Interview by Cheri Lyn

I had the chance to interview the lovely CC from San- Diego based Duo Little Hurricane before their release gig at the legendary venue "the Borderline" in London. Together with her husband, Tone, they form a great, rising "Dirty Blues"Band, that has just released their third studio album, 'Same Sun, Same Moon'.

Little Hurricane - Interview 1

When I read through the story behind your new album, I couldn't wait to do the interview. Tone went through a quite exciting and dangerous adventure whilst writing the album, when a voice told him to walk up a mountain, but he nearly died. CC, you were the one who called the emergency services, after realising something happened. Nobody can imagine what doubt you have gone through and how scared you must have been. What were you thinking, what happened to him?

It was really scary, he went through a whole different experience. For me, my best friend was missing. I didn't know why he went. I came to the studio that day and as we are very connected, I knew something was wrong. If you ever have a loved one, who is missing, that is just scary and really hard. I am still shocked. Now when I see all these signs from people that are missing, I usually reach out and hope it all has a good ending. It ended up being a really good experience. It was a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves to finish this album, so Tone kind of went down himself. But luckily, he came home.

Why did he do that?

He just felt he had to. Some people have these experiences with drugs but it wasn't drug-induced, it was spiritual, because when you fear for your life, the universe sometimes puts you on the right path and I think it was that telling him to slow down. A lot of the lyrics on the new album are about that. But after it happened, we have really realised how much we are in love. He was telling me then he wants to marry me, so we got married the next year. It was a good thing, but it was very scary.

How did that influence the writing of your new album?

Suddenly many songs made sense to us. We just wrote them but didn't understand them. We are now focusing more on unity and have a bigger message. In the first two albums we really didn't have a message, we just wrote songs we loved. And with this album we are trying to bring people together and make them realise that we are all on the same planet. What one person does affects somebody else on this planet. So it gave us a direction and intention of what we are doing with music, instead of just writing Blues songs.

You guys are quiet spiritual anyway, right? "Same Sun, Same Moon" has quite a strong message, that we are all the same and how important love is. Tell us more about your beliefs.

I am very spiritual, but I am not religious or whatever. I feel connecting with other people, the universe and with everything I do. I believe that everything you think in your head has an energy and it comes out one way or another. Sometimes you must correct that course. For example, for us travelling abroad is really hard as it is quite a financial investment to get here, and the outcome of touring back home is therefore bigger. But then I say to myself, you know what? I am grateful for this chance, to also meet all the people there. I focus on what I have in life, not what is missing. I think it is more of a Buddhist way of thinking, but I am not a Buddhist. But I believe we are all connected and everything we think, say or do means something.

Destiny played a big part in your relationship. You met each other because of an advert, when you were both looking for musicians. But you were neighbours long before and didn't know it. The moment you met each other, was it love for the first time?

I think it developed. I wanted to have someone who has stage appeal. I thought, he's cute, although I didn't know what he was thinking about me. When we first met, I actually had a boyfriend. But then he was writing these love songs and I wondered if they were about me. He said: No! Because he was shy. But I knew they can only be about me. If someone is playing all this love songs, it is hard not to fall in love. He is such a good guy and a responsible person. I had a lot of guys before, that just suck. Then I realised I can't ignore that Tone makes me feel really good In that time I was still working as a bartender, so I got him drunk until he was trying to get me. So I think it was pretty much me who convinced him. I wanted him to kiss me. But I was also afraid of harming our music and band, as it was doing so good and I wanted to focus on that. But you know, private life is more important than your career. You gotta put your feelings first. Thank God it all worked out so well.

CC, you have been a chef before. Can you tell us about your previous life? And how was that moment when you said: "I need that big change and follow my music," because then suddenly everything in music has become true and you have found your big love. There must have been a big moment in your life that everything changed.

