Thursday, November 20, 2008

Little Boots: New EP + Stark Interview


Little Boots - "Meddle (Designer Drugs) Remix" - mp3

Call it what you will: space-pop, nu-disco, electro, or R&B. Victoria Hesketh, a.k.a Little Boots, is cute as hell and ready to make you dance -- even on a Saturday afternoon during the death rattle of CMJ sickness... I mean madness... I mean, well, whatever. I was having fun damnit!

Formerly of Dead Disco, the incarnation of Little Boots started not so long ago with the help from some friends -- namely Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) and Greg Kurstin (the bird and the bee, Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen). With a penchant for whimsical fantasy, Little Boots is stylish in a My Little Pony-meets-Ziggy Stardust way. Her new EP, Arecibo came out just yesterday! We caught up with her earlier regarding growing up in Blackpool, England, musical inspirations, style icons and more:

Read the interview with Little Boots after the jump...

What was it like growing up in Blackpool?

Blackpool is a pretty strange place. It's meant to be a family holiday resort, but I think that idea kind of got abandoned with the Victorians... so it's kind of a seedy place people go to get drunk and start fights...really tacky and has a real dark side. It's been a massive influence on me though, personally and on my music. I think it brings you up with a lot of cynicism. You don't really take anything for face value, but it's also a very down to earth place.

When did you discover music or did it discover you? Details?

I can't really remember. I'm not from a particularly musical family. I just somehow asked for a piano when I was about 4... We couldn't really afford one but somehow my mum got hold of an awful old one from a burnt down pub and I used to plonk away... I started lessons when I was about 6 and there hasn't really been a day I haven't played since. Following that, I started writing when I was about 13 and singing just because I needed vocals on it. I've always been a musician and writer before a vocalist. Then I started playing in all sorts of bands... punk bands, jazz bands, prog bands. I got myself through University playing piano and singing in hotel lobbies and restaurants...then I joined my last band, which was an indie-electro kind of outfit that got signed. That eventually lead me here to my first solo project which is probably both the easiest and hardest thing I've ever done. But definitely my favourite.

What was it like working with Joe Goddard [of Hot Chip]?

We work together in quite an unusual way. A lot of the songs are already written, then we will email ideas back and forwards then maybe I'll go record the vocals in his bedroom or something. But Joe is great. I think we have a lot of similar ideas about pop music and obviously both love synthesizers and weird sounds. He is so imaginative. It's great to have him involved.

Who else have you worked with?

I work a lot with Greg Kurstin who has produced everyone from Kylie to Peaches so it's a real honour working with him. He really is the most talented musician and songwriter I've ever met and has given me so much confidence in myself as well. He also has an extremely cool dog called Dave who helps in the creative process. I have also worked with Jas from Simian Mobile Disco, Simon Lord from Black Ghosts, Pascal Gabriel, Freeform 5, Heartbreak and there is more stuff in the pipeline... I like trying things with lots of different people to find out what works.

Dream people to work with?

I'm very lucky as I've worked with a lot of people I really admire. I'd actually really like to work with the Swedish producer Kleerup who did the big Robyn song "Heartbeat." I think his songs always sound really epic with great dance beats, but then there's a real sadness and melancholy element to them which is really touching. Also maybe someone like Alexander Robotnick who has just done an amazing remix of one of my songs.

Biggest adventure you've been on? Future adventures you'd like to go on?

I just went away for the weekend to the sea, that was quite and adventure..... I love the sea. But coming to Los Angeles is always quite an adventure. Especially the first few times I came out when I was on my own and didn't know anyone, and was just sent to write songs. But since then I've met so many people and always have a great time.

Who or what are some of your style icons?

I don't really have any current ones. I love loads of Bowie's phases, especially the Ziggy Stardust era. I'm really into space. I think people like Dee Dee Jackson look pretty cool. I like a lot of the shapes and fabrics associated with the studio 54 scene. I also like a lot of fantasy art so am always hunting for vintage t shirts of noble looking animals in epic landscapes!

NME said fans of Kylie might fancy you -- what are your thoughts on Miss Minogue?

I'm a big fan. I have been for a long time, although I did think the last album was a bit disjointed and definitely had a bit of a too-many-cooks feel to it. Saying that, there were still a couple of great tracks. I think she has a reputation for consistently delivering great pop songs and videos and is obviously a great performer. I have to say my favourite Kylie era though, was probably the Impossible Princess album in the 90s which was a bit of a flop. But 'Confide in Me' is my favourite Kylie song of all time... amazing video too.

-Lauren Mooney, Stark Contributing Writer

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