After the release of her eponymous debut album, New Zealand musician Phillipa Brown, known as Ladyhawke, enjoyed near-unanimous critical acclaim and the development of a steadily-growing international fan base. She’s co-headlining a tour with Semi Precious Weapons, Julian Perretta, and Frankmusick sponsored by gossip blogger Perez Hilton (which kicked off yesterday in Atlanta) and is currently working on the follow up to her debut. Her singles “Paris Is Burning” and “My Delirium” are slick throwbacks to the glory days of ’80s synth pop and have both been hits overseas.
After the jump, read our complete interview with Brown, where we chat about meeting Perez, Christina Aguilera’s rumored cover of one of her hits, and why she’s really grunge at heart.
Flavorpill: You’re about to embark on a co-headline tour of North America sponsored by Perez Hilton. Have you met him? What was that like?
Phillipa Brown: I met him once briefly at a show I played in Austin. It was quick, but he was very nice to me.
FP: What would you say the main difference is between the American audience and your fans back in Sydney?
PB: Ha, that sounds like my fans are completely localized to Sydney! I’m from New Zealand but my biggest fan base is actually in the UK. I haven’t yet experienced the full on American tour scenario like I’m about to, so I’m not sure yet, what, and if, there will be any differences between American audiences and Australasian and English ones. So far the response from American people has been really warm and positive.
FP: Ladytron is producing a cover of “My Delirium” that will appear on Christina Aguilera’s upcoming album. What are your thoughts on that?
PB: I actually don’t know anything about this, but people keep bringing it up. I think there’s a conspiracy!
FP: Your debut has been described as “a throwback to eighties electro pop” — do you see it that way? Who have been the greatest influences on your work?
PB: It’s hard for me to see my music as throwback eighties pop, but I completely understand why people think that. I do wear a lot of my influences on my sleeve, but the ones I don’t are often the ones that mean the most to me and I wish would shine through more. I’m massively influenced by seventies music, and nineties rock and grunge (which obviously doesn’t come through in the album, ha). ELO, David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac are probably three of the biggest influences on my album.
FP: Your name comes from the title of an ’80s film starring Michele Pfeiffer. Does film (or any other art forms for that that matter) influence your work in other ways?
PB: Yeah I get hugely inspired by films, I usually feel my most inspired to write music after seeing a really good movie. My name wasn’t inspired by the movie itself though. I just really dug the name and thought it suited me.
FP: What was it like playing at CBGB with your band Two Lane Blacktop?
PB: That was amazing, a huge moment for me! The rich history of that venue is awe-inspiring and completely oozes from the walls the second you step inside. It’s such a shame it doesn’t exist anymore!
FP: There’s a rumor that you’re in the process of writing material for the follow-up to your debut album — is there anything you can tell us about it?
PB: Yeah I’m attempting to get a little start on it. It’s so early in the day though I’m not sure where I’m gonna go with it. All I know is that I want to try something a bit different, be a lot more flamboyant and experimental with the sounds I make.
FP: You’re stuck on an island with only two albums — which ones would they be and why?
PB: This question always gets me! David Bowie – Hunky Dory, because I can listen to this album over and over, and have done for years. It has everything you want in an album! Hmm… and, this is a tough one – I’m gonna say Fleetwood Mac – Rumours, because, pretty much the same reason as Hunky Dory. I can always come back to this record on not feel sick of it. Now I’m just wondering what I’m gonna play these on if I’m on a deserted Island with only two records!
Ladyhawke will be playing the Fillmore in NYC on September 16, Metro in Chicago on September 19, the Fillmore in San Francisco on the 30th, and LA’s Avalon on October 3. Leave a comment on this post with your city for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the show!