fit and fabulous at 55, the Bangles frontwoman told us about a bevy of musical activity she's been involved in and has coming in the future.When we recently got Susanna Hoffs on the phone to talk about how she stays so
Perhaps the biggest news is that Hoffs will be performing at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, Calif. on April 27. While it might seem strange that the "Manic Monday" singer would be performing at Coachella's country cousin, she says it's really not that out of left field for her.
"They just invited me to do a solo set, so I think it could be whatever I want," she says. "I grew up listening to Linda Ronstadt and those Stone Ponys records and even the records that Peter Asher produced in the '70s in the '80s. There are many, many female vocalists -- Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Brenda Lee -- a lot of these women have been idols for me, and I've kind of grown up singing along to their records. It is an opportunity for me to kind of indulge myself in that passion and add maybe some flavor of that. Maybe I'll have my friend Matt Morelock play banjo, and maybe get some pedal steel."
Last fall, Hoffs released her third collaboration with Matthew Sweet, Under the Covers, Vol. 3, which features the duo tackling '80s hits and nuggets, including R.E.M.'s "Sitting Still," the Smiths' "How Soon is Now?," and "Our Lips Are Sealed" by the Go-Go's.
"Matthew had the idea, 'Let's do a Go-Go's song.' And I never know who is going to sing what," she says. "I always assume he's going to sing them all and he always assumes I'm going to sing them all, so that was kind of exciting and daunting, just having been in the other all-girl band. That was a lot of fun actually. I just went into it with the spirit of having fun."
And of course the Bangles remain an ongoing concur, appearing late last year at the Paisley Underground Reunion shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco with their peers the Dream Syndicate, the Three O' Clock, and the Rain Parade. The Bangles will also appear at the Whisky on Jan. 26 at part of the legendary Sunset Strip club's 50th anniversary.
When the band reunited in 1999, bassist Michael Steele was on board, but she later bowed out, replaced briefly by Abby Travis, who has since joined the Go-Go's, leaving the Bangles down to its original core trio of Hoffs and the Peterson sisters, singer/guitarist Vicki and drummer Debbi.
"We came to the point where we realized we can never really replace Michael and we don't want to," Hoffs says. Instead, the band has employed bassist Derek Anderson for their live sets. As for those who are upset that the band has given up their all female-band standing, Hoffs points out, "We played for many years with a male keyboard player, so it wasn't just a stage of women. It wasn't that purist."
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