I think it was a building for me. I used to work in so many different restaurants. I would work somewhere for two weeks and quit. I hated the environment. When I started cooking I would always be the only woman in the kitchen and usually the only one who didn't speak Spanish properly. Therefore I have learned a lot of Spanish. But when you are the minority in all kind of ways, it is not an easy life. But it made me more open minded with people and my Spanish improved greatly, though it was hard. I never felt a connecting to cooking, I didn't like being separated from all the people. I would work all day and cook all day, but the people who get the food, I would never get to see them enjoying it. And I would never get feedback, as only the head chef does. And I wanted so desperately feedback. Even from the chefs, I would always wanted to hear did I do a good job tonight? But that is not the way that kitchens work. At least back home. You only hear if you do a bad job or mess up something.
I always dreamed of playing drums, so I thought, I am gonna do this chef job and one day I would make all this money, buy a big house, have a drum set and another room to play it. But then I realised that I am never gonna make that much money by cooking. And if I'd do, I would work 75 hours a week. So I had one night particular where I went: "Wait, what am I doing there? Why am I doing this?" Then I posted the ad on Craigslist where I met Tone. The change has been incredible. To go from an environment where nobody would say: "Good job" to the opposite. Now people are amazed. Just the fact that people clap, that applause at the end of the song is so amazing. Everyone should get that feeling in their job, that they get applauded and get told, "Good job, you are great.' It feels really good. When you are working hard, you deserve that feedback.

Could you give us a message for young talents? There are so many great artists out there who might go through the same experience as you did. They are doing something that they really don't want to do. What would be now your message for them?

I would say, "Don't wait!" If you have something you would rather be doing, then don't wait. If you are in a field, where no-one is telling you that you do a good job, you do have to find a way to tell it to yourself. There many hard jobs and you just have to know that you are good. Look at all the doctors, nurses and airplane pilots, all the people that don't get feedback. They are doing much more difficult work than I have ever done. You just have to know you did your best. Be your own cheerleader that says: You are awesome!

You have found a quite unique sound in your music. Where are your influences coming from, how would you describe your music and the message behind?

We were both playing in Jazz bands, and our parents were both listening to similar music. Music of the 60s and 70s, the great songwriters like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, The Beatles. For me, as a drummer, I don't really know, what I am doing. I don't have a drummer idol. I just play what feels good. Sometimes this is very different to someone who is classical trained or a professional studio drummer. But I end up doing something nobody else would think of because I am just doing my own thing.

What are your biggest inspirations?

It is a really wide range. One, who really inspires me, and it sounds silly because I am not the biggest fan, but I saw Beyonce live on stage and she was wearing these huge high heels, a sparkling dress and she was dancing, giving it all. You were seeing her giving 100% and I thought, OMG can you imagine how her feet look like in those heels? But if someone is still giving a 100%, that was the moment where I thought that is the kind of performer I want to be – sacrificing your body for your art. Sometimes I end up in blisters and bleeding but I want to give everything I have cos I want someone else to feel my passion and to feel the same as I did when I was watching her. It is okay to give everything and not care if you look a little silly or if it is not glamorous afterwards. But when you see someone giving their all, that connects.

You are both very talented. You also produce on your own music. What instruments do you play?

I also play mandolin and harmonica. Sometimes melodica with the drums. Tone plays everything. He learned trumpet for the album. He could pick up an instrument and play on it. For me it is lot more difficult. It takes work and I have to try harder than him. And I just want to play the drums, because it feels good. But he is so versatile. However, we are both self- taught.

What is your goal for the future, what can we expect from you?

We just want to write and play our own music, so not what anyone else is telling us. You get a lot of people in the industry going, 'Here is what you need to play to be heard on the radio.' But we just want to play what comes from our hearts, even if it is not as popular. We are happy to be able to do so. For the future we will hopefully produce more records and more music, different music, that people don't expect, with a mix of music that people expect. Just to play what is in our hearts.

Click HERE to read the LITTLE HURRICANE live review on Rocktopia


Little Hurricane - Interview 2


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