Fill in the Blanks with Kate Foust

By Michael Alan Goldberg
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jul. 7, 2010

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Kate Foust

Photo by Michael Alan Goldberg

Perhaps you’ve seen her adding her vocal flair to the emerging Philly roots-rock collective Toy Soldiers. Or maybe you’ve seen her fronting her own local band, Lady, her voice pouring out in a jazzy, torchy, moody, brassy and all-around extraordinary manner. The woman in question is 21-year-old singer/songwriter Kate Foust, whom you also may remember from her stint in the Lancaster, Pa., indie-folk band Perkasie. Foust will be onstage with Toy Soldiers at this year’s XPoNential Festival; Lady, meanwhile, is prepping its debut EP, I Think It’s Fine, for release on Ropeadope Records in September. We caught up with Foust to play a little “Fill in the Blanks.”

My favorite thing about Philadelphia is ... “the buzz and the background noise. I grew up in the country where you can hear a pin drop in the middle of the night, so I appreciate that. Also the random gross things that I find outside of my front door and I try not to wonder why they’re there, how they got there, or what they were used for. Like, a bloody rubber glove. And there’s always a used tampon or condom on the street. When I move back to the country someday I’m gonna miss it.”

The biggest upside to being a musician in Philly is ... ”getting to play with all the other awesome musicians in Philly.”

The biggest downside to being a musician in Philly is ... ”that whole promoter’s bill thing. I really enjoy playing house shows and things. If something like that goes through, it would suck to not have any more house shows. Those shows are how I got acquainted with all the musician friends I have.”

The three words I’d like to see used to describe my music are ...”Cathartic. Powerful. And sassy. We’re totally sassy.”

The one thing that must be provided for me backstage is ... ”Are you kidding me? What backstage? What provided? A bottle of water would be nice! I like that coconut water, too, that’s really hydrating. So I guess if I got famous I’d ask for coconut water. But for now, Aquafina is fine.”

The 10 minutes before I go onstage to perform I ... ”am usually helping set up the stage or frantically scribbling a set list.”

The 10 minutes immediately after I get offstage from performing I ... “hug my sweaty bandmates, kiss them on the face, and tell them that I love them.”

The strangest thing someone has shouted at me while I was performing was ... “I get shouts of, like, ‘Marry me,’ something along those lines. I don’t usually get ‘nice tits’—I don’t have enough tits. It’s usually something along the lines of ‘Marry me’ but not as cute.”

The one goal I have for my career is ... ”to be respected and recognized for all that I have to offer by cool people who like good music.”

The artist I most dislike being compared to is ... ”I play piano sometimes and I sing so I get Alicia Keys, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, but I don’t think that I or Lady sound anything like them. So I feel like when people compare me to that they just haven’t really listened to my music.”

The artist I really don’t mind being compared to is ... ”Jeff Buckley.”

The first time I ever performed music in front of an audience I ... ”was at my eighth-grade talent show and I performed ‘At Last’ by Etta James—before American Idol started doing it, OK? [laughs]—and I had a flower in my hair and I was doing the whole Billie Holiday thing. And I sang the song and suddenly all these kids in my grade knew my name, and my mother and my aunt were crying. And I was like, ‘This is cool! This is neat!’”

The one question I wish someone would ask me about me or my music is ... ”I guess if somebody wanted to ask me about music theory or nerdy music stuff like that I would totally love to wax poetic about anything like that.”

Ten years from now I hope to be ... ”a successful touring and recording musician making an OK living. Maybe or maybe not having a husband and some babies, whatever. I hope to be creating and working with lots of interesting people. I guess what I’m doing now, but on a somewhat bigger and more professional scale. Maybe live in the middle of nowhere where there are no bloody rubber gloves laying around.”

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