Real girls in their own place.
Not too crazy and just a pinch of naughty...
Photographs by Michael Edwards @meinmyplace
Words by Sophie Saint Thomas @TheBowieCat
The grey area can be uncomfortable. Humans crave answers and labels, we like to stand on solid ground and organize things in tidy boxes in the library of our brains. Sticking a genre on Dead Meadow has always puzzled fans and critics, but the band members themselves have found solid ground being different.
“I like un-categorizable. It’s cool when you see our fans and you can tell some came from a heavier background, some came from more of an indie rock background. We’re used to being called stoner rock and now there’s psych-scene, which I guess fits better, but it still seems like it’s just another name, you know?” Jason Simon (vocals/guitar) told me after their sound check on a cold grey night in New York City, backstage at Glasslands in Brooklyn where I caught up quickly with the guys. “Bands that I like, or writers, anything, it seems like it’s cooler when they’re creating their own thing that’s not easily classifiable. And it’s not really our intention, we’re just making each step of the way up,” he continued.
Originally from DC, where they left because “it was never that hospitable of a city, or that big of a city in terms of music scene,” for L.A, Dead Meadow released their seventh studio album, Warble Womb (Xemu Records) last fall. They’re currently on tour, playing new songs from the double LP.
“People wonder why we didn’t make it more concise,” Mark Laughlin (drums) said. “It got to the point where we had created all this material and we just wanted to put it all out there. To cut it down to one record really seemed like cutting it in half. I don’t know, a lot of times double records come out these days just because people make records that are too long for one album. I was like, if we’re spending the money and putting out two records, let’s have two records of music, because vinyl’s expensive. Let’s just put it out there and let people decide which songs they dig and which they don’t. Hopefully they’ll dig it all.”
After a decade and half of playing together, Dead Meadow has attracted a diverse and devout fan base who has seen a variety of material. I was curious how the audience responded to the new album. “The crowd’s reaction has been getting better and better,” said Jason. “It’s funny, a lot younger people, when it first came out, were like ‘Why did you change it up! It’s different,’ which is funny because we didn’t do anything different, we just let it develop and do its own thing. It seemed like for a month or two when a few song plays you can tell they’ve heard the new record and are stoked.”
“Yeah it got better, when we first started playing it was like crickets after the first few songs, and now people are psyched to hear it because they heard it on the record. We never play anything the same, as it is recorded anyway, always something new,” added Mark.
To hear Dead Meadow’s new songs in the wild for yourself, catch them on their 2014 Puff Tuff tour.
Words by Falene
I left the house today and ended up in a radio station. 95.5KLOS is in a building miles away, over a river, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by state parks and hills. Or as it is also commonly known, West Adams. When doing ‘fly on the wall’ candids, I require them to be in a somewhat
desolate landscape. Preferably away from everybody and everything else, if I’m completely honest. Thankfully this is exactly where the Heidi & Frank Show is located, hoorah!
Rowdy Frank Kramer transmitting just outside the city limits, is all very pirate radioesque—but without all the water. Known for his self deprecating humor, dry wit and unpredictable remarks, he’s been in the radio industry for over 20 years. He makes for great radio. As it turns out, he translates very well for TV too. Throw in his partner in crime Heidi Hamilton (and her extraordinarily long tongue) and their morning show makes up a good portion, of highly successful entertainment news program ‘Dish Nation.’ Apart from the speed of their delivery, watching the duo riff on (and off) screen, they seem to be insiders on a particularly naughty joke. One that could lead to spontaneous laughter at any given moment, but they aren’t allowed to share. Every evening on DS there’s that sly wink, a nudge and a smile between them. What are those 2 up to and what does Frank Kramer know that I don’t? I decided to ask him and he kindly agreed to answer. In unexpected Frank fashion we ended up discussing many unplanned topics too. From gyno visits, to Tinder and taints! And why Heidi is practically his work wife, even if technically, she’s a lesbian.
Inspired by his name, the title and my love of all things 80s (and British or gay), I decided to break this interview up by sections. Appropriately categorized by ‘FGTHs' greatest hits. That and because 'some' MIMPsters have been requesting jumps in the narrative.
FN: What time did you get up this morning?
Yep, once a week, my body just gives out in the middle of the day. I’ll fall asleep at 3pm, no warning and then wake up at 12am.
Those are ambulance driver hours mate, like ‘Bringing Out the Dead.’
