Last week I was lucky enough to spend some time talking to Nottingham’s very own Lauren Henson or as you may know her, Indiana, moments before her headline Glasgow tour date at the legendary King Tuts. Quiet, unassuming and genuinely interesting, Indiana may just be Britain’s best kept alt-pop secret!
LB: Who are your main musical influences and how have they changed over the years?
I think now I have my tastes and they’re my main influences, some of the music I listened to when I was younger has carried through; like Radiohead and Portishead but I used to like Slipknot and they’ve got a new album out and I was just saying to someone that I’d probably stream it but I don’t think I’d buy it, I think I’ve outgrown that.
LB: What are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve actually been listening to the soundtrack to the film ‘The Guest’ at the moment, it’s a pretty new film with a ‘Drive’ kind of feel to it. The soundtrack is just like ‘Drive’s, really incredible, but the film’s pants. I couldn’t even tell you who’s on it, but yeah I’ve been listening to that all time!
LB: Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
Michael Jackson definitely. That’s another one from my childhood, just everything he touched even up to the days before he died just before the ‘This Is It’ tour, he was just a force; pitch perfect, he knew exactly what he wanted on the tour, he had that vision. He was so influential and I would have loved just to see him live let alone get to work with him.
LB: Why did you choose the name ‘Indiana’?
My dad passed away when I was 17 and I choose it because I used to watch Indiana Jones films with him when I was a kid. So it’s just in memory of him really.
LB: When and where did you realise just how much music meant to you?
Probably my first gig in the market square in the middle of Nottingham. I’d already been recording and writing songs and putting them on Youtube and in the studio this thing had been happening where I’d just go into this little world of my own and just be an emotion and be able to take myself away and then during that show it happened on stage. I was really scared because it was my first gig, in front of like 250 people but when I started singing I just went away to that place again and then at the end of the song got thrown back onto the stage looking at all these people and just thought…fuck, this is it, this is what I want I’m meant to be doing.
LB: What can we expect from you in the future?
Well, tonight I’m putting out a song on Soundcloud that no-one’s ever heard before to celebrate my tour which is called “Jack” and then at the end of the tour Im putting out another song and then a single which is coming out in early 2015 that’s is going to Radio in mid-November!
LB: How long have you been pursuing a musical career?
Two years. Before that I designed and printed T-Shirts. I do all my own (merchandise) designs and own a clothing label with my boyfriend called Some Kind of Nature. I like having a lot of control over the artwork and videos and merchandise!
LB: How much creative control do you have over your videos?
I’ve written my own treatments and I have worked with directors before; the only video I didn’t have a lot of control over was ‘Solo Dancing’. Someone had free reign on that one. I’d like to do it differently because that song, for me, is a song of empowerment. Not just for women but for anyone to do something on their own, feel comfortable in their own skin and just stand on their own two feet and the video cheapened that a little but people liked it.
LB: Do you have a staple song writing process or does it happen in different ways?
Now I’ve written in a studio that’s really all I do, I have a studio in my home so I sit and can come up with a synth part or a beat or some vocals or whatever whereas before it was chords or a melody and then I had to come up with lyrics.
LB: How much do you draw on personal experience to inspire your creative output?
It started out as personal experiences and then I started inventing stories to try and be a bit more interesting; drawing on things that have happened to me but making sure it wasn’t autobiographical. I just think it’s more interesting to try and push boundaries. The new song ‘Jack’ is about Jack and Jill,but it’s a slightly more macabre take on the story. Jill’s a witch who gets burned at the stake by the village and Jack goes out on a killing spree, killing everyone responsible for Jill’s death and he gets found out because there’s smoke coming from his chimney in the middle of Summer…He’s burning their bodies.
LB: Have you had one stand out headline show?
It wasn’t a headline show but probably Reading and Leeds (festival), there were so many people in the tent they were spilling out and both sets were completely different. At Reading they were crowdsurfing and moshing and going mad but at Leeds they were just stood (sic) watching me and chatting between songs and just staring at me so that was amazing…
LB: Choose a song you wish you had written?
(After much deliberation) Radiohead, ‘Creep’.