Alberta & The Dead Eyes

Detroit-based band Alberta & The Dead Eyes recently released their latest record “mmmmm." The group will be performing at the Flicker Theatre & Bar on Feb. 8. 

Detroit-based band Alberta & The Dead Eyes recently released its latest record “mmmmm,” but how do you say the title?

“Like Campbell’s Soup,” David Boone, the band’s frontman said. “Like, ‘mmmm.’”

Alberta & The Dead Eyes will play the Flicker Theatre & Bar Friday, Feb. 8 at 10 p.m. The band is first in a lineup including local musician Dave Marr and Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Emmy Lawalin.

The Red & Black spoke with Boone ahead of the show about who inspires him, the process behind making his latest release and the time his bus broke down in Athens.

The Red & Black: How did your passion for music begin?  

David Boone: I don’t really know where it came from. I was always into jazz music when I was a kid. I always loved the horn players every time I saw an orchestra or something like that. Then, I started playing drums, and then I bought a guitar from my uncle when I was 18 and started playing rock ‘n’ roll.  

R&B:Why did you continue to pursue music?

DB: That’s a question I ask myself every day. There’s been times where I get burned out and tell myself I’m going to take it easy, but I never seem capable of doing it. Even if I swear to myself, ‘No more. Give yourself a break — do something else,’ I can’t. I can’t not do it. It’s kind of an addiction I guess. And I still have a bunch of ideas.

R&B: Your sound has been described as alternative, blues, and even dark folk. How would you personally describe your sound?

DB: I think of myself as a blues man, but I can see why not everyone would agree with that. I hear it in the music. They’re blues songs even though they might not come across very bluesy every single time.

R&B: Who or what inspires you and your music?

DB: Oh man, all sorts of things. As far as musicians go, I’m a big Billie Holiday fan. She’s definitely in my top five. Al Green, Bob Dylan, The Stooges … I’ve been getting into Canadian synth pop lately, There’s this band called TOPS I really like. John Prine is definitely up there.

R&B: Your latest release “mmmmm,” came out Oct. 5, 2018. What was the process of making that record like and what were your goals for it?

DB: I decided I was going to hit the road for a very, very long tour and I wanted to give myself two more months to cut as many records as I could, so I had a bunch of songs flying around. I rented a garage, set up a studio and then just started tracking a bunch of stuff. I went in there with a shit ton of songs and I walked out with around 20-30 songs recorded. The ones that ended up on “mmmmm” seemed to all fit together well. My goal was basically before I left to go in the studio and record as much as I could, and [“mmmmm”] was the first record that came together from it all. 

R&B: You’re from Detroit. Have you ever played in Athens before?

DB: No, I haven’t. My van broke down there once, so I was stuck in Athens for a day or two, but I have never played there. I’ve looped the country about four times since last December, being on the road and on tour, but I’ve only done the deep south like Baton Rouge and New Orleans and Lafayette and that area. I haven’t played the Southeast, so I’m excited.

R&B: You’ll be performing along with Dave Marr and Emmy Lawalin, two artists with very different sounds from your own. What are your thoughts on the variety?

DB: I always like shows like that personally. I think there’s a certain wavelength everybody has to be on, like if there’s mutual respect between artists, then fans will vibe in the same way. I’ve been to local shows where it’s like four country bands, and they all start to blend in together and get boring, so I always like when it’s a little bit different. I think it will be cool.

R&B: What can people expect from your upcoming show?

DB: It’ll be a little different from the record because I’ll be without a band, so it’ll definitely change the songs up a little bit to cater to the solo thing. But it’s still rock ‘n’ roll. I’ll show up with an amp and a half-breed acoustic-electric guitar and definitely bring the blues. It should be good.

R&B: What are your hopes for the show?

DB: To impress Athens. I want to sell some CDs, and get some people to download the record wherever they get music. I’m still trying to push this record [“mmmmm”], so hopefully, some new listeners and fans will come out.

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