Any typical evening at the stroke of midnight, the American Museum of Natural History simply houses ancient artifacts and a hush of quiet within it's gated entry. Last Friday night/Saturday morning, however, the iconic building held a throbbing crowd of eager kids, in attendance for Amanda Blank's set at One Step Beyond.
This summer has belonged to Blank, with the release of her debut album, I Love You, causing a wave of fanaticism through a teaming sea of blogs. She's hit NYC 3 prior times since early June, but tonight, she proved that she's "something bigger and something better" with an always energetic set, that easily eclipsed prior powerful performances.
I had the pleasure to talk with "litle girl Amanda" after her set. Known for her lightning quick rapping style, her conversational flow is just as fast, speaking on everything from her days as a "gothic gangstress" to a recent trip to the doctor. Let's roll!
SB: Amanda! How are you?
AB: Sheena! Or well Han...wait...you're not...hold on, your hair! It's so different from when we first met up earlier this summer. It looks so fucking cool!
SB: [laughs] What's left of it on the one side anyway. [laughs] Yeah, it was a recent decision, but it's still me!
AB: [laughs] Oh my god, it looks so good.
SB: [laughs] Aw, well thanks. But we're here to talk about you not me! It's so evident that you're majorly on the rise. You're like the proverbial "woman of the hour".
AB: Oh, you're so sweet...thanks. Tonight was cra-a-a-zy! My label is here and so many of my New York friends came out to celebrate too.
SB: I promise I won't keep you long then. Let's start by talking about your style of music. For so many years, you were known as a featured guest on other artists' records, but you've been creating and defining your own sound since back to the days when you were performing with Sweatheart, which was such a rad collaboration.
AB: OH, if you saw us now, there are SEVEN of us. And the music is just growing and growing.
SB: That's awesome. Now, as a solo artist, your signature style is on display without anyone else for people to point fingers at. Was this the path you saw your music taking?
AB: Well see, I was always this party chick who was like "half goth" and "half hip-hop", so you'd see me at the club with my dark hair and clothes while rocking a set of Timbs. ALWAYS with the Timberlands. I think that ever since I did my first performance when I was 18 that I knew this was how it would be...how I wanted it to sound.
SB: It translates well; the album is so solid! In support of it [I Love You], you're doing a ton of touring. What's it like to constantly be performing your debut material?
AB: Honestly [laughs] in the best way possible, it's a pain in the ass! [laughs] No, no let me explain cause that sounds awful. Yeah, I have been performing night after night, and I love doing it. But it does wear on you physically. So much so, that I lost my voice yesterday and had to get a steroid shot in my butt! See, NOW it doesn't sound so terrible. [laughs] But I love being on stage. It's a really cool pain in the ass. [laughs]
SB: I can imagine it's all worth it though...especially now that you're going to be jumping on tour with Peaches!
AB: Oh my god, I know! Can you believe it?
SB: Dude, you have no idea how stoked I was when I heard that announced. How in the world did you get hooked up with her?
AB: Well like anyone within the genre, or hell, in music in general, for us, she's such a legendary icon. And I had the opportunity to meet her. We talked about my music and she said she was a fan.
SB: What a compliment!
AB: I know, right? So she goes "Oh, I'm going to bring you on tour with me...", and naturally you'll have your doubts. Like "OK, yeah right, whatever. People say things like that all the time. There's no way she can be serious." So when she called a few weeks later and was actually set on having me come along, it's like...
SB: I can imagine that would be the case. Such an honor!
AB: It is! I think that the first date is, wait..yeah, I start with her back here in New York in November. You better be there!
SB: Duh, of course! I wouldn't miss it.
AB: [laughs] Good, we'll all kick it next month!
SB: Rad! I'll let you get back to your crew now, but thanks for letting me steal you away for a bit. It's totally appreciated!
AB: No problem...remember, next month!
SB: I'm on it! [laughs]
mp3: Amanda Blank vs The Twelves - Night Like You Better (REMIX86 Mash)