Your body just never gets use to it.
Do you have a man crush?
The Denver Broncos John Elway. I was a huge fan growing up. Once, I bought a pickup truck from his Toyota dealership, just so it would say his name on it.
Last film you saw and just hated?
The one with the kid and Jennifer Garner? He grows like a plant or something, then he dies!
The Strange Life of Timothy Green!
Yeah that, that was AWFUL! Spoiler alert!
Best drum solo ever?
Kenny Aronoff - Jack & Diane (John C. Mellencamp)\ (In my minds eye the Cadbury’s Gorilla or Keith Moon pop up, in many ways for me they are interchangeable.)
At first I think they didn’t realize how unattractive all radio people are, in comparison to TV. Everyone that’s on ‘Dish Nation’ now, from all the different stations, are the best looking ones of the bunch. That’s why Eric (AKA “Smeeze” the producer) and Sammi (Associate Producer) are on with us. And Sammi can do back handsprings. Which is important. But all joking aside, I think we did replace some other folks from when it first started - which is terrifying. How bad were they?
[Actually they did replace one team. That’s the thing with Frank, it’s really hard to tell ‘if’ all joking is aside or not. He switches back and forth so fast, it’s hard to keep up!]
Drink of choice?
Cold and cheap.
How many years have you been doing radio?
Do you prefer terrestrial radio or online?
Podcasts are a really saturated market, everyone now feels they have something to say. People just hanging out on their couch, eating chips, grumbling. There’s more freedom online, but if I don’t have rules I miss them. But in this day and age, you have to do both for a certain level of success.
Do you need to be reined in sometimes?
I need to know there’s a line, so I know if I’m close, or if I’m crossing it. To be creative and get good gags, sometimes you need boundaries to push. What do I tippy toe around, that kind of thing. You have to be challenged to talk about something in a different way, that might have already been talked to death. That’s what ‘the line’ provides.
Now you do the ‘Heidi & Frank Show’ and ‘Dish Nation’ simultaneously, would you say that Heidi Hamilton is your soul mate and spirit animal?
Yes, we are both from Indiana.
[I’m beginning to wonder if Frank hears voices in his head, sometimes he sounds like he’s having 2 conversations. One with me and the other … elsewhere. I wouldn’t mind but I worry he hears better questions.]
When we first met 13 years ago, we just hit it off. She was like my immediate sister. Now we’re more of an old married couple. I have to say, she’s also the best female host in radio right now, bar none. I mean she just kills it, every time.
You 2 have a hilarious dynamic. Has it always been just the 2 of you?
She started out as a traffic reporter, on the ‘Jamie, Frosty & Frank Show.’ So when Danny Bonaduce replaced me and Frosty, we took a year off and were looking into doing another show. We wanted a third and she was the first person that came to my mind.
Yay the token woman!
No, no (laughs). We had an established chemistry, she was good on the fly too. We did a couple of test shows and she was really the only choice. There was a lot of moving around, with stations and formats after that. Frosty wanted to pursue more serious topics. It was just me and Heidi from then on.
THE POWER OF LOVE
Have you looked at MeInMyPlace, thoughts on the content?
Well, I liked it of course. It’s very au natural. I thought it was neat that the shoot was in their own homes, you don’t really get to see that often.
The 95.5 KLOS ‘Babe of the Day?’ How do these ladies get involved, are they regular listeners, or ‘entertainers?’
To be honest I’m not sure. Probably the women in our GMs old rolodex. Ugh I just said rolodex. Who says that in 2014?
[Again not sure if this unfiltered jest or not.]
Dating or married?
I’ve been with the same woman for 10 years. I was married before and got divorced after 3 years, then I went white water rafting in Canada. Then my dad called and said, “you should REALLY call one of your exes." Turns out, guess what, I had a 5 year old!
[I’m still trying to figure out the relevance of the white water rafting in Canada. Must be those voices again.]
As I got to know my daughter, me and her mom (my ex) got back together and we’ve been together ever since. Now we have a son too. I figured out that our daughter was the product of break up sex—I just never knew until 5 years later. Then during those visits, got her mom pregnant again (laughs).
My you are fertile! (I meant to say potent, but I think with my uterus —oops.)
Well, she is!
Don’t sneeze near anyone else, you’ll get them pregnant! So, you haven’t experienced Tinder then?
No but I’ve heard about that dating app.
