I got to chat on the phone today with Erika Wennerstrom, the lead singer and guitarist for the alt.country-garage rockers Heartless Bastards.
The band will play a show at Historic Turner Hall tomorrow night – Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.– and then release their fourth album, "Arrow," on Valentine's Day.
Tickets are $15.
Wennerstrom claimed to be "a little out of it" during our conversation because she doesn't sleep well on the tour bus, but I thought she was funny and easy to talk to.
OnMilwaukee.com: Where did your band name come from?
Erika Wennerstrom: I used to play bartop trivia games when I was a bartender – the kind with the touch screen – and one of the questions was, "What is the name of Tom Petty's backing band?" One of the choices was "The Heartless Bastards" and I found humor in that name and decided I would name my band that someday. Some people think (the name) is crass, but personally, I think it's funny.
OMC: You are from Cincinnati, which is where the band started out, but now you live in Austin. Did you move for more music opportunity than you were finding in the Midwest?
EW: Cincinnati is a very creative environment and a great place for musicians to live. I didn't move for musical reasons. I was in a nine-year relationship and when we split up I needed to start over. I really don't think you need to move to Los Angeles or New York or Austin; great bands come out of anywhere as long as you're willing to tour and reach out to people.
OMC: How do you kill time on the bus or before and after shows?
EM: This tour is pretty hectic. We've been doing radio interviews and in-stores in most towns so there isn't much time, but I like to walk around every city we visit. Especially after being in a car or bus all day. I like to get the blood flowing. And I like to read.
OMC: Read any good books lately?
EM: I'm reading a good biography of Dr. John right now, but my recent favorite was a biography of Che Guevara. I don't know if I agree wi…Read more...