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Bat For Lashes Interview

We spoke to the beguiling singer about her Karate Kid obsession, Radiohead and her new album…

Bat For Lashes is Natasha Khan. Her debut album Fur And Gold was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2007. Next month (April 6) her beguiling second album Two Suns is released.

We caught up with her to get all the details and find out which classic 80s film inspired her new single….
MTV: You’ve been away for a while now, how long have you been working on Two Suns?
I think it’s been about two years since I finished recording Fur and Gold (her debut album). I was writing songs all the way through touring and then the actual recording and production was about four or five months.
How different do you think it is from your debut album Fur and Gold?
I think the debut is very kind of minimal, quite pure and child like in a way. This one is a lot lusher, more beats, more layers and I think it's quite a bit more confident sounding. I just wanted it to have more diverse elements and it’s a bit of a journey.
Is it true that Two Suns is a concept album and it kind of tells a story?
Yeah, as a headphones record yeah it takes you through a journey for sure. There are big and small subjects in there and they take you on this road trip almost, through dark and light, city and desert and all sorts of opposites.
Is the first single ‘Daniel’ is it a love song or a song about heartbreak?
Well you can’t love without a bit of heartbreak. It’s definitely a song that has some nostalgia in it and (it’s about) wanting to go back to the innocence of teenage love.
There is a little bit of sadness in there, melancholy almost. It’s also celebrating heartbreak, its weird showing the happy/sad combination.
Was there one particular person that was behind the inspiration for the song?
I was trying to keep it a secret but I got my friend to paint Daniel Laruso from the film The Karate Kid on my back for the single front cover. I have had a crush on him for years and it's one of my all time favourite childhood films. So I think the name definitely came from that reference however the concept on the song is a little bit more secret.
Tell us about the video, it’s quite scary in parts, does Daniel-Son turn up in the end?
Yes, he does- he rescues me at the end. It’s quite a dark, violent theme running throughout, with all the dancers and people pushing me, they punch and fight me. I am in my Rocky style hoodie, driving through the forest. The chorus goes ‘when I run in the dark, I dream of home’ so I am running in the dark and in the end, my Daniel comes and I get a cheesy embrace.
Are there people that you have met in the past two years since your Mercury nomination that have influenced or inspired you?
Yeah. Meeting Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead was a really enlightening experience and just seeing how they work on the road. Seeing their ethics, professionalism and their creativity and just observing them was a good experience.
Then I didn’t get to meet Scott Walker (who appears on Two Suns), but we had email correspondence and that was really amazing to work with such a legend. He is a bit of a recluse.
Another huge influence (on this record) was living in Brooklyn for on and off over three years. While bands like TV on the Radio, MGMT and Gang Gang Dance were all happening. I experienced that whole thing coming out, in terms of beats and like going out dancing and checking out all this new music it was really inspiring.
What have you got planned for your coming tour?
Well, I’ve got Charlotte Hatherley, Sarah Jones and Ben Christophers who are all amazing musicians in their own right. They are really eclectic and can play anything. The new shows are going to be a lot more epic, big sounding and quite dynamic. We’ve got nice stage sets and props with old day of dead Mexican Jesus’ and fairy lights!