Wayyyyy back in August I attended the Warped Tour. I primarily went to see Bad Rabbits and Wax, and I did, but one name that stuck with me was someone I didn't know about going in - K.Flay. I just so happened to stumble across her set at Warped Tour and it was so cool I made sure to remember her name. Normally, I have to take a photo or text myself a reminder to check out an artist's music later, but K.Flay was in my head like an ear wig (only an ear wig that kicks ass instead of you know eating my brain).
Flash forward to October 23. There I was, at the Rock & Roll Hotel in D.C., whiskey in hand, watching an even more fawesome set. Maybe it was because I already knew some of her songs this time - I love "Can't Sleep" and "Thicker Than Dust" is my jam - or maybe I was drunk on the sound of those drums (and the whiskey), but I got my face-kicked in. With the help of her awesome drummer, Nicholas Suhr, she put on a dope show; she's a fucking badass. Her recorded material hits hard and sounds oh so clean (I love the way she can sound so smokey and smooth over such epic production) but, like any true artist, her live show is on another level. The drums! The energy! I had to talk to her!
But...it turned out there were about a billion people waiting to talk to her after, so I didn't get to bother her with weird questions in person. Luckily though, she has e-mail. So I shot over a few questions about everything from chugging booze onstage to what albums she has in rotation. DJBooth Nation, Meet K.Flay
Obviously drums are a huge part of your live show. Has that always been the case? If not, when did you decide to add them?
"Live drums have been a part of the live show for three and a half years now. before that, everything was electronic. The addition of live percussion was a huge revelation for me. I think it allowed me to channel this nascent inner wildness that I wasn't totally in touch with before."
I was also impressed at your ability to chug Jim Beam while performing "Wishing It Was You." How do you do that and not throw up on stage?
"Haha. thank you! Well, it turns out I have a natural ability to chug whiskey. I didn't drink until i was 23, so perhaps I built up some kind of tolerance during my sober years."
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I'd love to know what you were listening to while on the road. Top three albums, songs, or projects in rotation?
Ooh. Ok. Number one is probably the White Arrows record, In Bardo. The first three songs in particular are fantastic. They've got a really great melodic sensibility & amazing vocal production. Second is Run The Jewels 2. I mean, there's not much to say other than that everything about it is so progressive & interesting & provocative. Third is probably a song called 'Open Season' by Josef Salvat. I like almost want to cry every time I listen to it. Which is often, so I am frequently on the verge of tears.
There is a fire and you can only save one song from your debut album, Life as a Dog. Which one and why?
"I hate fires! Even little ones. But I guess I'd have to save 'Wishing It Was You.' It's one of the stranger and possibly creepier songs I've written, in a way, which is why I like it."
Any projects,albums, collabs you are working on you are excited to share?
"So many things but nothing I can share just yet. Soon, though…"
That Josef Salvat track is so dope!
Flay's tour just ended, so you can't catch her live right this second, but you can definitely follow her on Twitter (@kflay) for live show news. Also, you should definitely buy her debut album, Life As A Dog; especially because her van got stolen. She could probably use your money, because you know, vans full of equipment are kind of expensive, and so is Jim Beam. Plus, you'll get some great music. Everybody wins.
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]