Storm Large is the perfect moniker for Pink Martinis tall singer with the larger-than-life stage presence. The musician/playwright/actor, who was named Susan Storm Large 44 years ago, looks like a younger, prettier, punkier version of actress Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City.
Large, who is 6 feet tall, (it doesnt make it easier when it comes to dating, Large says) stands out in other ways. She scored national notice during the run of the reality competition show Rock Star: Supernova in 2006.
I was hired to be the hot blonde and I had fun with it, Large says while calling from Charlottesville, Virginia.
The sultry singer didnt win the contest, but she continued working with her band The Balls and acting in various productions.
I like going out and taking chances, Large says.
One of those risks was agreeing to front Pink Martini when singer China Forbes had vocal surgery in 2011.
When the offer arrived I didnt want to do it, Large recalls. But (pianist) Thomas (Lauderdale) insisted. I said I never heard your music. He said it didnt matter. And he was right. I love it.
Pink Martini is an eccentric Portland-based band that mixes jazz, pop, Latin and lounge.
There is no other group like Pink Martini, Large says. Its such a challenge. I slept with ear buds in when I was studying the music. I had to learn to sing in French, Croatian and Japanese, but it was well worth it.
Large was kept on by the band even after Forbes announced her return six months ago. Both vocalists recorded with the band on Get Happy, which drops September 24. The album is filled with eclectic, wistful, melancholy songs.
Its wonderfully varied, Large says. The material mirrors the title of the album. Get Happy is an imperative in life. Its so difficult since life throws you many curves. You need to get happy. So we have a variety of songs.
And two different singers. In an industry in which egos are as bloated as ticket prices, its remarkable that Large and Forbes co-exist.
China is awesome, Large said. We get along so well and it really is amazing. What she went through is like watching a woman leave her husband for a year and when she comes back to him, the husband says, Im glad youre back but Im marrying the other woman as well. I think people expect us to scratch our eyes out but its not that way at all. Sometimes we perform together and other times, we go out and lead the group solo. Im not sure whats going to happen in Raleigh. Im going to call China after I get off the phone and see whats going to happen.
No need to call Forbes. When Pink Martini performs Friday at the North Carolina Museum of Art, itll just be Large and Pink Martini.
Its all completely normal for this band to do different things, Large says. Thomas likes to take chances. Hes rolled the dice that two women will get along and we do.
Perhaps it would be more difficult for a pair of men to deal with such a situation?
Youre the first man to say that, Large says. Every interviewer wonders how we avoid catfights, but men have insecurities too. Its all working out for everybody and thats a great thing.