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.