We Talk Brexit, Donald Trump And Secret Katy Perry Parties With Aluna Francis Of AlunaGeorge
The Debrief: One half of AlunaGeorge, Aluna Francis is about to get even bigger. We chat with her just as she's about to head off on tour with none other than Sia.
AlunaGeorge, the dead good synthy pop dance duo, are just about to release their second album. You'll have heard a lot of it already - I'm in Control came out earlier this year to a series of very strong double thumbs up and new single Mean what I Mean? Yeah, it's a very good one to put on in your kitchen after a night out if you and your flatmates want to have a jolly good dance.
Aluna Francis is the face of the duo. George Reid sits out on the live shows these days but his influence is still stamped across the music just as firmly as before.
It's been quite a summer for Aluna - she played at Coachella and Glastonbury, toured across the US, played Reading and Leeds and... get this... is just about to head off supporting Sia on her US tour.
We caught up with her to find out how everything's been going.
Aluna your summer has been much more exciting that mine. What have you been up to?
I’m not much of an adventurer or an explorer to be honest. For me it’s just about who I’m with and I’ve got some really amazing people with me on tour wherever I go and that’s what makes it all meaningful for me. And the audiences.
And you’re just about to head off on tour with mysterious lady Sia yeah?
Have you met her yet?
I have met her – yeah. Katy Perry held a party just for artists at the Grammy. She was trying to do something different where she kept a creative space for artists to really connect with each other and feel like there weren’t cameras on. It wasn’t about the media, it wasn’t about being seen out and about, it was just like a gift from her to the people she’s connected with and Sia actually performed. So did I. So we got to see each other perform and then said ‘hello!’ afterwards.
Amazing. Are you worried at all about how much Brexit is going to affect your touring?
Absolutely. I’m really hoping they’re going to take it so. I’m also hoping that some magical thing will happen where somebody just goes ‘this is a really bad idea, let’s undo it somehow’. But it seems like it’s one of those things that undoable.
Yeah, that exactly how I feel.
I do feel that the aftermath has found that a lot of people who made that choice made it for the wrong reasons. Made it out of frustration about things that won’t be fixed by exiting Europe.
I was listening to the radio the other day and this guy was asking people like ‘do you regret having made that decision’ and they were like ‘yeah kind of because I just really angry with my Hungarian neighbour being loud’ It’s like right, so you made your political deicison based on something really personal and very isolated and nothing to do with the bigger picture? Yeah. I don’t know if that applies to a lot of people but… whoops.
It’s a weird time isn’t it at the moment. You had to cancel a show in American recently because of safety concerns about a nearby Trump rally right?
Yeah. They probably thought we were a bit silly to be scared. But that’s only because nothing actually happened that night. Plenty had happened and plenty was reported to be happening. There were lots of different opposing groups of people planned to be there and ready for fighting.
Sounds scary no matter what happened.
As a band at our level in America we’ve got absolutely no protection and no infrastructure for any kind of mishap that were to happen. We don’t have high level security and protection like that and I’ve got nine people to protect on my team so I made the decision to pull that show.
Better safe than sorry.
And, as someone from the UK, I don’t know what to believe and what not to believe. I’m not making that judgement. If I hear bad news… I wouldn’t have thought that people would be getting shot all the time because I’m not used to people being shot like that in England but it happens in America. I had to rework my idea of what can happen out there. People were find to carry a weapon out in the open there, which I’m just not tolerant of.
And I’m not de-sensitised by it. It’s terrifying to me And for lots of angry people to be in one city that hate each other, where it’s legal to carry a weapon… I was like ‘hell no’. Absolutely not.
Of course, of course. So when you are on tour, what do you guys get up to when you’re not performing?
If we’re on the bus we choose films that we can all really get into. Like the other day we watched The Craft.
And then we watched Straight Outta Compton and the 50 Cent film. When we watched The Craft we all put eyeliner on, even the boys.
So fun! How about stayling healthy and exercising?
I do Skype sessions with my Pilates teacher. Obviously if there’s a gym we’ll get in there and the show is quite high energy too. I don’t know how the rest of them stay fit to be honest. When I can afford it I’ll have a trainer on the bus that everyone can take turns getting abused by. But we’re not there yet.
What do you do when you finally get home?
When I’m in LA I go straight to the Korean spa. There’s lots of different types of watery enjoyment to be had. Then it’s catching up with friends, going for a hike. It makes such a different to get in touch with the natural lay of the land as opposed to going out clubbing straight away.
I’ve noticed that it does a lot more for me. To connect with what’s natural. There’s always something, even if you’re in the desert. Lots of sand you can hang out in!
Follow Jess on twitter @Jess_Commons
At work? With your gran?
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