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A chat with: Warpaint

Warpaint members (clockwise from top left): Stella Mozgawa, Emily Kokal, Jenny Lee Lindberg, Theresa Wayman Photo: Mia Kirby

Formed in 2004 in Los Angeles by Theresa (guitar/vocals), Emily (vocals/guitar) and Jenny Lee (bass/ vocals),Warpaint was graced with the drummer Stella during the late stages of their first album ‘The Fool’.

Now, this very special quartet have been touring the world, collecting fans and making the music scene more exciting.

Warpaint have played twice at Glastonbury and other major festival like Reading, Leed, Coachella and Primavera. They were nominated for the BBC Sound Poll 2011.

Spin magazine gave ‘The Fool’ an 8 out of 10 rating and the band has been elected one of the BBC’s ‘15 Most Promising Artists of 2011’.

Last week, on Monday 26 September, Warpaint celebrated their well deserved success by releasing a deluxe set, which brings to their fans both their EP ‘ Exquisite Corpse’ and their critically acclaimed first album.

After seeing them perform live at one of the sunniest European summer festivals, The Badger had the chance to talk to Theresa Wayman and get to know them a bit more.

What do you do after a gig to defuse tension?

Theresa: I don’t feel tense after a gig, quite the opposite. Relaxed, happy, energised. We end up laughing a lot.

You were in Brighton for The Great Escape Festival. Any exciting memories of the festival, public or town itself?

Theresa: The first year we played (not this one but the year before) we played out on the pier at Horacios. That was a great night…we were new to touring the UK at that point and it was our first festival, so it was extra exciting. Some fans were really sad that we didn’t play Billie Holiday in the set so we gave them a private show after by the water and played Billie. It was a special moment.

What are the highlights of your summer so far?

Theresa: Playing Fuji Rock in Japan… The people there are so warm and kind. We did a signing after our gig and each person wanted to shake our hands to say thanks and have a moment… con- necting.

Which festival would you pick as your favourite?

Theresa: Flow Festival in Finland was great!!! We also had the best time in Portugal – Paredes De Coura Festival – we played to about 8000 people – maybe more and they were so into it. They unabashedly expressed every- thing they were feeling during the show and it just made us play that much better, amazing!

Your music talent is indisputable. Do you have any other (hidden) skills?

Theresa: Sewing, cooking, making chocolate! I could be a great housewife! We’re all pretty artistic in many ways drawing& photography mainly.

In your teen years (or now!) what was your most rebellious moment?

Theresa: I became dramatically rebellious when I was 15-16 for about a year. I freaked my mother out entirely. I went from being a goody two shoes to drinking and sneaking out, skipping school. I had some great times but it was pretty dark as well. I’m happy it didn’t last long. I suppose I was rebelling against feeling like I had to be good all the time.

What has been the funniest situation you’ve encountered with the public/fans?

Theresa: It’s strange when people try to get close and lure you in with a gift or something really nice like that which you would never say “no” to, they act like there’s no strings attached and then after you’ve talked for a moment they ask for your phone number…. YEAH RIGHT!!! That’s no way to meet anyone! It seems presumptuous, dishonest and a little creepy.

We see lots of stories of how fame affects artists, most of them in a pejorative way. You seem quite down to earth. What keeps you most grounded?

Theresa: Real life. Home. Doing everyday things and just loving music for music’s sake not fame or popularity. That kind of perspective is just built in – either you have it or not.

Have there been any moments where you’ve felt like you wanted to give up?

Theresa:Yes…and no. It’s been a long road, especially when we kept having line-up changes and needing to constantly re-work our sound. But that has always been the best creative outlet I’ve had and I have never wanted to quit!! Ever!

What can we expect from you after the tour is finished/in the New Year?

Theresa: A new fantabluous Warpaint album!! I can’t wait to start putting it together… It’s going to be so much fun!!!

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