Thursday, December 28
And bloGOD said let there be Lily Allen. Actually, with a little help from MySpace and DJ/Producer Mark Ronson, Lily Allen turned herself into an unlikely popstar. A hit in the UK and a hit with people with good taste in America, Lils was a rising star in 2006 and sure to be one of its brightest in 2007. Recently, on a promotional trip to Los Angeles, Ms Allen sat down to talk with us about everything from Woody Allen to her brother's mos flavorite New Mexican city. Actually, it was over the phone, but I was sitting and lettuce assume for shiz and gaggles that she was also seated. What, you don't bee leave me? Hear the Lady of Bestness herself udder this site's very name [audio]
Thigh Master: Hi Lily, this is The Thigh Master of Thighs Wide Shut.org
Lilly Allen: I know your website very well.
TM: You do?
LA: Yeah, when I Google myself there’s quite a lot of Thighs Wide Shut business going on.
TM: Hopefully you weren’t thrown off by the name at first.
LA: No, I like it! It’s good. You talked about me very early on.
TM: I did. First I want to congratulate you on all your success back home and on this side of the pond.
LA: Thank you very much.
TM: We've all know about you since last April, listening to your demos, and you’re finally getting your album released in the United States here next month. How does that feel?
LA: Good, I guess. I dunno… it feels pretty much the same as it did in the UK. [Laughs] …it’s just another country. It’s exciting, but I don’t know how it’s going to go. We’ll see.
TM: Did you ever think that when you made those demos that you were going to make it this far?
LA: No, definitely not. I signed such a tiny deal with EMI in the UK that I thought that literally I’d get a couple of singles and that's it. To be honest with you, I didn’t even think I’d make music videos. So I definitely didn’t think I’d be coming this far.
TM: Speaking of your demos, I loved at the end of ‘Knock Em Out’, where you list all those nasty excuses, and I was wondering why you left off the ‘I’ve got AIDS’ bit.
LA: It’s not really particularly politically correct, I don’t think. [Laughs] That was the label’s decision, really. I didn’t see a problem with it, otherwise I wouldn’t have written it.
TM: I caught your first US appearance at the Hiro Ballroom in New York. I couldn’t have thought of a better locale for you to have your debut in the States. I thought you were fantastic, and I actually believe you made believers out of the non-believers. So what did you think of the performance that night?
LA: I was happy with it, but you know, I’m still really new to this thing, I only performed at my first ever gig in May.
TM: At Yo-Yo?
LA: Yeah, exactly. It’s all relatively new and I was shitting myself, to a certain extent, but only because I feed so much off of the audience and I’ve kinda been prepped that New York people can be a little bit… mean. [Laughs]
TM: I agree, sometimes they just sorta stand there and watch and don’t really get into it.
LA: Yeah, it’s like ‘come on and impress me’. But I was actually pleasantly surprised and the people seemed to really get into it, and I was really happy with the result. I read a lot of reviews on your blog and [read elsewhere] what other people were thinking and a lot of it was ‘it didn’t quite live up to expectations’, but then at the same time I’m 21 and it’s my first year.
TM: You played for only half-an-hour so it was more like a showcase in my mind.
LA: Exactly. It’s getting much better. That [show] wasn’t with a full band.
TM: So will you be coming back again soon?
LA: I’ll definitely be coming back in February to LA. We’ll be playing SXSW, and maybe Coachella, hopefully Bonoroo, and lots of other gigs next year. We’ll be touring for about 8 weeks next year. We’ll be back.
TM: The way I found about you was through this super fabulous email newsletter called Popbitch. Have you heard of it?
LA: Yeah, I have.
TM: And when I first hit up your MySpace page I didn’t even bother to listen to the actual music, but I was sold regardless because of the moving dots in the background.
LA: [Laughs] I’m half convinced that it’s got some hypnotic power, that dot moving thing, and that’s why I still haven’t changed it to this point because [Laughs] I’m too scared that everyone will stop believing [Laughs].
TM: What’s the story with the dots? Did you come up with those?
LA: No, I just stole them off of someone else’s page.
TM: Well, that person must be either very honored or the exact opposite.
TM: I love your mix tapes [1 & 2], they are unbelievable. And it’s great because now I don’t even have to bother asking you who your influences are or what music you’ve been listening to because the answers are there in the mix. So when should we expect mix #3 and what could be on it?
LA: I’m a bit torn because the thing with those two mix tapes is that I could put some of my own music that people haven’t heard on there and I haven’t made any new music yet. I only write in a studio situation and I haven’t had the time to get into the studio again. I just recorded a song with Dizzie Rascal for his next new album that comes out in February or March next year, so if he gives me permission to do something with his songs and I might want to do something also with a couple of really interesting remixes of ‘Smile’, and just all my records. I love doing them [mixes]. They’re great fun.
TM: Changing gears here a little bit, could you tell us about your eBay date for charity with g.clarke555?
