With a new album, a musical, and a starring role in Netflix hit GLOW, there's no stopping Kate Nash.
Kate Nash has been a busy bee. Between starring in Netflix hit Glow, and working on a musical, she's also recorded new album ‘Yesterday Was Forever'. With Glow taking priority, the record was relegated to weekends. It was pretty hard going, Kate explains from LA where she's putting the finishing touches to the album.
"It's harder than I initially imagined it to be in terms of the energy expenditure; on Glow, it's so high because of all the wrestling and the physical nature of the work," she considers. "It's hard to then get into the record on the weekends, but I did it, and I'm feeling good about it now. It's just making sure I had enough time to recover from all the wrestling and stuff too."
Despite it being five years since her last full-length ‘Girl Talk', Kate says she's been "recording through all of those years", and just needed time to figure out how to release it.
The album sees Kate sprinkle more of her pop magic but also push herself to new places, which she says comes fairly naturally. "I get bored otherwise. I like to push myself to do new things, and it's just a more interesting way of making music. It's challenging doing new things, but then with the right people it feels less intimidating 'cos you're having a good time in the studio if you're with the right people."
Kate explains: "I did the record with two different producers. It's always an exciting moment when you find people that you connect with 'cos it doesn't come about all that often. It's really exciting when you're like, ‘Oh these are the people I'm gonna do the record with'."
Despite talking to labels, Kate chose to use Kickstarter to fund the release of the album. "I just didn't find the music industry and record labels that exciting and innovative, and I haven't had the best experience with people from record labels, to be honest. My experience is I go to these rooms, and I just don't necessarily trust those people or feel comfortable. I look back at my experience and think that the industry doesn't care about nurturing people, the industry just wants to make money out of someone that's hot right now.
"I just felt like my fans' wellbeing and staying independent was more appealing, 'cos that way I can also just do whatever I want and make the music that I wanna make and not worry about being held back for a year. I hear a lot of negative experiences; I'm not sure what state the music industry is really in to be offering people career guidance. Although it's a lot of work, it's more appealing for me to stay independent."
Staying independent allowed Kate to work without pressure on both the album and Glow. "We could just set whenever we wanted to. We said February to people on Kickstarter, but the good thing about it is you can just communicate with people and say, ‘We decided to go March just to make sure we could give it enough lead-up time and stuff'."
Kate describes working on both the album and the show as a "learning experience to figure out where to put my energy at the time and to make sure I was rested," she says. "The show's had an influence on me overall because of confidence, like learning to wrestle and having this new physical relationship with my body and just being around all these amazing women. It's been amazing, life-changing. It's influenced me in terms of confidence to even do the Kickstarter."
While she's not gonna drop music anytime soon, Kate thinks that if she were actually a wrestler, she would be a dog. "Then I could probably be the heel [villain], or I could be the face [hero] and the heel. I could go back and forth between being a trusty happy, loyal dog and then a real bitch in the ring. You know, when I needed to be."
As a result of the show's success, Kate's "had experiences where I'm recognised as [her character] Britannica and recognised for Glow. The main thing is people not realising that it was me in the show. People would be like, 'I thought I recognised you...', but then like, 'Oh my god that's Kate Nash, that's so crazy!' That's the main reaction; people don't realise it's me until afterwards then they're like oh my god!"
Last year, Kate did a ten-year anniversary tour for her debut album ‘Made of Bricks', but she insists that didn't have an effect on her new album as she'd "already pretty much recorded it by then."
The experience did, however, make her "really excited to release music again," she says, "because it was such a joyous, celebratory experience. I feel like looking to the past is always good. It's been quite a reflective experience, in general - that's why the album's called ‘Yesterday Was Forever'. I've been looking through archival stuff; it's important to look at where you've come from and then think about the future from there, to see how far you've come as well as celebrate that.
"I feel like I have been looking back at the last ten years because a decade is quite a celebratory thing, you know? It's quite an achievement to be like, fuck I've been doing this for this long now!"
Kate is taking the album on tour in the US this April. "I'm gonna do sort of a mix of all three records," she says of her set. "I'm gonna try and bring elements of the 'Made of Bricks' tour like the theatre. The stage set we had for that was beautiful, so that's gonna be cool to try and bring out to the US. Also, obviously I'm gonna play the new material. I think when you're doing new album stuff you need to get it right so that you give enough of the oldies as well, 'cos people wanna hear new stuff but they wanna singalong to stuff at a show. It's getting the balance right that could be a little hard."
Much like her upcoming tour, Kate says that her forthcoming musical will be a mix of old and new but remains somewhat tight-lipped on the story, revealing: "It's a pretty exciting story about following your heart and each character has their own struggles. How are you gonna overcome them - are you gonna fall apart, or follow your heart? I enjoyed working on a musical because there's something really simple about, 'Okay, this is the story we need to tell' - and then you just have to tell it through song."
Kate says that the album isn't political, but that "the climate definitely has affected all of us, it's pretty difficult to ignore. I just tried to make art that feels as true to me as possible, and heartfelt, so that people have music that's meaningful when there are difficult political things happening. Music and art are always there for people during difficult times, and it's important to fight for your true voice through that."
She also reveals that the track ‘Musical Theatre' is about her mental health. "It's about my brain. When I wrote that it was a way of being able to describe my OCD and anxiety, and when it feels like I'm going crazy. I know people reacted to that when I toured last year, and we raised money for the charity Mind; it's connected to the song and it's just such a great way to connect with my fans, just being honest about shit that everyone has gone through."
While she did have a specific mission statement for the album, "it changed," Kate explains. "It took so long to get here. I went back a little bit towards my pop roots at the beginning, and then it felt like an evolution of [2013's] ‘Girl Talk' as well, in a way. It's just taken so long. I started recording it in 2014, and only now it's coming out. It's kinda weird to think that's one record, but sometimes it just takes time to figure it out. It's just meant to be.
"I was thinking about it when I was listening to all the mixes, and there were points where I was frustrated and wanted it to be out immediately. I think that the record is better for the time it has taken, and there's no reason to rush because there's no point in putting out a record that's bad or isn't ready. It's all for a reason. Just gotta trust the universe."
Taken from the April issue of Dork - order a copy or subscribe below. Kate Nash's album 'Yesterday Was Forever' is out now.