Natalie Mering has been based in Portland, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia, but it’s her hometown of LA (where she lives again now) that most informs the 70s Laurel Canyon sound of her outsider folk. In October she releases new album ‘Front Row Seat To Earth’ via Mexican Summer.
The best piece of advice you’ve been given
Everyone’s got their own unique struggle. Don’t compare yours to someone else’s.
Your favourite word
Emotionally manipulating advertising.
If you could only eat one food forever, it would be
The worst job you’ve had
I once worked at a peanut brittle packaging company and monotonously packaged peanut brittle all day long, ending up with sticky everything. I guess now that I think of it, it was a pretty sweet gig.
The film you can quote the most of
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy.
Favourite place in the world
Kyburz in Sierra Nevadas. My great great grandfather built a cabin there, and I was conceptually conceived there one day while my parents were talking on a rock. They decided to have a daughter, and that they would name her Natalie. Suffice to say I’ve been dreaming of Kyburz for as long as I can remember.
Your style icon
Crispin Glover has a really far-out style that I can relate to. Understated goth with a 70s twinge. Painfully autobiographical… indulgently weird.
The one song you wished you’d written
‘Seabird’ by the Alessi Brothers.
The most famous person you’ve met
I met Lou Reed on the streets of New York after going to the Occupy Wall Street protest. He was surprisingly human – he held my hands and warmed them while looking into my eyes and asking me how the protest was.
The thing you’d rescue from a burning building
Probably the most musical things. Guitar and laptop are neck and neck, with the Tascam 388 in third place. Definitely gonna grab my Ibanez analog delay pedal – it’s quite small.
The worst date you’ve been on
I took mushrooms (with romantic implications) with a boy in high school and he completely freaked out – a manic episode. We were getting a ride with our friend to go somewhere more mellow as we started off in a park – he physically forced me to runaway from the car while it was stopped at a red light, leaving our third friend high and dry. We ran into a housing development and sat on the grass while he cried in my lap for a couple hours.
Your guilty pleasure
Sushi – sashimi, specifically. One of the worst things for anyone on the planet to consume regularly, but incredibly pleasurable.
Your first big extravagance
Extravagance? I’ve been extravagant since the day I was born. Maybe first big extravagance was wearing the Christmas tree skirt as an actual dress and putting on a one-girl show called “The Spirit of Christmas Elf”.
The worst present you’ve received
A used Lollipop wrapper sewed to a photocopied drawing of a naked man. Wait… the more I think about it this might’ve been the best gift.
The characteristic you most like about yourself
I can feel, and I feel for a lot of people too.
Your hidden talent
Badminton. I’m a bit of a shark.
Your favourite item of clothing
Moon pants, moon shirt, moon shoes – an article with “moon” in front of it, usually very flowy, potentially iridescent.
Your biggest disappointment
Global warming. I used to cry about it more; now I’m becoming numb to the way of the biome.
The celebrity that pisses you off the most even though you’ve never met them
They’re all a little strange around the edges to me. I feel embarrassment for a lot of them.
Your biggest fear
Fear itself, baby.
The best book in the world
The Acid Archives – an archive of private press psyche records. My musical bible.
People’s biggest misconception about yourself
That I’m not a ham. I am. I like being silly more than I like being sad, but I’m better at making people cry then making people laugh.
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Kristen Stewart, hopefully. Hard-ass role.
What is success to you?
Being an even-keel human being as opposed to a violent see-saw.
How would you choose to die?
In my sleep, please.
What is the most overrated thing in the world?
Consumerism, duh. What a bust. Heartache.
What, if anything, would you change about your physical appearance?
I’d make my eyes lime green, and maybe my tongue split right down the middle. Might escape my mammalian/elf genes.
What’s your biggest turn-off?
Jumping the gun.
What would you tell your 15-year-old self?
Kim and Thurston Moore will be divorced… Abandon all hope…
Your best piece of advice for others
If you start doing something for real, you’re inevitably going to fail and experience set backs. It’s important to leave your comfort zone – you’ll never get anywhere good as long as you’re hiding there, where everybody likes you. Let yourself be rejected. It sharpens your knives.