For the Record: Petter Ericson Stakee of Alberta Cross

Alberta Cross “Leave Us and Forgive Us”

Those who know me know how deep my obsession runs for the Brooklyn, by way of London, based band called Alberta Cross. A band I feel like I’ve been waiting for all my life.  They hooked me with their EP, The Thief and The Heartbreaker, in 2007. Left me waiting (what felt like) an eternity for their debut LP, The Broken Side of Time, that released last fall, and even longer for their tour to hit the West Coast.

Thankfully, the wait ends tonight at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill. And I know, just like their debut album, it will be well worth the wait.  I had a chance to catch up with lead singer, Petter Ericson Stakee, before the show to talk to him about the album, the tour, and what took him so long.

The OCMD: How’s the tour going so far? I’ve been waiting so long for you to come to California. Is this your first official West Coast tour?

Petter: It’s going great.  We just played the Troubador last night in LA and sold out which was great. And yeah, I’ve been waiting a long time to get out here too.  I love it out here. We’ve been out this way before for some gigs and a few festivals – like Coachella and the Download Festival.  But this is our first official West Coast tour.

The OCMD: You grew up in Sweden and London –both of which have distinct musical influences– yet your sound has such a retro Americana/ blues-rock vibe.  How did that come to be?

Petter: I grew up listening to loads of different music.  I do think we have a bit of that blues/Americana thing but we also have a lot of English influences in us too.  Growing up there, we listened to a lot of bands like My Bloody Valentine and The Verve so there’s definitely a mix of influences for us.

The OCMD: You now live in New York.  What inspired the relocation?

Petter: I’m living in Brooklyn now and it’s great – a really inspiring place to live with a lot of energy and amazing bands. We had a hard time the last year or two and when we went to New York for a festival, we met so many amazing bands and were so inspired that we decided to make the move. It’s been good for us but there’s so many places in America we still want to see. We really loved Austin, Chicago and the whole West Coast is really amazing.

The OCMD: I’ve read that Alberta Cross is actually an anagram. Is that true? Can you tell us what it means?

Petter: It is true.  But I’m not going to tell you what it means.

The OCMD: Is there a prize if we figure it out?

Petter: [laughs] Sure, as long as it’s not too much money.

The OCMD: If Alberta Cross is an anagram, is the song “ATX” an acronym? What does it stand for?

Petter: Yeah, it stands for Austin, TX.  The album was recorded down in Austin.  We thought it would be a good idea to get out of New York and the City and record in some place new.  And we really loved it there. It’s a beautiful place, full of great people and great music. So we really just wanted to name something after it.

The OCMD: Speaking of Austin, will you be there again this year?

Petter: I think we probably are but we have quite a busy tour schedule so we’ll have to see if we can work it out. I hope we go, definitely. I’d love to go.

The OCMD: Broken Side of Time is one of my favorite albums of 2009, though it seems more dark and brooding than The Thief & The Heartbreaker EP. What was happening for you when you wrote it?

Petter: I think the album got that vibe because of the stuff we were going through at that time. We were in London and in kind of a dark place.  We left our label and were feeling lost and broke. Then we moved to New York. It was really exciting but we were still kind of in the same situation for a while.  And when we moved here Bush was still the president. So it was a crazy time and that definitely inspired the vibe of the album.  We’ll see where the next album takes us.

The OCMD: What are the plans for the next album?

Petter: We’re writing stuff all the time and we’re recording stuff that we might release pretty soon.

The OCMD: Alberta Cross + Hacienda = one kick ass live rock show. Are you excited to tour with them? I saw them support Dan Auerbach last year where they pulled out a cover of The Animals “Inside Looking Out” that literally melted my brain.

Petter: Yes, we’re doing the whole tour with Hacienca. We saw them when they were touring with Dan Auerbach and met them down in Austin. They’re an amazing band and good friends of ours now.

The OCMD: Speaking of covers, I have a real soft spot for them and loved the cover of John Lennon’s “Steel and Glass” you did. Are you planning to play more? Can I make a request for one tonight?

Petter: Ohhhh, we’ll see. That’s kinda soon. We are definitely planning to play some more cover songs, but we don’t have that many right now. We’re working on a couple. Covers are fun.  It’s always fun to play other people’s songs. But “Steel and Glass”, yeah, we might play that one.

The OCMD: Okay, I’ll hold you to it!

