It’s hard to believe that the members of Warpaint—(from left) drummer Stella Mozgawa, bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg, guitarist Theresa Wayman, and vocalist Emily Kokal—once considered calling themselves I Love You. “Now that I think about it,” Wayman says, “naming an all-girl band I Love You isn’t so cool, is it?” No, but this fiery foursome certainly is. With their knockout debut album, The Fool, and an opening spot on tour with Mercury Prize winners the xx, the Los Angeles–based quartet is being embraced by discerning music lovers, with raves at SXSW and early praise from Pitchfork.
The band is huddled in the back of their tour bus, having just arrived in New York from Montreal with a few hours to kill before tonight’s set at the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights. “Our songs come from a very ego-less place,” Lindberg says of Warpaint’s hypnotic, guitar-heavy sound and Cat Power-reminiscent vocals. “Performance is about being vulnerable, putting yourself out there, and not being concerned with the outcome. That, to me, is the highest state of being.” Kokal, alluding to the title of their new record, adds, “Making music is also about playing the fool. We’re all kind of like Forrest Gump. We don’t know any better, but we’re being real. And, ultimately, if everybody operated on this level, life would be really blissed out.”
Watch the video for their single “Undertow” here: