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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Stacking The Deck with Alethea
Friday, December 17, 2021

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack. 

Singer-songwriter Alethea has been gracing the stages of NYC’s indie music venues for years, but the Brooklyn by way of Oregon artist is currently gearing up to fly back across the country, this time in a move to Los Angeles that will include some new additions to her career.

With a goal of getting involved in sync licensing, and songwriting, when Alethea lands in LA she plans on focusing on the industry side of things a little more. That said, she’ll still be hitting plenty of stages with her music that ranges from acoustic, to rock.

“I think it depends on if I’m playing solo, or with a band,” she says of which sound concert-goers hear. “If I’m with a band I rock really hard, but if I’m playing solo I don’t, I’ll tend to go falsetto, and it’s a little more emotional. If I’m in a band it’s more about the energy, and having fun.”

Alethea also likes to focus on positivity, peppering her music with messages of hope. “I think a lot of people tend to give up too soon,” she says. “There’s always a way, and you’ll figure it out.”

I caught up with Alethea at the Think Coffee on the corner of Bowery and Bleecker to open up some packs of MusiCards, and the artists we found sparked conversations about unexpected influences, some of the artists she’d love to hear cover her songs, and the night a crazy idea went terribly wrong.

 

 
Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy once famously bit the head off a bat during a show. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done during a show? 

I think I’m just starting to explore the crazy, but I don’t think I’ve gone all the way crazy.

{pauses}

OK, I know the craziest thing I’ve done – I played a show, an all-women showcase, and I got a wise idea to let this very drunk drummer join me on stage last minute, because I thought it would be cool. It was horrible, and needless to say the women’s showcase never contacted me again. {laughs}

Was the drummer a woman, because it was a women’s showcase? 

No, it was not a woman.

So blame it on the fact that he was a dude! 

It was probably one of my worst performances ever.

I knew he was drunk, and I didn’t even know him.

That kind of happens to me sometimes, because I, in the moment, will drag people on stage and be like, “Let’s go!” That can go well, like last night it went well, we played “Living on a Prayer,” and I got Thornes on stage, but it can also go horribly wrong.

I remember seeing Thornes as part of the bill you were on at Arlene’s Grocery. That was another all-women showcase. 

Yeah, that was cool. I’m proud of that show. That was a good show.

Do you do a lot of all-women showcases? Is this something that’s especially important to you? 

I think women in rock need to be supported more, because since the ‘70s they’ve lost a lot of voice in the rock scene.

But I love playing with all kinds of genders, and all kinds of backgrounds.

 

 
Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt I love, and I’ve covered some of her songs.

She’s a very cool, down to earth, incredible singer, and songwriter.

And there’s a huge blues influence with her, too. Where do you draw some of your other musical influences from? 

Honestly, I started in classical. I played the violin, so a lot of my background, and foundation, in music is classical music.

Green Day was (also) huge for me when I was a kid.

From classical to Green Day. That’s a bit of a jump. 

Green Day, and Taylor Swift were big for me when I was a kid, and Kelly Clarkson.

Can you play Green Day on the violin? 

I could probably figure it out.

That would be pretty sweet. 

It would be cool. I do want to get an electric violin eventually. That’s one of my goals.

Could you ever see yourself breaking the violin out on stage for a song? 

Yeah, I want to. I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate it.

There’s actually a band in LA I really want to play violin for, so I’m going to work with them, and see if I can get in there. They’re like a country rock band. I really love their vibe.

So you’re going to dive into country music, as well. That’s a whole other area for you. 

Yeah. I've already done a country song with a couple of country writers, and I have a song coming out that was recorded in Nashville and has a very country taste to it because the guitarist is a country guitarist.

When it comes to country, you’re from Oregon originally, right? 

Yeah, but I did grow up in the country, in Hubbard, which is an hour south of Portland.

 

 
Bobby Brown

Back in the day, Britney Spears did a cover of the Bobby Brown classic “My Prerogative.” Is there any male artist whose work you enjoy covering? 

Oh absolutely! I honestly love covering Maroon 5. There’s something about (Adam Levine’s) voice, I love to cover him.

I cover mostly male vocalists.

We covered “Living on a Prayer” (last night).

For Maroon 5 I love covering “Girls Like You,” and I change it to “Boys Like You.”

Adam Levine has a high pitched voice when he needs it. 

I love his voice. I know he gets a lot of hate. I (also) love Bieber, to be honest.

{Alethea takes a minutes to look up some other covers she’s performed}

“Billie Jean,” “House of the Rising Sun,” “Basket Case,” Semisonic, Tom Petty.

Have you ever heard someone cover one of your songs? 

No, but I would love that. I would love a male vocalist to cover some of my songs.

Other than Adam Levine, who are some national, and local artists you’d love to hear cover your songs? 

Bieber, Ed Sheeran … Andy Sexton. I think has one of the best voices in New York. He used to be in Off The Turnpike. He has an incredible voice. I love my friend Ali Aslam. He has a great voice, and he just performed at my showcase. Rory D’Lasnow’s really great. Jeff Jacobs has a gorgeous voice.

You’ve just named six artists, so now when they Google themselves they’ll find this, and hopefully they’ll cover one of your songs. 

Yeah, exactly!

For more Alethea, check out akbmusik.com, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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