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Photo by Cass Bird. Desire by The Emperor!

Alison Sudol, AKA A Fine Frenzy, is known for her piano-driven love songs and powerful voice. She is also the Emperor’s ex. Back around the time that her first album, One Cell In The Sea, came out, I had the chance to talk to her, a chance I didn’t waste. Twelve minutes and thirty-one seconds later, we broke up, and it tore me up inside. We recently had a chance to connect to discuss the changes our breakup had on her latest album, Bomb in a Birdcage, gummies and her pre-fame brush with, er, fame.

The Emperor!: You’ve really seemed to mature since we last parted ways, was that due in part to our breakup?
The Emperor’s Ex GF: Yea, you know, it really made me look at things differently. It was tough, it was a rough experience, but I made it through.

TE!: What else brought upon the noticeable change in the A Fine Frenzy sound?
TEEGF:  I think it’s because I’m two years older than when I made the first one, and I think that has a lot to do with it. In the last two years my life completely changed. I had never traveled very much before, and now I’ve been to pretty much every major city in the US and all over Europe, meeting so many different people. There was a ton of life experience squeezed into a small amount of time.

TE!: Did you eat any particularly nasty food while in Europe?
TEEGF: I tried to avoid that, tried to know what I was ordering. But at breakfast once, I never tried this, but there were these sausages that were this sort of pale brown and they had just these chunks of gelatin in them. I didn’t try it, but I DID try a fish mousse, and it was HORRIBLE.
TE!: Ew. That sounds terrible.
TEEGF: It was, we all tried it at some restaurant. It was like fish pudding, it was awful.

TE!: Were there any countries that had the best food?
TEEGF: I suppose it depends on where you’re eating, the first time  I went to Germany, I wasn’t super-sold on their food, but then the past few times I’ve been there they had some awesome, awesome, awesome restaurants and I had some amazing dishes. And Portugal has some great food. I’m a big fish eater, I don’t eat meat really, and they just have the most amazing, delicious and fresh fish. Everything’s really simple and so good.

TE!: What’s your favorite fish dish?
TEEGF: I love sushi, that’s kind of my favorite way to eat fish, it feels the cleanest, but a grilled salmon is really good or a tilapia with a fruit salsa is really good, too.

TE!: Do you have a favorite writing utensil?
TEEGF: Yes, actually. I have a pen that is like a fine tipped sharpie. My biggest pet peeve when writing a song is picking up a pen that has either no ink or spotty ink where I have to keep scratching at the paper. It’s so frustrating, I hate that.
TE!: Do you know the brand?
TEEGF: Bic Mark-it Ultra Fine Point permanent marker in torpedo black . It’s awesome.

[Emperor’s note: Bic, I found you a spokeswoman, I’d like a percentage of the sponsorship $, please.]

TE!: Now, this is probably the most important question, so I’ll really need an honest response; do you prefer gummy WORMS or gummy BEARS?
TEEGF: Ooooh, no! Well, I think I have to say…I love gummy worms, but I’d rather eat a bear than a worm.
TE!: I enjoy biting their heads off. It’s primal.
TEEGF: That’s so mean!
TE!: But I also enjoy that gummy worms have two flavors in one.
TEEGF: That’s true, but it’s kind of hard to taste the difference sometimes.

[Emperor’s note: If you REALLY want to taste the difference in flavor, buy the gummy bears direct, Racket Laura got some Haribo Gummy Bears off of Amazon and they were AMAZING.]

TE!: Fresh gummies are the best.
TEEGF: There are a few hotels that leave those on your pillow; they are all over the place in Germany.

TE!: What’s your FAVORITE snack?
TEEGF: Ooooh, Veggie Booty! I don’t eat dairy and the Pirate’s Booty has cheese powder, but the veggie ones are just vegetables. Sooo good.

[Emperor’s note: The sounds she is making while discussing these snacks make me wish we had never broken up.]

