Interview with Susanna Hoffs: "Someday"
Over the last thirty years, pop music fans have watched Susanna Hoffs, the lead singer of the all-female group Bangles, spark an “eternal flame” inside their hearts. She has taught them how to “walk like an Egyptian,” and she and her fellow band members (sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson) empathized with them on “Manic Monday.” Now Susanna is back stronger than ever with her newest 10-track solo release Someday.
Song Selection Process for “Someday”
“Two of the songs were older songs that I wrote back in 1989 with Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, back when The Bangles used to do background vocals on one of their albums. One of these songs is ‘Raining,’” she says.
“All of the remaining eight tracks were written when I met my writing partner, Brassell, within a five month span,” she says.
Her latest record is produced by the acclaimed producer Mitchell Froom and is expected to be released , via her label, Vanguard Records. “I love working with him. I met Mitchell back in the mid-80s when he played keyboards on the second Bangles album for Columbia Records. We are neighbors so it was very convenient and it felt very natural to record together. He’s a master in the studio and he is very musical and he totally understood the vibe of what I was trying to do with this album,” Susanna says.
When asked about the origin of the album’s title, she says, “I was trying to find a name that captured the mood and I had some pictures taken, and the cover photo shows me looking in the sky with a hopeful look, where I am hoping that it’ll stop raining and that the sun would come out of the clouds. A lot of songs on the record reference weather and rain. These symbolize hopefulness and doubt, and they are reflective of the way my mind works. I did not want to have one song to be a title track. There is a song called ‘One Day’ on the record that is a very poppy tune, whose lyrics in the chorus mention the word ‘Someday,’ so it just came to me.”
“I am loving being my on own independent record label and doing things this way. It reminds me of when the Bangles first started out. I am very much driven by the love of the music, and that’s all I care about at this point,” she says. “I hope the fans like this new record, since it is from the heart. I just want people to hear it who might like it and appreciate it, and I want to share my music with them in the best way that I can.”
Favorite Songs on “Someday”
“My favorite song on the record changes all the time. ‘Always Enough’ is a very personal song, and I had a concrete idea when we wrote it, and it's a song that can be sung to my children. The closing track ‘True’ was written back-to-back with ‘Always Enough.’ ‘November Sun’ was written in 1998, and it has a baroque, folk-rock feel to it. Mitchell did a great job on the arrangement of it and he totally got it when he put the harpsichord in there. I also love ‘Picture Me’ since it was our first song for this album. It felt really natural to write with Brassell,” she says.
Upcoming Show at Grammy Museum Streamed on StageIt
“I have the Grammy Museum show on Monday, July 16, and we will stream the show live on StageIt’s official website, so it’s a worldwide record release party, and I am very excited about that,” she says.“I also filmed a music video for ‘Picture Me’ which hopefully will be edited and done by the end of the month.”
“I have some TV performances and promo to do, and then my fall tour as a solo artist will begin at the end of September,” she says. “I will do some really cool versions of the Bangles songs in my set.”
Susanna notes that she foresees a fall tour-stop in New York City.
“I just started tweeting,” she says. “I’m not that Internet savvy and I am learning since everybody else is. I am really enjoying Tumblr and I am having so much fun with that. Luckily, my own kids, my niece and my writing partners are teaching me how to do these things so I can connect with people instantly.”
Susanna Hoffs: The Fountain of Youth
Particularly impressive about Susanna is that although she has been in the music business for the past three decades, she does not look a day over the age of thirty.
Regarding her secret of staying in such top-notch physical shape, she says, “My parents are very youthful looking and they are very active, so there are good genes in the family, and as a kid, I was a dancer, so I developed this love for movement and being fit. I walk a lot each day, and I would manage very well living in New York City or in any city. I don’t like to be stuck at home on the computer, and I want to be moving around. I love walking to places and being able to get there on foot. I just try and take good care of myself.”
Susanna Defines Success
“Success means being able to make music. That’s all I ever really wanted to do. I always wanted to be an artist and to have my family and my friends, and I wanted to share it with people. That’s a tear of joy for me,” she says.