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Q&A With Amanda Blank
Living the Dream
by Matt Crawford on Nov 20, 2009
Sexed-up and sassy, Amanda Blank doesnít hold much back. The Philly-based rapper/vocalist started out on early collaborations with Spank Rock and Santogold, among others, before releasing her debut LP I Love You earlier this year. An album more about letting loose and hooking up than long-term relationships, Amanda shows that she knows how to have a good time. She spoke with SF Station during a phone interview from Canada about her budding career, recent tours with Santogold and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and her current tour opening for Peaches, which stops at the Regency Ballroom on November 27th.
SFS: Are you still wearing short shorts on stage? I imagine it must get a little cold up there this time of year.
AB: My outfit has actually gotten smaller. I donít know how that is possible. Some of my friends are incredible designers, and they made me some new costumes for this tour. I think Iím starting to look like a cross between Ozzy Osbourne and a pro wrestler. Iím convinced, every time I get ready I look like fuckiní Ozzy Osbourne.
SFS: Thatís not a bad persona to get into.
AB: My hair has gotten so long, and all of the crazy makeup ó itís just funny.
SF Station (SFS): Howís the tour going?
Amanda Blank (AB): Itís so fun. The shows have been really great. The way I fit in the show, I think this has been the best for me. Between Peaches and the audience, I think this makes the most sense. We have such a good time, and the shows have been amazing.
SFS: Now that your album is out, are crowds becoming more familiar with your songs?
AB: Definitely. It makes a huge difference. Itís the most incredible feeling hearing fans sing along, which they couldnít do when the album wasnít out. Now that itís been a few months, I think people have sat with the record, and I notice it with the crowds. Itís a pretty incredible feeling. It makes me go crazy inside when Iím stage.
SFS: You are touring with Peaches now, and youíve done tours with Santogold and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ówomen that have made an impact on music in their own way. Has touring with them provided any additional insight for your career?
AB: Absolutely, especially since Santi has been one of my best friends for years. I think her role in my life has been so important because she is so inspiring and is such a good friend. It was cool because my first real tour by myself, without Spank Rock or my band, was with her. It was scary, and I had her to hold my hand through it.
As far as Peaches and Karen O, they are women that are really known for their performance ability. I love to perform and be onstage, and to see these women who are both on their fourth album is really inspiring.
In the beginning, it is so hard to tour and do shows. You donít know if people know the music, or if they care. To watch those women get up and perform every night is inspiring because Iíve seen where they have taken it over the years. I saw them both after their first album and it was really different. It keeps me motivated and pumped up.
I donít know what Iím going to do after peaches. Who am I going to tour with? Iíve already toured with all the girls! I like touring with ladies, it is so much more fun.
SFS: Has your own performance evolved?
AB: Yeah, I think Iíve gotten way better. I think now that I have my own album and Iím performing all of the songs that I wrote, I feel like I am a more emotional performer. The songs are more introspective and honest. Before, it was always just a crazy party and party raps. I feel like I am a more emotionally charged performer. I really live and breathe it now.
SFS: ďLeaving You BehindĒ is a track on the album that is very emotional. Is it difficult to manage relationships and your career at the same time?
AB: Yes, itís incredibly difficult. Being young and in a relationship is difficult and hard for everybody, but this life is especially complicated. You are never home and you donít really have time. Your life is this job, and it really takes over in so many ways. Iíve been in a situation where I felt like I had to choose between a relationship and this dream, and I canít give up this dream. Even relationships with friends become strained. You can find a healthy balance, but boys make it complicated.
Amanda Blank opens for Peaches at the Regency Ballroom on November 26th. Tickets are $25-$27. Doors open at 8pm and the show starts at 9pm.
by Matt Crawford on Nov 20, 2009