voice on the verge #16: naomi hates humans
We reviewed her album last week (here if you missed it) so we’ll keep this short. Naomi is great, and if you can’t just take our word for it then you should tune in to justin.tv at 8pm tomorrow to watch her first ever attempt to broadcast a live gig over the internet. “This could be a very stupid idea and completely fall on its arse,” she admits. “At least all of the internet will be there to see it happen.” While you’re hanging onto the edge of your seat in anticipation of what might transpire, have a read of Naomi’s recent responses to our trusty questionnaire…
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What’s your middle name?
Hates. (Actually it’s Elizabeth).
If you could star in any TV show, past or current, which would it be and what kind of character would you play?
I’m a sucker for smart alack sci-fi like ‘Buffy’, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Firefly’. Actually definitely someone from ‘Firefly’ – you can’t get cooler than cowboys in space. Having said that I basically spent my entire teenage years wanting to be Scully from ‘The X Files’ when I grew up so that would do too. Unfortunately this didn’t make me work hard and become a scientist / doctor / kickass investigator of the paranormal. I do kickbox though.
What was the last good book you read and how did it affect you?
I’m currently halfway through ‘The Wisdom Of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels & The Business Of AIDS’ by Elizabeth Pisani and it’s a real eye opener. Pisani has been working for various governmental departments for the past 20 years or so, collecting data about how HIV has spread, how people’s attitudes to it have changed and what can be done to slow down the rate at which it is spreading. It really is a great book and I’ve already learnt a great deal about both the virus and also how data has been controlled and manipulated at certain times, often for political gain, and how that has helped and hindered the cause.
What did you listen to when you were growing up?
I didn’t really start to acquire any kind of decent taste in music until my mid teens. My mum used to listen to a lot of Kate Bush and Madness. My dad favoured Simply Red and Pavarotti. The first tape I ever owned was by Jason Donovan. I can’t remember what it was called but it had ‘Especially For You’ at the end so it was probably his first one. I knew every single word. My musical taste continued on this downward spiral through Take That, East 17 and all kinds of other tat until I discovered punk when I was about 14. Oh yeah, I also had a big Bon Jovi phase. But then who didn’t?
Who was the first person/band you saw in concert?
It was ’90s girl band Eternal. Not cool, but a fact nonetheless. It was when they were a three-piece and all their best hits were behind them as well. I was about 14. The first actual band I saw live was The Manic Street Preachers on the ‘Everything Must Go’ tour. They were an incredible level of shit and very nearly destroyed my faith in live music before it had begun.
What were you like at school?
Self-conscious, uncool, lovelorn.
What would you tell your 18-year-old self if you could go back in time?
“Chin up kid, it gets better.”
What did you want to be until you decided to become a musician… if you ever did ‘decide’ that is!
When I was five I wanted to be a bricklayer like my Uncle Peter. Other than that, I don’t remember ever really having any particular career aspirations.
Which female musicians have most inspired you?
All the usuals: PJ, Patti, Janis. In my formative years I was a big fan of Courtney Love as well.
What’s the biggest guilty pleasure in your record collection?
I’m not ashamed of anything in my music collection, although apparently I should be. Liza Minnelli is possibly the least ‘cool’. Screw the cool kids, Liza is awesome.
What’s your favourite song to cover and why?
Depends what mood I’m in. I like doing covers. If I’m feeling dramatic, a Jeff Buckley cover is always good. If I’m feeling shouty, you can’t beat ‘Dancing In The Dark’ by The Boss. If we’re having a party, ‘Don’t Let Go’ by En Vogue wins every time.
Tell us about your favourite instrument…
At the moment it’s a little red toy piano I got on eBay. Everything you play on it sounds like a haunted circus. On a more long-term scale it’s probably my acoustic guitar, The Rock, which I bought just before I went to university.
Do you have an instrument you’d still like to learn? What’s stopping you?
The inability to move all four of my limbs independently of each other has always hampered my desire to learn the drums. One day I’ll master it.
What’s your tipple?
Jack Daniels. Apparently you can hear it in my voice.
What’s your top household tip?
Cheap bin liners are a false economy.
What are your views on feminism?
I think it’s finally starting to not be a dirty word. Although the man-hating lesbian stereotype is still out there. Sadly, I think it’s still an important cause. The recent debates about abortion and contraceptive rights, for example, show that these still aren’t things we can take for granted.
What’s your favourite quote?
Pretty much everything that came from Kurt Vonnegut’s pen. For example, “A woman should feel like a hot water bottle filled with warm Devonshire cream. You feel like a paper bag filled with curtain rods.”
What kind of person would have sex to your music?
A very, very wrong person.
If you chanced upon Aladdin’s lamp what three things would you wish for?
Nothing, I’d put it back where I found it. Those things never work out well.
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