by Brittney Corridean
It’s a somewhat murky day in Milwaukee and there are people dressed in Spider-Man costumes, Hello Kitty and other children characters. Nikki Lane describes the parade going on in the streets as she makes her way through town. She is currently traveling across the country to complete her first headlining tour which hits the East Coast late June.
This will not be her first time coming to Philly however. She actually was in town a short time ago when touring with The Whigs. We talk about what she experienced while visiting and she mentions that while she was in between sets, she went out to Eddie’s Tattoo and got her dog’s name tattooed on her (which is Tammy Fay Barker). Tammy is just one of the things she misses while being on the road.
Her new album, All or Nothin’, which came out on May 6th and was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. The album features a duet by Lane and Auerbach on the track titled “Loves on Fire”. The two had met at a flea market in Nashville and she sold him a jacket. On top of being a rock star, Lane owns High Class Hillbilly, a vintage clothing store in Nashville. “Everyone in that flea market became my friend” she mentions while explaining the story of meeting Auerbach.
Compared to her original work, Lane still loves her last record, but tells how she feels more comfortable and dominates when recording now. She puts in her say about where she wants the music to go and it molds into more of what she wants. “I’m not afraid to say, ooh I don’ like that or that bass sounds muddy.” Working with Auerbach has really been an incredible experience for Lane. “Dan is extremely talented in both performing and producing” she says.
She describes recording, touring and owning her own business as being a sort of balancing act where you have to be completely flexible and learn to juggle it. To go back to the beginning, Lane got a guitar when she was 15, but didn’t get into playing in her early 20s. Originally from South Carolina, she decided to move to New York and started managing clothing stores to make a living. At that time her music took a back seat. After a while the city wore her out she headed back to Nashville to really begin pursuing her career in music.
Since then, Lane has grown into the kick-ass roots/rock/country artist that she is today. Some of her greatest influences have been Neil Young, John Pine and Kris Kristofferson. If given the opportunity, she would be thrilled to perform with all of them. Most recently she actually did have a performance with Willie Nelson at the SXSW which was very meaningful to her.
When creating her music, Lane finds that her inspirations come from a wide range of influence and emotions. “Music is an opportunity to get all sorts of emotions out. I write about things as they come along,” she says. When listening to her album, you can tell this is true for her because the lyrics are raw and heartfelt, maybe even a little crude at times, but only to project her ‘I don’t care’ attitude.
Lane’s songs make you want to sing along and put a little sass into it while doing so. She is definitely a singer/song writer with a strong personality, a lot of drive, and a good sense in where she wants to go with her music. I’m sure her shows are as authentic as she is (catch her at North Star Bar this Thursday) and I would bet she is a hell of a good time to hang out with.