Anni Rossi – Out in the fields

Anni Rossi Interview

Minnesota born and classically trained from an early age, Anni Rossi released her debut record ‘Rockwell’ in 2009 on 4AD. Produced by Steve (Nirvana / The Wedding Present) Albini, it was a promising peek of good things to come.

Heavy Meadow‘, her new record has been on our stereo all week and it shows her growing confidence as a performer and songwriter. She plays her Viola like it is a guitar, something that could be worth bearing in mind if you’re parents won’t buy you a Gibson Les Paul for Xmas.

If you put Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega, The Breeders and Vanessa Mae in a blender, they’d sound nothing like Anni Rossi (but wouldn’t it be fun!).

What are you up to at the moment?
I’m demoing new songs for a side project, it’s working title is “LIMO“. getting ready for a mini tour with my band next week and preparing my violin and piano students for their end of the year spring recital.

Anni RossiWas it an easier record to make than Rockwell?
This album had its difficulties. It was recorded in a studio in Brooklyn called Vacation Island Studios and I love it there. I wanted everything to sound tight, dry and rhythmic so all the parts are very exposed. Violently strumming my viola as if it was a dirty guitar made it very difficult for my instrument to stay in tune. I spent A LOT of time tuning, in fact maybe half the time was spent tuning my viola.

What is your fav song on the new record?
It changes all the time but today, my answer is Switchblade.

Where does the name Heavy Meadow come from?
My best friend Aimee helped me pick it out. She told me that when she listened to these songs they impressed both a dark and light presence all at once.”Heavy” is the dark part and “Meadow” is the light.

I am also a prankster, so the fact that it could very easily be construed as heavy metal at first glance was satisfying to me.

Have you learnt to play anything new lately?
I’ve learned how to strum heavy metal blues chords and riffs on my viola over the last few months. I haven’t had the chance to pick up any new instruments lately.

You have done some interesting cover versions, do you enjoy re-interpreting other artists work?
Yes, I suppose so. Singing another artists song seems to give me a new perspective on my voice, my instrument and helps me hear my own songs in a new way and they’re just fun to do. I have been rehearsing ‘These Arms of Mine‘, by Otis Reading for the live shows. Listen to Anni’s cover of the Rhianna track ‘Rude Boy‘ below

Who is in your live band?
A set of twin brothers, including long term collaborater and drummer/composer Devin Maxwell and his brother Ryan Maxwell on bass.

I like your drawings, do you have any plans to do any exhibitions?
Thank you! I really enjoy drawing. I have no plans for any exhibitions. I try to do it everyday to document people I see, places I go or things i think about.

What have got planned for the rest of 2011?
Aside from writing and demoing for the side project, I am also gonna be playing shows and writing with my trio and hope to take a trip to Spain this summer. I will also be running a small summer camp for my violin and piano students in Brooklyn this July.

Sounds good to me. Heavy Meadow is out on 3 Syllables records on the 3rd May. For more information on Anni visit here website here…. You can also download one of the tracks from Heavy Meadow on this months Flush the Fashion Sampler (see below)

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You could even go out and buy her record, some people still do that sort of thing you know.