THE VICE INTERVIEW:
JENNY LEE LINDBERG
Warpaint's Jenny Lee Lindberg on Stage Fright, First Love, and David Bowie Conspiracy Theories
This article was originally published in VICE.
Warpaint recently released its third album, Heads Up, which is both really good and a bit of a surprise, given that the band has been subject to a few split rumors recently. When I call the group's multicolored-haired, enigmatic bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg, she is brushing her teeth. "Hello?" she murmurs, toothbrush in mouth. She's at home in LA, getting ready to walk her dog, a Labradoodle called Pluto.
How many people have been in love with you?
I don't know. I mean, shit, I'd like to think that all of the boyfriends that I've had have been in love with me. At least at a certain point in time. I'm going to go with six. Is that a lot? I don't know. I've been in love with all the boyfriends I've had. I don't stay in love with them, but I've been in love with them.
What was your worst phase?
In retrospect, I would say when I was a senior in high school. I never went to school, but I got away with it. I didn't really want to be living in Reno anymore, which is where I'm from. I was onto the next… I wasn't very in the moment. I didn't really enjoy myself, and I wish I would have.
What conspiracy theory do you believe?
There was an interesting thing that I heard about David Bowie not actually dying when they said that he died. So that he could sort of see what would happen when he died and see how people were affected, and he was in fact going to die like two or three days later.
What would be your last meal?
Steak and some veggies and biscuits and gravy. And wait, hold on, I gotta throw in something sweet there. And a slice of ice cream cake. And a really nice glass of red wine.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, would you carry on doing what you're doing, or change jobs, or stop working?
I would still carry on what I was doing, but I probably wouldn't do it as much. I'd spend more time making music than I would traveling and touring. I'd be more stationary, wherever it was. I would leave Los Angeles, buy a few houses. I love Nashville, I love Austin, I love Utah, I love Tahoe where I grew up—places that are beautiful, filled with nature, not metropolitan, the antithesis of LA, New York, San Francisco.
If you were a wrestler, what song would you come into the ring to?
Some disco tune. Something a little soft but that gets you in the mood. I'm going to have to go with one of my favorite songs, which is "Promises" by Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibbs.
When in your life have you been truly overcome with fear?
When I was in high school, I had to do a play—I was terrified to get up and do it. I didn't even do it. I failed the class because that's how terrified I was to go up and perform in front of people. I had really crazy performance anxiety. I still kind of do. It's more the anticipation that sucks. The, Oh shit, what if I fuck up? That hasn't happened yet, so I've tricked myself into being like, Just be in the moment now when you get up there, relax and enjoy yourself and have fun, and I have to mantra that out to myself all the time.
Would you have sex with a robot?
Sure. Why not? I mean if it was capable, sure. Wow, I mean, if you were really itching for something and nothing else was possible and you were in a kinky mood, sure, why not?
In the past month, what is the latest you've slept in?
1 PM maybe. Even if I party the next night I just will not get very much sleep and then go to bed early that night. Waking up later is kind of sad, sort of depressing. I love waking up in the morning pretty early, starting my day. I feel inspired in the day, getting shit done. I don't like sleeping the day away because when you wake up and it's like 4 PM, there's something really depressing about that.
What film or TV show makes you cry?
One of my favorite movies, since I was seven, is Ghost. I always cry, every single time.
What's the grossest injury or illness you've ever had?
I got a concussion when I was ten. I got knocked off a horse; he threw me off. I still don't remember. I just came to, and I was in wires and on a fence and shit. I had a huge bump and was totally concussed.
If you had to give up sex or kissing, which would it be?
Well, you can do other things, so I would give up sex because kissing is just such a big part of foreplay.
Complete this sentence: The problem with young people today is…
This goes both ways, but I think they just have access to too many things. Going to the library or reading a book and not just going online and skimming things, and there's something to be said about that.
What memory from school stands out to you stronger than any other?
My first time falling in love. Or at least, thinking I was. At least being majorly infatuated. I just felt like he was so out of my league. The thing that's most memorable is the day that he recognized me and started flirting with me—it just made my whole life up to that point.
Photograph by Mia Kirby