Kate Nash Discusses the State of Feminism, Explains Why She Loves L.A.
When Kate Nash released her third full-length album, ‘Girl Talk,’ earlier this year, the British pop singer-songwriter was all about her FBFFs (Female BFFs). This fall, Nash singles out mean girls with the six-song ‘Fri-end?’ EP, which features five versions of the album cut and ends with ‘Pink Limo Ride,’ an anti-violence song inspired by her real-life BFF being beaten up. It’s serious stuff caught up in a catchy blend of surf rock and ‘60s girl-group pop, a musical mix that was inspired by her time in California recording ‘Girl Talk’ last year.
This fall, Nash returns stateside with her all-girl band for more ‘Girl Talk’ touring, and as the 26-year-old tells Diffuser.fm, she was so inspired by recording her album in Los Angeles that she wouldn’t mind calling SoCal home at some point. Until then, Nash continues her mission to destroy girlie stereotypes and further feminist ideals. Dare we say, um, girl power?
Where do you think the Feminist movement is in this millennium?
Right now, the Internet exposes more about the world and the things that women go through, stuff that we don’t expose as a society. You talk about sexism and people are like, “You’ve come a long way.” I don’t believe that; there still is a lot of sexism. You hear about horrible things in Saudi Arabia and India. There’s still a long way to go.
The album isn’t a big feminist rant, though. It’s about personal stuff that anyone can relate to.
When I’m in the studio, when I’m writing, I don’t think about the outside world. I was kind of in a bubble anyway. I wrote the record at home in London but went to L.A. to record it. We recorded it in an old mansion, which we lived in as well. There was all this taxidermy — tigers and polar bears — and loads of antiques, and crazy stuff everywhere. I was in a bubble. It was amazing to be somewhere to be that free about recording.
How did being in that physical location directly influence the sound of the record?
Wherever you record, there’s going to be some of that in the record. The drums, for instance, just sound, like, crazy big, because we recorded them in a big ballroom, and you can hear that in the record. There were these guard dogs that protect the property. They were outside of the window when we were recording ‘Labyrinth,’ and the dogs were howling, so we left that in.
Does being removed from one’s daily grind help with the creative process? Was recording away from home freeing?
Yes, it was. I don’t know if I’d make another record in London now that I’ve done it out of London. England’s too small, and you’re too wrapped up in what’s going on all the time in everyone’s life. It makes everyone anxious. Once you get out of that, it’s more freeing. You’re not concerning yourself with other people’s business as much, because it’s not so in your face. I don’t know if I’d want to go back to doing it like that again. I much preferred recording in L.A.
In between albums, you had roles in three movies: ‘Syrup,’ ‘Greetings from Tim Buckley’ and ‘Powder Room.’ That’s a busy schedule.
I guess I like to be busy; I like to work on lots of creative projects. I don’t like to be too wrapped up in the music industry, because it’s really self-involved. Doing other things keeps me inspired and helps me to write. I need breaks between touring and making records.
Hanging around in Hollywood is handy for a movie career, too. Would you move there to live?
Yeah. I didn’t used to like L.A. I hated it. But now I have lots of friends there. My acting manager’s husband is from Harrow, where I’m from, which is bizarre. Through working with people there, I’ve made a lot of good friends. It’s such a positive place. I’ve lived in London for 25 years, and it can be negative and cynical. Don’t get me wrong, I love the English sense of humor, but I think that London can make you bitter and I don’t want to become bitter.