LA: I haven’t done it yet. Funny you should ask that because I was just thinking about it this morning. I haven’t had a call as to when or where this date is supposed to happen, but I’m terribly excited [Laughs]
TM: What’s a perfect date for you?
LA: I like sitting down, watching TV and eating pizza. That’s my favorite.
TM: You’re like my dream girl.
LA: In fact my first date with my boyfriend, who I’m still with at the moment, we watched this documentary called John’s Not Mad about a guy with Tourette's Syndrome. It’s fucking hilarious. This kid is 15 and he has Tourette's Syndrome and spits at his mom and swears the whole time. It’s not really meant to be comedy, but, it is. My boyfriend was like, ‘you want to come back and watch this movie, it’s really funny’. Luckily I had the same sick sense of humor.
TM: Have you and Lady Sovereign ever spoken before?
LA: We have actually. She was rehearsing in the same studio as me a couple of months ago. I met her probably a couple of years ago at the Met Bar in London. She had just done a gig and my boyfriend at the time took me down to the after party and she kinda took a shining to me, shall we say. She actually told me about MySpace. She said ‘you should start up a MySpace page’. So I did.
TM: Did you ever talk to her about the guy from San Francisco who raised five thousand dollars to go on a date with her?
TM: Anyway, this guy raised the five thousand dollars and then she had to agree to it and then she basically set the ground rules. She made him rent a yacht, got a ton of beer and weed and all that stuff.
TM: So what song do you sing in the shower the most?
LA: This morning I was singing Boyz II Men’s ‘All My Life’. [Laughs] It was on the radio the other day and I thought it was really funny.
TM: Is that the one you sing the most or just today?
LA: No, just today. I usually sing those cheesy songs that you hear on the radio like Kelly Clarkson. Some of them just stick in your head. Nothing cool.
TM: What’s the first record you ever bought or that you remember owning?
LA: Probably Chris Russell (???). There was this band in the UK called Ultimate Chaos that was really terrible. I actually remember owning the Thomas The Tank Engine song on tape, when I was a kid. I think my dad [actor/comedian Keith Allen] got hold of it for me. And I just really loved it. [breaks into song, doo-doot-doing, then interrupts herself] Actually that’s a lie! The first song that I ever remember having on tape was the song by Prefab Sprout that went ‘hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque!’ Remember Prefab Sprout?
TM: No, I guess I’m not as hip as I let on.
LA: No, they’re the most un-cool band in the world. My dad used to play that tape in the car all the time when I was a kid. Actually my brother’s first word was ‘Albuquerque’ as a result of all that. Imagine that being your first word? And it wasn’t actually ‘Albuquerque’, it was more like ‘Alba-cookie’. Interesting nevertheless.
TM: So has it been his dream to go to Albuquerque?
LA: Yeah, definitely. He can’t wait. I’m going to take him there next year. [Laughs]
TM: It’s not too far from Coachella. Well, maybe not so close. If you could be related to any ‘Alan’, first or last name, who would it be?
LA: [thinks about it] I dunno, maybe Woody Allen? But then I might be married to him as well. [Laughs]
TM: If any film director, living or dead, approached you to compile a soundtrack for their next movie, which would you want it to be?
LA: Steven Soderbergh. Did he do Crash?
TM: No, that was Paul Haggis.
LA: The music to that was so terrible. If I had a choice, I would have done that one over, better.
TM: And then maybe you would have won an Oscar. Would you like to win an Oscar?
LA: Yeah, I think it’s probably in the cards. It’ll happen soon. [Laughs]
TM: I actually think you would do an amazing Bond theme song.
TM: Yeah! Would you be interested in doing that?
LA: Yeah, maybe, that would be a good idea. I think Amy Winehouse is in line to do the next one. My godfather actually does the title credits, all the animation for the Bond films, for the past ten years. Maybe I’ll ask him.
TM: Obviously you’ve been to my website, but what others to your frequent in your free time?
LA: I like Slam Hype, Pop Justice, the Fader Blog. Usually when I’m on the internet basically it’s MySpace and my website. And Googling myself obviously.
TM: Of course, we all do it.
LA: [Laughs] Not like four times a day like me!
LA & TM: [Laughs]
TM: You can set up a Google News alert with your name and it will email you whenever something pops up.
LA: That’s a good idea! That’s what I should do. I’ll do that.
TM: I see that yer headed to Jamaica for the holidays?
LA: Yes I am.
TM: I’m going to be there for New Year’s. Well, if you’re around and you find me, the first 10 piña coladas are on me. Thanks for speaking with us today, and we wish you the best of luck in the future.
LA: Thank you very much. Where does Thighs Wide Shut come from?
TM: When I stared the site I needed a clever name to match my clever self and I was a huge Stanley Kubrick fan. Eyes Wide Shut was his final film, and the rest is history. The name Thighs Wide Shut is both a blessing and a curse.
Thanks again Lily. I think you’ll do really well in America and if you don’t then I’ll personally go around beat up everybody.
Alright, Still [fynally] gets its US release on January 30, 2007
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