Give me that dirty southern rock n roll only this time, make it edgy and sexy and clean. This is how I found True Widow and their bassist Nikki Estill. The trio, which has called their sound “Stonegaze”, lives up to the epic title of their most recently released album, “As High As the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth”. This album features Nikki’s sultry voice on several of the songs along with singing in harmony with the bands lead Dan Phillips.
In between gigs, rehearsals, and Nikki’s day job of making up glamour dolls as a make up artist, I caught up with Nikki to find out more about this amazing bassist with this haunting voice you will never forget.
SK: The new album, As High As the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth, seems to include a more sultry sound with the emergence of you as lead vocals. Is this purposeful and is this direction True Widow will be going in the future?
Nikki: We sort of take each song as it comes- If some time goes by and one ends up making more sense with Dan singing then he’ll do it. Then there’s some from the beginning that we just know I’ll sing. it’s really whatever settles in better. This album has a lot more harmonies between Dan and I.
SK: Do you have any female musicians that have inspired you throughout your life? Who are they?
Nikki: really I’ve always found inspiration in whatever source it comes, male or female. But I can say the first time i was ever enthralled by a female singer was when I heard Aretha Franklin. It was the first voice i remember as a kid that ever really got inside me.
SK: Being new to True Widow’s sound, if you could put your band in a genre, what genre would that be?
Nikki: Some people have called us metal. Some have called us shoegaze or stoner rock. I can’t really tell you. We never started the band saying ‘we want to fit in to this certain category’ it was definitely something more organic. So somewhere in the middle of all that I guess is where you’ll find us.
SK: When you have down time, what can you be found doing regularly?
Nikki: I ride my bike pretty much every day and drink a lot of coffee- that’s about as structured as I get. I read and listen to a lot of music. Some days I’ll work on an art project or work on some songs. Or maybe just take a road trip.
True Widow has found a new fan in me. I have been enjoying their intense lyrics, heavy guitar riffs, complete their smooth overall sound. I never knew music like this and now that I have found it, I am hooked. Nikki is not only this beautiful woman rocker, she is known as a good friend and the person you want to hang with listening to music and drinking beer.
You can catch Nikki rocking out with True Widow this Saturday at the Double Wide; in addition, Nighty Night (John Congleton’s new band) and Joey Kendall. Tickets are $8 at the door. She is also available for hire for makeup and hair styling via email@example.com
photo 1 courtesy of Mats Ek
photo 2 courtesy of Steve Visneau