Elle King on Learning from Women Bassists, New Album ‘Shake the Spirit’

Rolling Stone held its first Morning Sessions during ACL Fest 2018 on Saturday, October 6th, at Wanderlust Yoga in Austin, Texas. Americana bad-ass Elle King and her band The Brethren took Austin City Limits by storm this past weekend, making a pit stop at the Morning Sessions to chat with Music Editor Suzy Exposito. The Country Music Award-winning singer-songwriter is just as much of a firebrand in real life as she is in her songs. But her upcoming album, Shake the Spirit isn’t all piss and vinegar; it’s a whole lot of heart and soul.

In our latest interview, King talks about the making of Shake the Spirit — during which she picked up the bass guitar. Although many know King as the guitarist-slash-banjo extraordinaire behind 2015 chart-topper “Ex’s and Oh’s” — or her  2016 Dierks Bentley collaboration “Different for Girls” — she sought out to emulate the rock and roll queens of the Nineties. One of them became somewhat of a real-life mentor — the Grammy-nominated bassist of Nashville Pussy, Corey Parks.

“I always thought chick bassists were the coolest people in the world,” she says. “I idolize Kim Deal. The first song I ever learned was ‘Gigantic.’ I play a lot of instruments, [but] anytime I’d ever see a female bass player at a show, I just couldn’t take my eyes off of her.”

King also talked about recording amid paranormal activity in Denton, Texas’ Echolab Studios; as well as hanging out with her dad, actor-director Rob Schneider. “My dad has a beautiful singing voice. My dad was an Elvis impersonator, they called him Tiny Elvis. He’s shorter than me!”

Shake the Spirit is out October 19th via RCA Records.

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