Aidin Vaziri | After years of filling out festival bills, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are watching the spotlight heat up since the arrival of last year’s self-titled third album. Between a slew of late-night television appearances, the unconditional backing of VH1 and a string of sold-out New Year’s performances in their native Vermont, the full-throated blues-rock group is poised to have its biggest year ever. Potter, the hirsute outfit’s glamorous 27-year-old singer, also performs solo on the soundtrack of the Disney movie “Tangled.” We spoke to her by phone just a few days before they launched the current tour.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Q: You know how on the single “Tiny Light” you just start screaming for two minutes? How do you not lose your voice after every concert?
A: Talking is much worse for your voice than singing. I also keep a tight leash on tour with the drinking and insanity. It’s sad, really. We’re in a rock ‘n’ roll band. There should be debauchery. But you do this for enough years and realize you don’t want to wind up like Janis Joplin.
Q: Were you always the loudest one in class?
A: Yes, I was loud. But I was weird. I just ran into a girl who was my worst bully at school and she came up to me and said, “I know I was terrible to you as a kid but that was because I was pretty and you were ugly. You were so weird.”
Q: You dropped acid for the first time when you were 12 years old. How has it affected your view of the world?
A: Yeah. I’m not exactly the best role model for kids. But it got me over the whole thing, quickly, which is good. I grew up in Vermont, where you went to a Phish concert and took acid. At the time I tried to understand the world from whatever perspective was available to me. I really had a few formative nights of exploration.