Ladyhawke:
The TVD Interview

Four years after the release of her self-titled debut solo album, Ladyhawke is finally well-rested and eager to return the spotlight.

Following the release of Anxiety this past May, Ladyhawke and her band are preparing for their North American tour and are ready to play longer and louder than before. Her tour kicks off on September 8th at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom. I chatted with Pip Brown, the writer and musician behind Ladyhawke, about her love for vinyl, fear of Twitter, and what fans can expect on her upcoming tour.

What was the first record you ever purchased?

I can’t remember because I got my mom and dad’s—they had lots of records, and they were the first records I ever played. Our record player broke when I was about twelve, and I remember putting on a Beatles record and spinning it with my hands so I could hear it.

There’s something magical about vinyl for me. We had a Christmas record that was a big medley of ’70s disco Christmas hits that we used to play that on the record player non-stop all Christmas. I basically stole all of my parent’s records when I left home. I took them all with me. I can’t even remember the first record I actually purchased myself.

Is there one record you think everyone should own?

I think everyone should get David Bowie’s Low on vinyl. I love it. One side is like, “this is incredible, how have I not heard this before?” And the other side is really trippy and takes you in a really weird place. Anything old. Or anything in general, really.

There were four years between the release of your first album and Anxiety. What were you were doing in between the first and second album?

The first record came out in 2008, and I actually started touring it before it was even out. Once it came out, it did way better than I expected—no one expected it to do as well as it did. I actually toured the record for two years and had no time to write any new material. When we stopped touring, I was quite thin and just exhausted, and I actually didn’t want anything to do with music. I was like, “I’m starting all over, I need a break.”

I took six months off, and then started writing the album around August 2010. I would go away, I’d write a few songs, I’d come back to New Zealand, I’d have a bit of time in between. That’s why the writing process itself took so long. I now know what not to do, and that’s to tour until I don’t want to play music anymore. That’s just unproductive.

What should your fans expect on this tour?

I have a live band that I’ve toured with for quite a few years. This record does translate live with a bit more energy, a bit more rock. And I can play way longer than I used to because I have two albums. Now I actually play for over an hour whereas I used to only play 50 minutes at the most. I think it’ll be a fun time for people.

What are your pre-show rituals?

I get really nervous before I perform. If I am incredibly nervous, like to the point where I feel like I’m going to throw up, I just have to be by myself. I listen to Pink Floyd or something that chills me out. Or if I’m mildly nervous, I’ll just have a drink—a beer or a whiskey or something.

What music do you listen to before your shows, what gets you pumped up?

I love listening to hip-hop before I go on stage—old school hip hop or funk, ’80s rock and soul.

You’re really active on Facebook and Twitter. What role does technology play in your work and your interaction with your listeners?

I’ve always been engaged in technology, especially gaming. It’s my huge passion in life apart from music. But when it comes to social media—I was very reluctant with the whole Twitter thing. I find it really scary, especially when people have written stuff about you and you can see it. But eventually I was like, well you’ve got to start being on Twitter. It’s a huge part of what being a musician is nowadays, which is so different than what it was even just five years ago.

Who would be your ideal band or artist to collaborate with?

I’d really love to do dual vocals, where we sing together—maybe MGMT. Write the music together, sing together as well. You don’t really hear it very often these days, a guy and a girl singing together. That would be cool.

Ladyhawke will be at Bowery Ballroom on September 8th and DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel on September 10th. Check out the rest of the dates on her North American tour.

TOUR DATES:
9/08 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
9/10 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
9/12 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
9/14 – Montreal, QC – SAT
9/15 – Toronto, ON – Hoxton
9/16 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
9/19 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
9/20 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Soundclub
9/21 – Portland, OR – Rotture
9/23 – San Francisco, CA – Folsom Street Fair
9/25 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo

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