Small talk with Little Boots
Electropop princess on arriving in the U.S., her shoe size and being a gay matchmaker
Published Thursday, 18-Mar-2010 in issue 1160
Walk a mile in Victoria Hesketh’s Little Boots and you’ll realize why every man over the rainbow hearts her. She’s cute, fun and sounds like the second coming of Kylie. After posting a series of covers on YouTube, the gays’ latest love is busting into the U.S. with her electropop debut, Hands, finally released stateside after dropping in the U.K. last year. It happened against all odds – the British reality show Pop Idol rejected her and her father’s tone deaf.
Hesketh, best known by her Little Boots pseudonym, told us how her current tour is like a dating service for gay men, why she’s not a fan of being a celebrity and the actual size of those little boots.
Gay & Lesbian Times: How do you feel about the album finally reaching the U.S.?
Little Boots: The fans have been really patient, so I’m just glad it’s finally out.
GLT: Especially the gay ones.
LB: I love the gays! We have a bond. Gay guys seem to really like that female vocal and uplifting, dance-pop music. So I’m not surprised about all the gays (laughs). They’re enthusiastic, very loyal fans, especially in America. Our last tour was mainly gays. Great if you’re looking for a boyfriend.
GLT: What do you have in common with the gays?
LB: I mean, I’m not gay, so not that (laughs).
GLT: But you did kiss fellow U.K. musician Florence Welch.
LB: Florence kissed me – and there was definitely no tongue. I was in shock. It lasted not even five seconds.
GLT: Which was long enough for someone to get a photo.
LB: Exactly. It’s so annoying!
GLT: You seem a little hesitant about fame in interviews. What about it doesn’t appeal to you?
LB: I don’t really like the whole idea of celebrity and people doing things for attention – it’s just quite weird. If people know who I am, I want it to be because I’ve written good songs or because I’m a good performer or a good musician. Not because I went out with no pants on or something weird.
If I get recognition for that then that’s flattering, but otherwise why would I want to be in a stupid magazine? If people are talking about your music or what you do – or are saying that you look cool or you have a nice dress – that’s quite flattering. But making up stories isn’t.
GLT: Do you read press written about you?
LB: God no! I don’t read anything. I avoid it like the plague. When this album first came out, I read some of the reviews just because I was curious. But who cares what one dude thinks? Why care what everyone else thinks? If some old dude that works at a newspaper says I’ve got a good record, do I really care? If they say it’s crap, do I care? Not really.
GLT: People are calling you “the future of pop” – that’s a lot to live up to. Is there a lot of pressure on you right now?
LB: Not really, no. There was at this time last year, but now everything’s happened over here (with the U.K. release) and I’m fine. I don’t really feel very much pressure at all.
GLT: How did being a part of Pop Idol affect you?
LB: I wasn’t actually on the program. I just went on one of the auditions, but I was never on the TV show. People kind of make it a bigger deal than it was. I was just quite young and I just tried it. It wasn’t really a big deal to me at all.
GLT: What songs were you playing when you first started on the piano at age 5?
LB: My First Piano Book songs and nursery rhymes. Just, like, classical stuff. I wasn’t really playing any pop songs at that age. I was probably listening to pop music, but I wasn’t playing it on the piano. I don’t think I would’ve known how.
GLT: Do you come from a musical family?
LB: No, it’s terrible – my dad’s tone deaf. Not musical at all (laughs). It’s quite weird.
GLT: You’re a Kylie Minogue fan, and the influence she had on _Hands_ is pretty obvious. Have you been into her for a while?
LB: Yeah, I’m just a fan of good pop songs, and she has a lot of good pop songs. She’s a great performer, a really good pop star and she’s good at what she does.
GLT: Were the lyrics of the song “Earthquake” inspired by Tori Amos’ “Little Earthquakes”?
LB: I don’t think the song sounds like Tori Amos. I wasn’t really ripping it off or anything, I just wasn’t thinking about it at the time. (Laughs) But then I realized later on that there’s an album called it.
GLT: How little are your little boots?
LB: They’re size 3, but I don’t know what that is in American sizes. In the U.K., it’s really small, like the third size in adults. They’re probably like a normal person’s hand. It’s kind of creepy.