As Alison Sudol sees it, overnight stardom has three perilous potential pitfalls: unchecked egotism, substance abuse or total emotional withdrawal.
When “One Cell in the Sea” — her 2007 quirk-pop debut as A Fine Frenzy — topped the charts, she sank into the latter.
“I just shut down and wasn’t reaching out that much to people,” says the strawberry-haired siren. “Things blew up so fast, I was like, ‘Whoa!’ I got overwhelmed. And I found that if you get too much into your own head, it’s easy to just clam up and start becoming a weird recluse.”
Her salvation was technology. The Los Angeles native began paying more attention to her Twitter account and found an entire army of followers that, to date, is more than 1½ million strong.
“Now I try to make an effort to respond to people, and it’s so rewarding,” says the keyboardist, who will whip up A Fine Frenzy in The City tonight.
“I try to tweet a few times a day, even though some days I just feel boring and there’s nothing to say,” Sudol says. “But I’ll tweet anyway, or at least respond to something that somebody says.”
Sudol, 24, views Twitter as a unique new creative tool. She used it to get the word out on her two new A Fine Frenzy releases — the sophomore “Bomb in a Birdcage” album, with its percolating single “Blow Away,” and the Yuletide “Oh Blue Christmas” EP, which mixes classics with cocoa-warm originals like “Red Ribbon Foxes.”
She asked her fans for Halloween costume ideas. Most suggested Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” Sudol says, “although one person said I should dress up like a spear of asparagus. But I don’t find asparagus particularly terrifying.”
There’s a downside to Twitter, she says. “I overshared something in a big way, but I don’t really want to rehash that one.”
But it’s come in handy, too. “I was in my kitchen at home, and I looked over and there was an enormous green bug in my sink,” Sudol says. “It vaguely looked like a praying mantis, but it could’ve been a dinosaur or an alien mind-melder. So I posted its photograph and tweeted, ‘What is this and why is it in my kitchen?’”
Several responses later, case closed. It was a harmless katydid. But it illustrates a key Fine Frenzy tenet.
“I find that if I reach out to people — to my friends, family or fans — it keeps me level,” Sudol says. “It keeps me focused on being a good human and doing my job, instead of getting overwhelmed.”
IF YOU GO
A Fine Frenzy
- Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., San Francisco
- When: 8 p.m. today
- Tickets: $18
- Contact: www.gamhtickets.com