Big Storm Ahead – Little Hurricane’s New Record Gold Fever Hits March 25th

Rising out of San Diego, the duo that is Little Hurricane are shaping a colossal sound that is crashing the airwaves. Vocalist/guitarist Tone and drummer CC  banish all expectations about this two person band with their own unique sound that is designed with heart and original writing that is irreproducible.  With a natural intuitive knack for song-writing combined with a unique vision for the recording process, the dirty blues/rock duo have quickly brought a buzz around them. Cliché’s own Heather Glock caught up with the Californian natives at their performance in Brooklyn, NY with The John Butler Trio to discuss their inspirations, style of writing and their upcoming album, Gold Fever.
How does it feel to be playing continuous sold out shows on this tour with John Butler Trio?
Tone: It’s the second show, so far it’s been good. They are a really great band and their fans are really receptive to new music, so that’s cool for us!
CC: It’s really cool that half the shows are sold out. We are not quite at that level yet to be selling out these kinds of venues, so to be able to support a band that does is really encouraging and inspiring.
As a band originating from San Diego, what made you decide on playing music in a genre that has been classified as ‘scratchy blues’?
Tone: We were in jazz bands. Well, I was in jazz band in high school and she was in jazz band in high school, she lived in Chicago and I was in Santa California. When we formed, we were like, ‘let’s make music! But what kind of music?’ That was the first question.  I said, ‘Well I have a lot of fun playing blues kind of stuff.’ She goes, ‘so do I!’ So we were like, ok let’s go with that.
 If I were to Google Little Hurricane, one thing I noticed immediately was this tremendous comparison of you two to the duo that is The White Stripes.  With such a vast difference in musical styling and writing, I personally found this to be a lazy comparison based strictly on the comparison of a male singer paired with a female drummer.  How do you feel about this comparison?
Tone: One hundred percent I agree. We like their music, but I just don’t see a comparison. I think it is a visual comparison. I know there are some blues scales that are similar. We try not to rip off of anyone and try to make music that comes from us. Everyone is going to compare you to someone else. It could be worse.
CC: Agreed!
Listening to Homewrecker, there is a connecting theme of relationships; however the song Trouble Ahead has the demeanor of gritty tension like in an old western. Was that the inspiration for the lyrical content of this song?  Is this a separate idea from the previous songs, or is it a metaphorical representation of impending turbulence in the relationships previously mentioned?
Tone: It could be applied to whatever. The song was originally called Trail of Tears. It’s more of a struggle of Native Americans and that struggle isn’t gone. No matter what culture, there is still going to be trouble coming and that there is evil in the world and just to be aware and to watch out for it. So that’s what I was going for, but then we changed the name of it so it wouldn’t be so specific. But, I do like the western comparison. Sort of…Spaghetti Western-y Blues.
 You had released a cover album featuring music renditions of Moby, Aerosmith, ZZ Top and more. These songs are recorded in your own demeanor rather than a crescendo of guitar solos, drawn out singing or screaming vocals to ‘enhance’ the value of the contrast in the original vs the cover.  What brought about this ambitious project for you?  Was this something you always wanted to do or was it something more spontaneously decided upon?
CC: We were waiting to release our album, but there was a delay due to some politics in the music industry. We hadn’t put out anything since Homewrecker and we really wanted something for our fans that wouldn’t take us forever or overshadow the new album. We just buckled down and recorded the whole thing in about a week. We already had some that we recorded, but we just picked our favorite songs. It’s sort of a common thing now a day for bands to cover the most popular song on the radio, like  Get Lucky or whatever it is. We chose not to go that route and just cover songs we truly connect with.
Tone: As far as coming up with all the songs. It was a long process because we would rotate these cover songs throughout our set and we just didn’t want to play the same ones. We figured that we knew all these songs, let’s just record them all and put them on an album. We asked our attorney about it and she said, ‘Just don’t do it. Don’t please.’ We said, ‘what if it is for free?’ She goes, ‘Just don’t.’ We were like, ‘Well…we already recorded it so we are gonna release it!’If we get in trouble, we will apologize. The only I am worried about is Fiona Apple, but if she contacts us about it, I’ll be happy anyway!
