We took a break from the desert heat this past weekend at Coachella, and sat down in the shade to have a lovely chat with Victoria Hesketh–aka Little Boots, whose shimmery album Hands was finally released in the U.S. last month. The pint-sized British pop star (who got her stage name from Roman Emporer Caligula, who translates to “little soldier’s foot”), performed for the roaring crowds in the Gobi tent, complete with a wild laser light show that could make Daft Punk jealous. But first, she gave us details on writing her second studio album, feeling pressured to blog, and partying with Lindsay Lohan. (Well, not with her, but next to her.) Kick off your boots and take the jump for our exclusive with Little Boots.
Shall I call you Victoria or Little Boots?
What have you checked out at the festival so far?
We saw a few things, but we’ve been chilling out, really, just hanging out by the pool. We saw LCD Soundsystem, and that was really cool.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen all Coachella weekend?
I went to a party [Saturday] night at Frank Sinatra’s house, and it was a toga party, and everyone was dressed like Julias Caesar and stuff. And people like Katy Perry and Lindsay Lohan were there, all really wasted. It was just quite weird because everyone was dressed as Romans! You had to get like a secret password to get into the party. No one actually looked like they were having fun. They were just looking at each other and seeing who was there. [Note: Toga party pics here].
You don’t have toga parties in England? They’re pretty much a time-honored tradition here in the States.
Speaking of outlandish outfits, your wild costumes have become a huge part of your persona. And now with Lady Gaga changing her wardrobe five times during one awards show, it seems that more and more emphasis is put on an artist’s style. But is there too much focus put on what female singers are wearing?
I don’t think it’s a gender thing. I think it’s important for every artist how you dress. It’s a visual aid. You can’t really ignore that part of it. It’s just another place to be creative and express your ideas. I think it’s important for every artist, really.
Both you and Gaga have a flair for dressing eccentrically while making pure pop music (and shared a producer, RedOne, who helped craft Little Boots’ “Remedy”.) But some critics (like M.I.A., for example) say one’s fashion style should match the kind of music you create.
It’s not like you dress weird, you have to make weird songs. Gaga, she does make mainstream pop, but in everything she does, you get a real feeling of her and her ideas and what she’s about. And even though her songs are quite mainstream, they still have all her themes of fame and all the other stuff she’s kind of obsessed with.
Did you always know you wanted to make electro-pop music?
Not particularly, I’ve probably changed. I just write a bunch of songs, and that style just seems to fit at that moment. I’m not really set on any genre, I just write good songs. I’ve been in lots of different types of musical groupings my whole life. Once I decided to go solo and just be by myself, once that got figured out, the rest was easy.
You created a fan base first by posting your videos on MySpace and YouTube, a method that seems to be getting more and more popular. Just look at Justin Bieber! Is this the way we’ll be discovering new artists from now on?
Maybe. That’s the age we live in, and we can’t ignore that part of things. I think when the age of music videos came out, it was kind of like that. all the digital stuff is just easy and quick for people, you can very quickly reach a lot of people. That method is always going to be attractive to artists.
Almost every musician has a Twitter, and knows how to use it. Do you feel pressured to keep up your presence on social networking sites? It almost seems like a requirement nowadays.
Yeah, the label kind of goes, oh you haven’t done a blog for awhile. Well, I haven’t done anything, what do you want me to write about? I did my laundry, it’s boring. I only do it when it’s genuine and I mean it. I wouldn’t do it if someone says to.
What kind of sacrifices have you had to make in recording your last few albums?
You give up normality. Seeing your friends, seeing your boyfriend, seeing your family. But then you get to see the world and meet a lot of people and do some major things, so it’s a trade off.
Your debut LP Hands peaked at #5 in the U.K. What have you got lined up next?
I’m writing the next record, I don’t know what it’s going to be like yet. I just started, so it’s exciting.
Do you feel the need to change your sound or style from album to album?
Yeah. It would be very weird if this [upcoming] album turned out anything like the last one. [It’s been a] couple years later and a hell of a lot happened.
Check out Little Boots’ official site, pick up Hands immediately, and if you’re thinking of throwing a toga party, make sure you limit the invitations to people who actually want to dance, and ban the star-gazers.