The She Street Band are about to head out on tour and TotalNtertainment managed to grab some time with Jody Orsborn, bassist and vocalist.
1. Do you remember the first time you heard Bruce Springsteen?
I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and I remember watching TV and seeing the music video for “Born in the USA”. If I’m honest, I didn’t get it then and thought it was this super pro USA thing (keep in mind, Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” was played on repeat everywhere in Nashville at the time…). I sort of discounted Bruce then and it wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I was introduced to his other work–albums like The River and Nebraska— and actually paid attention to the lyrics of “Born In the USA”- that I was like…oh wow, this guy is incredible.
2. What was/is it that made him want to cover his songs ?
He’s simply one of the best songwriters that has ever lived. The breadth of experiences and raw human emotions that he writes about is second-to-none. Also, the songs are ridiculously fun to play. Born To Run? Dancing in the Dark? Badlands? How could you not want to cover (and sing along to) his songs?
3. How did the idea for the She Street Band come about?
I went to see Springsteen at Wembley in 2016. I’d always heard that he was one of the best live shows out there and that he has this philosophy that if he doesn’t give you the best show of your life every time you see him, why does he still do it? I found that so refreshing as I’d seen a lot of my heroes live, and they left me seriously wanting. They were just phoning it in. So, I bought a ticket and, needless to say, it was an incredible experience…the music, the energy, the audience.I left the concert and didn’t want to lose that completely euphoric feeling. And then the idea just popped into my head. I quickly called up some pals and said “so I have this idea”…
4. How did you go about putting the band together in terms of finding other musicians?
I had a few friends who were amazing musicians so they were my first stop. Luckily, they all said yes! A few of the roles were a bit trickier to fill, though, like the sax player and drummer. So I went on the hunt. Tracked down one gal by watching over 900 (no joke) SoFar Sounds videos and another one I tracked down at a ceilidh dance. There was a female drummer who was in the ceilidh band and I basically accosted her. She said “I’m not quite right for this but my pal Calie is a drummer and a big Springsteen fan” and Calie’s been our drummer ever since.
5. Being an all-female group do you ever face any problems within the industry because of your gender?
Yes, we’ve definitely been spoken down to before at rehearsal spaces and venues trying to tell us things like “so this is how your amp works” or guys on social media saying “girls shouldn’t sing Springsteen” or being surprised that we can play our instruments. In general, though, I think being a female in this context has actually been major plus. It’s such a different take on Springsteen. We’ve had people come to our gigs, for example, who say that they’d never go see a cover band or even don’t like Springsteen, but they loved the concept so much they wanted to check it out. Some of those people have told us they’ve even been converted into Springsteen fans after!
6. You’ve got a tour coming up in October, what can fans expect from the show? How do you go about picking a set list?
We switch around vocals so there’s no one Bruce. We aren’t trying to be him per se… but we want to portray the spirit and energy of his music. Some of the songs we do are pretty true to form and others we do a slightly different take on them. We try to mix it up and bring something a bit different to his songs. We are also very collaborative on the set list, all of the gals have input and we do listen to requests as we prep for the gigs. We obviously do a lot of the hits like “Dancing in the Dark” and “Born to Run” but we always try and throw in a few surprising ones. In the past those have been songs like “Stolen Car”, “I’ll Work For Your Love”, “Jackson Cage”.
7. Pick your top five Bruce Springsteen songs..
The ones I’m listening to most at the moment are “Darkness on the Edge of Town”, “Born To Run”, “Save My Love”, “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” and “I’m On Fire”. If you ask me tomorrow, though, it would probably be a totally different list!
8. If you could have played on any Bruce Springsteen album which would you choose and why?
I’d probably choose Darkness on the Edge of Town. With tunes like “Badlands” and “Candy’s Room” and getting to absolutely rock out and smash it…that would have felt really good.
9. You walk into a room and Bruce Springsteen is there, what would be the first thing you say to him?
Oh man…I don’t know! Thank you? Or…can I have your leather jacket from the Born To Run shoot?
10. Good luck with the tour and thanks for your time. After this tour, what are your plans?
We are hoping to record a few of the songs and if all goes well, play a bit further afield next year. And…meet Bruce! It could happen, right?
Tickets are on sale now via www.shestreetband.com
2018 TOUR DATES
3 Oct Brighton The Haunt
4 Oct London Scala – (London already 50% sold)
09 Oct Glasgow The Great Eastern
10 Oct Dublin The Grand Social
11 Oct Liverpool Arts Club
12 Oct Manchester Ruby Lounge