Alberta Cross has been around for over a decade now and continues to partner with prominent labels, management companies, festivals and tours. Why then, might you not have heard of them you may be asking yourself. This group of vagabonds puts out beautifully constructed folk-rock tunes that arguably would have elevated them to celebrity in an earlier decade. In a time where people have no patience for full albums and prefer to digest their music in singles shuffed to them through platforms like Pandora and Spotify, it’s difficult for a band like Alberta Cross to break through the Auto-Tune.
That being said, there is something really special about a band that’s able to stay true to their sound, capture the heart of the music industry and maintain a very loyal following. Recently, we caught up with Petter while on tour to get his thoughts on the band’s most recent release and what we can expect from them next.
So, you’re currently touring behind your most recent self-titled release. How’s that been?
It’s been good. It’s nice to be out there playing the tunes live. We’ve also played a few cities that I’ve never been to on this run, which is always fun. It’s been cool to have two horn players with us too.
What prompted you to self-title your fifth album as opposed to its predecessors?
It just felt like a full circle with everything leading into this record.
This being your first album without Terry Wolfers, how do you feel your sound has changed?
I wouldn’t say it changed much. I always wrote most of the songs, but we had a great time producing the stuff together. He’s my best bud so I do miss him on tour sometimes, but I understand why he couldn’t do it anymore.
What prompted his split?
We pretty much toured for 4-5 years straight around the world in between our first mini album until our last record. We got very burned out and exhausted. Now I’ve found a way to balance it more. I just don’t take every tour that gets offered to us like I used to. Playing live is pretty much the best thing there is, but to do too much of anything is never a good thing.
What has been a highlight for you throughout your music career?
Touring with Them Crooked Vultures and Oasis was a biggie for us. Doing Letterman was also grand because he was always my favorite growing up.
What’s your favorite city to play in?
I’ve got many of them. It all depends really.
Who has been one of the most influential artists for your music?
David Bowie probably. He was such a legend that stayed so great until he left us for the next place. He always stayed true to himself and his art.
What’s it like being an artist in this current musical climate?
It’s getting harder for all of us for sure. In one way I like the whole streaming thing because it’s part of the future of things, but we need to figure out a way for it to start to take care of the artists more financially. I guess the labels have it worked out a little more for themselves, so we need to figure out a way for them to take care of us artists too. But to be honest everyone needs music and the arts so that has to happen soon because if not I’m afraid that some of the great indie and more alternative artists will struggle to continue and that would really be a travesty.
Having toured for extended periods of time, is it difficult to keep friends, family and relationships going?
It was a little tricky in the middle of my craziest touring period. But now it’s all good.
You grew up in Sweden, lived in London and now NYC—what’s next?
(Laughs) I’m always gonna feel home in all them places. But I’m happy in Brooklyn for now. Berlin has been calling for me a little lately too. I’m always moving around a little so who knows.
Just for fun: I notice a lot of animals, especially cats, on your Instagram—what would you say is your spirit animal?
A lion because I’m an early August child.
Following your tour, what can we expect next from Alberta Cross?
We’ve got quite a lot of touring coming up. I’ve also worked on a lot of new songs. I hope to record them soon enough.
Any closing comments?
I hope to see y’all on the road and please go and buy our new self-titled record. It was recorded up in Woodstock, New York, in an old wooden church called Dreamland. It felt very special to record it up there with my family of musician friends. It has horns and all kinds of things on it. Go check it out!
Alberta Cross will be playing at Rough Trade NYC in Brooklyn on June 8, and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on June 11 and the BB&t Pavilion in Camden, NJ on June 12 (last two dates featuring Joe Walsh and Bad Company). Their new self-titled album is available now. For more information, go to albertacross.net.