Rocky Torres: I have listened to your music, and it is very pleasant and memorable, and super electrifying. It reminds me of Billy Joel’s “Still Rock and Roll to Me” – pure energy. The lyrics of your songs seem to touch on events and people, do you seek to inform the people that listen to your music so as to help them change their world view?
Alice Wallace: My music is more about relaying stories about my own life in a way that others can see themselves in the songs, as well. We’ve all had such similar experiences, even if the stories are completely different. We can all relate to the struggles inherent in growing up and loving and learning about ourselves. I don’t know that I seek to help people change their world view. I mostly I want to help them understand themselves and those around them better.
RT: Who influenced your music career?
AW: It all started with my parents and their love for music. I grew up listening to them sing and strum guitars from an early age, so it was just a natural progression to want to join in on the songs. Of course, I’ve also been influenced by so many artists over the years, from singer/songwriters like Jewel and Sarah McLachlan in high school, to indie artists like Ani DiFranco and Dar Williams in college. But I always found myself going back to the music I heard growing up as my main influence, and it’s really where I find myself comfortable today, looking to artists like Emmy lou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt. The fantastic female performers who have helped defined folk and country and blues music for decades.
RT: What do you see as being the most important thing to do/have in order to have a successful music career?
AW: As I am certainly still working toward that successful career, I can’t tell you with certainty. But I’ve learned it involved much more than talent. Determination is a large part of it. Having something worthwhile to say is another. Having a story to tell and the motivation to get out there and tell it night after night, whether people want to listen or not.
If an aspiring artist came to you and talked to you about life and/or career, what sort of advice would you give them? I would tell them to play as much as they can. It’s simple advice, but it’s what I’ve always relied on. The more
I’ve played, and actually gotten myself in front of audiences, the more I’ve learned about myself as an artist. These last two and a half years on the road have been an amazing journey of learning about myself and the kind of artist I can be.
RT: What is the most fun you have had while living your music career?
AW: The most fun is simply being on the road, meeting new people and having small adventures all along the way. It can also be the least fun. It just depends on the day. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
RT: Have you met any famous people and if so, did they give you any pointers about how to proceed with your music career? Who? What did they share with you?
AW: I think the most helpful person I have met along the way was Texas songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard. I opened for him in southern California last year, and he was the first successful musician I’ve opened for who really took the time to ask me about my music career and offer advice. He has been doing this for a long time and I very much admire his work, so for him to take an interest in mine was an honor. We have kept in contact over the last year off and on and he is one of the great ones. He didn’t offer any career-changing nuggets of wisdom, but I’m not sure those exist. He just offered to help me along the way in whatever way he could, which means so much.
RT: Which is your favorite song in your new album? Why?
AW: I think my favorite song is “A Traveling Song.” It’s my favorite mostly because of the reaction it gets from audiences at live shows. When I play that song, I look out and see people truly engaged with what I’m saying. I see people cry all the time. It’s not meant to be a sad song, but it moves people, and that is a huge honor. It’s just a song about two people I met while traveling, but it offers a glimpse into their characters and how they approach life. And I’m so glad it resonates with people the way it does.
RT: Yes, “A Traveling Song” is a mellow sounding song, a beautiful ballad-like song. It still has a powerful story to it. You know, you are a great story teller, and musician. Well, is there anything you would like to tell your fans and potential new fans all around the globe?
AW: The same thing I tell them all the time – thank you. Thank you for listening to my music and for giving me a chance to come play for you. I get to do what I love almost every day and I am very grateful. And I will keep playing as long as people keep listening.