Heath Fogg, sat down with us to discuss the new album, life after the Grammy’s and one of their biggest anticipation’s yet: playing in Cleveland.
Discovering Cleveland: What has changed the most since your breakthrough/post Grammy nominations/hit songs?
Heath Fogg: I think we have been blessed to travel the world and play in front of so many new people over the last 3 years. We never thought we would have the opportunity to play in places like Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, etc. The list can go on and on. We have gotten to play with bands/artists that are heroes of ours. It is incredible to look back on it all before getting back into it with the second record.
DC: What hasn’t changed? Has remained constant, and you think will remain constant?
HF: I think we are still a very close knit family. We got into this for the music, not for selling a lot of records or to become famous and I think we’ve been able to keep it about the music. We still love being at home in Alabama and our time there.
DC: Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
HF: I think it has been all a good thing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
DC: What was the biggest hurdle to success?
HF: I think the toughest part was being away from home so much. We love our families and our hometown so much and we were gone for 3 years. It can take a toll on you. It’s been great to be home and re-charge and be with our friends and families over the last year.
DC: Would you say you’re a successful band now? Or, you’ve “made it”?
HF: I don’t really look at it like that. We have a lot ahead of us.I don’t think of it as successful or not successful or made it or not made it. I have this dream of being able to write and record music for my entire life. I think when I have been able to do that, I will think of myself as successful.
DC: Are there still hurdles ahead of you?
HF: In the immediate future, I want to make the best possible record we can make on this second one. We set the bar pretty high for ourselves and we want it to be better than the first.
DC: Why all of the incessant touring?
HF: We were fortunate to have interest in the band from all over the world. We learned quickly the world is a large place and to get to everyone you have to be on the road a lot.
DC: Any new music on the way?
HF: We are close to finishing a new record. I think it will probably come out in early 2015. Once we finish this tour, we are going back into the studio to put the finishing touches on it.
DC: What’s next?
HF: We have 4 more shows left on this tour and then we head back into the studio. We are excited for Cleveland. We haven’t played in your wonderful city yet. And I am hearing we may get a chance to see the R&R Hall of Fame.
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