Little Boots is the musical alter ego of Blackpool lass Victoria Hesketh, former singer with the fitfully decent Dead Disco.
Her new Blondie-goes-grime single ‘Meddle’ is outrageously moreish, and benefits from the hop-scotching production nous of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard. We caught up with Miss Hesketh in L.A. to discuss Caligula, Cannon & Ball and the relative merits of Superdrug and Boots…
Who are ya?
“Little Boots is just me, Victoria. Well, it’s the name for my music project. I write and play stuff and sing and DJ and remix and do covers…Whatever I can get my hands on really!”
Why ‘Little Boots’? Is it a Caligula thing….?
“Yeah, my best friend started calling it me after seeing the film. Caligula is Latin for Little Boots. It just seemed strangely apt…I guess I’m pretty small and wear boots a lot?!”
What’s been interesting you of late?
“I just got the full works of the Gibb brothers which I’ve been completely obsessed with. I’m listening to ’em now. I’ve also got really into this guy called Klaus Nomi who was an opera singer from Berlin, based himself in New York in the ’70s, and sang synth-disco songs and wore really crazy stuff. David Bowie was a big fan of his – you should check out his videos on Youtube – they’re amazing.”
What’s your first memory of pop music?
Not knowing the dance to ‘The Locomotion’ in the playground and being well embarrassed, and my babysitter writing out all the lyrics of The Best of Blondie for me to sing along to.
Are you still based in Blackpool? What’s it like? Have you ever met Cannon & Ball?
“No, I now live in London but I go back when I can, it’s quite a strange place to grow up in but it’s been a massive influence on me as a person and musically; I find a lot of people from there tend to be quite cynical and don’t take things at face value too much, myself included. It’s really refreshing to go up there as it’s very easy to get stuck in a little London bubble and the rest of the country isn’t actually anything like that! I don’t think I’ve met Cannon & Ball though I did meet Sid Little once from Little & Large, I think his kids went to the same school or something!”
What’s happening with Dead Disco? Are they officially…dead?
“I don’t think so I think they’re still working on stuff… I’m just not involved any more.”
Any skeletons in your musical closet?
“Lots…I once dressed up as a Blues Brother and did ‘Gimme Some Lovin” with a 30-piece big band around Europe. I used to play piano and sing jazz at weddings and stuff…When I was younger I was in a punk band that specialised in Blink-182 covers…Oh, and I played the harp in a prog rock thing for a while…I’ve done a lot of uncool stuff but I don’t think I would be doing what I am now without any of it.”
Do you have a favourite pair of boots?
“I just got some new ones in America from a market that I had to fight another girl for. They may have replaced my previous favourites which were gold tassled cowboy boots that walked a very fine line between vintage chic and Hulk Hogan.”
If time, money and death were no object, who would you like to collaborate with?
“Maybe Klaus Nomi actually. Or Debussy…God, that’s a wanky answer isn’t it?! Let’s say David Bowie, I just watched the Glass Spider tour live footage on the plane and it was amazing. And I always fancied him in Labyrinth.”
Do you have any irrational fears?
“I’m really really scared of moths coz I think they’re gonna stick to me and never come off, no idea where that comes from [That’s a pretty strange phobia – Ed]. I’m also pretty scared of flying but that’s probably quite rational ‘cos once I was in an emergency landing and I think it freaked me out for good.
Superdrug or Boots?
“Hmm, tough one…Superdrug is more reasonable but points on your Boots card is always a nice surprise….Actually Superdrug has Barry M make up so I think it wins.”
Tell us about working with Joe Goddard…
“Joe is super-talented; we have a bit of a weird process where we do a lot of it over e-mail because he’s away a lot and I’m getting busy too…So we just send demos and songs back and forth and keep talking then maybe I’ll go over and re-record the vocals in his bedroom when we get a sec…It seems to work though: he’s so imaginative, and we both seem to have the same ideas about pop songs and be total synth geeks too.”
Any plans for an album?
“Yeah hopefully it will be finished by the end of summer, we’re definitely getting there but there’s a lot left to do…
You appear to have recently “gone blonde”. How’s that working out for you?
“You know everything! Yeah I did. I’ve never been blonde in my life before. It was pretty scary at first but now I’m getting used to it… I’m not sure I’ve been having particularly more or less fun, but you do seem to get away with being dizzier. And I can wear red lipstick and not look like a goth, bonus.
Gary S. Ganesh