Dana Alexandra, 25
Let's talk about your new album "Wash Your Mouth Out." I started working on it in the fall (of 2009). I started working on it with my producer, who I met at a music conference in Dewey Beach, Del. He lives in Nashville, Tenn. I loved what he had done with past people he worked with (including York band) Kingsfoil.. I started going down there on the weekends and writing with him until we had . . . nine solid songs. We just set aside a good two-and-a-half weeks to record everything. Then, I was like, "Man, I would really like to have 10 solid songs. We're missing a love song." I wrote (the 10th song) while we were in the studio. I went back a month later and did all the vocals for (the CD) in, like, five days. That was actually the easy part. Then it's like, "what do you want it to look like? How many do you want to order? Where do you want to have your CD release show?"
Is this your first full-length album? My last CD . . . was actually kind of a mistake. I just decided maybe I should record the songs . . . so I have something to sell or something to show for myself. The last one is all acoustic, and even though it's nine songs, I don't really think about it as a full-length album. I feel like it's just a really long EP or something. ("Wash Your Mouth Out") is technically my first full-length album (that's) fully produced.
Does the album have a theme? I actually thought about that while the songs were happening. As we were writing, there did seem to be this re-occurring theme of just being really honest and not holding back. I feel like people are way too polite sometimes, and it just causes a lot of wasted time. (Laughs) The name of the album is "Wash Your Mouth Out," so it's like, "Oops, I might have said too much." It's funny when you say too much sometimes.
Is it scary to open up and let people into your thoughts? Absolutely. I have a distinct memory . . . of writing the (title track). (It) was nerve-wracking. (I thought) "Maybe this is too honest." I actually had to bring it back a little bit and kind of be a little more subtle. I'm definitely known around my friends or family . . . for telling it like I see it - not in a mean way or in a rude way but in an up-front way.
Why did you choose the Capitol Theatre for your CD release party? I felt like that was the perfect fit just because I'm a York girl. I feel like I travel all over the place, and I'm affiliated with a lot of stuff in Lancaster and Harrisburg, but at the bottom of it all, I am from York. I wasn't sure if I could make the Capitol work . . . but they actually welcomed me with open arms, which was amazing. It's such a beautiful place to play. I feel like a lot of people (who) come out and listen to the music are of all ages . . . and it's a good venue for everybody.
Have you played the Capitol before? I played there once before. I opened for Nicole Atkins. That was a couple years ago, and it was in the winter. I loved it. I've also seen a lot of other bands play there.
The last time we talked you were shooting a music video at the Valencia Ballroom. Are you planning any other York video shoots? I've been so caught up in everything with the release show. I want to put my all into making a video for one of the songs from the CD. It's kind of overwhelming to think about throwing that in the mix. But it's definitely on my list. (Recently) my guitarist and I ran around York and shot our own little makeshift video of one of the songs. We shot downtown . . . on my little camcorder (and at) Lake Redman and (Richard M.) Nixon (County) Park and Cherry Lane. It's a fun little acoustic video of a song called "The Summer Song." I put it up on YouTube and up on Facebook and everything. I'd like to do a . . . full-blown video like we did for the "Decanter" video (that) was actually a friend's song. I just ended up singing on it.
You booked Summerfest in Milwaukee. How did that happen? That kind of fell in my lap. I played the LAUNCH Music Conference in Lancaster this past April. One of the gentleman (who) books Summerfest . . . was there. He was like, "I'd love to have you at Summerfest." It's amazing. I'm so honored.
Are you looking forward to seeing any artists while you're there? This sounds so dorky, but I'm totally going to go check out Katy Perry. (Laughs) Why not? I'm actually only going to be there for three nights. The whole festival is . . . 10 days long.
You are also part of the duo The Homebody Pilgrims with Jordan Davis of Kingsfoil. Do you have anything coming up with that project? It's definitely an underground thing. We actually decided to start doing that as . . . a fun side project. I really love the old country songs. I got Jordan into Johnny Cash . . . and all sorts of stuff like that. Then, we actually started writing our own country songs. We like to play out at random little spots.
- Erin McCracken, FlipSide staff
If you go
Dana Alexandra will celebrate her new CD "Wash Your Mouth Out" with an album release party June 24 at the Capitol Theatre, 50 N. George St., York.
Local artists Kingsfoil and Macy K will be special guests. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets cost $10. For details and tickets, call 846-1111 or visit www.strandcapitol.org.
For details about Dana Alexandra, visit www.danaalexandra.com.
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