Pink and Dallas Green talk their new collaboration, 'You + Me'
Alecia Moore may be known for crafting cheeky kiss-off anthems and glitzy, acrobatics-heavy performances, but for her latest project, the woman we know as Pink is slowing down. You+Me, which finds Moore teaming up with City and Colour’s Dallas Green, just released the folk-leaning rose ave., out now via RCA Records. EW talked to Pink and Green (rolls right off the tongue, right?) to find out how they found each other, the creative process behind rose ave., and Pink’s dream collaborations.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you two meet?
Pink: Mutual friends.
Dallas Green: She came to a show years ago in LA.
Pink: Carey [Hart, her husband] and you did Warped Tour together.
Green: During the war years. We met—I mean obviously, I knew who she was. We met that day after my show. That’s really how it started, the conversation about singing together. Not making a record; [we] just wanted to sit by the campfire and sing. Over the years we kept talking about it, and sort of just had a break in our all-encompassing lives, and it just happened. I know it sounds like a made-up story. I didn’t even know that she had gotten a studio rented ’til the night before.
Pink: I like to be prepared. I make birth music lists, I rent studios. [Laughs]
Green: I showed up the night before. I assumed we were going to go hang out at the house. And she was like, “Oh, I got the studio just in case. We’re going to do it there.”
How did you decide to call yourselves You + Me?
Pink: He got me a card.
Green: We didn’t want it to be “Pink and City and Colour.”
Pink: Our engineer was calling us the Self Deprecation Society. That was in the running.
Green: I saw this card—it said You and Me on it. It made perfect sense, ’cause it really was just the two of us. There was no boardroom meeting, no, “You should do this ’cause this will change your career.” It was just an idea from the two of us.
Is there a difference between performing as Alecia Moore and performing as Pink?
Pink: I had worked for 16 years to become good at what I do as Pink. That’s my nickname; that’s all I’ve ever been. I know exactly what to do as Pink. It’s all me. It’s not like an alter-ego. It’s like, I tour, I flip, I shout, and I cry. I know when I’m making a Pink record, it’s three years—the next three years of my life. That’s great. That’s wonderful. This is not that. This is just singing, ’cause I love to. We love music for a certain reason—music is in our bodies from birth, and what I did last night was what’s been in my body since birth.
Your last tour was crazy—you were literally in the air, flying, upside down. Now you’re doing something completely different, much more laid back. As an artist, how do you go so quickly back and forth?
Pink: I’ve always been that way. I sang opera as a kid. I wanted to be Cossette in Les Mis. I had a punk rock band, when I was 12. I was a skate chick. I was a token white girl in a hip hop group. I signed with an R&B label, I put out R&B music, I sang gospel in church. I wanted to be Linda Perry. I like everything, so I try it. I can sound like Mary J. Blige, I can sound like Janis Joplin. I’m constantly exploring who I am.
Green: I was the same way. I was a grunge kid—I grew up loving Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. My sister loved R&B and stuff like Mary J. Blige and Sade. I listen to that too, ’cause my sister listened to it. I play in a hardcore band, but I also love Neil Young. I love melody and I love to sing.
Green, Pink, Rose Avenue—there’s a color theme going on here. Is that a coincidence?
Pink: Yes, that is a total coincidence. Rose Avenue is where the studio is. Our lives existed on Rose Avenue. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer.
The harmonies on the album are absolutely beautiful—but did you think beforehand that your styles of music would immediately blend together?
Green: I knew I could sing and I knew she could sing, but that didn’t necessarily mean it was going to work. You never know what two voices are going to sound like together. I do tons of harmonies on my records but that’s just harmonizing myself, which is a totally different thing.
Pink: Some people can’t even harmonize with themselves. It doesn’t sound right. There’s just some tone in between our voices that, when put together, sounds better—well, for me, anyway. He sounds fine without me. But I think the whole is larger than—what’s that saying, the sum of its parts? That thing.
You’ve been doing a lot of collaborations lately, with Nate Ruess and T.I.; you also wrote a couple songs for Cher’s new album. Do you have any dream collaboration?
Pink: Lauryn Hill. That’s always been a dream of mine. I used to drive from Atlanta to Philadelphia, 16 hours each way, for the weekend in a car with no license plate, no insurance, no driver’s license. And I would listen to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and what was it called, where she did the gospel song with Whoopi Goldberg
Green: Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.
Pink: Yeah. [Singing]Joyful, joyful. I used to sing that. I’ve never heard anybody sing it like her. I’ve never heard anybody sing anything like her. She is a religious experience. People love to see people fall, for some reason. My stance on her has always been she’s too good to be like the rest of you. So you can say whatever the f— you want. “She’s crazy now.” She’s supposed to be, because she’s touched, and you’ll never be that good. She hears things that most people don’t hear. You want to talk about harmonies? If you were to take the lead of her out and just listen to what’s going on in the background in those songs, it’s f—ing genius.
What about you, Dallas?
Green: I don’t know. I’m terrified of it. I was terrified to do this.
Pink: You and Ben Harper the other night was pretty magical. He sold out the Greek, and Ben Harper came on stage and they sang together.
Green: That was fun. Yeah, so for me, I don’t know. I always wanted to sing with a girl, but I would be afraid to ask. So this has become that point. It was a dream collaboration for me as a singer because I found somebody to sing with who makes me a better singer. That’s what I look forward to.
Do you guys have any plans for the future of You+Me?
Pink: I don’t know. We don’t know. We didn’t even know there was going to be a picture that big of us when we hung it out on Rose Avenue. That’s the fun part about it: There is no plan, and that’s what I think makes it so cool.
Green: It’s not the three-year schedule. It’s not the “Okay, we’ve booked you here.”
Pink: I would like to play live. My cheeks hurt from smiling when we sing together. I’d like to do some shows together at some point.
Green: We will.
Pink: Even if it’s just in our living room for friends. My mom would come.
Green: We can do whatever we want. To your living room? Okay, we’re going to play a show in Alecia’s living room just for family.
I’m sure you could get a few more people if you wanted.
Green: We don’t want to. We just want our moms to come. You, me and our moms. [laughter]