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Exclusive Interview with Antigone Rising

Antigone Rising is an all-female country group from New York. They have always been considered a more southern-rock sounding band, but are focusing more on country music lately. Antigone has 3 band members: Nini, Kristen and Dena. Read the exclusive interview with Antigone Rising below.
Antigone Rising

About Antigone Rising

  • Interview date: June 16, 2013

  • Country: USA (New York, New York)

  • Anthony Saint James for Photos

Why country music ?
~ KRISTEN: I think we’ve always leaned a little country – we were always considered more of a southern rock sounding band, but in recent years we’ve started focussing more closely on the song writing. And country music is all about the songs. So it’s been a very natural and easy progression, and what feels like an obvious direction for the band to go toward.

~ DENA: Why not? I mean, it wasn’t a calculated thing, like, “let’s go write some country songs”. It’s a place that we found ourselves as a product of our influences, interests and songwriting & music sensibilities. The extra bonus is that country music fans are the most loyal and enthusiastic.

~ NINI: Why NOT? I love, and have always loved all kinds of music but there has always been something about the instrumentation and feel of country, Appalachian and Americana music that draws me in. Besides, labels for music, especially country music, are getting very blurry. I love that blur and i think our music fits right in there.

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ KRISTEN: I think Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline would be my ultimate country duo.

~ DENA: I would have to go old school & say Hank Williams & Patsy Cline – both pioneers in the genre who sang with such emotion. That would be awesome.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any “rituals” to calm you nerves.
~ NINI: I don’t really get nervous but the time leading up to a show can be hectic and frantic from travel, traffic, load in, sound check etc.. I also find that every room and every show has a different energy and we, as a band, also have different moods from night to night. So I’ve made a habit of writing a set list in the moments leading up to the show in an effort to respond to all that. It also forces me to focus, shutting out all the outside crazy that leads up to a show.

~ DENA: No, nerves aren’t really part of the equation. We always do a sort of pre-game huddle right before we walk on stage. It’s always good for a few laughs, which gets us loose and ready to hit.

Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ KRISTEN: Honestly, Lori McKenna is one of my all time favorite writers. And we’ve been fortunate enough to co-write a few songs with her. One of my other all time favorite writers is Patty Griffin. I just love her sense of melody.

~ DENA: Mary Chapin Carpenter, one of my all-time favorite songwriters. Her melodies and lyrics are beautiful, heartbreaking and poignant. I think her style and sensibilities, musically and lyrically, would suit us very well.

Whisky wine beer or water?
~ DENA: Well, that depends on which band member you ask. 3 out of 4 would say beer and the other would say whiskey.


~ NINI: Yes, please.

If you could turn back time to make only one change, what would you change?
~ KRISTEN; Losing John Lennon.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ KRISTEN: For me, the ultimate recording studio is the one we have! Our lead singer, Nini Camps, lives down the street from me and our studio is in her house! So it is the ultimate as far as flexibility and convenience. Those two elements are critical in order to make a great record. A studio loaded with vintage guitars is pretty heavenly as well.

~ NINI: I love walking into great recording studios. There is magic in every one! I love vintage compressors and pre amps and seeing racks and racks of them! ha! I couldn’t possibly name names of actual amazing studios and the truth is, these days there are so many smaller spaces that are available with amazing gear and amazing engineers that the ultimate space is often one you’ve never heard of. A relaxed atmosphere and openness in a studio is key and when there is a room that sounds amazing as is, that is just heaven. put up a great mic and play.

Johnny or June ?
~ KRISTEN: Johnny, because he is real life Fonzie. And I always wanted to be girl Fonzie.

~ NINI: June. she was a beautiful woman who wasn’t afraid to be a goofball. It is inspiring how she was a singer, dancer, actress and a woman who led her life in a way that showed an incredible strength of character

How would you like to spend a day with each other when you were not allowed to make music or to talk about music?
~ DENA: A combination of some sort of sporting activity – we have done golf outings before – and a nice meal. We appreciate good food!

~ KRISTEN: Ultimate day together while not making music is with the kids headed to the ocean for the day. And we actually get to do that quite a lot all summer long!

~ NINI: That’s an interesting question. Our lives are so intertwined that we spend most of our non music making days together anyway. Our kids are the same age and we all live within minutes of each other in a small town so there is a beach day or a pool/bbq day or a park day or a soccer game or the local hang at the corner bar. So, while music is definitely a huge connector in our lives, sometimes it’s the last thing we talk about.

What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ KRISTEN: Fortunately, we’ve had a few. One would be when we toured with The Rolling Stones and I got to meet Keith Richards and Ron Wood, two of my all time favorite guitarists. Second would be when we filmed a show for VH-1 titled “Legends,” where they pair an upcoming band with a legendary rock band. They paired our band with The Doors. It was completely surreal to be on stage with Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarik. And third would be when Greg Allman and Warren Haynes from The Allman Brothers Band sat in with us for a song while were out on tour with them!

~ DENA: Wow. That’s just an impossible question – there have been so many great moments along the way. Certainly one of the memorable ones was opening for Aerosmith at the NJPAC. Being a Jersey girl and having seen so many shows there throughout my life, it was totally surreal being ON the stage, not to mention being on the bill with Aerosmith!

Antigone Rising country band

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