By Shannen Gaffney
Shannen: Your latest album Girl Talk came out earlier this year, and you released it on your own label, after crowdfunding and raising money through PledgeMusic. What made you go in this direction?
KN: Well, actually it wasn’t really like a choice. I got dropped from my record label so I had to figure out a way to put out the record. So I decided that’s what I had to do because it was my only option really.
Shannen: Girl Talk has a less polished but more natural, raw sound than your previous work. What was your writing process like for the record?
KN: I was really determined and emotional, and it all just kind of exploded; it all just came out in the record. It was very therapeutic. Writing on the bass was really helpful, that helped changed my sound and it’s just such a fun instrument to play. So I didn’t really think too much about it and it kind of just all came out.
Shannen: So you started a video series where you give your fans advice on various problems. What gave you the idea to start this?
KN: The fans will write and tell me a lot of personal stuff, and I often end up talking to them after shows. I kind of joked about it and then we did a practice one and we really liked that so we were like, ok we’ll do videos and we could have guest stars and stuff. It was just really fun to do.
Shannen: You’re on a U.S. tour right now with La Sera, what’s the best thing about touring with Katy Goodman?
KN: She’s so nice. All of La Sera are really nice, so fun to watch jam. They have a dog called Beau, who’s so cute. They’re just lovely people and I love getting into the music on tour. I think you have to have a band with you that you really like and like to watch before your show. It’s just really fun, yeah.
Shannen: Do you have any favorite tour bus snacks?
KN: Oh my god, we’re really low on snacks but there’s always Cheetos running around like the nuclear orange kind (laughs). Not very healthy.
Shannen: “Rap for Rejection” is definitely a very different style than you’ve done before, but you mix it with your traditional pretty vocals in the background. What made you want to do a spoken word kind of song like that?
KN: I thought it would be funny to do a rap about sexism and feminism. It’s just too funny for me, and I wanted to write about something serious but in a fun, lighthearted way, inspired by the Moldy Peaches, and Smoosh if you know them. They’re these two kids that have a really cool song called “Rad,” that’s just a really funny rap.
Shannen: On record store day last year you put out a really awesome heart shaped 7” with a song dedicated to Pussy Riot. Why did you want to pay a tribute to those girls in particular?
KN: I just feel like… it just seems kind of crazy to me that they were put in prison because of a protest song. I think that it’s important for everybody worldwide to talk about anything that happens that you think is unfair, and raise awareness. Music and freedom of expression is so important and with all the problems in Russia right now, there’s such unfair treatment. It’s really scary, just very government heavy and power concentrated. I just wanted to talk about those things.
Shannen: What can we expect from you in the future?
KN: Um, um um um… I don’t know! I’m kind of unsure about what I’m going to do next. I collaborated with a friend D Wing who makes simple R&B music. His soundcloud is at soundcloud.com/Dwingmusic. I’ve been having fun singing with him. I’m also writing songs for a musical in New York which is really fun, and then one more shoot coming out at the end of this month. I don’t know, like I’m still going to tour a bit more next year I think, and put out a few music videos still haven’t come out yet. I might even write another single for Girl Talk that would be released next year or something just to kind of finish up this record, I think the album deserves that.