Bubblegum garage music?
We must be talking about Olivia Jean, a rocker scheduled for a Friday, Feb. 7, performance at the Venue Shrine, 112 E. 18th St.
Olivia recently released a new album (“Night Owl”) on Jack White’s Third Man Records label. She was in White’s all-female band for his Lazaretto tour, and she just got off the road supporting the Raconteurs.
She tackled a few questions in advance of the Tulsa gig:
Anyone who listens to the title track from “Night Owl” hears guitars right away. That’s kind of refreshing.
A lot of my songs are guitar-driven. For that song in particular, I wrote the main guitar riff first and then built around it. As far as that being refreshing, it’s definitely a strange time for rock bands right now. There doesn’t seem to be a platform like there once was in popular culture for emerging rock bands. But history repeats itself, so I have faith people will become more passionate about rock music and hopefully soon.
The words “bubblegum garage” were used in promotional materials about your new album. That’s an interesting description. Thoughts?
“I came up with the description ‘bubblegum garage” while recording ‘Night Owl.’ I pulled a lot of inspiration from 1960s girl group melodies, classic surf music and garage, so I decided to come up with my own flavor of the genre.”
You have backed a legendary Oklahoman, Wanda Jackson. What’s your best Wanda Jackson story?
I was very shy around Wanda Jackson. She is legendary, and I was very young and awestruck when I was asked to play in her band. She would nonchalantly tell stories, like how Elvis told her she should try out this new style of music he was playing, which came to be called rock ’n’ roll. The genre didn’t even have a name when she started playing it. It proves she’s the first woman to sing rock ’n’ roll. It was an honor to have played in her band, let alone just to be in her presence. The memory of touring with Wanda is one of the best.
Do you have a fondness for Tulsa like Jack White (he bought a residence here and loves Cain’s Ballroom)?
I’ve visited Tulsa many times. It’s a very calming place to visit. I like that it has aspects of a small town yet doesn’t have the limitations a lot of small towns have when it comes to music and art. I’ve also gone to some great vintage clothes stores, record shops, music shops and restaurants in town. I also love The Dust Bowl, which is an awesome bowling alley. I’m excited to play in Tulsa and explore the city some more.