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An Interview with Susanna Hoffs

I was recently presented with the opportunity to interview Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, who will be headlining at Anthology this Tuesday November 13th. When I sat down to write out some questions for her, my first attempt at hard hitting journalism went something like this:

“OMG, Susanna, I am so so so so so excited my duo gets to open this show for you! Do you think I can take a picture with you that night?! Will you tell me everything you know about everything? What does it feel like to play to hundreds of screaming fans? Is there any way you can introduce me to Mike Myers so I can get on my knees and scream ‘I’m not worthy’?”

Ok, so I knew those were NOT the questions I should ask. So I didn’t…but I wanted to. Instead I asked these, and I didn’t even mention The Lovebirds:

image from susannahoffs.com

Your new album “Someday” is getting great reviews. What are you most proud of about this record?
For one thing, I’m very happy that the long-gestating dream I had of making a solo record finally came to fruition. Secondly, I’m really thrilled to have two new collaborators in my life – my songwriting partner Andrew Brassell and the wonderful producer Mitchell Froom.

You’ve played in San Diego before which is just a hop skip and a jump from your LA roots- anything in particular you love about performing in our beautiful city?
Any time I play in Southern California it feels like a hometown show. It’s always comfortable and the audiences are great.

Many of our readers revere musicians like you because you’ve achieved great success in mainstream music but still managed to fuel a thriving career in the wake of Bangles-mania. How does it feel to be one of the lucky few who get to the touch the sun without burning to a crisp? Do you have any tips/strategies for musicians struggling to find their footing in this tough business?
Be true to yourself in your writing and let your instincts be your guide. Give yourself time to develop your own voice as an artist. It’s more of a journey than a destination.

Lastly, I’m always impressed by artists and their ability to create balances, whether it be playing in multiple music projects, squeezing in family time before heading out on the road, etc.. It seems like you have been great at creating a balance with work/family and also with your various musical endeavors. How do you navigate all these responsibilities?
It’s a definite juggling act. I don’t always get the balance of things just right, but I keep trying. And I’m very lucky to have a family that supports and encourages me in all my creative endeavors.

I also asked Susanna Hoffs to continue the Troubadour blog’s tradition of highlighting characteristics and influences you might not know about an artist. She was kind enough to play along:

5 Things You Might Not Know About Susanna Hoffs:
1. I love coffee.
2. The punk rock/art revolution of the late 1970s was a huge influence on me – the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, the Jam, Television, and Talking Heads.
3. I’m a J. Crew fan.
4. I prefer costume jewelry to the real deal.
5. I’m a bookworm.

3 Albums Susanna Hoffs Can’t Live Without:
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
The Beatles – Revolver
Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend

Susanna Hoffs with The Lovebirds at Anthology – Tuesday November 13, 2012 -7pm – Tickets available here

Susanna Hoffs’ new album can be purchased on iTunes.

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