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Aldous Harding: Getting To Know You – ‘I feed seagulls. People hate that’

The New Zealand songwriter used to make dried, cured meat from scratch, likes to dance and can quote Withnail and I

Following her self-titled, self-released debut album of 2014, the New Zealand folk musician has made ‘Party’ in Bristol with John Parish – out now on 4AD. Harding’s likes include, Withnail and I, dancing and feeding seagulls.

The best piece of advice you’ve been given

Never apologise; never explain.

Your favourite word

‘Rats’.

Your pet-hate

Being asked what I’m up to and when, because I never know.

If you could only eat one food forever, it would be…

I want to say the thing that I like but I would inevitably get horrible scurvy. I’ll go for something healthy – maybe a fish salad.

The worst job you’ve had

Making Biltong [dried, cured meat] from scratch. I did everything but kill them. I loved the work at the time but now that I don’t eat meat it fills me with sadness thinking about the drains, the brains.

The film you can quote the most of

Withnail and I
. “We’re coming back in here!”

Favourite place in the world

Woodbury, New Zealand. That’s where my family home is. There are at least seven white goats and a swimming hole.

Your style icon

Me.

The one song you wished you’d written

This is too hard but I’m going to say ‘Single Pigeon’ by Paul McCartney.

The most famous person you’ve met

John Parish. He produced my record. He was a gentle wizard. He also has wonderful taste in cheese.

The thing you’d rescue from a burning building

I don’t think stuff really matters. I’d let it all burn.

Your guilty pleasure

Feeding seagulls. People hate that.

The worst present you’ve received

A credit card. I use it to buy all the presents and then get a lovely present from the bank telling me I’ve bought too many presents considering my present situation.

The characteristic you most like about yourself

Empathy.

Your hidden talent

Dance.

Your favourite item of clothing

My white jeans.

Your biggest disappointment

My fringe.

The celebrity that pisses you off the most even though you’ve never met them

Nicole Kidman. I’m sure she’s lovely.

Your biggest fear

Going only half insane.

The best book in the world

The Master and Margarita.

People’s biggest misconception about yourself

That I play the guitar well and that I’m a words person.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

An actor hopefully.

What is success to you?

Loving someone more than you love yourself.

What talent do you wish you had?

I can’t spell properly.

How would you choose to die?

I’d be shot in the chest by a madman in a public park.

What is the most overrated thing in the world?

Actors.

What’s your biggest turn-off?

Real cruelty.

What would you tell your 15-year-old self?

Just relax, love, everyone’s pretty useless.

Your best piece of advice for others

Never apologise; never explain.

Other artists to take our Getting To Know You questionnaire include Noodle from Gorillaz, Johnny Rocket from The Moonlandingz and Marianne Faithfull. See them here.

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