I heard that Baskery were playing in Kingskerswell (Devon) on 21st October, I arranged to pop down and see what the fuss was all about, whilst there, I managed to squeeze in an interview with Greta (banjo/drums/harmonica/acoustic guitar/vocals), Stella (double bass/vocals) and Sunniva (acoustic guitar/electric guitar/vocals). We chatted about who wears the trousers, British weather and new material, here’s how it went….
You formed in 2006 and released your debut album ‘Fall Among Thieves’ in 2008, did your approach to recording change when you started work on ‘Little Wild Life’ in 2013?
Yes, our approach and style changed a lot, we had to evolve, move with the times, it’s no good standing still and getting stale. We are still looking for that ‘special something’, maybe our next record will have it! Failing that, the next one!
You’re sisters, I read that Sunniva is the main songwriter, does she also act as the band ‘decision maker’?
In the past, I have acted as this as it is hard to reach a decision sometimes and it’s much easier if one person is responsible. These days, we tend to all have a say in everything from songwriting, tours and venues.
Your style of music has been named as ‘kill-billy’, ‘mud-country’ and ‘banjo-punk’, do you feel that you assisted in creating these genres?
I’m not sure that we invented the genres, we like it when people compare us to other bands and acts, it makes us feel that we are reaching them, we often get referred to as ‘Bluegrass’, which is fine, until a real fan of Bluegrass comes along and says ‘This ain’t Bluegrass….’ There’s not that many Swedish acts doing this style of music at the moment so we are quite unique. We grew up on a diet of Brit Pop in the mid 90's so our influences are far and wide.
What are your views on the recent resurgence of the audio cassette?
Wow really? we did all our early demos on audio cassette, I used to record my vocals on one machine, then throw the tape in another machine and overlay harmonies on it, the quality was never that good….we have a cassette player in our van that we recently bought in Nashville!
I see you toured in 2008 with Seth Lakeman, would you like to hook up with him again?
Greta lives opposite Seth in Tavistock so she’s always seeing him (when he’s not on tour!) he introduced us to a whole load of people that have been really helpful in getting us gigs in other countries, really great guy!
What are your views on smartphones at gigs?
We don’t really mind, we've never had an issue with it, I guess that you really want to see people having a great time rather than a phone held up in the air, I mean, it’s cool to get a photo for a souvenir but recording a whole gig and then watching it back later, surely it would be better to watch the gig through your own eyes and remember it that way?
What do you like most about the UK?
Pubs (beer), the weather, the rain and people being typically British, standing in queues, drinking tea, little things like that!
I see that you’re playing in London on October 31st, have you any ‘spooky’ tricks up your sleeves?
We love the Mexican death masks that you can get, maybe we’ll wear them? We are also working on costumes for our live shows so who knows!
Where are you planning on spending Christmas this year?
We’ll all be in Sweden, back home with the folks, Christmas is a special time for them so it’ll be great to all be back home together! We’ve been away so much this year. We live in Southern Sweden and in December it’s about 8 degrees, we often get snow before Christmas, then it dies away before hitting about -15 degrees throughout January and February, proper winter!
What plans do you have for UK festival appearances during 2015?
There are so many to choose from, we want to make sure that we pick the best ones for us, to be able to reach out and touch more people, I’m sure you’ll see us on some posters soon!
You have recently spent some time in L.A. searching for a producer to start working on your new material that you have, any joy in finding one yet?
We have been chatting to a few recently, we can’t say any more than that at the moment!
When can we expect to see some of the new material?
We initially hoped to have a new album out in Spring 2015 but I think that this is now a little optimistic so let’s say that you’ll see something during 2015!
Greta slipped out during the interview to go meet her boyfriend and his family, she sneaked back into the ‘green room’ to devour more tea & scones, when she did, I decided to pick on her for the quickfire questions…..here we go!
Coca Cola or Pepsi
Acoustic or Electric?
Keith Richards or Pete Townsend?
De Niro or Pacino?
Corrie or Emmerdale?
James Bond or Jason Bourne?
Ozzy or Lemmy?
Motorbike or Car?
Live or Recording Studio?
Strictly or X-Factor?
Pint Glass or Bottle?
Vinyl or CD?
God or Google?
We’d like to thank the ladies for taking time out to sit and chat to us, we wish them every success in the future and look forward to hearing the new material and maybe even bumping into them again at a festival next summer!
Interview by Steve Muscutt