Nikki Lane’s Dark Country Vibes Will Transport You to Nashville
When you think country music in 2017, you probably think of “red solo cup country” — a.k.a the type of music frat bros like to listen to while they do beer bongs in parking lots — or you think of songstresses belting out hooks about getting revenge on a cheating ex.
Well, ditch your country stereotypes now, because Nikki Lane is in a whole different ball game.
Her latest album, Highway Queen, makes it clear that she won’t be wasting time singing about an unfaithful ex-lover. One of the most iconic lyrics is “but the highway queen don’t need no king,” so expect that to pop up in an Insta caption near you.
We talked to the First Lady of Outlaw Country about vintage clothes, weed, and how a babe who tours for the better portion of the year keeps her shit together.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
If I’m home I let out the dogs, if I’m in a hotel, I try to remember how to get the the bathroom in the dark. And then coffee.
Five things you always need on the road?
Money, marijuana, SPF moisturizer, spare contacts, and half a trailer worth of clothing.
One piece of clothing that every Highway Queen needs?
A favorite leather jacket.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever sold at your vintage shop?
I always keep the coolest things for myself. My favorite are the ones with a story though. Like a bandanna I picked up from a dealer friend of mine. It is a printed silk Led Zeppelin bandana with a tiny note pinned to it that says, “shit he won me at the fair, before it all went to hell.”
Describe your album in three words.
Moody, rowdy, pouty.
As Highway Queen, what would be the first law you enact?
What does Nashville have that NYC and LA don’t?
You can still pioneer. Not for long though, I imagine. It’s nice to be in a city during its pivotal turning point for this era. Watching the growth and the industry change is thrilling.
Hardest thing about being on the road 300 days a year?
Leaving a life behind. I have a rad 21-year-old guy that watches our house, our dogs, our roses when we’re out of town, and man I’m jealous of him sometimes.
Song on the album that’s the closest to your heart?
“Send the Sun.” Easily the sweetest most earnest song I’ve ever sat and taken the time to write to someone.
Biggest misconception people make about you/your music?
I think that being bold and direct, or hell, a hard ass can really get a girl in trouble. It’s been that way for me, but it’s not too much for some people to handle, and I’ve done fine with the percentage that can for the past few years now.
What’s your secret for maintaining a long distance relationship?
Traveling to see one another. You can talk your way through the time between, but it’s hard to live parallel with someone when you’re not sharing much of a life. I’ve been lucky to be dating someone who tours and travels as much as me for the last year. Finding someone who wants to align schedules on occasion and understands what it’s like out here has actually been the cure for the distance for me.
Favorite festival you’ve played?
Newport Folk Fest. At first I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about, and then I entered their grounds. It’s sold out upon release of tickets every year for a reason.
What fashion trend are you sick of right now?
In general I just dislike oversized or trivial clothing. It goes in and out of style. I’ve always been fond of the 20’s-50’s because it was fit focused and very flattering. Any trends that come into style and flatter the figure I can appreciate, but I haven’t quite been able to grasp wearing four yards of oddly placed jersey.
When’s the last time you lied about something?
Probably the sentence above. I can think of other fashion fads I detest, but it would offend too many cute girls.
Do you believe in love at first sight?