Everyone’s got a Tinder story.
Well I told you a ‘tender’ lovin’ story, but not a Tinder Lovin’ one. See what I did there, eh?
Talking for a living, do you find that during your time off you are very quiet?
Yes I sit in the corner in utter silence. I demand SILENCE. Nah, but if I go to a party, I want someone to entertain me! I’m not the center of
attention, I’m not the life and soul of the party, I don’t want to be. I like
to sit back and relax.
Right if you worked in a chocolate factory, you wouldn’t want more chocolate on the weekend.
Exactly, if I was a gynecologist say, I wouldn’t wanna go home straight after and have sexy time.
Those are 2 very different things mind you!
[He devilishly giggles.]
You’ve never been in a GYNO’s office have you?
I almost did get an antique GYNO chair for my living room, does that count?
Those are creepy!!!
I almost got it. But I didn’t. He wanted too much for it.
That would make your living room like a scene from ‘Hostel,’ or Marilyn Manson’s house.
I was gonna put a projector underneath it, so when I sat in it I could shoot the view right onto the wall. Displayed from my under carriage!
You are lying! That would be your taint!!
WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND
Were you ever a stand up comic?
No, no. I’m a sit down comic, with headphones. I have total respect for those guys and ladies though, I get the rush of making a live audience laugh. I’ve done stage shows with radio, doing my job is about 4 hours of improv based on whatever is happening in the world. I can’t imagine doing a 30 min set, the same set, every night in different cities.
What were you doing directly before you got your first gig into radio?
I was studying to be a geologist. Senior year of college and my buddy was already in radio. He called me up and said, “instead of going to Florida for Spring Break, why don’t you come up here to Milwaukee and do the show with me for a week?” I said, erm no. I’d never taken any radio or broadcast classes. Then he explained, “well there’s women in Milwaukee too and I will buy ALL your beer.” Sold!
Was that the Frosty fella?
Yeah, that was Frosty. I knew him from my hometown.
[For those of you who don’t remember (or aren’t from LA) originally it was ‘Frosty, Frank and Jamie.’ That eventually became ‘Jamie, Frosty and Frank,’ which ended up as the ‘Jamie & Danny Show.’ During this transitional period there was a lot of drama and tabloid scandals (people being replaced, people going into rehab, firings, arrests being made.]
Was that a crazy time?
Nope, just radio. No that was AN INSANE time, for everyone. The show started in Denver, as the ‘Frosty, Frank and Jamie Show’ then by the time we moved to Los Angeles it became the ‘Jamie, Frosty & Frank show.’ Yep as long as my name goes last, I’m happy. WIN-NER! (laughing). Also initially they thought Frosty Frank was one person too. People were confused.
That could be your Drag Queen name.
Maybe it already is.
Who do you like/listen to?
The White Buffalo from ‘The Sons of Anarchy' soundtrack. I was blown away by him at a gig, so I had him come in and play live on the radio show. I took my son to his first concert, The Black Keys and my daughter to a Rolling Stones show.
How old are your kids?
Oh my daughter’s 16 now, so I only took her to see the Rolling Stones.
Sport of choice?
TV you’re watching?
'True Detectives,' watched 2 episodes and I'm hooked. 'Sons of Anarchy,' checking out 'Banshee.' I like sitcoms like 'Big Bang Theory' too. But mostly the darker HBO shows, I don't have a lot of time to watch TV, on it's regular schedule.
Dive bar, nightclub or lounge?
Dive bar. Or an irish pub.
Television that you hate-watch?(Like ‘The Following.’ It’s just so ridiculous, but I can’t help keep watching every episode. All the serial killers are attractive, why?)
Then yes and it’s Dr Phil. Or Dr. Oz, a show that plays purely on all our hypochondria. It’s like a game show for sicknesses!
Meet The Goodnight Darlings, a married couple consisting of a mad scientist whose first inspiration came from Kiss, and a punk-rock princess who found her voice as a child singing “Silent Night.”
Having found myself playing the third-wheel journalist in the voyeuristic presence of several bands consisting of romantic partners, it’s always interesting to observe how the couple presents the relationship. For some, they prefer to keep the relationship out of public knowledge. For others, the sex angle is obvious, yet not the focal point of the musical chemistry. For The Goodnight Darlings, their love is the foundation of their musical creation. Don’t fret; The Goodnight Darlings don’t make cheesy love songs, rather a beautifully chaotic mash of pop and post-punk rock that would be better suited for a Tim Burton film than one based on a Nicholas Spark novel.
