Brittany Howard Talks The Origins Of Alabama Shakes & Playing SNL
Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes talked with Damon and Gina backstage at the GRAMMYs. Check out what the singer had to say about the band’s upcoming SNL gig, and what she’d do with a solo career!
Brittany Howard and Alabama Shakes are very busy, with a stop at the GRAMMYs, performing on SNL with Christoph Waltz and more. Not bad for a band so new they’re up for Best New Artist this year! But the humble singer assured Damon and Gina that despite the band’s recent success, Alabama Shakes is by no means a solo project.
“It’s our group, for sure,” she explained. “Everybody had their roads to get into this group. Everybody had other groups… I think the most determined people from all those groups– the four of us– found each other, and that’s how we got started. I wouldn’t want to do it without the boys.”
Brittany has several solo projects planned, but she joked about some big ideas behind the direction she’d like to go with them. “I’m hoping I can learn how to be less cool and more diva-ish, and really take advantage,” she joked. “I’m gonna be like Prince, I’ll be like ‘You want me to do a station ID? I’m Brittany.’ Then drop the mike.”
SNL is a big deal, but Brittany isn’t nervous. The band has a few TV performances under their belt already. “The first time we did TV was Conan O’Brien’s show, and I was really, really nervous doing that show. Then the next time was David Letterman, I kind of knew what was going on, and it was much faster– we were only there for three hours instead of eight.”
Getting to see behind the curtain at these legendary TV shows is a thrill, and offers new opportunities each time for Brittany. “Each one is really cool. You get to meet the host, I think my favorite show was on Fallon because he’s like super, super cool,” she recalled. “I think SNL is gonna be great. I’m trying to get a skit on the show, trying to expand my horizons. I could take the Jack Black route.”
Alabama Shakes are up for the Best New Artist this year, but Brittany is fine with the experience alone, even if they don’t take home an award. “I’m taking my Nana to LA, she can see the palm trees, maybe give her a glass of champagne… she’s gonna have fun, so it will work out either way,” she joked. “My Nana’s about to take over LA.”
If that doesn’t sound like a reality TV pitch, what does??
–Bill Sencio, 96.5 TIC/ Hartford