by Bill Forman
If you didn’t get enough of Kimbra in this week’s Indy interview, here are some bonus outtakes from our conversation with the 22-year-old New Zealand chanteuse who found international acclaim this past year for her Gotye duet (“Somebody That I Used to Know”) and her own debut album, Vows. As a side note, I was able to catch Kimbra and her band at this year’s SXSW in Austin, and they’re an amazing live act. So definitely check her out, if you can, when she makes her Denver headlining debut next Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Ogden Theatre.
On the Gotye effect: “A great thing about the Gotye song is that its brought me to the attention of some people that I really admire, so I’m able to actually hit up these people and be like, ‘Hey, would you be interested in doing a remix or something?’ It’s like they know about my work now, which is a real blessing, because otherwise sometimes you have to convince people to work with you.”
On demoing “Settle Down” at 16: “You should hear the original demo, it’s WAY creepy. It’s like my voice is pitched all over the place and I’m just being experimental. You know, it was the time when I’d just started getting into obscure music. I was listening to Trent Reznor and discovered Bjork and was listening to Mars Volta. And I was just like, ‘Oh, I can put pitch shifters on my voice and modulate it and sing about weird subject material.’”
On writing songs: “The beautiful mystery of songwriting, I think, is that it’s like something bigger is moving through you sometimes, and you’re not even aware of it. So many of my songs have started off as ideas where you kind of just sing something and you go with it. They don’t have that much meaning at the time, but then years down the track it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, now I GET the meaning of that song.’”
On her band: “It’s the same guys I’ve been playing with since I was 19. They keep me grounded, and they’ve been there from the start. They’re friends, actually, from New Zealand, so it’s cool to have had people kind of share the journey along the way that have been there from the start.”
On collaborations: “I’ve done a couple of songs on the new John Legend album, which was something totally different, working with him. And I’ve been talking with Benjamin Weinman from the Dillinger Escape Plan about doing some work with him. He’s such an amazing guitarist and they were one of my favorite bands in high school when I went through a metal phase [laughs].
On the next album: “There are a lot of sketches hanging out in my umpteen folders, but I can’t say for sure what anything will be like at this point. With Vows, the overall concept only started to unveil itself in the latter stage, and I think it might be the same with the next record I make. Just kind of keep creating, and I believe that it’ll start to reveal what the direction is going to be over time. But I’m not gonna set out with a direct idea of what that’s gonna be just yet."