Nineties rock trio Concrete Blonde is done after 30 years.
“We breathed our last in Minneapolis right before Christmas Eve 2012. It doesn’t seem like there’s getting it back this time,” says Johnette Napolitano, the voice and crushing bassline of the alt.rock threesome. “But it’s okay. The good thing is that the last year of touring we did were the best shows we’d ever done in our entire career.”
The L.A. native records her solo material, which has evolved into the three-part Sketchbook series and an accompanying book, at her home in Joshua Tree. Today, as a DIY solo act, the 56-year-old rocker ventures out for shows only one week a month.
“When we were at our peak, we were on the road all the time. I’m talking seven months straight. That’s a really hard way to live,” Napolitano laments. “When you’re young you’re all about that. Going all over the world where you’ve never been. I don’t want to be one of those people who’s just like, ‘I can’t have a drink on the road, I’ve got to go to bed early.’
“I do have that concern, but when I’m on the road I want to party and have fun. And I’m not 25, so I can only go a week out of the month.
“I had a manager tell me once, ‘When you put out a record you’ve got to pretend it’s the first one you’ve ever done.’ That you’ve gotta forget about your past work, and it’s absolutely true. You can’t go back.”– Nina Hernandez