Alex Winston might not be a household name in America yet but, she’s certainly on her way there. Currently opening for Neon Trees on their North American tour, the 27 year old singer-songwriter is poised to reach a whole bunch of new sets of ears, and with them, new heights. We were able to catch her in her downtime while the tour was in Seattle to ask a few questions about coming up in the scene, and what’s to come.
B-Sides: So you first started blowing up overseas, how did that feel coming from a small town in Michigan?
Alex: Bizarre but, I understood it. The U.K. is very welcoming as far as pop is concerned, and always looking for new artists. It’s just so funny it happened that way, because I’m so midwest American. I really wanted to be in the U.S. but, I spent the next two years in the U.K. I’m getting to focus on the U.S. now, which I’m so happy to be touring. There’s so many cool places, I love doing historical things in each city.
B-Sides: How does the crowd reception differ in the U.K. from here in the U.S.?
Alex: Not a huge difference between crowds so much as cities. The experience can be taken for granted in huge cities, smaller market are generally more enthusiastic. My favorite shows are in places like Indiana where it’s smaller and more intimate. Though, I’ve also had awesome times in bigger places as well. It’s just more of an event, more exciting to people in smaller towns who don’t get to experience that as often.
B-Sides: I know you’re planning on releasing a new album soon, what’s the timeline on that? Was it different writing this one from the last one?
Alex: Well I’m putting out an EP monday, and then the full length is coming out in the fall. I took two years writing this album, so I’m really excited to get new music out there for people to hear. You always hear about the dreaded “sophomore slump,” which is a real fear. I had years of writing for the first record, this one was starting from scratch. Everything is fresh. So much happened to me in the past two years that I wanted to write about. Putting yourself out there is scary. You can get scared of fucking up, of over thinking things. I’ll never be as free as I was the first time. I can get better, or grow as a songwriter but, I’ll never be as free.
B-Sides: This tour with Neon Trees seems really cool, how did that come about?
Alex: Honestly just went the old fashioned way with a booking agent. It just worked out but, it’s been awesome so far. I’ve toured the U.S. in bands in the past but, this is my first tour as Alex Winston.
B-Sides: Last question, your sound is pretty unique, are there any major influences or artists you’d love to collaborate with?
Alex: One artist was a huge influence on my new album: Mary Margaret O’Hara. She only had one album twenty-some odd years ago called “Miss America.” I would kill to collaborate with her. The album was really critically acclaimed but, it’s not very well known. It’s very low key.