Archived entries for Interviews

Sixty Seconds with St Vincent

St Vincent

Annie Clark, also known as St Vincent, is a US singer-songwriter whose latest album, Actor, has recently been released to favourable reviews thanks to its its haunting melodies and lyrical playfulness.

I caught up with Annie shortly after she played an impromptu gig in the Archiduc pub here in Brussels, for a quick 60-second soundbite:

What were you trying to achieve with the new album?

“I wanted to make Disney meets a horror film…pretty much.”

Where would you say you get your inspiration from?

“Real life meets Bukowski [German American poet, novelist, and short story writer].”

How about influences from the past?

“Well I read a lot of books and watched a lot of films…I watched the entire Woody Allen catalogue.”

Are you enjoying Brussels?

“Brussels is great, I really like it. It’s fun. My favourite European show I last played was at Botanique [one of Brussel’s main music venues], about a year and a half ago.”

If you had to choose, which albums would you take to a desert island?

“I hope I’m never on a desert island! I would get SO bored. Let’s see…that’s really hard. It’s a serious question. I’m going to say…a Steely Dan box set of cassettes…Petrushka…and Grizzly Bear.”

You can hear more of St Vincent on her Myspace page and her new album is available from Amazon here.

Young and, er, wild…

A quick trip to Cardiff for an interview for a place on the postgraduate diploma course in journalism – and, in response to the forthcoming question, I think it went OK and I’ll probably find out next week – and, at the Youth Hostel, I got my suit out of the suit bag…only to find it had crumpled inside. I had got up especially early that day in order to first wash then iron a shirt for this interview, so I was pissed off. “What’s the point of you being a suit bag” I fumed (at the suit bag) “if all you’re going to do is abandon your duties?! Well? No, don’t just shrug your shoulders like that. That’s not going to get the creases out of my shirt now, is it?”
I’m glad no-one entered the dormitory right then and caught me arguing with my suit bag.

So I had the interview in a shirt that had more creases than Keith Richards, but I hope they were paying more attention to articles rather than attire. I had a really nice evening following the interview, actually. At the YH when I got back there were a load of teenagers and my first thought was “Well that’s just great, isn’t it? A tiring and testing day and now a noisy rabble to contend with. Fantastic.”

Actually, though, they were all surprisingly well behaved, and as I was cooking my dinner and hadn’t yet been stabbed by one of the sharp meat knives, I struck up a conversation with a few of them and it turns out they were all Danish, on a school trip to find out about the UK. We ended up chatting for a good while, me telling them about my work in the Parliament and about the great times you have at university, and they told me all about Denmark and their school. It was a fascinating couple of hours. Eventually their teacher came in and reminded them that they were supposed to be in bed 15 minutes ago. They all lept to their feet, apologised to him profusely and scattered upstairs. It could have been such a different set of circumstances, with them coming back at 3 in the morning having been out all night finding out whether beer or wine bottles have the best impact when thrown against a shop window. They had, in fact, been sitting around a table, politely making conversation, and had forgot about the time. I was impressed.

Today I have been mostly…learning about the co-decision procedure and sampling Greek food and wine at a reception.

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