The mixture of pleasure and pain found on band’s debut EP “Doll Drums” is best described by Katarina’s favorite phrase: “Devastating beauty.” Originally from Miami, Kat herself is a devastating beauty, with her long dark hair and classic features. A one-time host for MTV’s Made, after playing in a punk band Kat was discovered by a well-known pop music producer, and did a 180 from punk to pop. Meanwhile, Wilson, her partner in life, crime, and music was learning how to create intelligent mainstream music by touring with Wyclef Jean and the Fugees, where he earned his nickname “The Scientist” for his experimental yet precise abilities with his knobs and pedals. “Wyclef showed me the kindness of pop,” said Wilson, over dinner at Lil’ Frankie’s in the East Village, also the spot of the couple’s wedding reception. When Wilson and Katrina hooked up, they found their niche.
“I felt like OK I have a punk first band, I have a pop second band, and I wished I could mix them all together,” says Kat. “His band broke up, then mine broke up, and we were still dating throughout this and finally we looked at each other and were like ‘Why don’t we do this?’ It was such a slow reveal considering when I met him I thought he was the best guitarist ever.”
Since I met my partner on the fucking internet, I might have to steal Kat and Wilson’s meeting story for my memoir because it’s that perfect.
“We met in this boot-leg type bar where I was a bartending, it was my fist job in the city, and had a live room so I got to see so many bands. When his band came in I thought ‘I really want to know about all these pedals.’ So after the show, I asked, ‘Can I buy you a drink and let you tell me about the pedals? Which I didn’t realize was like the best line ever,’ says Kat. “So we just started talking about music. But then I went to go do the MTV show and he went to Berlin, and I thought we wouldn’t see each other, but he stuck in my mind. A few months later he emailed me inviting me to this battle of the bands he was playing. I felt whisked away, and then I saw his band play, and he ended up winning, which was perfect. Then afterwards there was this flock of white birds and he said ‘Would you be mad if I kissed you?’ and I replied ‘I’d be mad if you didn’t.’”
Eventually they were married in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Kat managed to use her powers of persuasion to get 5th Avenue shut down to have the the Hungry Marching Band play. They’re on the hunt for directors for their next music video, but with a love story like that these two are going to have to be fighting of Hollywood directors for their biopic.
Stay on the lookout for video for the band’s next single “July,” and a full-length album in the works. Until then, enjoy the video for “Red Hot.” After watching Kat take over a parade in the video, you can see how she convinced the city to let her shut down 5th Avenue on her wedding day.
Youngblood Hawke is a novel by Herman Wouk. It is also the namesake of the LA based indie pop band, who spiraled out of Los Angeles, across the America, building force across oceans and propelling the group of friends into international success. It was Sam, the reserved (until he’s on stage) attractive and well-spoken lead singer who stumbled upon the novel.
“It was a novel that I picked up, something I just connected to on so many different levels. It’s a novel about a Kentucky boy who moves to New York to become a writer. My whole family is from Kentucky, so there’s all these weird symbols in it that I picked up on and the story itself was incredibly inspiring to me, this guy’s journey and how he would do anything, basically dying for his art. I felt like I could relate from being in this other band,” Sam told me seated downstairs at Andrew W.K.’s Santos Party House in the Lower East Side, a few hours before the band would perform.
I sat Indian style on the floor while I interviewed Youngblood Hawke, the entire group seated on couches surrounding me. I liked them. I liked them a lot. We all agreed that typical interviews, a list of pre-composed questions recited from a notebook, questions they’ve been asked countless times before were boring, so instead we just spent 45 minutes just hanging out and talking, Me In My Place founder Michael Edwards occasionally chiming in and snapping photos of the group while they spoke.
Sam Martin and guitarist Simon Katz played together in their former band, Iglu & Hartly, a group whose rough breakup left them wondering if they even wanted to continue to pursue music. Thankfully, love conquered the negative residue of the past. Sam and Simon reached out to all their favorite musical people: Alice, Tasso, Nik, and Omar, and Youngblood Hawke was formed.
“And then it just kind of developed from there,” says Simon. “We all got in the studio and had a very similar mentality, we just kept writing and writing and writing. Finally we started playing shows, and word spread really fast, at least it seemed was fast, but it felt natural because we had all been working in music for a really long time and so…we had paid our dues. And then we signed with Republic Records and it’s just been going great for us since then.”
