The 2008 release of Andrea Ball's debut, Beat Beat Pound Poundwas followed by a string of well attended shows and gushing critics. Two years after the release of that album, the singer songwriter is back with a second full length, Dial Tone, that reflects notable growth both lyrically and musically. In advance of her CD release party tonight with O'Holloran and Cody Crump, we caught up with Ball and talked about the content of Dial Tone, her recent trip to SXSW and the things that scare her.
Westword (Andy Thomas): It's been close to two years since you last released an album, why the long wait?
Andrea Ball: Making Dial Tone took about a year for all of the pieces to come together. I wanted it to be something I was really proud of, so I took all the steps to make it something I really loved. I suppose I could have done it faster, but I didn't see the rush. Although, I do think I'll be working on more music, sooner than later, after this comes out.
WW: What have you learned about being a musician since your first full length came out?
AB: Music is what I love. I've learned that no other job could make me as happy as doing music can. It's hard to have the desire to keep going at times, but then I play, and I'm reminded of how much I love it, and I just can't stop.
WW: On the song "Courage" you sing "Courage, where have you gone?" What scares you?
AB: That's a hard question. I'd have to say that fear is a huge part of making anything I care about happen. So, anytime I take any risk, I'm afraid, naturally.
WW: Dialtone is very heavily orchestrated, is it tough to pull off this same sound live?
AB: We'll be having a seven piece band for the CD release. I'm not worried about "pulling off" that sound live; I normally have a bass player and drummer, who both are extremely talented, and I like to keep it simple. With the set up of three people, it stands out a little more because we don't have a massive band on stage like most bands do.
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WW: Is the song "Dial Tone" reflective of the theme of Dial Tone, both the album and song? Is it personal, or it is a commentary about the universal demise of people calling each other and texting each other all of the time?
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AB: Dial Tone is a personal song and a personal album; it's about change, needing a change and loving when someone doesn't love you back. The songs are about moving forward, and the inspiration and meaning behind the songs are extremely true stories, that I have only told one person about.
WW: You just got back from SXSX, and played the Mile Hi-Fidelity showcase, featuring all Denver acts. In your opinion, did Denver bands hold their own against the national acts there, or do we have some catching up to do?
AB: Absolutely they hold up! I think of all the shows I saw this one had an incredible amount of talent that was even more interesting at times.