TE!: Do you not eat dairy out of medical or moral reasons.
TEEGF: My body doesn’t respond well to it. I stopped eating dairy and I stopped getting head colds and I thought, “OK, that’s kind of worth it.” Though, I miss cheese.

TE!: What is your worst bad habit?
TEEGF: I am really, really, really messy. Like, REALLY messy. The second I walk into anywhere, I make a mess. I don’t know how it’s possible. The hotel room will be a disaster in four seconds after I open my suitcase. I don’t understand! I just open the zipper and the room Is wrecked.
TE!: Do you just put so much stuff in there it explodes out?
TEEGF: Yes, or the one thing I’ll need will be at the very bottom
TE!: Do you have one of the old-school hard shell suitcases, or one of the soft ones with the wheels?
TEEGF: I have a four-wheeled monster. I actually have to get another one because I’ve destroyed it with so much traveling and I pack it within an inch of its life. People look like it like “Oh, man!” because it’s pot-bellied and lop-sided.

TE!: Have you ever won a contest?
TEEGF: Yes, when I was 17, I was listening to the radio and they were having a contest to win No Doubt tickets, and at the time especially, I  was just obsessed with No Doubt, and thought Gwen was just the coolest. They had this contest where you’d have to call in and sing No Doubt songs and you would win tickets to go to their sound check and go to the show afterwards. I remember I was at the gym on the treadmill and listening to the radio and time came to call and I jumped off the treadmill and they answered the phone and they were like, “You’re gonna have to siiing,” and I was like “I think it’ll be OKAAAAYYY.” And they made me sing and they gave me the tickets.
TE!: What song did you have to sing?
TEEGF: I sang “Underneath It All.”

TE!: Gwen Stefani is still hot.
TEEGF: Gwen’s aweeeesome. I mean, she’s doing a different thing now than she was before.
TE!: That’s exceptionally true
TEEGF: And she’s so nice. OH! Another part of the prize was that I got to sing on stage with her during sound check. A bunch of people won tickets to the sound check, but they did another drawing and they picked me to go up and sing with her and she was so nice to me. I’ll never forget that. She was so sweet and it really meant a lot to me.

TE!: You live in LA, so you see a lot of just terrible fashion, what fashion trend makes you cringe the most?
TEEGF: Mmm, I mean, there are a LOT. I think the worst trend is when I see girls dressed up to go to the club and they’re wearing incredible high heels that they’re just falling over in and a skirt that barely covers their bum and their boobs are falling out. And they all look like they’re freezing and uncomfortable and unsure of themselves. I wish that wasn’t what was popular or accepted. I would be very uncomfortable if I was wearing something like that. Oh my God. I don’t like that at all.

TE!: How amazing is the movie Armageddon?
TEEGF:  [Laughs] Great movie! I haven’t seen that movie since it came out, but it was great. I love Liv Tyler and she was great in it. Ben Affleck was in that?
TE!: Yup, Ben Affleck and Ben Affleck’s teeth were in it.
TEEGF: Yes, his teeth were also in it! Who played the head of the space exploration…great actor. Billy Bob Thornton. You know what movie I saw the other day that was really good? ET.
TE!: Oh, yea.
TEEGF: I haven’t seen that since I was a kid and I was literally chuckling out loud and crying at the end.
TE!: I might have been a bit intoxicated last time I saw it, and at the part where ET was all ashy…
TE!: …all I could think was that he just needed some moisturizing lotion and he’d be good to go.
TEEGF: The worst part is when the older brother finds him in the stream. You can’t even tell he’s ashy, he just looks horrible and dead. Baby Drew Barrymore in that movie…

TE!: I don’t think Drew Barrymore is attractive.
TEEGF: WHAT!? You’re crazy. I think she is the CUTEST.
TE!: Nope. Nope nope. I only have eyes for you!
TEEGF: Awwww, shucks!

TE!: Is there any part of you that still misses me?
TEEGF: There is, there is a small part of my heart that will always be reserved for you.
TE!: Awwwww.

-Interview by The Emperor!