We spoke to BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Lauren Laverne about indie-pop stardom, her debut novel and what she really thinks about today’s bands…
Lauren Laverne first came to public – and our – attention while still at Sixth Form, when fronting indie band Kenickie. When the band called it quits in 1998, Lauren dipped her toe into broadcasting, and after a spell at XFM, pitched up at the BBC where, among other things (the Culture Show, Glasto coverage), she hosts a daily show in the 10am – 1pm slot.
The Double Negative: You lived the teen dream with the fondly remembered Kenickie. Are you ever tempted to play one of your old tracks on 6 music?
Lauren Laverne: Never! I would feel like a proper bellend. It is nice when I occasionally hear other people playing them, though.
Your transition from pop-star to TV and radio personality appeared pretty seamless. Was it, or were those days/weeks immediately post being a signed artist fraught ones?
There was a bit of an overlap, actually. I did a couple of records [Don't Falter with Mint Royale and solo EP, Take These Flowers Away] after I got my first presenting gig (covering for Steve Lamacq in Radio 1 and doing The Alphabet Show with Chris Addison) so it all happened very naturally. I just did it for the fun of it at first. Then, when I worked on Glastonbury for the first time, I thought maybe there was something in it.
You’ve said in previous interviews you don’t miss performing, but on the occasion you’re interviewing a band on you don’t like, is there sometimes a creeping thought that you did it better?
Haha! Nah. I’m too busy concentrating on what they’re saying to think anything like that, even if it was true.
What’s your pick of the current BBC 6 playlist?
The new Tame Impala record [Lonerism] is rather splendid. Kindness is amazing, too. I’m excited about his Maida Vale session for us this October.
Have you ever been star struck in your capacity as host? If so, by whom?
Of course! Interviewing Macca, Madonna, Lou Reed and Stevie Nicks was pretty incredible. It’s not starriness that does it for me, though. Meeting the person on a perfect record is an amazing thing. It’s like the Mona Lisa walking into the room or someone sending you Van Gough’s Sunflowers by Interflora.
What’s most rewarding, TV or radio?
Radio. TV is tremendous fun but you’re your own boss on the wireless.
Your book, Candypop: Candy and the Broken Biscuits came out in 2010. They say (whoever they are) that debut novels are often autobiographical. Is this the truest case of that ever?
Ha! Well, they do say write what you know.
It was well received, are there plans for a second novel?
I would love to write another but I’d definitely set more time aside. Once they’re [Lauren has two children, with husband Graeme Fisher] both at school and nursery, that will be top of my list.