Originally formed in the ‘80s, Concrete Blonde became one of the breakout acts of the ‘90s alternative rock scene.
Though the core duo of Johnette Napolitano and James Mankey disbanded in 2006, the band has maintained a cult following ever since. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of its most commercially successful album “Bloodletting,” the band reunited for a tour that comes to Atlanta next week.
Napolitano took a moment to discuss the future of Concrete Blonde and her other endeavors.
Q: It’s been while since we’ve heard many of these songs live. Will you be performing the songs in their original form or will there be any kind of creative changes made?
A: We haven’t gotten together and played in about seven years, so that’s a good question. My drummer Gabriel Ramirez has been our drummer for a long time and was on our last two records, and he and I play together when I do solo shows. But as far as Concrete Blonde, it’s been a few years.
Q: Are you playing “Bloodletting” in its entirety or showcasing your entire catalog?
A: I think we’re going to do, like, 45 minutes of “Bloodletting,” but we have a lot of other records out. It would be really uncool for us to go out and not play songs for the fans that were there before “Bloodletting.” There’s a lot of people coming from a long way to see these shows, so we’re going to try to make everybody happy.
Q: You’ve worked with several other musicians since you last toured with Concrete Blonde. Are you still doing any of those projects?
A: I’m working on something with David J [of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets] and Shok from L.A. called Tres Vampires. I’m collaborating with a band in New Orleans called Ven Pa’ Ca, which is a flamenco group. It’s a serious goal of mine to have a flamenco club in New Orleans by the end of the year. If I can get that going, I’ll be really happy.
Jim and I are having a good time because there’s no pressure on us. We’re doing this because we want to do it, not because we have to do it. One of the things I can say about the old days is it was not fun a lot of the time…. So we’re having our fun now.
Q: Outside of music, you also do a lot of visual art using found objects. Do you have any current art projects?
A: I’m working on a book right now, which is satisfying on a whole different level. I’ve been wanting to do a book, but when I got to the final stages of the technical aspects of actually publishing, I really wasn’t feeling it. Then I remembered when I used to do old punk rock fliers like the liner notes from the first album where I was cutting and pasting lyrics and illustrations. Now I want to do a series of books of collage-style art, which I find more satisfying creatively to work on than just text on a page. I’ve got about 20 years of stuff to write about and I’ve been waiting until I had the perspective that I have now to do that.
8 p.m. Wednesday, June 16. $27.50 in advance, $30 day of show.
1099 Euclid Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307
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