Wreckers Earning Their Keep With Country Fans
The jump from alternative pop to alternative country hasn't necessarily been seamless. But Michelle Branch tells Billboard.com she doesn't mind, since her new duo the Wreckers with singer/songwriter JThe jump from alternative pop to alternative country hasn't necessarily been seamless. But Michelle Branch tells Billboard.com she doesn't mind, since her new duo the Wreckers with singer/songwriter Jessica Harp is already making inroads in the Nashville scene.
"I'm really obviously very fortunate to be able to play music for a living," Branch says. "A lot of people don't have an opportunity to do what I am with the Wreckers, to have a brand new start and have a chance to kind of do it twice. I had a great time doing my solo stuff but I wasn't necessarily happy with everything I was doing."
Initially positioned as an adult alternative singer/songwriter with her 2001 debut "The Spirit Room," Branch knew a change was need by the time of her 2003 sophomore effort "Hotel Paper."
"That was hard," Branch says. "When my second record came out, it did really well. The first week it was at No. 2 and Beyonce was at No. 1 but I felt like I was being compared to her, which was apples and oranges."
Close friends with her backup singer Harp, Branch says the two started seriously writing material for a combined project in 2004. The results were definitely country-slanted, which created some confusion at her label, Maverick. In addition, the 23-year-old singer believes the creative possibilities of the Wreckers aren't fully realized on the duo's debut album, "Stand Still, Look Pretty."
"When we first made our record, we were still on Maverick Records -- we weren't on Warner Nashville yet and everyone was still kind of holding the reigns back and were secretly terrified of us making a country record because they really just didn't know what to do with it," Branch says. "So they were constantly coming in kind of pulling us back a little bit and it wasn't until we were actually working with Warner Nashville that we fully [understood] what the project was definitely going to be."
The Wreckers are presently bouncing between opening and headlining dates. The duo opens for Montgomery Gentry tonight (Oct. 13) in Daytona, Fla., and Branch hints at a supporting slot on a major country tour next year she declined to reveal.
As for the next Wreckers album, which is still in the distant future, Branch believes the twosome's current single "My, Oh My" is the direction they're headed. "The vocals are more of a bluegrass influence," Branch says. "The song is now produced, so you can't really see it as much but when we first wrote it, it was definitely kind of more an old Judds or Dixie Chicks bluegrass-y song. I really hope that our next record is kind of more the sound of it as a whole."