Words: Jennifer Parkes
Have you heard of TT? The moniker may not be too familiar right now, but you’re almost certain to know of Theresa Wayman, founding member of iconic indie rock band Warpaint, and otherwise known as TT.
While the group’s psychedelic dream pop has enticed and entranced fans for the past 14 years, last month saw Wayman release her own offering, LoveLaws, under her two-lettered alter-ego. But this is no band break-up – Warpaint shows no signs of slowing down, with several tour dates in the diary for 2018. FAULT caught up with Wayman in between shows to talk more about her debut solo offering, the challenges facing women in the music industry, and dream festival line-ups…
So, you’ve just released a solo album, which is pretty exciting! What made you decide to do that alongside Warpaint?
I just needed to be expressing more than I can do in Warpaint; it’s been 14 years being in a collaborative process, and I wanted to experience being on my own and having more control.
Did you approach this album differently at all to how you approach creating an album as a band? What were the challenges in that?
I didn’t have to do it in any specific timeframe, so I was able to indulge myself and question things more. It was scary to do that at times, and I worried I would never make it to the end – sometimes it seemed like I could keep questioning forever, but I figured it out!
You examine love and relationships in a number of ways across different tracks, but I’m also intrigued by the album’s title ‘LoveLaws’ – how did that come to be?
I thought of that title as a good concept to build an album from. I was feeling ruled by love and romance, and also seeing love as being a fundamental of life in so many ways. It seemed important to write about it.
Who would you say your influences have been, both in your own music and as a band?
First and foremost, my music is always influenced by my emotions and mood. I tend to go into starting a song feeling blind, like I have no idea what will come out of me until I see it on the page. But then I start to hone it and let influences in, like Al Green, Sade or Trip Hop like Portishead and Massive Attack. Also current artists like King Krule, Rihanna and Adele, and that song ‘Get Free’ by Major Lazer.
How do you feel Warpaint’s sound has developed over the last 14 years?
I think Warpaint has gone in many directions over the years; we’re becoming more concise with our arrangements and clearer in what we’re saying. We used to jam a lot and write together in a room, but we did less of that on this last album – I think we’re into the idea of going back to that again, just because that old way now seems like something new and different.
It’s impressive that, as an all-female four-piece, Warpaint has stood the test of time in a notoriously misogynistic industry – how have you dealt with challenges that you’ve faced over the years in this respect?
I think there’s more freedom in the indie-rock world for a girl band to exist, and not feel as much pressure and expectation to be something appealing to men. I think that’s a lot more common in the pop world.
I’ve generally felt very welcomed by our male peers, although there are times I’ve felt excluded from “the boys club”, like I can’t be a part of some technical conversation or ask questions. But I think the guys that act like that are the most insecure, and ultimately want to exclude women just because they just don’t know how to talk to them or don’t feel attractive to them.
Are there any new artists that you’re into at the moment you think we should keep an ear out for?
Kali Uchis, who I’m sure you’ve already heard of! And Dick Stusso – he’s from Oakland, he’s a really great singer/guitar player/overall musician, and he’s self-produced.
You guys have a few tour dates over summer, including playing at All Points East Festival – are there any bands you happened to catch while you were there, or at other festivals?
Yes! War On Drugs at All Points East, and I saw Bjork and Fever Ray at Primavera – they were absolutely incredible!
If you were to host a festival, anywhere in time and space, what would your dream location and line-up be?
Probably on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean. It would be Bjork from the Homogenic tour, so that she’s playing songs from debut and post too, with Portishead, Nirvana, Al Green, Kendrick Lamar, Fever Ray, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, and Bob Dylan playing all my favourite songs from over the years (I would get to choose)… the list could really go on and on!
Lastly, something we ask all of our guests, what is your FAULT?
I can be really stubborn and not let things go, and I always need to be right. I’m working on it!
LoveLaws is available to buy now – visit ttlovelaws.com for more info.