Singer-songwriter Adrianne Gonzalez, going by the moniker AG, has a booming music career within the L.A. music scene. With eight solo albums under her beltincluding her latest, Me After Youshe has released Let Loose The Horse with the group of local troubadours signed to Universal Records known as The Rescues. Moreover, her music has been featured on various TV shows.
Always craving a challenge, AG takes on six of the The Fab Four's songs creating an EP titled simply The Beatles. Coincidentally, it's being released on the 50th anniversary of Ringo Starr joining John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison to form the iconic group. In an interview with Windy City Times, she talks about covering the classics while adding her own unique style and her passion for human rights and gender issues as an out lesbian.
Windy City Times: What influenced your music style? What's your inspiration?
AG: Eighties music is my favorite kind of music. Something about itit doesn't take itself too seriously and it just makes you feel good, but I also do like songs that are super thought-provoking and gut-wrenching. I love to do both of those things.
The Beatles EP, I feel, really does that. I think my record does that, too. I feel like too much of one or the other can start to get kind of self-indulgent. Everybody has so many different moods; you need to make records that can satisfy many different moods as opposed to just one. That's just my humble opinion.
WCT: What made you want to cover Beatles songs?
AG: I work at a publishing company and they actually were the ones who gave me the idea because they partnered with a company that has the copyrights to these songs. They're the only songs that aren't owned by Sony TV. So, they wanted me to do inspired versions of these songs.
Initially, I was just going to sit down and do it on my laptop and just play acoustic, but then I was like this could do something more than just being covered. I could do something gender-bending and be able to start talking about issues that I've always wanted to bring up on a larger scale and it sort of gave me the opportunity to do that. It was definitely not something that I expected. Let me put it that way.
WCT: What kind of [gender-bending] issues were you trying to touch on?
AG: I'm just basically trying to [promote] the transgender community, or just gender fluidity as a whole. I'm just trying to raise awareness about that. We don't have to have these specific roles. If we choose to have a more traditional role in our relationship then we can if we choose to, but it shouldn't be forced down our throat. If we choose to be a certain way, choose to look a certain way, if we choose to identify a certain way, we should be able to do that.
It's really hard for other people who want to be the way they want to be but because it's "not normal" or hasn't really been recognized or anything by the masses all of a sudden now they sometimes have to hide who they are and they just have to go through an unbelievable amount of oppression and repression and self-hate and all this stuff that just doesn't need to be there. If I can help make that a non-issue in anyway, I'm down.
WCT: We discussed why you chose the songs you covered, but what ultimately drew you to The Beatles?
AG: Well, they're the best and I really do like a good challenge. In my humble opinion, you're not really supposed to cover Beatles songs. You're supposed to just leave them there, learn from them, move on. You don't cover these songs, but I was like, "Well, I shouldn't be doing this, so I'm going to go ahead and do it."
And when my producer and I first sat down for a meeting to talk about this, I was like, "You know, this is going to be really hard. ... We have to do this really well. Otherwise it can be really harmful for my career on a lot of levels, so we have to really nail this." Thank God, I think we did.
WCT: Have you heard a Beatles cover that you truly enjoyed?
AG: Oh, yeah. Rufus Wainwright covered "Across the Universe," which is one of my favorites.
WCT: You made a video for "I Wanna Be Your Man." What were your thoughts when you did that song and made the video?
AG: Honestly, I feel like it just gave me even more confidence to be who I am in the public world and in the music industry. Yes, I'm not singing my own songs about girls. I don't feel like my music should be doing that. I feel like my music should just be very androgynous because I don't think it should be about me.
I'm not masculine at all in my relationship, but I was able to kind of live vicariously through these transgender women and it felt really great and it was really cool.
It's hard to explain but because I have such empathy for that culture and because I'm so fascinated by it, I think it's just so bad ass on so many levels that being able to sing that song and making that video, I feel so badass even though it's not what I personally identify myself with.
The Beatles will be released Oct. 9. Visit www.musicbyag.com and www.facebook.com/musibyag.com for more information. Her music video can be found at youtu.be/bSGt2pobzaE.