lang to confess in Ann ArborWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The five guys in k.d. lang’s new band aren’t afraid to bare it all. Each shares his most embarrassing musical moment on kdlang.com.
Joe Pisapia, a multi-instrumentalist and former member of Guster, may be the winner: “When I used to have hair, one time in a moment of pure spirited rocking, a tendril of hair went into my mouth and stuck to my gum,” he wrote on the site. “I had sweaty hair and gum hitting me in the face for the rest of that song.”
Seems fair to ask lang, right?
During a phone interview from Los Angeles, the four-time Grammy winner confessed.
“I’ve had a couple, but my biggest mistake I think I ever made was on live television in London on the Jools Holland show. I just completely spaced on the entire first verse of ‘Constant Craving,’ like the entire first verse,” she said and laughed. “And I had no way of coming out of it except to just wait until the second verse.
“The other one was, I was also in London, I was on the ‘Drag’ promotion tour,” she recalled. “I was playing for all the media and critics, and I was singing ‘My Old Addiction.’ I was sitting on a stool and I closed my eyes and I just completely lost my orientation and just felt like I had been catapulted out of the chair to the edge of the stage and slipped off the edge of the stage.
“Fortunately, the stage was maybe only 6 to 8 inches tall, but that was pretty embarrassing, too.”
So much for the consequences of falling.
lang was calling to talk about her new disc, “Sing It Loud,” which was released in April.
“This is kind of a rock record,” the singer-songwriter said. “I definitely worked with kind of a joyful abandon approach to this record, just following my instincts, willing to step out of my comfort zone, and just seeing what was out there in the world.”
What she found was a creative kindred spirit: Pisapia.
They decided to put together a band. lang invited guitarist Joshua Grange and keyboardist Daniel Clarke, who both played on her tour for 2008’s “Watershed,” and Pisapia brought in bassist Lex Price. Clarke suggested drummer Fred Eltringham of The Wallflowers.
At Pisapia’s home in Nashville, the six lit up the studio, recording eight explosive songs live in three days last summer.
“It was really spontaneous and really rewarding, and at the end of a day’s work — we didn’t even stop to eat — we would have a beer and listen back and we were all so happy and dancing,” lang said.
“Sing It Loud” features 10 tracks, including eight co-written by lang and band members, one song by Pisapia, and a cover of the Talking Heads’ “Heaven.”
The disc opens with the soaring single, “I Confess.”
“Josh and Daniel came over to write, and we were sitting around and I said, you know, I really want to write like a Roy Orbison tune,” said the native of Alberta, Canada, who won a Grammy for her duet with Orbison for “Crying.” “I think I was the only one who had the full picture in my head when we went into the sessions later on, and the band brought it alive precisely, better than my dreams, and it was the first song we tackled as a band, so it was all pretty indicative of what was to come.”
After the recording session, lang shared the songs with her girlfriend.
“I called her up ready for my critique and she said, ‘Well, it starts off like a k.d. lang record. You’re sitting there and it’s really beautiful, and then the band kicks in, and siss boom bang.’ And I started laughing because I had spent days lying awake in bed coming up with names and looking on the Internet — every band name ever is taken,” lang said. “And I started laughing and went, ‘That’s the band name.’
“It just seemed to fit because we recorded it on July 1, 2, 3 and 4th, which is Canada Day and Independence Day, lots of fireworks going on, and it certainly felt very much like that.”
k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang will play the Ann Arbor Summer Festival at 8 p.m. July 1 at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium. Tickets range from $35 to $75. The Belle Brigade will open. See the complete schedule at annarborsummerfestival.org.