Music Q&A:
The Americans

The LA trio are making a pit stop in the UK and playing at Gullivers, Manchester on 7 Nov. Frontman Patrick Ferris checks in with Big Issue North

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What informs your music/songwriting?
Old (pre-war) blues, folk songs, rockabilly, Leonard Cohen, Joanna Newsom, and Bob Dylan.

How have you evolved as an act over the years?
We used to perform mostly old songs from the 1920s through the ’50s. When we began writing our own material, it had a lot of the old sound in it. I think every time we get together to write we become more contemporary.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?

We have a new album out, which represents our songwriting efforts over the last several years, so it’s been back to the drawing board in terms of songs.

What’s on your rider?

We get a rider?

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
We got hired to play an outdoor benefit concert in Los Angeles. A charming woman in charge of PR took the stage to make announcements, but her mic was too quiet and the crowd was having trouble hearing her. As she was introducing us, I watched the coordinator of the event reason with the sound man, who was becoming visibly agitated. Just as we heard, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Americans!” The sound man shouted, “Fuck this!” and yanked every cable out of his board and stormed away. We were left standing in front of an expecting crowd with no electricity.

What song do you wish you’d written?

Bob Dylan’s Long And Wasted Years.

What’s your worst lyric?
I wouldn’t want to call attention to it.

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The Americans

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