Natasha Khan On ‘The Haunted Man’, Writer’s Block & Ghosts

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes sat down with Noisey to promote her third studio album ‘The Haunted Man’. The English singer songwriter talked about the difficulty in creating the new LP, how she did other creative things when dealing with writer’s block, the story behind the cover for ‘The Haunted Man’, having a desire to be haunted by River Phoenix and her own ghostly experience.

“This album is actually the hardest for me to create. I think for me the second album (‘Two Suns’) came quite quickly after the first (‘Fur and Gold’). I had been travelling and met loads of new people and have had loads of inspiration. This one took almost three years of painstaking work. It was really intense. I really suffered from my artist block and just got so frustrated and felt like I was never going to be able to write a song again. It was a real journey internally of my emotional landscape. It was really getting to know myself on quite a raw level. I’ve only got me to turn to and what can I say? Really sitting with a lot of different feelings and trying to work out how to make songs out of those things.”

Talking about how she dealt with having writer’s block, Khan said, “I phoned up friends, like musician friends. I phoned up Thom Yorke and was like, ‘What do you do when you feel like you’re gonna die because you can’t write anything?’ He said, ‘I draw’, and a couple of other people I spoke to said that. Actually, I think that’s a really good piece of advice because if you can’t write music do something else creative that’s not got so much pressure attached to it. So I did live drawing classes, I did pottery and I did illustrating for children’s books. I read loads of books and watched films, and all of that was very creative. It wasn’t necessarily music but it kept me thinking and kept it flowing a bit rather than just coming up completely not knowing what to do with yourself.”

Talking about poltergeist experience, Khan said, “I was in a recording studio in deepest, darkest Wales in the middle of nowhere, and staying in this coach house that had been converted into a bedroom on my own, and in the middle of the night I heard a massive crash and I came down the stairs in the pitch dark, turned the lights on and there was a hi-fi system that had flung itself off of the wall and was 7 feet away. The leads were taught, and it wasn’t even turned on and all the speakers were broken. So who was that? Was that River Phoenix? I don’t think so.”

Watch the interview via YouTube below.

Natasha Khan Talks U.S. Tour, Getting Starstruck By Bjork

Singer Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes

Bat For Lashes did a Q&A session in New York on January 9th, where singer Natasha Khan talked about touring plans in America, if she views herself a feminist, how recording the title track was the most memorable part of ‘The Haunted Man’, getting starstruck around Bjork, and how her favorite song to play live changes depending on the circumstance.

Talking about U.S. tour plans, Natasha said, “Well, we’re not doing an east coast tour just yet, so these week I’m here doing some stuff, but we’re touring in April, doing a west coast tour, and I think we’re playing Coachella.”

Asked whether she considers herself a feminist, Natasha said, “I think it’s a heavy question. I do in certain respects, and then not in others. I just think people a powerful woman and expressing all of your beauty in all different ways is a good thing to do, so I don’t know if that’s feminism.”

Asked about her most memorable moment recording her latest album ‘The Haunted Man’, Khan said, “We did ‘The Haunted Man’, the actual song from the album, we were in Perugia in northern Italy and Ben was part of the male choir that we recorded out there and one of the experiments was to project the male choir across a canyon out of a huge amp, and all of the male voices hit the end of the valley and came back, and we recorded the slapback delay. That was quite interesting and it sounded great. The song is also about soldiers coming home from war. There’s a definite vibe of men coming over the hill. That was interesting.”

Questioned if she’s been starstruck meeting anyone, Natasha confessed, “I think very early on we played a show in London. It was just on the first record, and Bjork came to the show, and she came backstage afterwards to say hello. For me, that was like, I was so starstruck. I just tried to be cool and be like, ‘Yeah, my friend Bjork’s here. It’s fine.’ I just ended up saying something really weird and we had a really awkward interaction. I was amazed that she came. She seemed really sweet but I was just overwhelmed. I don’t think anyone else.”

Is there a favorite song for Natasha to play live? “We’ve been really enjoying the new tour and I think all of the songs have really grown. They’re much more bombastic and dramatic and there’s one of the songs where I hold up an old transistor radio and there’s cords popping through it,” Khan responded. “That’s quite theatrical, so I enjoy playing all of them live. It changes every night depending on how the night has been, what the audience is like. ‘Daniel’ is always good at the end because everybody dances and hugs each other, but yeah, it changes.”

Watch the interview via YouTube below.

Natasha Khan Backstage At Lollapalooza 2009

Tim Virgin of Chicago’s Q101 interviewed Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes at Lollapalooza 2009 last weekend. They talked about the humid weather at the venue, how the U.S. audience is accepting her music that’s hard to label, her alter ego creating ‘Two Suns’ in New York, and her preference for living in England. Watch the backstage chat via the station’s YouTube channel below.

Bat For Lashes Backstage At Lollapalooza 2009

Bat For Lashes

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes talked with Billboard at Lollapalooza in Chicago over the weekend about recording ‘Two Suns’, working with Yeasayer, and the effects of performing on a hot afternoon. “The album for me encompasses the desert and the city, and the sea in England,” Khan said. “It’s very much kind of linking those landscapes together.” Watch the interview via YouTube below the cut. (more…)

Bat For Lashes ‘Sleep Alone’ Video

Bat For Lashes is out with the music video to her new single ‘Sleep Alone’, from the British alternative pop singer’s Mercury Music Prize nominated album ‘Two Suns’. ‘Sleep Alone’ will be released in the UK on the September 7th via Parlophone. Watch it via the label’s YouTube channel below.

On TV: Prince, Bat For Lashes, Big Band Week On ‘Idol’

Bat For Lashes

Pop acts on television this week include:

Prince, who appears on ‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS) on Monday and Tuesday.

This week’s ‘American Idol’ theme is big band week on FOX. Last week’s castoffs Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds appear on ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’ (ABC) and ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ (Syndicated) on Monday. Judge Kara DioGuardi visits ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC) on Friday.

Bat For Lashes, who performs on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ (CBS) on Friday.

Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan Introduces Her Band

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes in the studioBat For Lashes posted some rehearsal footage, with Natasha Khan narrating the clip and talking about her band, how she aims to create real atmosphere for the shows, and the difficult effort of finding people she trusts to play the instrumentation she performs on the record in a live setting. Khan releases her second album ‘Two Suns’ next week.

“I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and at this point I kind of realized that anybody who plays for Bat For Lashes has to kind of be multi-tasking and kind of be a multi instrumentalist,” Khan said. “We’ve had a lot of fun bringing in hip hop influences and sort of quite tribal drum influences. That’s been really exciting.”

The video at her MySpace has since been removed.

Bat For Lashes ‘Daniel’ Video

Bat For Lashes

Bat For Lashes are out with the music video to their new single ‘Daniel’, the first release off Natasha Khan’s second album ‘Two Suns’, out April 7th via Astralwerks. Watch the video, filmed in Sweden and directed by the awesome Johan Renck, below.

Bat For Lashes ‘Joshua & The Bat’ Short Film

Bat For Lashes is out with a short film entitled ‘Joshua & The Bat’, featuring footage from the Joshua Tree National Park in California and containing excerpts from all the songs from the new album ‘Two Suns’, including the first single ‘Daniel’. The CD hits stores April 6th via Astralwerks. Watch the video below.

Bat For Lashes On Morning Becomes Eclectic

Natasha Khan, the mastermind behind Bat for Lashes, brought her band for a session on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic with Nic Harcourt in Santa Monica on Wednesday (August 1). The British artist was on the show in support of her debut album ‘Fur and Gold’. Watch the performance and interview via below.