Bat For Lashes, Natasha Khan and her dual identity; Pearl
Lollapalooza is an annual music festival held in Chicago that features genres from heavy metal to hip-hop and hosts more than 160,000 people each year. Q101 were backstage during the three-day music festival to chat to the bands and let the listeners hear how the gig went from their favourite artists. This interview with Bat for Lashes was from Lollapalooza 2009; click here to see stories, highlights and the line up. This is a must go to music festival and in the past has seen Muse, Arcade Fire and Rage Against The Machine all enter the stage. To find out more about Lollapalooza 2014 you can check out the website, Twitter or Facebook page.
Tim Virgin managed to grab Natasha Khan back stage; the singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is predominantly known for her stage name; Bat for Lashes. The day of her gig reached 90 degrees and despite feeling like she was going to pass out after the performance, she was more than happy to have a chat to Q101 straight after the gig. Tim and Natasha begin by chatting about the differences between the music scene in America and the UK. Many bands started off “over the pond” before hitting America such as the Kings of Leon; the band that Tim would describe as white trash in most peoples opinion, Natasha describes as cool and romantic from a British point of view. Amongst the conversation about “chip butties”, cockney accents and shooting dears, Tim asks whether Natasha found it difficult breaking through to people here, as the scene is more “rocky” as he describes it. “Audiences here are amazing” was the response from Natasha but with her charming, down to earth personality I can’t imagine it being difficult to get through to her American audience. She explains that the audience at Chicago’s Lollapalooza were singing along throughout the gig, except during the quiet songs where she describes the audience as “sweet” as they listened silently.
When this interview took place Bat for Lashes had released two albums; Fur and Gold and Two Suns, both receiving Mercury Prize nominations. Since then the band have released The Haunted Man in 2012, which hit the charts in fifteen countries. Natasha discusses the album Two Suns, which was inspired whilst living in Brooklyn, New York. During the evening, she would dress up as a character called “Pearl” and take pictures, make films and draw sketches. She describes her alter ego Pearl, as more of an art project; it was all about getting into the headspace of a ‘New Yorker’. This explains all of the American themes and landscapes that are referenced within the album.
Despite being inspired to write a whole album due her experiences in New York, Natasha illuminates that she will always love her cup of tea and rain in England. The singer-songwriter lives in Brighton which she she describes as “London on sea” with its ocean, cool music and art scene. Although she loves America, she will always prefer to live in the outskirts of London. All of Q101’s coverage can be found on our YouTube channel, check it out for more interviews, performances and Q101 events.