The OCMD: Best Albums of 2009


Alberta CrossBroken Side of Time
“Rise from the Shadows”

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Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
“Ready Able”

Tape Deck MountainGhost
“Scantron”


Ty SegallLemons
“It #1″


Atlas Sound Logos
“Quick Canal”


Flaming Lips – Embryonic
The Ego’s Last Stand”

Woods – Songs of Shame
Rain On”

Bear In HeavenBeast Rest Forth Mouth
You Do You

Amazing Baby Rewild
“The Narwhal”

band-of-skulls-i-know-what-i-am

Band of Skulls – Baby Darlin Doll Face Honey
“Death by Diamonds and Pearls” 

cymbals-eat-guitars-why-there-are-mountains-2008

Cymbals Eat GuitarsWhy There Are Mountains
“And The Hazy Sea”

The XX – The XX
Crystalised

She Keeps BeesNests
“Gimme”

GirlsAlbum
“Lust for Life”

dan-auerbach-keep-it-hid-2009

Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid
“The Prowl”

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Fever Ray – Fever Ray
“If I Had A Heart”

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Foreign Born – Person to Person
“Vacationing People

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J. Tillman – Vacilando Territory Blues
“First Born”

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Leopold and His Fiction – Ain’t No Surprise
“Broke”

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Papercuts – You Can Have What You Want
“Future Primitive”

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Speck Mountain – Some Sweet Relief
“I Feel Eternal

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Shadows on a River – Shadows on a River
“In Business

sun-gangs

The Veils – Sun Gangs
“The Letter”

The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love
Velvet

Jeff the Brotherhood – Heavy Days
“U Got The Look

Electric Tickle MachineBlew It Again
“Blew It Again”

Alberta Cross Announces West Coast Tour Dates

Alberta Cross “Broken Side of Time” (Live Daytrotter Session)

Hot damn, I like the way 2010 is shaping up.  The news that one of my favorite bands is finally making their way to the West Coast in January has literally made my week. And there’s nothing that would make me more happy than to usher in a new decade with a scorching live set from the NY (by way of London) group. If you haven’t checked out their debut LP, Broken Side of Time, do so.  It’s one of my favorite albums of 2009.

Jan 11 2010 8:30P
Casbah San Diego, California
Jan 12 2010 8:00P
Detroit Bar Costa Mesa, California
Jan 14 2010 8:00P
Troubadour Los Angeles, California
Jan 15 2010 8:00P
Muddy Waters Coffee Santa Barbara, California
Jan 16 2010 8:30P
Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, California
Jan 18 2010 8:00P
Mississippi Studios Portland, Oregon
Jan 19 2010 8:00P
Chop Suey Seattle, Washington

Albert Cross Debut “Broken Side of Time” Released Early

Alberta Cross Broken Side of Time

Alberta Cross“Broken Side of Time

The band has released their debut album on their website for streaming and digital download today – a full week early. (And using Topspin, I might add.) One of my favorites for 2009, go get it!

Alberta Cross Covers John Lennon’s ‘Steel and Glass’ – Free MP3

AlbertaCross500

Alberta Cross“Steel and Glass” (John Lennon Cover)

If you read this blog at all on a regular basis, you already know how much I love this band – Alberta Cross. They’re gearing up to release their debut album, “The Broken Side of Time”, on September 21.  It’s a spectacular album and one of my favorites for 2009.  Be sure to get it.

In the meantime, they’re keeping the momentum going with the a free MP3 download of the band covering John Lennon’s “Steel and Glass”.  Enjoy.

Album of the Week: Alberta Cross – “The Broken Side of Time”

AlbertaCrossBW03_credAlanGastelum

Artist: Alberta Cross
Album: The Broken Side of Time
File Under:  Moody Rock
Recommended if You Like: Neil Young, My Morning Jacket
Featured Track: Rise From The Shadows”

God damn, I love this album. Take Neil Young’s vocals, his hard-driving Americana rock and combine it with the pathos of Kurt Cobain and you’ve got Alberta Cross. It’s the best way I can describe it.  Other than it’s good, damn good.  Just listen to “Rise From The Shadows”.  This song slays me every time I hear it. Swirling, haunting melodies that build into a crashing wall of guitars.  It’s cathartic and this song should be all the convincing you need to buy their debut album, “The Broken Side of Time”, that comes out on September 22 on ATO Records. It’s a seasoned, polished album start to finish and hard to believe it’s only their first.

If you can’t wait that long, go out and get their EP “The Thief and The Heartbreaker”.  Another stellar effort that won’t disappoint.  And if you want to be really impressed, go see them live.  They’ll be at Lollapalloza this weekend then at Austin City Limits later this fall. More US dates will be scheduled soon. Stay tuned.