The girl talks: sitting down with Kate Nash


by Ed Collings-Wells

British singer-songwriter Kate Nash’s newest release, Girl Talk (Dine Alone Records) is a guitar-heavy garage rock record that succeeds in her raising her footing as a feminist rock musician and also hints at her dedicated revolutionary side. Ed Collings-Wells caught up with her ahead of the  Vancouver show as part of her second sold-out North American tour this year.

Ed Collings-Wells: So Girl Talk sounds like a fun album to play live. Do you think about the live setting when you write?

KN: In a way this album was super thoughtless, and I just sort of exploded and purged all the shit I was going through personally. But then at the same time, I think I definitely soaked up seven years of playing live and touring and seven years of being in and out of studios. I’ve been developing a live show that’s changed and evolved and I know what I want to do live now, ya know?

ECW: When you were writing the album, did you make a conscious decision to do a guitar-heavy thing.

KN: Well I played bass in a punk band for two years, and I really liked how that felt. I needed to feel powerful and loud because I was going through such a shitty time, so I would go in my rehearsal room and just play bass and – it sounds stupid – but because the bass is heavy it makes you feel powerful. You’re like, “I’m carrying a heavy instrument, I’m strong.” It’s loud and I love the directness and simplicity of that. I wrote ‘Sister’ on the bass and as soon as I did that I was like, “This is what I want to fucking do.” It helps me portray the attitude I want to portray, and the most fun I’ve had writing songs is writing them on bass.

ECW: Do you feel like a different musician – or even a different person – when you pick up a guitar, as opposed to sitting down at a piano?

KN: Yeah, it’s a completely different experience. I still really love the piano, but I needed to do something different on stage. And I think as a writer, it’s nice to pick up different things because it helps you write something different, and I always want to change how I write. I wrote my first record on the piano, then the second on guitar and drums, and this record I wrote mainly on the bass. I think it helps me have some diversity and stay inspired.

ECW: You portray a strong female vibe. Is that a natural approach or is it a response to something in particular?

KN: Well it’s natural for me to be like that because I grew up with my mum and two sisters, so it was a very female household to grow up in. It was a loud house and my dad would always be like, “Oh my god, there are all these crazy women everywhere!” So it’s a natural feeling, but it has become more of a conscious effort because I’ve become much more aware of sexism. There’s a shit ton of it in the music industry.

I also have so many young girl fans that come and open up to me about shit, and I feel really protective over them. I always want girls to be able to stand up for themselves and make the choices they want to make. So that’s why I started the After School Music Club where I worked with kids. That was such an amazing journey watching them go from not being able to perform in front of their class to standing in front of The Queen Elizabeth Hall and singing a song they wrote and being really proud of it.

ECW: Was there a certain moment in your life that you decided you’d dedicate time to charity?

KN: I guess that now I’m a bit older, I feel like the dots are all connecting. All the work I’ve been doing has made sense as a journey and I feel more in control. My first record was such a whirlwind and was like, “Whoa, slow down, I want to be able to do certain other things in my life too.”

Then I did those things and now, after being dropped from my record label, I’ve got my own record label and have more control. I can really dictate with a team around me what I want to do and what kind of artist I want to be and what kind of life I have outside of being a musician. I think when you’re a bit older, you can get your head around that better. I was 17 when it all blew up. I just sort of went on the journey for a bit, and then it’s like “Oh shit!” Now I think I can process stuff better. I feel like I have control over my life and career now.

Comments are closed.

Verified by MonsterInsights