Interview with Little Boots

Little Boots at Neumos (photo by James Bailey)

Little Boots at Neumos, photo by James Bailey

Being a pop music junkie, I was instantly drawn to Victoria Hesketh a.k.a. Little Boots. She is the purveyor of some of the stickiest and clever electro-pop of the past ten years. Influenced by a variety of pop styles, including disco and 80’s synth, Boots made her Seattle debut earlier this month at Neumos, and I caught up with her briefly before the show:

How was your show last night in Vancouver, the West Coast kick-off of the tour?

It was great, actually. Really, really good fun. We played New York the night before and it was the first night of the tour, and we tried lots of new things, and there were a lot of press there, which is always on your mind even when you try for it not to be, but last night in Vancouver was no pressure. Just really, really fun.

Are you enjoying Seattle?

Yeah it’s nice, we’ve just been running around. Had a good cupcake and bought some vintage stuff. We were gonna go to the Space Needle, but someone said don’t bother! I just went running around Cal Anderson park.

How is this go-around in the states different from the last time you were here?

We’re playing a lot bigger venues. Nearly twice the size. It’s kinda of weird actually because the album has been out for so long, so people either know everything about me and the songs and they’re really into it, or they know absolutely nothing. So it’s kind of weird, but it’s cool.

Why name the record Hands?

It’s named after a demo, which is the secret track on the CD, which was one of the first songs I wrote. The song’s about believing in yourself and what you can create and if you want something done you can do it yourself.

You’ve released three official singles from Hands. Any more on the horizon?

I’m actually not really sure what the plan is. I’ve already started work on the next record, so if we’re going to do another video we might as well wait for something new.

Where did you come up with the album imagery? All the unicorns and glitter and things?

It’s just one of those things that evolved. I sometimes just get obsessed with something. Chrissie Abbott, who I worked on the album artwork with, and I got really into airbrushed 80’s unicorns and noble beasts. Fantasy art and things like that. I was also into a lot of Italo-disco, and a lot of the covers for those are airbrushed and space-age.

I hear you’re writing for the new Kylie Minogue record …


That’s exciting! How is it different writing songs for other artists?

It’s quite fun because there’s not that pressure of “I have to mean these lyrics” or “I have to feel comfortable with this melody” or this or that or “what does it say about me as an artist?” It’s quite good because you can really liberate yourself from all that stuff and just go “lets’ write a good song”! There’s less limitations, which is really nice. I’ve always wanted to do more writing for others. The opportunity came up, and you know there’s a zillion people writing songs for Kylie, and she’s got a thousand to pick from, and I have no idea what will happen, but it was fun and a good learning experience.

What bands and artists are you currently listening to?

Marina and the Diamonds. Their album just came out and it’s great, and a really new band from Manchester called Hurts. They’re brilliant guys with big electro-ballads. What else? … Lots of old disco stuff still. I just bought an Elton John record, a Donna Summer record, and a Joni Mitchell record from next door.

What was the last show you went to?

I think it was the Hurts gig in Manchester. They just played their first three shows, and for a new band they were absolutely incredible. They put so much thought into it and it was in this church and they had an opera singer and all these visuals and white roses on the floor. I like that they made the effort and had a whole concept. It was a great and really thoughtful show.

You recently constructed your own laser harp with your live shows. Any other synths you’re excited about, or possibly thinking of adding to your live show?

We used the laser harp in New York last week, and it was the best it’s ever looked. I was really happy with it and I was so pleased, I felt like we finally did it perfectly. I’ll never be synthed-out, but I’ve got this rep as a gadget girl and I’ve got all these new ideas for the new record, so I might put that away for awhile and find some other interesting ways to make sounds.

Finally, I saw via your Twitter that you met “Dot Com” from 30 Rock. I’m jealous!

Yeah! I’m currently downloading it for the tour bus, but apparently it won’t be done downloading for three weeks, which is rather depressing! He was at this party that I was DJ’ing at. He said I should DJ at his birthday party, and I was like, “Oh my God, will Tina Fey be there?!”

Little Boots’ tour diary in Seattle

Catch Little Boots in action at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida, on March 26th and the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California, on April 18th.

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