Alison Sudol

Alison Sudol got her big break when a music industry hotshot turned up to hear her band A Fine Frenzy play at her mumís house. It proved a life changing encounter for the singer who's now on the road with the band, performing songs from their debut album One Cell In The Sea.

You got signed to Virgin records after playing a set in your motherís living room. Can you tell us a bit about what happened?

"It was magical and weird - I still canít believe it. A CD of my songs landed on the desk of the CEO at Virgin Records and he flew out to my house a few days later. We played for him and he loved it!

"The circumstances were definitely more comfortable than if I had been in his office, but it was still very nerve-wracking."

The band is very much centred around your song-writing. Why not just go by your own name?

"For me it's about the music and the writing process Ė thatís what A Fine Frenzy is. Itís a separate entity from (me as a person)."

How did you come up with the name?

"I got the name from Shakespeareís A Midsummer Nightís Dream. (In the play mischievous fairy) Puck talks about the lunatic, the lover and the poet all being alike. Theyíre all sort of mad and itís about that state that the poet gets into."

Apparently youíre a self-taught piano playerÖ

"I was never formally taught Ė I didnít do many exercises or learn how to use the peddle. A songwriter did show me how to play different chords when I was 18."

One Cell In The Sea is full of powerful, very melodic indie ballads. Who influenced your sound?

"Growing up it was very much classic jazz - Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. And soul; I loved Aretha Franklin and Etta James. Also classical music, which my mum loved listening to.

"And then of course I found Coldplay and more edgy indie stuff like Radiohead and Keane. Iím also really influenced by the tradition of singer-songwriters."

Since the living room audition youíve had a phenomenal year. What have been the high points?

"Opening for Iggy Popís band The Stooges at the South By South West festival in Texas. Playing on Jay Lenoís TV show. Touring all over the States Ė Iíve fallen in love with America! Getting recognised in a cafť in St Louis. Seeing all these other gorgeous cities like Paris and London."

"Everyone on the bus gets along perfectly. But I did have to institute a no-sports rule at one point as Iíd come on the bus and there would be a match on both the TVs!"

Is there anything you miss about your home in LA?

"Sometimes I miss the routine Ė that, and walking my dog Engelbert!"

And do you have anyone special waiting for you back at home?

"No, being a musician is not a very steady occupation so itís hard on a relationship. Iím just enjoying life right now, but of course Iím looking for love, too."

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