Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, makes the type of enigmatic, stitched-together pop music that could only be born out of a deep fascination with the Internet and all its weirdness. What else can you say about a musician who’s enthralled listeners from Pitchfork, Skrillex, and designed her own line of “pussy rings”? We caught up with her at last weekend’s Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about Hayao Miyazaki, Vladimir Putin, and her favorite boy bands.
Does it feel weird to be headlining against Godspeed! You Black Emperor?
Yeah, kind of. Well they’re headlining on a way bigger stage so they’re like, more headlining than I am.
I feel like you’re going to have more fans, though.
Maybe, I don’t know. Godspeed has a lot of fans.
Do you have anything wild planned for your live set?
Uh, yeah actually. I’m on tour with Skrillex right now, and I have my friend Mike from the band Blood Diamond who’s really EDM with me, so we’re going to do dubstep breakdowns and stuff. We’ve got our whole Skrillex set prepared.
How is touring with Skrillex?
So cool, yeah.
His fans, backstage, entourage…what’s it like?
Man, it’s crazy. Backstage it’s like, all these bros and then all these girls in booty shorts and bikini tops, and tons of Red Bull and free alcohol. And lights and this huge production. There’s just so many people in the audience and they’re so amped up. It’s crazy, it’s really cool. Very different from what I usually do.
Are you guys going do a collaboration?
I don’t know, I mean, I would if he asked me to. But it’s kind of up to him.
My friend wanted me to ask you if there are any colors you haven’t dyed your hair yet that you’re planning to.
It’s never really been purple and I would like to do that.
Can you offer a word or two about seapunk?
I mean, I don’t really know much about seapunk. It’s like a style thing. I feel like people think it’s a music thing and I feel like they always say that it’s not. Although a lot of them do make music. But I dunno, I think it’s like, a “cool” thing. People hate on it sometimes. I think that’s unnecessary.
I notice you’re wearing a Totoro bag, how long have you had that?
I’ve had this for like, two weeks. I got it in Tokyo Jungle in LA.
Is it your favorite Miyazaki movie?
No, Princess Mononoke is my favorite.
That’s a solid pick. If you were making a movie about yourself, who would you ask to play Grimes?
Uh…maybe like…fuck. Um…I don’t know. Like Claire Danes circa Romeo + Juliet era.
Have you had a Chicago hot dog yet?
Are you planning on it?
Maybe. I can’t eat yeast and I’m currently not eating meat.
For how long?
Just until I start to feel normal again.
Normal from what?
Um, I just feel kinda fucked up from tour. When I’m on tour I can’t eat the same way I would normally eat, because I get really sick really easily for some reason.
Have you seen anyone here that you loved so far?
Liturgy. Fucking love Liturgy.
Do you have a pick between One Direction and The Wanted?
I don’t know what those are.
They’re two boy bands right now that are decently popular. You should check them out. They’re like the new N’Sync and Backstreet Boys.
Oh, okay. I think Big Bang is my favorite boy band right now. They’re Korean.
If you could inhabit anyone’s body for one day, who would you pick?
God, I don’t know, like Vladimir Putin or something. Yeah.
How come? Are you very entrenched in Russian politics?
Yeah, I don’t know, he’s kind of evil. I just feel like, what would life be like to be an evil dictator? And I’d want it to be a guy, ‘cause I’d want to know what it’d be like to be in a man’s body.