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Interview:
Bruce Springsteen boost helped Nicole Atkins make new album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Nicole Atkins exceeded the PledgeMusic campaign goal for her new album, "Slow Phaser," by $15,000.

And for that she thanks Bruce Springsteen.

Atkins met Springsteen when both played the annual Light of Day benefit concert in their native New Jersey to combat Parkinson's disease. They had a long talk -- "He gave me advice for, like two hours," she recalls -- and gave her his personal assistant's phone number and told him to call any time. She took advantage of the invitation and made Springsteen aware of the PledgeMusic drive to fund the new album.

"We were going to shut down my Pledge campaign that week, in fact," says Atkins, 35. "Then I said, 'I'm gonna call that number' and it was very nice again and he gave me an e.mail to send a link to my Pledge page. He ended up posting it on his Facebook page, signed by him, and his Twitter, like an hour before shutdown.

"So I was like, 'Stop the shutdown!' and we kept it up a little longer and that pushed it way through what i thought I could do. The whole thing was so cool..."

The extra money helped Atkins make an album that's markedly different than her two previous albums. She's added layers, textures and dynamics to her rock singer-songwriter fare, incorporating dance rhythms and acknowledged prog rock influences, while lyrics to many of the songs were inspired by the Sandy storm that ravaged the east coast and damaged her family's coastal home last year.

"It felt like I was at a point in my life where I had nothing to lose," says Atkins, who recorded the album in Sweden. "The songs were written about some pretty heavy subject matter, but at the same time I was writing, like, dance music in my sleep -- literally, I'd dream them and wake up and write them down or make phone notes.

"I love theatrics. Some of my favorite rock records are those risky, theatrical records -- Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Queen. I felt like if they did that and I love it, I might as well not be scared of putting it out there, too. So that's what this is."

Nicole Atkins, Arc Iris and Davey Horse perform Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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