Sallie Ford’s new sound comes from an all-girl rock band. But as far as she can tell, there’s only one thing that’s really changed as far as touring and playing shows with her old band.
“I’ve really noticed that before a show, everyone has a personality that says ‘I want to dress up and look nice.’ I’m not the only one putting on lipstick now,” Ford said.
Although she admits this is a very “girly” attribute of the band now, she makes it clear that she chose her new bandmates because of their ability to play what she calls high-energy rock music.
“I think it’s cool for someone who hasn’t seen me before to stop by and realize this is an all-girl rock band. That’s more rare these days. It’s kind of been a big statement of mine for the last few years, not so much as a ‘we’re outnumbered’ kind of thing,” Ford said.
Ford’s previous band toured Europe and played shows at the Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo and appeared on Late Night With David Letterman.
“I know a lot of people still haven’t listened to my last recording called ‘Summer EP,’ with my old band — that actually has a similar sound to what I’m doing now, which has garage-rock and surf-rock influences. I think I’ve made a slow progression to a new sound, and I’m happy with a new sound,” Ford said.
Ford’s show on Aug. 15 at the Ruins will feature brand new music, and a handful of old songs that Ford thinks fans still like.
The band finished a new album in February with producer Chris Funk of The Decemberists. It’s called “Slapback” and should be out mid-October.
“We just released a new single ‘Could’ve Been,’ last Tuesday, to give people a taste of the new sound and stuff. The song is mainly about failed romance and relationships, and the romantic games people always play. There’s always a time in someone’s life when you’re into someone and they’re not into you, except when you decide you’re not into them — then they’re into you,” Ford said.
Ford said more singles will be released and the band has been planning music videos, too.
At any rate, Ford is happy to be returning to Hood River, especially for the outdoor setting which will be a new experience for her.
“I think it’s going to be really cool. Our friend Sean Flynn and his band is going to be opening the show. I’ve always loved the shows we’ve done at the CEBU Lounge,” Ford said.
Ford just returned from a family vacation on the east coast, not far from where she grew up in Ashville, NC.
“I love the Oregon coast, but it’s so different from east coast beaches. I really miss them. If I don’t go back every year, I feel like I’m missing something from my life.”
Early influences for Ford included pop music and jazz, especially female singers.
“My favorite band was the Beatles, because of their songwriting. I got into jazz music in high school, especially the distinctive voices of female jazz and blues singers. It was the singing that really wanted me to start writing and playing music,” Ford said.
“I grew up playing classical violin, but I kind of had a breakup with that when I was 15, because I just couldn’t express myself. I was searching for the rebellious expression instead of trying to play everything perfectly.”