LAST WORD: EMILY KOKAL
The Warpaint singer/guitarist on intraband tension and being star-struck.
When was the last time you did karaoke? It was for my boyfriend’s birthday in January. We had a karaoke party at this place downtown. I like karaoke a lot. The last song I did was Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa. I don’t have a “go-to” karaoke song any more, I like to challenge myself, but my go-to song used be Everything She Wants by Wham!. What was the last gig you went to? The last gig I went to was pretty much one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to, I saw Kendrick Lamar on the Sunday night at Coachella. It was incredible, all I’ve been doing is listening to his new album. I remember when [ Dr Dre’s debut] The Chronic came out when I was in high school or Nirvana – I feel like that’s what this album is. It was very exciting to have been at that show. I’m still reeling from it. When was the last time you were star-struck? I met Jon Hamm from Mad Men last week. Only for a few moments. I don’t really get super star-struck. The thing with living in LA is you see famous people a lot. The last person I was legitimately star-struck by was a couple of years ago and it was Björk. A friend of ours brought her to our show and surprised us before we played. Sometimes you don’t want to meet people you were inspired by. Meeting her was something I was never sure I wanted to do but she was cool – like an old friend. When was the last time you lost your temper? Being pissed-off and losing my temper are two different things. I don’t really lose my temper that often. I’m going to guess it was in a band situation, a tired backstage setlist conversation. In Japan, a couple of months ago, Jen [ Jenny Lee Lindberg, bassist] and I got into it, which happens sometimes. We get into it and then we get out of it just as fast. When you’ve been in a band with people for 13 years you have these moments where somebody could say, “Pass the honey” and it can start a fight. Like, “Don’t talk to me in that tone!” When was the last time you asked someone for an autograph? The only time I’ve ever asked for an autograph was when my uncle took me to the Concord Pavilion in California and it was [ Star Trek actor] LeVar Burton. The only reason I asked him was because my uncle was a really big fan. I’m not a big autograph person, I’m definitely not a “Can I get a picture?” person. If I’m having a cool experience, the last thing I want to do is ask them for a picture. When was the last time you were embarrassed? About 30 seconds ago talking about LaVar Burton. Besides that, we just played a festival in Mexico. We were playing to about 30,000 people and I was jumping up and down and I fell offstage. I landed on my feet and kept singing, so it ended up being a triumphant moment. There are some videos where I’m like... jump, jump, jump – whooooof! When was the last time you swore at the television? Probably watching [ television satirist] John Oliver. Not at him, but at something he was showing. Probably something to do with the current President. I’m definitely not the person who wakes up and ruins my day with the news. I don’t really subscribe to the news in general. It’s very hard to find something that delivers without trying to shock. What’s the last thing you’d do if the world was ending? How is the world ending? Is it something I can watch? I’d go and try to get some good seats!
Down the tube: hardcore Wham! fan, Warpaint’s Emily Kokal.