Megan Washington is the hot new thing in pop, and with two hugely successful EPs (How To Tame Lions, Rich Kids) out now, and a debut album on the way, it seems she's got it made. But don’t underestimate the down to earth, alt-pop chanteuse - she’s a straight shooter. I spoke to Washington about celebrity, social networking and why Keith Urban probably uses Wen…
What do you think of the ‘intelligent pop’ label that some people have been giving you?
Well, Phoenix - I mean they’re a pop band, they’re just literally smart losers, you know. It’s not just nonsensical bullshit; it’s really wonderful lyric writing. But you know, it’s accessible. I’m ok with the intelligent pop label; every musician wishes they didn’t have a label but I guess if I had to have one, I’ll take that!
You use your social networks in a very personal way. Are you ever tempted to hand them over to a record company rep like a lot of other artists?
It would be really inappropriate for me to suddenly hand over those networks to commercial MD’s. That’s not what people signed up for; they signed up for me tweeting about getting my period!
Maybe that’s a diva thing then… What do you think of that kind of celebrity behaviour?
I don’t believe in this notion of celebrity [like] some kind of demi-god, in this magical world, with fairies - it’s fucking bullshit you know. We all live in this world and some of us are artists, and some of us are journalists, and some of us are butchers, bakers, candlestick makers - it doesn’t matter. Everyone’s got a thing that they love to do.
I guess you’re a celebrity now that Keith Urban specifically rang you to ask you to perform on stage with him… What did that conversation sound like?
I thought someone was playing some stupid joke on me, and then he was like: “No, it’s actually Keith Urban.” I said, 'It’s not Keith Urban, like, don’t be a dick.' I said 'all right, well sing something.' So he just sang something and I was like 'holy fucking shit, it’s Keith Urban'. And then I [said]: 'Fuck man, I’m sorry, but you can understand why I’m surprised that you’re calling me.'
That seems like a strange match…
I gotta tell ya, Keith Urban’s not in my top ten records, but at the same time I think he’s really terrific. He didn’t really know any of my songs; I didn’t know any of his songs - so we sang Billy Joel… His teeth are that white, his hair is that perfect in real life, all the time. You know what I think? I think he uses Wen, you know - that that stuff they sell on late night TV.
Speaking of celebrities, you toured with Sia. What was that like?
You know what? She was really quiet. I think that she’s a very extreme person you know? I think that’s where her extreme talent comes from… She was really great - she was like, lets just get fucked up, it’ll be awesome. I’m like, 'I love Sia!'
You supported Sia – and you’re currently on tour with The Beautiful Girls. Do you like supporting other bands?
I love supporting. It’s like when you meet your new boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, you just really want to make her like you... Sometimes she doesn’t like me, but sometimes she does. That’s all I can really hope for.
What do you think of Sia’s recent claims that she’s quitting because of the pressures of fame?
I guess when you get over it you can just not log on, it’s not like people are knocking at your door.
Do you think that sometimes musicians can come across fake?
I do think that there’s a social responsibility that comes with being a musician, particularly as a female musician, to not be a dick… They do that thing called fake shy… Like, 'I don’t know how I got here it’s like a cosmic miracle that I’m on stage, I’m so shy and bashful.' Fuck off. I love the big ego on stage.
- Washington is touring nationally in June and July with The Beautiful Girls. Check out more from Washington at themusicnetwork.com