As the best artists learn to do, the group transformed their negative experiences of the past into beautifully morbid songs. While the sound is uplifting and joyous, such as in their single “We Come Running” (please watch the video, they go diving with sharks) don’t let the happy beats fool you, there’s darkness to the lyrics. “Days go by/Feeling broke and tired/Remember, always remember/The sound, the sound, the sound, when we come running.”
“We don’t make music like, happy happy music. It’s just like, if you look inside it, we try to be optimistic and hopeful about everything we do,” says Simon. “We wanted tie a lot of our darker stories with a positive spin on it because that’s who we are.”
When I hung out with the group, they were in the midst of an American tour fueled by the success of their debut album Wake Up. In front of them lay many more shows, across America, up the West Coast, eventually traveling to Europe. Combatting exhaustion from life on the road, the group shared their favorite things about returning home to Los Angeles. For Alice, the petite lovely blonde singer who has no problem keeping up with the boys (even if they do get a bit smelly on the road at times) it’s reading and cooking –- her favorite dish is bean and cheese tacos. For Sam, it is the comfort of sleeping in his own bed. For Simon, an insomniac who says he does his best work around 4AM, he misses his home studio, where they recorded the debut album. Tasso mostly misses cooking as well. “I love stir fry, huge stir-fry fan, and I love making soups as well,” says Tasso. “Stuff that you can do in one pot and then throw in the fridge. One pot means less mess, I call it the ‘one pot method.’ I have just as many recipes as I have songs I imagine.” Nik looks forward to returning home to drinking coffee on his balcony, and Omar misses his video games, particularly World of Warcraft.
Cut to the green room — minutes before the group is to take the stage. They have a chant they yell before each performance, a secret one. I guessed it, but I’m not going to tell you what it is. I had the honor of watching the performance from the side of the stage, and they fucking killed it, it was a sweat fest with the audience devouring every drop.
“Sam talks a lot about how important it is to be thankful that someone is paying to see you play,” Simon told me before they went on. “And we have to give them the energy they deserve, whether it’s four people or 5,000. We’re just into the moment, of coordinated chaos.”
Don’t be a stranger, catch Youngblood Hawke on tour because they may very well be playing near you tonight. Click here for show info.
The Original Vamp
Getting Intimate with True Blood’s Jessica Clark
words by @FaleneNurse
pictures by ME
If Jessica Clark enters a crowded room—the crowded room tends to take notice.
When Jessica Clark (aka Lilith) enters that room, all 5ft11 of her drenched in blood (and nothing else), fully fanged with a smirk that sats “don’t run dear you’re already dead” the room comes to an immediate halt. There are two very good reasons for this—captivation and a foreboding sense of doom. Something in the way she walks, talks and even smiles (as Lilith) is unnerving, in the same way as “The Shining.” A movie she wouldn’t be that out of place in. The former supermodel is stunning as a creature superior to mere mortals in every way, with her intoxicating mix of beauty and dread. As the mother of all vampires she’s also convincingly nailed the delivery of that uneasy feeling, straight to your gut! A mix that has been working a treat for HBOs “True Blood” since her show stopping entrance in Season 5. I don’t think another actress could have quite pulled it off as well (that’s not a pun boys).
One thing is for sure Jessica is very comfortable in her own skin, and not just for embracing full frontal nudity on the bloodsucking soap opera. Her voice is husky and low, with an ever so slight transatlantic drawl privy only to fashion models and jet-setters. Her intelligence and calm, are charming yet strangely… relaxing. Like sipping warm whole milk or soaking in a piping hot bath. For a woman who is dangerously good looking, her presence is rather cozy. So she’s either an evil genius, or just a genuinely chill gal from London—I’m leaning towards the latter. We chatted about her recent Vogue cover, “True Blood,” her dog’s name that might be mistaken for an alcoholic beverage; and why in the next life she’d be quite happy to come back as a couch. Or if all else fails a horse riding archeologist, she’s not fussy.
I give you the Goddess Lilith (or Jessica, let’s be honest they both fit quite well), drum role please.
Cocktail of choice?
Nice. Can you make a good ‘un?
I actually can. Pretty good, yeah.
