"The sea sickness is beating me right now, I’m whiter shade of pale " Chatting with Elles Bailey
Hey Elles, how’s your day going so far? Been up to much?
I’m currently 21 hours into a 27-hour ferry ride to go tour Spain and I’m not going to lie… the sea sickness is beating me right now, I’m a whiter shade of pale right now! However we got seven dates this week and I’ve never really travelled around Spain so I’m looking forward to it!
We last spoke to you in 2017, what have you been up to since?
Wow just reading that article is a defo a blast from the past! So much has happened since then including the release of my debut album Wildfire, shows and festivals throughout the world and finding time to record and promote my new record out March 8th! It’s been a blur!
Tell us about this latest record, Road I Call Home.
Wildfire was written over five years, Road I Call Home, was written in one. It’s a snapshot of my life, touring Wildfire, and how my life has changed since its release. I feel it delves deeper, and deals with loss, love, anger, determination and life on the road, with more than 200 gigs under my belt and many miles travelled. I’m incredibly lucky to have worked with some amazing musicians both in the UK and Nashville on this record, as well as writing with some of the world’s best songwriters including hitmaker Roger Cook, Memphis royalty, Bobby Wood, and Grammy award-winning Dan Auerbach! I also had to best time working with co-producers Brad Nowell and Steve Blackmon… we spent loads of time crafting this record, shaking the tree in terms of song choice, and hand picking the stellar line up featured!
What does songwriting look like for you?
There’s no pattern to songwriting really, people often asked what comes first - the melody or the lyrics but it changes song to song and depends on who you are writing with.
What song of yours is the one you really want people to hear, and why?
I’m really excited to release this whole record actually, but I guess if I had to pick one, it’d be 'Hell or Highwater', a song about determination and never giving up.
One of my favourite songs on your album is ‘Wild Wild West’, what can you tell me about that song?
'Wild Wild West' is about the darker side of the music industry, especially in LA, you know, the people who promise you the world but they are actually taking you for a ride. There aren’t many out there but I have danced with the devil on a few occasions.
And ‘Medicine Man’ is also great, what’s that about?
Well 'Wild Wild West' and 'Medicine Man' are two parts of the same story. I managed to get myself involved with a con artist, around the time that we last spoke actually, and he reminded Will Edmunds (who wrote the song with me) and myself of the medicine men, the poeple who used to go around in the horses and carts, peddling miricle elixers when in fact they were just selling a whole load of nothing.
What’s the biggest thing that’s changed for you since the release of Wildfire?
Being able to put Haribo on my rider… and actually getting it! However I ate so much of it last year I’ve actually had to give it up; it was becoming a bit of a problem!
You’re very hard touring, what is it about being on the road you enjoy the most?
I love travelling and to do it for a job is just the dream. I have a very loyal fan base and Its great heading out on the road to see them.
What’s the coolest gig you’ve played so far?
We played Swing Wesplaar in Belgium last year with The Temperance Movement, it’s the one and only time I’ve completely lost my shit, fan girling over Phil Campbell! I just love them so much, so to share the stage with them was pretty darn cool!
What’s coming up for you in 2019?
Touring, new album, touring , touring , Ramblin Man / Fan girling over Beth Hart, festival season, more touring, falling off the Haribo wagon…..writing a new album, touring...
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Checking, constantly checking. When you live a nomadic life like I do, you cart your worldly possessions around with you and the constant checking, making sure you haven’t forgotten anything is hard work.
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I don’t really feel like I have ever been directly treated differently, but it’s interesting how award ceremonies still very much feel male dominated. Especially in blues, There are loads of incredible female artists who have a lot to say, who are doing great things. I do feel there are still gaps that need to be met. I’d like women to be more encouraged and feel it’s important for young women feel empowered to be part of this. It is important to give these women a platform which will give younger female children and young adults more confidence to follow a career in music, if they see other women doing it, this should help bridge the gender gap we have and help towards more equality in the music industry.
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
Ida Mae - a husband and wife duo who are just the coolest I can’t wait for their new album out in the summer.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
My favourite Haribo flavour - rainbow sour strips!! Just the best…..
Oh, and i better do the promo bit or I’ll get in trouble from management. Come out to see me in the UK and Ireland on this new album tour starting on the 2nd March. It’s gonna be fun!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I’ll pass please and have a cup of your finest English breakfast!!
If you want to know more about Elles you can visit her website. You can also check her out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.