Sisters of Rock: An interview with Larkin Poe

Southern roots rockers Larkin Poe formed after the Lovell Sisters called it a day in 2009. Sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell regrouped in 2010, naming themselves after their great-great-great-grandfather who was a distant cousin of writer Edgar Allan Poe. With an edgy, rocker sound the two earned themselves the title of “little sisters of the Allman Brothers” amongst fans and followers. After numerous independent EP releases and tours, the sisters take some time out to chat to KALTBLUT during their time in Berlin.

KALTBLUT: You’ve been in Berlin a few times recently, what have you been doing over here? Have you had time to explore the city a little?
Larkin Poe: We’ve been in and out of Germany, particularly Berlin, a number of times in the past few months for tv, radio, magazine interviews, and lots of promo engagements preparing for the ‘Reskinned’ album release. We love to visit, but we’ve stayed so busy that we haven’t had much time to play the tourist in Berlin. Touring as a musician is a great way to really get to know a city though… We love to visit places off the beaten path, and we’ve so enjoyed becoming more familiar with Berlin. It’s a really funky, hip city!

KALTBLUT: How have you found the reception of your music in Europe?
Larkin Poe: We’ve been so thankful for the reception we’ve received in Europe and the UK. We have a really great, supportive European fan base, who, honestly, rock our world! We’re excited to see what everyone thinks of the new album and for all the festivals we’re going to be playing in Europe and the UK this summer.

KALTBLUT: Do you two have music in your blood? Or is it something you picked up outside of home life?
Larkin Poe: Though neither of our parents are involved in playing music professionally or otherwise, we owe our taste in music to them. Our mom always wanted us to have an appreciation for music by putting us in lessons at an early age and our dad steeped us in rock and roll classics from the cradle on. They provided a wonderful musical foundation for us to build on, though, truth be told, I think we’ve given them more than a few premature grey hairs with the career we’ve chosen.


KALTBLUT: Did it come naturally working and producing music together? Do you think there would ever be room for a third influence?
Larkin Poe: As sisters who have spent the past two decades working and making music together, our ability to communicate nonverbally with one another is eery. Whether we’re sitting down to write a song or make a business plan we both instinctively know what the other is going to do, like we’re on the same brainwave.

KALTBLUT: Have you ever come to any major disagreements? And have these influenced your writing?
Larkin Poe: Well, there was that one time she stole my favorite jeans and we couldn’t write together for months… Kidding! Working with family certainly has its pitfalls and challenges, but in our case we wouldn’t have it any other way. The older we get the closer we become and we truly have each other’s backs. Yes, knowing each other so well and having so many shared memories and experiences, makes it very easy to know exactly which buttons to push when we’re having an argument. But, we always work through the rough spots – love remains through thick and thin.

KALTBLUT: Do you think your music has evolved drastically over the years? Do you remember the first song you wrote?
Larkin Poe: We started touring when we were 15 and 16 years old and as we have grown and changed as people, our music has grown and changed just as drastically. We started out playing Americana music, but over the years our sound has shifted towards edgier, more rocking sensibilities. Even while singing bluegrass ballads, we harbored a secret love of rock and roll and our guitars were just itching to be plugged in. ‘Reskinned’ of all our albums reflects this change in us. It’s the most honest representation of where we are right now… who knows what we’ll evolve into next. The first song we wrote was a song called ‘Billy the Kid’. We took most of a day to write it and record a rough demo… I remember being so excited, over the moon really, because it was the first thing we’d actually finished and it wasn’t totally godawful.

KALTBLUT: What’s the best thing about being on tour? And the worst? The most memorable?
Larkin Poe: Touring is horizon broadening, exciting, and challenging in the most satisfying way. No day is the same as the previous. Though it comes with it’s own basket of headaches, we feel lucky to have been able to sustain this gypsy lifestyle of ours for so many years. When we feel homesick, it’s for the people back home; our family and loved ones. It’s really hard not to see them for months at a time… the homesickness grows the longer you’re away. It’s the biggest con in regards to touring. But there is a moment, when you walk through your front door after months of being away, and you think “wow! I did all that!”

KALTBLUT:The last three songs you’ve listened to?
Larkin Poe: The Dead Weather – I’m Mad, Laura Mvula – Sing to the Moon and Nina Simone – Sinnerman.

KALTBLUT: What is next for you?
Larkin Poe: Every year we’re able to say “this has been our biggest year yet” and 2016 is shaping up to be no different! This is our first time with a big label and management team behind us and our album, so we’re exciting to see how the rest of the year shapes up. We’re gonna be playing some huge European and UK summer festivals, so we just hope to see lots of people at our shows and have fun!

Reskinned’ is out now on Universal Music
lp album