Getting to know: 7 questions with Alice Hubble

Getting to know: 7 questions with Alice Hubble

Following the release of second album Hexentanzplatz last month Alice Hubble is set to play Nottingham this week – we got to know her a little better in just 7 questions. 

Alice Hubble by Tom Hilverkus

Following on from her 2019 debut album Polarlichter Alice Hubble‘s second long player, Hexentanzplatz, is described as ‘one lady at home with her enormous collection of synthesisers’. Accurate as that might be this is an album which is far from a self-indulgent cataloguing of the capability of instrument and rather a heady pop record touching on themes of illusion, love, feminism and protest.

It showcases an artist brilliantly rendering melancholy and joy through electronic music and is packed with melodic details and delights as vibrant influences from psych to folk seep through the notes.

We needed to know this artist better, and so do you, so we posed a quickfire of 7 questions to Alice Hubble.

7 questions for Alice Hubble

Was there music around you when you were growing up or something you came to later?

I grew up in a very musical household, both amateurs but my mother played the cello and my father sang in choirs. Me and my brother were very much encouraged to be creative and music was part of the majority of my social activities, either playing or being part of the audience.

I don’t have a particular first memory of music as such, but certain music take me back, mainly music from the 60’s that our parents played or the songs that were on the radio. It feels like Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac was on the radio constantly!

I used to stay up late listening to Mark and Lard’s late night show on a portable radio under the covers. That was where I heard a lot of the music that influenced me at the time, bands like Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, The Delgados, Add N to X. That sort of indie music was something achievable and relatable, it made the idea of making my own music feel more obtainable.

Has creating music come easily to you during the pandemic?

Writing Hexentanzplatz and music making in general helped give me a purpose during the pandemic and the lockdowns. I think 2020 would have been a lot harder for me if I hadn’t of had a creative project to throw myself into.

Initially I would say I found it hard to be creative and get out of my head. I then did a collaborative experimental EP with Bradford based musician Andy Abbott (which recently came out under the name ADRA Hubble), this project really helped me to get out of the writer’s block. Reimagining far off places is a big part of my work so I had to be creative taking myself mentally outside of the four walls of my home and I’ve done that with books, TV and daydreaming.

Which artist or album has most influenced you and your work as an artist? In what ways do you feel this influence?

Woah, difficult question! I think it’s hard to name one sole record as being my most influential. Pushed I’d probably say Computer World by Kraftwerk, which was a big record for me in my late teens when I first started listening to synth pop. Kraftwerk put a lot of warmth, emotion and humour into their ‘robot’ music. These contradictions have definitely been a big influence to me, in making inanimate synthesiser alive with feeling.

How do you most often listen to music? Do you have a favourite format, time, place to listen to music?

I have to admit I don’t listen to music as ardently as I did in my younger years. My partner is the record collector in our home and I love listening to the early 80’s library records he plays, usually early evening, with a gin and tonic in hand.

My favourite format is undeniably the 7 inch, it’s just so perfect, though really only ideal for DJing.

If you could form a supergroup from your favourite musicians, who would be in it with you, and what sort of music would you make?

I did form a pretty awesome super group to back up Damo Suzuki for my only show in 2020. The band featured members of Flowers, Mad Mad Mad, Rodney Cromwell, the Roisin Murphy band and Maps and it was a kosmische dream playing with them all.

Apart from that, here’s my fantasy supergroup, I would probably get laughed out of the room, but I’m sure the music would be epic:

  • Dennis Wilson on Drums
  • Brian Reitzell (Redd Kross/Air) on second drums (mainly for his drums on Air’s Virgin Suicides soundtrack, yes I know that is weirdly specific)
  • Carol Kaye on Bass
  • Manuel Göttsching on guitar
  • Steve Martin on Banjo
  • Florian Schneider on flute
  • Gillian Gilbert, Suzanne Ciani and Laurie Spiegal on synthesisers
  • Trish Keenan and Lee Hazelwood on vocals

If you had a time machine which gig or musical event would you travel to witness?

I would travel back to LA in the 60’s to see The United States of America. The band released one LP, but it’s an absolute perfect mix of psychedelic pop and experimentation.

From their Wikipedia… “We travelled with a bunch of gear, including a calliope, a 3′ x 4′ neon American flag (which had alternately flashing red and white stripes), and a full-size plaster nun”

I feel I could do with that nun for when I perform ‘Kick The Habit’!

I would probably stick around afterwards to go hang out in Laurel Canyon and live out my LA hippy fantasy with Joni and Cass.

If someone has never heard you before, which one song of yours would you direct them toward as a perfect introduction, and how would you describe it to them?

It would have to be Hexentanzplatz, the title track from my new LP. The song is named after a German mountain and translates literally to the Witches’ Dancefloor, therefore I would describe it as ‘pop music for witches’.


Alice Hubble plays The Old Cold Store in Nottingham on Friday 8 October with Withered Hand, The Hobbes Fanclub and YAY MARIA – tickets and details. Album Hexentanzplatz was one of our picks for September – see our albums of the month.

Find Alice Hubble: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

Image: Tom Hilverkus

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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