My lil man, Patron. It’s not just a good Tequila you know, he’s the boss. A Pomeranian I’ve had since he was 9 months and now he’s 10. Which means I must be an adult now. Oh no! (she laughs).
If you could be any vampire from "Nosferatu" to "The Lost Boys," who would you be?
Ah, you just said it "The Lost Boys"! I loved that movie. I was obsessed, obsessed, obsessed! (The woman even screeches elegantly, sigh.) If I wasn’t Lilith, I’d be a Lost Boy, definitely.
Back in the day I waited for that at the video store!
Can I tell you we were just talking about this, we were doing a night shoot and me and three girls on the crew were chatting about "The Lost Boys." The reaction, everyone LOVES that movie. Then we Googled it and started YouTubing clips.
(I just have to pause a minute to let the #Trubies out there soak that in. Lilith, talking about “Lost Boys” on the set of “True Blood,” as the crew Googles and YouTubes clips. Did your mind just melt?)
It’s like a cult!
But it STILL holds up today, the soundtrack, the cinematography. Everything!
I nerded out on Alex Winter… it was bad.
Shut up! (The Londoner comes out stronger in her accent. Love it!)
Did you turn into a total fan girl?
Seriously though, he just happened to be in two cult classics. As every other actor on the planet curses him (laughing wildly). I feel like a complete underachiever all of sudden. No he’s far too cool for my liking, it’s not fair is it? (chortling a little more).
(You gotta love this woman, on one of the most popular shows on HBO, having graced the pages of Vogue, Trace, Lucky, Allure and Maxim, yet she still has the same British humor as my mates back home. If they too were blessed by the Cheekbone Genie. )
LA or NYC?
I first came yo NY for modeling – it’s a much easier Visa to get then an actress. I saw your 917 number and I thought of NYC, I loved it. I was there for a long time, I did all the craziness; the nightlife, fashion, traveling. I love LA equally and it’s better for me to be here now for work.
How old were you when you first to NY?
I was 16 I think, I had lived in Paris before that. In some unlikely ways, modeling provides good training for leaving the nest. You have to be super self-sufficient, comfortable being by yourself —a lot. I had it easier than most, some start at 13. I remember landing, taking a cab, and picking up a key that let me into this model flat. Hit my bed and didn’t wake up until the next day, my 1st day in the Big Apple and I had to head to the agency. No idea where it even was (the memory of that makes her laugh fondly), I was working off the A to Z systems from London!
OK Usher’sBUUUURRRRRNNNN! That video (technically you) got a LOT of attention.
Which is quite funny because initially I didn’t really want to do it. I’m comfortable with nudity, but I thought it was going to be booty dancing and invasive camera angles. I’m not so good with that. Instead it was a stylized mini movie shot in Frank Sinatra’s old house, which was really very cool. The pool scene was shot in the middle of the night, in the rain and it was FREEZING!! Then of course there were the flame throwers! (that throaty laugh escapes again). A LOT of fun, but crazy. That skimpy swimsuit kept coming off, the tape didn’t work in the water. I loved the final results though, I think it won an award. I’m proud of that video.
You have to be super athletic, to continually dive into a pool?
Quite, I like a good challenge though, roles that are more active and less passive. Can you imagine if they picked someone who couldn’t? Or just wasn’t a strong swimmer? I wondered that as no one asked that diving be a prerequisite, to be honest that wasn’t mentioned at the casting at all.
Did a more athletic mindset help protect you from any modeling pitfalls?
Not really, when I stopped modeling I had to retrain my brain. Now I’m an avid runner now, which helped tremendously. (She was recently featured in Runner’s World and is currently training for her next marathon.) I’m more conscientious about healthy foods and lifestyle now. In that life if you are lucky and work a lot, you travel 150 days of the year. Good nutrition isn’t a priority, also there’s the reality of being a teenager. In some respects it’s a similar timeline to an athlete, your career starts very young and then tapers off as your friends are starting to get serious in their jobs. Not to play the violins by any means, but it’s definitely a thing to learn. To be constantly assessed as part of the job.
For this one too?
Truthfully, regardless of what people think, acting really isn’t as rigid. In fashion, you have to be “that size” or you can’t work. Period. With acting there are other things to bring to the table – there’s wiggle room. You can have an athletic physique, toned arms, have hips, a good bum! (giggling again). They don’t want any definition in fashion, they prefer the skinny-fat thing if you know what I mean. You start at 15 and by 21 you develop into a woman, a bit of butt action going on. I know I have some butt action going on, which is a good thing in my book.
