From Serbia, but currently calling Memphis (US) home, Ana’s reputation for blending her mastery of the blues and jazz with her soulful voice and rock attitude has earned her testimonies from legends like Bruce Springsteen and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. ‘Trilogy’ is Ana’s seventh solo album, proving it doesn’t matter where you were born, the blues comes from inside. Ana tells us about what it takes to conquer the world one guitar solo at a time.
This will be your first tour to Australia. What are you looking forward to most?
Meeting people, hearing some new music, seeing new cities, seeing some beautiful nature.
Have you been warned about drop bears?
No I haven't! I have now though :-)
What can fans expect from your live shows?
It’s a powerful show, soulful, blues-rock show. We’ll be playing songs from ‘Trilogy’, ‘Can You Stand The Heat’ and ‘Unconditional’, so it’s gonna be a mix of my songs and a few standards. Some blues for the blues lovers, some slide, some rock and jazzy stuff, funk and soul… a little bit for everyone.
Your latest record 'Trilogy' is actually three albums in one. What was the motivation for producing the record this way?
I wanted to give my fans three different sounds of Ana Popovic in one record. A lot of music and different styles and sounds all based on Blue Note [Records]. Even the jazz part is heavily influenced by jazz greats that were very bluesy in their time: Sarah Vaughan, Wes Montgomery, Shirley Horn. Vol 1 is a funk and soul record; it's a dance record that features incredible musicians: Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph, George Porter Jr. and many more. Vol 2 is blues and rock record and Vol 3 is a jazz record.
You're part of the all-star line-up for the Experience Hendrix '16 tour. Is it intimidating to share a stage with legends like Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde and Eric Johnson?
I’ve never found it intimidating. To the contrary: I find inspiration when I play with such great guitar players. I get inspired to bring out the best in me and enjoy everyone’s musicianship.
What about playing with The Jimi Hendrix Experience's original bassist, Billy Cox?
On quite a few shows I was playing the ending jam with two legends: Buddy Guy and Billy Cox. That is as good as it gets. It was incredible. A dream come true.
You're also the only female guitarist in the Experience Hendrix show. Do you feel as if you're representing women in rock?
Absolutely. Experience Hendrix is much more than just a blues-rock show. There’s audience of Eric Johnson, Dweezil Zappa, Buddy Guy, Bootsy Collins sitting next to each other, so you need to come up with something really cool and different in just 15 minutes. I am very proud to represent ladies, although I never think in terms of genre, just in terms of good players, but I surely hope they’ll be calling more ladies in the future for any major guitar events.
Which Hendrix song is your favourite to play? Any of his songs you just can't master?
I’m playing a few of my favourite Hendrix songs: 'House Burning Down', 'Belly Button Window', 'Can You See Me', 'Crosstown Traffic'. I’m not too much into the major hits, I’m kind of a b-side person.
How do you like to chill out and relax while on the road?
I love seeing the scenery, seeing some nature, love doing some songwriting.
In a career replete with achievements, is there one of which you're most proud?
Being nominated for an American Blues Award (W.C. Handy Award) as the first continental European ever nominated.
What are the chances of Hush getting back together, even for a one-off show?
On my last Belgrade concert we performed one song together, and it was a lot of fun and just as we never parted. Even if we don’t play, we still get together every time I visit Belgrade. One, full show will happen again, just a matter of time.
Do you have a message for your Aussie fans ahead of the tour?
It was about time, but I’m ready for you! I’m sure it’s going to be a love at first sight.
Ana Popovic Australian ShowsSat 17 Sep - Mitchell Creek Rock N Blues Fest (Sunshine Coast)
Sun 18 Sep - Beaches Hotel (Wollongong)
Wed 21 Sep - The Basement (Sydney)
Fri 23 Sep - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne)