- Mon, 2009-09-07 11:57
25 year old Blackpool native Little Boots, aka Victoria Hesketh, has been causing a stir in the music industry with her blend of synth-tastic, glitter pop, bundled deliciously in her top 5 debut album Hands. Having written the majority of the songs on a piano in her bedroom, Little Boots went on to harness the attention of Hot Chip's Joe Goddard who worked on production duties, win the BBC's Sound of 2009 poll and recieve a BRIT's critics choice nomination.
Amidst a hectic tour schedule, Little Boots recently found time to star in a feature for Vice magazine based around the Stylophone, the miniature stylus-operated synthesizer. We caught up with her to chat about electronic instruments, writing new songs and her dreams of an elaborate stage show.
"I Like Music because… it’s my lifeline.” Little Boots
ILM: You've just been in Japan. How were your shows out there?
Little Boots: The crowds in Japan are just great. They're a very respectful audience. They had a really good reaction and they go crazy when you tell them to!
ILM: You've played a lot of shows recently, what have been some of the most memorable moments?
Little Boots: Glastonbury was a good one. Playing in America is always really, really fun! South By South West this year was such a great experience. I had loads of fun at Lattitude this year too. I have played a lot of gigs, but you sort of just have to get on with it, it's not really an option.
ILM: You recently starred in a feature about the Stylophone for Vice which was presented by your boyfriend Jamie. How did you find that experience?
Little Boots: It was great. I've played the Stylophone for a while anyway, I'm a huge fan of it! I'm always telling Jamie about geeky instruments and other things that I've found! Then Vice came up with the idea for us both to work on a feature based around the stylophone. It's just a really fun, really quirky little instrument. It was a really nice day, the filming of it, meeting everyone and getting everything together. Plus I got to have a special stylophone made just for me!
ILM: The stylophone and the tenori-on have both become intrinsic to your current live set up, what do you find so enchanting about those instruments?
Little Boots: I love instruments that I can fiddle with and play with my hands. Even though the stylophone is quite old now and the tenori-on is very new, they both share the quality of 'is it a toy or is it an instrument?' They're very physical. They look cool and original. When you play them you get a good result. It's the same with synths. You need to fiddle with them. I like that physical element, it looks great on stage.
ILM: Have you discovered any new instruments recently?
Little Boots: Nope. I haven't found much recently that I've been excited about, I'm always on the look out though...
ILM: Have you written any new material since the release of your debut album Hands?
Little Boots: I wrote a song yesterday actually. It sounds quite different. I don't think it'll be for an album or anything. It sounds quite droney. Quite epic and quite slow. It's a bit depressing! Haha! It's not about me or anything, I was just getting inspired...and it's what came out.
ILM: How do you approach writing music and songs? What's the Little Boots process?
Little Boots: Sometimes I'll just start with a piano in my bedroom. That's probably the most natural way. Other times I'll get sent a track and I'll mess around with it and write over it. Other times I'll be in the studio, plug stuff in, fiddle around and something will just come out. I don't really have a set method. Everyone I've worked with is different, so when I work with other people I'll work in a completely different way to when I work alone.
ILM: Though your new song may not feature on a future album, do you have others that will?
Little Boots: I don't even know if I'm making a second album yet!
ILM: Have you thought about how the Little Boots sound will develop?
Little Boots: Mmmm, sort of, yeah. Well, I'll occasionally think about it. My whole outlook is just to follow the songs. If the songs are good, whatever they tend to sound like doesn't really matter. I'll always start with the song and then just follow that. Most of Hands came about through following where I felt the songs wanted to and needed to go. A lot of them felt quite dancey. That just came through whilst working on them, after they'd been written initially.
ILM: I read about some of your plans for an elaborate stage show in the future...
Little Boots: They're all plans not reality! Haha! It's quite difficult to get the money to do the kind of thing I dream of, unless you're Take That! It's a bit frustrating. We try and do stuff but it is hard. You can't really do it in the way you want. Things like that take so much money and planning. We have got props though! We have lights too! But we can't do much more to the stage unless we sell millions of records.
ILM: But if money wasn't an issue....?
Little Boots: Unicorns. Holograms. Lasers. Magicians.
ILM: What music have you been listening to recently?
Little Boots: Miike Snow. Music Go Music. Quite a lot of Joni Mitchell and Bowie. Ooo - and Cyndi Lauper quite a lot.
ILM: How about gigs?
Little Boots: The Fever Ray show is absolutley phenomenal. Fever Ray live are brilliant!