Especially in scenes where you are nekid!
Right. Well, yes.
I like Lilith because I believe she could do real damage. She could destroy an entire village!!
I love that about her, so that’s a huge compliment, that’s why I really wanted the role. Her nudity is primeval as opposed to titillating. Even when she’s sexual, she’s predatory. I’m really glad they allow me to bring that to the table, it’s frustrating when you have to be sexy or badass, but you can’t be both.
Yeah, for a while there were no more Ripleys in the movies.
Ripley is iconic, one word, one name, from 20 years ago and everyone knows– that says something. I’m getting on my feminist soapbox now. To me really "kicking ass" and making it believable, is sexy.
We are a feminist soapbox, so we encourage that!
I get the fantasy, the marketing and business aspect too, but I also think that there are some super powerful women on TV right now and audiences love it. "Game of Thrones" women have what I like to call bad-assery and intellect. "Spartacus" women are sexual beings, but also political beasts! They are not there to please, which I think is important, clearly I’m not prudish. I mean I’m on “True Blood” and I’m naked – a lot (the unabashed laughter returns).
But it’s equal opportunity nekidness on that show. Which is great!
That’s the most reassuring part, everyone has done it before. So they are very supportive, they know the deal and everyone is super professional. Besides the ladies (and some of the fellas), need their eye-candy too.
Also I like the diversity of “True Blood” in general. Look at Lafayette, a gay man who wears eyeliner and will kick your arse! No room for stereotypes, fully developed and realized characters only thanks.
I’m very curious, due to your former profession, was the MIMP shoot any different for you?
Well I’m use to being photographed, but being photographed as a model isn’t… yourself. With MIMP it’s just you. That had a completely different feel, much more intimate, revealing… but personality wise. I have to get use to doing that.
I’m gonna ask some random questions.
Oh God, I’m going to seem very uncool right now.
What makes you swoon?
Ha hah ha swoon huh? When that bit at the back of your neck is kissed, or the breath just touches upon it. When the one I love does that, that’ll do it. Goosebumps every time.
Or a nice smile maybe?
Nah to swoon you gotta work a bit harder for that (laughs).
Go to comfy clothes?
Super soft jersey tank and underwear, nothing else. I live in that, I can wonder around house all day. That’s when I know my day is done. Also I’m really into blankets. I’m one of those nesty-types. I can never just sit on a couch, I always curl up into them.
Like a cat! Go to outfit when going out?
Great pair of high heels, jeans and a motorcycle jacket. It goes across the board, downtown or a posh event.
The worst chat up line of your life?
I’ve had a few, there’s that old cheesy classic, did it hurt? You know when you fell from heaven haha ha. That one’s an oldie but a goodie.
How about “Nice legs, when do they open?”
God that’s awful! (she guffaws)
What you listening to these days?
If I’m cooking Lana Del Ray. (She cooks too, this IS unfair!!) If I’m running, Jay-Z I like the energy of hip-hop when running. I’m training at the moment, so I’m listening to a lot of hip-hop.
You were recently on the cover of Vogue. Did it feel like a milestone?
There isn’t a woman that wouldn’t be thrilled to be on the cover of Vogue, right? So er yeah (she’s laughing). There are certain titles, that are just… glamorous. When I was little Vogue was escapism from working class life. Also it’s highly regarded, so if there’s an opportunity to embrace diversity on the cover - it’s a wonderful opportunity. All little girls should be able to grow up and see women that look like them being celebrated in the media, as fashion forward, smart and progressive. So it was a big deal to me and it was also very humbling. A very cool thing to look back on in your life history.
And of course… IT’S VOGUE!
Yeah there’s that too (her giggles are husky and warm like her voice).
You are between LA and NY?
I go back and forth but LA is my base, I need to go back to London for a bit, it’s my home town. I love to travel, but not insanely like I use to. That’s one of the pleasures of acting, you can appreciate the cities you visit a bit more. No packing one “cold clothing” suitcase and one “hot weather” case, ready to jump on the next flight.
In the next life what will you be?
A couch hah ha or the right blanket! If that doesn’t work out a female Indiana Jones, an archeologist who also rides horses. Yeah that’ll do it.
A horse riding archeologist, that is specific. Brilliant!
