Santogold interview

Jul 24, 2008

With acclaimed electro-popster Santogold supporting Coldplay on the current leg of the tour (until Boston on August 4th), gave her a shout.

Hello Santogold, how are you?
Hi, I’m doing pretty good. On the tour bus headed to Philly from Chicago. Just woke up. Everyone’s making fun of my silky zebra print pajamas.

2008 seems to have been a great year for you, have you enjoyed it?
It’s been an amazing year so far! It’s been really exciting, but a lot of hard work. I’ve been trying to take advantage of all the opportunities, but the schedule has been beating me down. I kept losing my voice, but I’m trying to learn how to navigate through it all in a way that allows me to keep myself intact.

Have you been looking forward to your dates with Coldplay?
Yes, I’m really honored to be invited along on the tour! It’ll be great to play in front of a new audience and attempt to win over some new fans. Plus we get to see Coldplay do their thing! I saw one show so far and it gave me chills at one point. It’s so great to see so many people so excited and engaged in a song and performance, singing along and waving their arms around. It’s electric.

Were you already a fan of the band?
I have been a Coldplay fan since the first record. I think the songs are great and that Chris has such a beautiful and unique voice.

Have you played in these kind of arena venues before?
Prior to this tour I had played an arena venue on the Bjork tour. It’s a very different experience, especially when you’re the opener. It’s so vast and dark, you can’t really see the audience, but you know they’re out there. And as the opener, they’re just kind of silently taking you in. It’s really up to us to bring our own energy to the stage. These are the first shows I’m playing with a full band since last September, so that is exciting for me. And we’re attempting to play more of the live songs on the album than I was able to play on my shows with the DJ sets.

One of the gigs is in your home town, Philadelphia. Do you have any plans for that one? Is it a venue you’ve been to gigs at yourself?

I’m really excited for the Philadelphia show. I have a bunch of friends coming, which is always fun. I’m pretty sure I’ve been to the venue before, but I honestly don’t remember for what.

How would you describe your music to any Coldplay fans who haven’t heard it?
I would say it’s pop music, but a real mash up of many different styles: dub/reggae, punk, indie rock, new wave, and electronic music, all rolled up in one show, sometimes all in one song.

With the album being quite electronic, how does your music work live?
There are actually a lot of live elements in most of the songs on the record. In the past when I was performing with a DJ and dancers, I wasn’t able to really bring those elements to life on stage, but now with the band in place, it’s great because we can really play all the live elements, and play the more rock songs that I was unable to perform without a band.

What’s on your rider?

Our rider sucks right now, but we keep thinking of things to make it better. We have fruit, vegetables, chips, guacamole, water, juice, and beer on now. But I’d like to add Throat Coat tea, vitamins, and fruit for fresh juice, because I think we’re going to buy a juicer to bring along. We need healthy stuff to keep up our road stamina. Maybe some candles, and fun stuff to make the constant traveling more comfortable.

Finally, what’s your favourite Coldplay song?
Well, I have a few. I love Yellow, Clocks, and their new song, Lost. Those are all beautiful, wonderfully-written songs.

To find out more about Santogold, click here to check out her MySpace.