Alison Sudol, singer/songwriter for rising stars A Fine Frenzy, visited GRAMMY Camp® to participate in an Artist Story Panel discussion alongside Crosby Loggins, Poe, Rocco DeLuca, and radio DJ, Lisa Foxx. Sudol also performed The Beatles' "Across the Universe" at the GRAMMY Foundation®'s Starry Night. A Fine Frenzy's success continues to grow as fans become intrigued by Allison's playful, yet sometimes melancholy, lyrics and soulful voice and the band’s unique indie-pop sound. GRAMMY Camp journalists were able to interview Alison before the panel and were pleasantly surprised by her very "un-rockstar" demeanor and her graciousness towards the campers, most of whom were conducting their first official interviews.
Question: What did it mean to you to perform "Across the Universe" for Sir George Martin?
Answer: Oh my god, it was pretty overwhelming, to tell you the truth. When they told me that I was going to have this opportunity I kind of didn't believe them; it sounded outrageous, like they were kidding. I grew up listening to their songs so that's sort of where I learned what real songs should sound like. And "Across the Universe" is something we played on tour and all over the world in places they don't speak English people know the words to that song. So to actually get to stand up there for Sir George, get to express my gratitude, just say, “You're amazing,” flow power into him and get everyone singing along was something I'll never forget.
Question: What are some of the elements in a song that make it your favorite?
Answer: I think for me it's listening to lyrics that make me feel something in a different way. Like eye-opening lyrics, something that is witty or clever, something that 's just unforgettable with a melody that's sweet but powerful; basically something that you find yourself humming later on. The best way I can describe it is when a song is really great it's not trying to be great, you don't here the nuts and bolts that go into it. It just affects you; to me that's what makes a great song.
Question: Your band name, A Fine Frenzy, comes from Shakespeare. If you could be any Shakespearean character, who would you be?
Answer: Oh god, that is such a good question. I don't know. I always kind of think of Ophelia because of how passionate she is. But then she never comes to a friendly ending. So it's kind of a bummer, but she is really passionate. I don't know, maybe Juliet. I know that sounds trite but to feel that passionately about somebody and to feel so sure on your decision and to be willing to risk everything you know for love, I think that's amazing.
Question: What literature has been the most influential to you in your life?
Answer: I think literature is a sum of its parts, I think everything I've ever read has been gone into me and just been absorbed into my being. Growing up I read the C.S. Lewis books, The Chronicles of Narnia. Also Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, fairytales and things like that, and they all sort of helped me shape a world that was more than just the things that you encounter in daily life. There's some element of mystery and magic in life, and those are things that I carry with me every day. Now I read more Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy, though Thomas Hardy is pretty cold; he's the most amazing descriptive writer, but he's pretty mean about his characters. Charles Dickens also; they all just change you a little bit, when you read these books they make you approach life a little differently.