2015 Artist Survey: Natalie Prass
Prass on Music Streaming, Flower Arranging, Star Wars, Getting Fired, and Terrifying Dates
Feb 11, 2016
Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice
For Under the Radar's 13th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2015. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2015 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.
Check out our Best of 2015 print and digital issues for answers from Arcade Fire's Will Butler, Julien Baker, Blanck Mass, CHVRCHES, Dan Deacon, The Dears, Dutch Uncles, EL VY, Everything Everything, Father John Misty, Field Music, The Flaming Lips, How to Dress Well, Sondre Lerche, Low, Luna, Mew, NZCA Lines, Cullen Omori, Small Black, Surfer Blood, Tamaryn, Telekinesis, Vampire Weekend's Chris Baio, The Walkmen, Youth Lagoon, and others.
Here are some answers from Natalie Prass, whose self-titled debut album was released last year via Spacebomb/Columbia. A shorter version of this interview ran in the Best of 2015 print issue, which is still on newsstands now. This is the full unedited version of the interview.
What was the highlight of 2015, for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point?
Highlight was being out in Europe and running into my dear friends who were playing the same festivals as us. Running into Mackenzie Scott (TORRES) and Matthew E. White was such a rush of joy for me. It gets so lonely and monotonous on the road at times, so when you see people that you love and trust, nothing is better in that moment. Low point is always when I would get sick, which was a lot. I had to change my diet. Now I eat fish when I didn't eat any meat at all. I also now take a variety of vitamins every day. So a lot of positive has come out of always getting sick.
What are your hopes and plans for 2016?
To write, record an album, and then do it all again. Oh, and get into flower arranging. I follow so many flower people on Instagram and I want it all in my apartment.
With the launch of TIDAL and Apple Music in 2015, there are more streaming music options, but the same issues of adequate artist compensation persist. What are your current thoughts on streaming and which service would you most like to have your music on?
I mean. This is just how it is. And if it means more people get to listen to the music I make, that's all I care about. I wish we would get paid more, sure, but who goes into music when they are a kid thinking, "I'll do this for six hours a day and then I'll be a millionaire?" I'm still an old lady and I use Spotify and my record player and I'm okay with where I'm at with that.
What are your thoughts on Friday being the new global release day for albums? Is it helping or hurting album sales?
I mean, TGIF? I love Friday. Everyone loves Friday. Friday just got even better.
Mainstream pop music is increasingly embraced by indie rock musicians and listeners, as well as serious music critics. At this point, do you draw any distinctions between Top 40 pop and indie rock/pop? Are you comfortable with this shift?
It kind of freaks me out that a lot of artists are doing certain things just for the publicity of it. But other than that, I don't mind it. Not like I listened to that music much in the first place. Whatever makes people happy. I'll just keep hanging out in my happy bubble.
What are your thoughts on how the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is shaping up?
Save the planet. Save the animals. Jane Goodall is my president.
Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift's 1989 (and then Father John Misty covered Adams covering Swift). If you were to cover another artist's album in its entirety, which would you pick and why?
This is hard because albums that I really love top to bottom I feel are untouchable and I wouldn't even want to attempt it. Like I would love to record Blue by Joni Mitchell, but then why wouldn't you just listen to her version, you know?
Have you ever been fired from a job (be it a day job or musical one)? Why were you fired?
Yes. I was fired from my first organic cafe job because I was too slow at making sandwiches and salads. I only worked there for maybe two weeks. I was 18. My boss was a woman with a curly mullet. I was so bummed. Luckily that's the only job I've been fired from.
What's your earliest music-related childhood memory?
My sister singing "From a Distance" in the bathroom. I think I was around two or three. That's the first time I remember thinking "I love singing" or some kind of two-year-old version of that thought. Something was definitely triggered up there.
What outrageous request would you most like to put in your tour rider as a joke?
The complete back catalogue of Under the Radar magazine.
What's the most disastrous date you've ever been on?
I haven't been on a lot of dates. I'm the kind of girl that's like, "Oh, I like you...now let's date for at least a year and see where it goes from there." A classmate of mine took me on a date once that I thought was terrifying. He picked me up in a super nice sports car, gave me chocolates, and then we ate at a super nice restaurant. It was so by the book and not my style at all. But I think to the average girl, that date would have been on the "Great Date" list. I never called him back.
Which Star Wars character are you most like?
I'm so over Star Wars. Get off my cereal. Get off my soup. Get out of my Target shopping experience. I just want my classic bullseye Target. But my friend said I'd be Leia. Mostly because she complained while getting rescued which is something I would definitely do.
Where do you see yourself in five beers?
This would be a disaster. I see my head in the toilet.
What's the lamest breakup excuse you've ever given or been given?
I broke up with one of my high school boyfriends over email once. I still feel so lame for doing that. It haunts me. I did later meet up with him and apologize for how lame it was of me, but I'll still never forgive myself.
With Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Gilmore Girls, Full House, and other classic shows returning, what other TV show would you like to see come back with its original cast?
Can we get some more Sex and the City please? Ladies?!
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