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Meet Erika of The Heartless Bastards

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The Heartless Bastards, featuring Erika Wennerstrom with drummer Dave Colvin (L) and bassist Jesse Ebaugh (R) I Photo via the band.
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Erika Wennerstromon is an enigma. Raised in Ohio, the lead singer of The Heartless Bastards now resides in Austin, where she writes the music she herself has trouble pegging down into a certain category. The blues/rock/etc/ inspired sound of their newest album, The Mountain, has received rave reviews. It strikes a more complex tone than their two previous albums, raw works of art that spoke to their mid-western roots. While on tour through the U.S. (and as they approach their Los Angeles show on April 21), Wennerstromon took some time to talk about music, life and the commercialization of rock 'n roll.

Congratulations on the new album. How are you feeling about how it came out?

To be honest, I'm really proud of it. I'm really happy with it.

It's sort of a departure from All This Time. It has a more upbeat feel. Talk about the difference between the two albums.

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I guess I just play songs and figure out what works with what particular song. As far as the differences, I don't know, I just think it was a different time in my life.

Do you write the songs on your own?

Yeah, I write them on my own and then bring them in [band mates] because I just always felt more comfortable doing it that way.

Your lyrics are very personal. Is it strange for you to have your diary out there, so to speak?

Its nice that people sing a long and stuff. But they might find different things than I do. Even the fact that they are getting something out of it is a nice feeling.

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You started anew. You have a couple new band members, you moved to Austin from Ohio. Yet you still have the same sound as before. So, what has changed for you musically and personally?