Interview: Kate Nash, singer-songwriter

Singer-songwriter Kate Nash
Singer-songwriter Kate Nash
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TAKE a squiz at the pics Kate Nash posted on her blog from the time she spent in Los Angeles writing her new album, and it’s hard not to think most of her time was spent eating and getting drunk.

“It looks like it, but we did work as well,” laughs the chart-topping singer, who kicks off her tour at Electric Circus on Saturday. “We had such an amazing time, I didn’t want to come back.

“We stayed in this huge mansion in Echo Park. It was a really gothic place which used to be a convent, but the lady who owns it has loads of taxidermy on the walls. She had guard dogs too, so you always feel really safe.”

So did the atmospheric location rub off on her writing? “Yes, I think it did,” says the singer. “I did some writing there, but it was just a really inspiring place to be. It was such a huge house you could just wander around it.

“There was a lot of angst in my writing before, a lot of aggression, but from going there and walking down to the orchard every day to get fresh fruit or sitting there to write my diary, I think came a lot of acceptance. It was like being in a girl gang.”

When she burst on to the scene in 2007, the then 19-year-old was writing spikey tales of bad boyfriends and worse girlfriends. She’s not a teenager any more, so what’s inspiring her now?

“I was really into Quentin Tarantino and Russ Meyer films when I was writing this album,” she says. “They both wrote really strong women who were sexy, but it wasn’t to please anyone.

“Tarantino really knows how to portray women, they’re all quite real, no matter what they do as a job, and he really celebrates strength.”

Acting was her first love, so it’s hardly surprising she’s taking up some of the film offers coming her way.

“I did a short horror film called The Morning After,” she explains. “I play the bad guy.

“Then I worked on two films in New York last year. One called Syrup, which is a really dark comedy about the marketing industry and stars Amber Heard, Kellan Lutz and Brittany Snow.

“The other is Greetings From Tim Buckley, which is a music film about Tim Buckley. I play an English rock star and every character is based on someone who was actually there.

“It was really interesting as an actor and a musician. They had some of the original promoters who promoted Tim’s gigs, and we performed in a church where Jeff played. The final gig was shot as a live gig. It felt like a unique, special thing that happened.”

Turning the conversation back to music, Nash reckons her forthcoming third album is her best yet.

“I’m still mixing it, but all the songs are recorded,” she says. “I wrote it all on bass, it’s more aggressive than before and it’s definitely the best thing I’ve done.

“I find it much easier to write songs now. It was never something I struggled with, but I would always write words first and then music. Now I start with music and then write lyrics, and I feel like I control it much easier.

“I really feel like a musician now, and I haven’t always felt like that - like I actually knew what I was doing.”

Kate Nash, Electric Circus, Market Street, Saturday, 7pm, £15,

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