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Kate Nash, The Haunt, Pool Valley, Brighton, Thursday, June 28
The inspiration behind Kate Nash’s forthcoming third album has come from an unlikely source – her punk band The Receeders.
“It was a band I started with a couple of friends,” she says fresh from a four-week album recording session in a Los Angeles mansion. “It started as a bit of a joke, but I really loved the band.
“One of the guys was on guitar, another was on drums, so I went on bass, although I hadn’t really played it before when we first started. I had this great Bootsy Collins teaching video – he doesn’t really teach you how to play, it’s more just him saying ‘Feel it!’”
Her experience playing bass led to her using the instrument to write her new album.
“It completely changed the way I write songs,” she says. “It has become a lot easier. The bass is dirty and deep, I love the way it leaves lots of room. It feels really powerful.
“I wanted to make a contrast and make it really quirky, so you have this dirty bass element, but I still love harmonies and pop melodies – I play piano, like to sing and grew up listening to The Beatles.
“Even a band like Nirvana is grunge, but Kurt Cobain had a pop sensibility because he listened to The Beatles.”
The album is still being mixed, but Nash says its subject matter is a little darker – with some angst and aggression in the lyrics.
“I like that clash of emotion, where you don’t have to be one thing,” says Nash. “People try to put everyone in a box – but human beings are crazy and have a wide spectrum of feelings and emotions. You should be able to be up one day and down the next.”
The album is being previewed with this intimate tour – entitled Faster Pussycat Run Run – following in the footsteps of Nash’s intimate 2010 Komedia performance to showcase her last album My Best Friend Is You.
“I think it’s important for fans to hear the songs first,” says Nash, who deliberately hasn’t released any of the new songs online yet. “If I do a small tour I get the dedicated people who want to hear the songs.
“As an artist you keep growing, changing and progressing. It’s not like you have to change who you are, it’s how you try to grow as a person.”
The tour will also showcase her new all-female band, which came together last March.
“When I’m on stage with them it feels really safe and fun,” she says. “I have a nice girl gang.”
Last year Nash launched the Rock ’N’ Roll For Girls After School Club in an attempt to encourage young female musicians to write and play.
“There are a lot of confidence issues when you are a 14-year-old girl,” she says. “It’s scary and difficult – there is a lot of pressure on being a certain thing. I can’t imagine being a teenager – it’s really hard now, growing up in a celebrity culture gone mental.
“It is responsible for a lot of damaging things. We have interview footage of 100 girls who hate themselves because of the way they look – the media makes them hate themselves. A 14-year-old wouldn’t want to go on stage and be looked at that way.”
The after-school clubs provide a safe environment where the girls can write songs together, hang out and try playing drums, bass, piano or guitar.
“We get across that you can’t be wrong,” says Nash. “You get the girls applauding each other after reading out their poetry. We work on their confidence levels and give them a little push.
“I want to get back to the schools before I start touring. I love doing it – it inspires me.”
Nash has also been exploring the world outside music, taking small parts in two soon-to-be released independent movies while she was in LA.
“It’s definitely small beginnings,” she says. “It wasn’t that I’ve always wanted to do film or wanted to act, I wanted to be a singer.
I wanted to have a growth in my career, but didn’t want to do something cheesy and s***.”
The first, Syrup, is a dark comedy about marketing, directed by Aram Rappaport, who worked with Nash on some of her most recent music videos.
And she also has a role in new Jeff Buckley biopic Greetings From Tim Buckley, which traces the cult singer’s relationship with his famous father and the performance at the 1991 tribute concert which launched his too-short career.
“We had some of the original producers and musicians from the show where Jeff was discovered,” says Nash. “We did the whole two-hour concert and shot the whole thing, before we shot other stuff afterwards. It was incredible – it’s a unique movie.”
The two films add to Nash’s previous experience in front of the camera, playing the baddie in horror short The Morning After.
“I was the one to look out for, the psychopath,” she laughs. “It was about the worst hangover.
“I’m still auditioning for things, so I will see what happens I guess. The focus will be on the album for a while – we’re hoping to get some new material out before the end of the year.”
Support from Shuga and Jon Jackson.
* Doors 7pm, tickets £15. Call Resident in Kensington Gardens, Brighton, on 01273 606312 or Rounder Records in Brighton Square on 01273 325440.