 It is stated on your website that the Southern Californian desert was an inspiration for Gold Fever. What was it about the land that sparked your writing?
CC: There’s just so many amazing places to see in the South California desert that I wasn’t aware of until this past year. The Salton Sea I think in particular is just so amazing, it’s the largest body of water in all of California and its completely deserted and uninhabited aside from all sorts of wild life that occasional washes up on shore. It’s really creepy actually [laughs]. We spent some time in pioneer town, recorded in Julian and there is this exhibit called Noah Perifoy. There is just crazy people out in the desert that just have this crazy vision to build things out of bowling balls or toilets and random stuff. We just love that vibe and that part of California that is so far from the ocean and that is so hot, dry and dusty and desolate, but it is full of some much culture.
Tone: In the song Gold Fever that we did, we were in this gold mining town. The buildings and everything that was there was built during the California Gold Rush. It’s cool to go see it. We wrote the song there and tried to capture the feeling and what people were going through in that time. You know that ‘Oh, gotta get that gold! We gotta get to California!’ It was kind of a kitschy song, but it was fun!
 When it comes to new albums, most bands travel to a studio to spend weeks or months at a time recording. You went and recorded at an apple packing farm in Julian, California. Of all places in an old Gold Rush town, why there?
Tone: I worked in studios for a long time before the band. There is something sterile about a studio in my opinion and to record somewhere that has never had music recorded in it with windows and the sun shining and to see animals outside, it just changes the whole experience and if feel like the experience is so important to end result and the end result is the music. So, we tried to do something different. We brought vintage microphones and pre amps and went up to the mountains and had a good experience.  It was fun for us and hopefully that will translate in the end result.
You are releasing Gold Fever, which will be the first record released on your own label, Death Valley Records. Do you find a contrast in the business side of working under a label than owning one to release your own works? 
Both: More freedom!
Tone: Less money!
CC: Less money up front to put into, but hopefully more money in the end result. I mean, every band  is different and everybody has their own way of doing it, but we just chose to do it this way. We spent some time considering labels and we have a distribution deal which is cool. We got some help from INgrooves Fontana, so we aren’t totally out there on our own. We got to design the album just how we wanted and put the songs and videos out how we wanted and to take that away from the band, I think is just really doing a disservice to spirit of the band itself.
 CC, you had mentioned in Video 4 of the Gold Fever teasers that you have never recorded inside a studio. Do you find that by not being in “professional” studio, this is how Little Hurricane was truly able to come into your own artist? 
CC: Yes, we have done things on our own path and luckily with Tone’s recording history, we can record anywhere. With him being so skilled, why would we pay a rate at a studio to record there? The way that we have done our albums in a kitchen or in a house we rented, we recorded in different parts of the house like in the attic to get a different sound and I like that. It’s really cool and different and I am very grateful that we have such an asset in the band.
Tone: It is always been important to us to see the vision from the initial vibe through the person hearing it. I’ve seen so many bands where they are like, here is our song but then we you see them live, it’s different and you just don’t get that same vibe from that song. Hopefully, with our artwork and the mastering and everything we were a part of, we will keep our original thought through. That’s the idea at least.
 You played SXSW and Lollapalooza to name a few with the release of Homewrecker. Where do you hope Gold Fever will take you next on your exploration of the music scene?
CC: Well we will have a headlining tour, which will be amazing! We hope that it will take us around the world. We really want to go to the UK and it is going to be released in Australia on March 7th through Chalk Records. So we are hoping to go back to Australia, we did a small little tour out there. I hope it takes us as far as it possible can, I mean why limit ourselves?
Tone: There is gold everywhere! [both laugh]. I want to get a gold mining kit to bring on tour. She shakes her head, but I’m doing it.
Gold Fever will be officially released on March 25th. You can pre-order the album here:

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