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January 2011



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First Published Friday, 8 May 2009



LADYHAWKE aka Pip Brown gave SFTW one of our top debut albums of last year.

Alongside Little Boots and La Roux, the Kiwi is one of the cool girls taking over the electro-pop scene.

Taking her name from the title of the 1985 Oscar-nominated fantasy film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and brought up on a musical diet of The Beatles, Nirvana and Metallica, Pip’s popularity just keeps on growing.

Here she tells JACQUI SWIFT about battling low self-esteem, refusing to wear girly clothes, hating being mistaken for an Aussie and why Ladyhawke might not be her only alter-ego.

HAVE you been surprised by the success of your self-titled album?

Yes, it’s just been bizarre. It was released last September and wasn’t doing very well. Then while I was in the States it went gold and I said: “What? What happened?”

Now you’re re-releasing your debut single Back Of The Van.

It was an online release before, like an introduction to me. It’s a summer romance song, about a road trip in the early evening, drinking beers and the excitement of being with someone new.

Which bands got you into music?

My first love was The Beatles then I got into Michael Jackson’s Bad when I was about eight or nine. As a teen, I became an obsessive Nirvana fan and then it was Metallica.

And Courtney Love is a huge fan?

Yes, she sends me the odd message on MySpace. I don’t know how she found out about me but I’ve never met her. She saw me wearing a Nirvana T-shirt and got in touch.

Does being a multi-instrumentalist make things easier?

I can play guitar, drums, bass, percussion and synths and that means I can do everything myself.

How do things change on the road?

Making my album was collaborative and I find I bounce off people who “get” me. Going from that to travelling with a live band was hard. I lost my way a bit. For quite a few months I hated the live show. Now I’ve found my feet.

You say you suffer from low self-esteem. Does it affect your work?

Yes, I’m my own worst enemy. I’m such a perfectionist and my fear of playing live holds me back. Sometimes I don’t put my all into the show as I’m so terrified and I need a few drinks to go on stage. Anybody who knows me knows the ordeal I put myself through.

Have you been treated differently being female?

Yes and it has really got to me. I hate being treated like a mannequin at fashion shoots. I hate being dressed and styled. I’m happy the way I am. I know people think I’m difficult but I’m not. I just don’t want to wear female, girly clothes.

Does being your alter-ego Ladyhawke on stage help with your self-esteem?

Yes. It’s a confidence thing. I thought it would be a good way for me to break free. But I can’t keep hiding behind Ladyhawke. It’s something I’m going to have to overcome in my own time. I’m just really mean to myself when I get off stage.

You suffer from Asperger’s syndrome. How hard does it get for you on tour?

I don’t really talk about it but it gets hard. I know it sounds a cop-out but sometimes people won’t see me for days after a show. I just won’t talk or see anyone. My paranoia can be set off by loud noises like motorbikes and trucks outside the venue. It switches something in my brain and I feel like screaming, which I did when I was younger.

You moved from New Zealand to Sydney and now live in London. Where’s home?

My visa here is up very soon so I am probably going to go back to New Zealand and see my family. Then I want to get started on my album, probably in Sydney where I will be based for about six months in the summer over there.

New Zealand brought us Liam Finn, Flight Of The Conchords and The Veils. Are you proud to be Kiwi?

Yes, it’s awesome as people always link New Zealand with Australia and we don’t like that. I get really upset when people call me an Aussie. I am a Kiwi born and raised. There are so many incredible artists in New Zealand and now it has a bigger profile maybe people will hunt out more music from there.

Back Of The Van is released May 18 and the UK tour starts on May 15 at Glasgow Oran Mor.

Source:   http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/sftw/article2418003.ece

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