St. Vincent Isn't Interested In A Vacation
Annie Clark, the doe-eyed multi-instrumentalist known as St. Vincent can currently be found blasting horn sections with David Byrne. We dialled through to Annie’s couch with the intention to ask her to conduct her own interview. We were inspired by Byrne’s job of interviewing himself for the “60 Minutes on Acid” Talking Heads promo video. She thought that was a shit idea, so we talked collaborations, prosthetics and Perth locals instead.
VICE: So how did you meet David?
Annie Clark: We first met at an after party for a Dark Was The Night benefit. He had been a mythical figure at some of my shows, I’d heard rumours that he was there but I never met him until then. We met and he told me he liked my video for “Actor Out of Work”. We met couple of nights later at yet another AIDS charity benefit for Housing Works and we were watching Bjork and the Dirty Projectors do a collaboration of new music. The organisers approached us and asked us if we wanted to do a night of music and we said yes.
David’s done so much, is he a control freak?
David’s very evolved. He’s quite generous, he’s done a lot of collaborating in his time so I think he has the propensity for it. I haven’t done as much collaborating by any means. But, like actors doing improv, the golden rule is to say yes. Any idea someone sends your way you have to accept it, treat it with respect and expound upon it.
Is music something that you see yourself continuing, or will there’ll be a point where that’s not enough to feed you?
I’d like to do a lot of things. There’s music obviously and collaborating with people. I’d also eventually like to make and write for films. There are a lot of ways to be creative and create a challenge. It’s almost fighting just to see if you can do it. I guess David is an example of that.
Is there going to be an art career? Do you have hobby we should know about?
I think I’d eventually like to write in some real capacity. Not like a memoir though, I don’t think anyone would want to read that.
I wouldn’t be so sure. You’re coming to Australia soon, you’ve been here before right?
Oh yeah, a number of times. I really like Australia. Also, I went to Perth for the first time ever. Such a strange place.
Because it’s got all that new money but it’s so remote. It seems very, I don’t know, strange. I’ve never seen so many tank tops and flip-flops.
In contrast to that, I read you where at the Whitehouse Correspondent’s Dinner.
David and I went as guests of National Public Radio. It was just a really bizarre situation. Obviously people in politics are powerful, people with money pulling strings. But the feeling at the after party was like a high school prom. I saw Ariana Huffington talking to Rupert Murdoch. And I saw Sarah Palin do a walk through.
What’s her vibe?
Her vibe was that she is short. Big personality, full face of makeup, not very engaging. Bizarre. Personality and power dynamics exist.
You wrote on your blog that touring with Sufjan Stevens was like a “vacation”. Does your life feel like a big holiday?
I would just really prefer to be writing or performing on tour. That to me is a stabilizing force. People say, “take a break you’ve been on tour for fourteen months, go on vacation!” But I’ve been on the road pretty constantly for all of my 20s. That does something to your brain. I don’t know how to sit still anymore.
See St Vincent & David Byrne play the Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Festival in January. More Sydney Fest stuff here.