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Alabama 3 - From Alabama To The (Cold)Harbour City

Author: Daniel Crichton-Rouse
Monday, 5 November 2007
If you’re a fan of The Sopranos, you’ll know Alabama 3, thanks to theuse of their song Woke Up This Morning as the show’s theme. You’ll have a chance to hear it live next week when the British troupe play the Basement here in Sydney. 3d’s Daniel Crichton-Rouse caught up with bandleader Larry Love.

Your song Woke Up This Morning was chosen as the theme to The Sopranos, which, to be honest, is pretty fucking cool. Do you know the story of how the show’s crew came to hearing your track-
David Chase, the producer, was driving in the US listening to the radio and heard the song, which is actually about an abused woman in the UK, Sarah Thornton, who shot and killed her violent husband. She went to prison but got the law changed in the UK re: self-defence of abused women. He liked the song and thought it would fit with the show. Originally it wasn’t going to be a theme song because they were going to have a different song every week – but he decided to go with it for the theme tune. No one had any idea it would be so big. We are proud to have been associated with such high quality show but I got a great buzz when it was used in The Simpsons in the episode where Homer becomes a gangster and Bart goes to rescue him from the mob! Better than doing the theme for some wanky show like Friends!

By naming your latest album MOR, were you being ironic, since being labelled ‘middle of the road’ is possibly the harshest criticism a band can receive-
Some people think MOR stands for Middle of the Road but I prefer Mice on Rohypnol or Men on Rollerskates. When we went into the studio we wanted to recreate the atmosphere of all these good US bluesmen who got a record deal then went to LA and dropped into drug-fuelled madness. If you’re not living on the edge you’re in the middle of the road. We wanted to replicate those gorgeous California West Coast sounds like The Eagles but go lyrically a step or two beyond.

How do you know Irvine Welsh, and do you ever go out on boozy recreations of Joyce’s Ulysses together-

Irvine has been a big fan of the band since someone played him the demos of our first album Exile on Coldharbour Lane. He famously said that we were the only band that he could dance to without chemical assistance. He shares the same view of the world as we do. He cannot believe that we haven’t already made it huge. We went for a drink and additional refreshments with Irvine in Dublin last month. He took time off from writing his new book to meet us. We trashed a room in U2’s corporate hotel in Dublin and sunk more margaritas than I can remember. But he’d better practice – he spent the next day in bed. But this is what we do for a living so he’d better get better at it for the next time.

Finally, have you done your research on Australia- Do you know what to expect down here- Thankfully it’s not all deranged serial killers, kangaroos and dodgy beer!
I’m massively looking forward to our trip to Australia. The Australian people have the outlaw mentality we love. You have an open culture that embraces so much music and a base of music lovers we’re looking forward to meeting. One of the band [members], Harpo Strangelove (Nick Reynolds), does death masks and is in negotiation to buy one of Ned Kelly’s death masks. He’s doing Mark ‘Chopper’ Reid’s life mask when we get to Melbourne. Nick used to play in a band called Dirty Pool in Melbourne so I’m looking forward to meeting Australian musicians. As long as I can put limejuice in my lager I don’t care.

WHO: Alabama 3
WHAT: Play The Basement
WHEN: Wednesday 14 November