Nov 07, 2014 4:35PM

On Tour With UK Cutie FEMME [Interview]

Driving stories with the British poplette.
British electro-pop artist FEMME (Laura Bettinson) is yet to release an album, but she's found fame online by writing, recording, mixing, directing and producing all her own tracks and videos. She's currently raging her way across North America, supporting Charli XCX and on a girl power-fuelled tour. While FEMME's first track, 'Fever Boy' debuted earlier this year with infectious and swaggeringly beat, her new song 'High' is a blissful stomp that shows off Laura's gift for infectious pop.
Robert Lang: Congratulations on the tour, how is it going? 
FEMME: It's been amazing. We're on the home straight now, only four shows to play. 16 down. I'm currently in the desert in New Mexico as we are making our way to Phoenix, Arizona. The audiences on the tour have been so supportive and every night has been a blast. 
Do Charli, Elliphant and your self have a ritual before the concert begins?
We don't actually get to see much of each other before the show starts but myself and the Bullet Girls have a chant-psyche we do before going on stage and Elliphant does a few rounds of squats and press-ups to get pumped up before a show. I'm not sure what Charli and her girls do before their set but I am sure they have some pre-show ritual going on.
What funny story do you have from being on the road?
Well there is a REALLY good story I would love to share with you but the blonde Bullet Girl would kill me if I shared it publicly. Let's just say Grey Goose, a very late night and some tomato soup. I'll say no more. And there was also this time we slept at a gas station between New York and Boston and we were woken at 5am by someone trying to get into the RV. I shot up in bed as I thought we were about to get robbed. Turns out it was just the gas station owner who wanted us off his property. So we all stepped out of the van and went for a pee on the forecourt before driving off to Walmart.
Who are the Bullet Girls?
The Bullet Girls are my partners in crime. The two girls that join me live on stage and appear in my videos. They live on my street in London, we're just best mates. We get together and make up dance routines and sometimes if I want to shoot photos or videos I’ll just go round and knock on their doors and see if they want to come out to play. 
Have you guys been partying a lot together?
We've had a couple of great nights out altogether but there's been so much driving and so little days off on this tour we haven't had a lot of time to get down together. We had a lot of fun at a college party in Boston one night and we also stayed out in NYC for Elliphant's birthday party which was a lot of fun. Next big night out will be LA and then San Fran for the end of tour party.
What is your favourite thing about America so far?
I love all the massive Goodwill stores, especially the ones way out in random places. I've picked up some gems on the road (I was meant to be going back with lighter luggage, whoops.) I also love travelling in the bus and getting to see a lot of the country that I never would if we were in a plane. We're driving through the desert in New Mexico right now. It's pretty spectacular I must say (for the first hour, after 5pm it starts to get a little...samey)
You recently released 'High'. What was the inspiration behind the music video and song?
In the video I wanted to allude to that dreamlike euphoria when you're on top of the world, just before you lose yourself, without making the lazy and obvious reference to drug use. The song isn't really about that. It's about getting high any way you like and it's just about elevating yourself. And right when you hit that space that you think you could live in forever, it's about that one person creeping back into your brain. Just when you thought you'd shaken it off. Before you know it you've already dialled their number on your phone.
When will you be releasing your album? 
We have the album release ear marked for spring 2015. I have the tracks finished, the artwork is in place and I even have a title. We're just in the process of figuring out the best way of getting it out next year.
How did you come up with you stage name? 
I am a female performer, writer and producer so FEMME was an obvious choice but I wanted something strong and simple. Something everyone can understand and interpret. It's a big word, and at first I was apprehensive about hijacking it. But it fits like a glove.
What did you dream about last night?
Last night I was sleeping in the RV in a Holiday Inn Express and there were strange scuttle-like sounds on top of the van during the night so inadvertently I was having dreams about hundreds of squirrels partying on top of our vehicle. When I woke up there were no signs of any squirrels. 
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I would love to do a photo shoot with Tim Walker, a video with Chris Cunningham or Michel Gondry. I would love to record a live performance with an orchestra. I would love to work with a choreographer and build a bigger live show. I would love to meet Grimes and FKA twigs and just hang out for an evening. I love those girls and think they are doing great things for female artists in the music industry. 
Photos/text: Robert Lang