Yes if you could arrange that, that would be GREAT thanks!
True Blood Season 6 returns on Sunday June 16th on HBO at 9/10 p.m ET/PT.
Claire Coffee, You Sexy Beast.
(Cozying up with @NBCGrimm's Sauciest Resident #Hexenbiest)
As you may, (or may not) have figured out, Claire Coffee is well loved at MIMP. Spend a little time with her and you will be quickly charmed (and thoroughly entertained) by her campy “Kitten With a Whip,” sense of humor. Tongue n’ cheek sass, behind a jaw-dropping form. No doubt it’s that combo that turned her guest spot on Grimm, into a series regular. She falls into an exclusive club here on the site, we like to call “TwoTimers.” Which is not some tacky play on words, meant to reference cheating or any other salacious implications (trolls be warned!). "TwoTimers" are those delightful lasses, that quite frankly one shoot simply doesn’t suffice. We need, we want, and then we implore for more (dazzling photos).That’s right, a second glorious MIMP shoot is required for these coveted few. Where once again we can bathe them in the subtle haze of the natural light, as they get all cozy, lounging around the house in their undies—as the good Lord intended! Can I get an Amen?
Ms Coffee fits into another category as well, (one that I’m also rather fond of), those talented women who can go from soft-featured, natural beauties, to the incredibly creepy and unnerving. All with the slightest curve, of a particularly wicked grin. You know the “I’m smiling but I’m gonna devour your intestine" crowd; ladies like Chloe Moretz, Naomie Harris, Eva Green, Summer Glau and Helena Bonham Carter. If you’ve been watching Grimm (Fridays, 9 p.m), you know exactly what I’m referring to, and it’s not because of that Hexenbiest CGI either. Which granted, in it’s own right, is AB-SO-LUTE-LY horrific! It really does resemble a flesh eating virus, ravishing through the entire right side of her face! This show ain’t no kiddies’ fairytale hour, that’s for sure.
So I had a little Coffee ‘Tawk’ this morning with the captivating Claire, as she returned to NY for a few days R&R after shooting in Portland. In our MIMP chat she reveals the possibility Adalind Schade might birth the show’s first Hexenbaby; as well as her fantasy football picks, David Giuntoli’s continued irritation with carbs, and what it truly means to have shirtless rage. Thanks to my newfound insider info, I’m heralding Spring’s return of Grimm as the Season of the Witch.
These chats can become a tad silly, it that OK?
I think all interviews with actors in general, should always be silly.
I like to keep it light.
Well there are pictures of me in my underwear, so how serious can you get (laughing).
Portlandia is starting to seem more like a documentary than a comedy. Except for the mice, I have yet to see a talking mouse or rat.
New York or LA?
Well I lived in LA for 10 years, but now I live with my boyfriend out here. I moved last May, then got promoted on the show, which was wonderful. We went on hiatus, and now I’m flying back and forth to Portland to shoot. Although I prefer NY to LA, shooting in Portland is pretty fantastic! They have all these Craftsman, storybook homes.
How could it not? I mean people have coined phrases and learned a whole new word set, because of this show (terms like “pheromaniacal” and “#shirtless rage” immediately come to mind).
Well all signs are leaning towards it, so I think it will. Of course I hope it will. It really does appeal to a broad spectrum of people, for different reasons. A lot of people watch it as a family, the teens and young adults are into the sci-fi and fantasy elements, and I think the older viewers really enjoy how dark it gets. And the darker humor, that can come with that.
It’s one of the few unique, scripted shows on TV right now.
It is different. We do also have a very loyal, strong fanbase, similar to the Buffy and X Files fans. Those are the best kind of fans to have, they are invested. We were worried when we went on hiatus, but the Friday we came back we didn’t lose any viewers—I think the numbers increased. We came back really early, so we could air all ten new episodes before the 2 part finale. And let me tell you I have read the script for the first part and it IS BONKERS! I wait for these scripts with baited breath, not just for the storyline, but because Adalind is so insane (laughing).
She’s wicked, but it’s good. I’m thrilled she didn’t die.
Now she might have a baby on the way, a little Hexenbaby. It also might be mentally unstable, I mean she’s crazier then any contestant on the Bachelor and those ladies are out of their skulls!
What is Renard, besides Royal?
He’s half (witch) Hexenbiest (she tells the story as if it’s a family secret, or the plot twist to a popular Soap Opera). You see in the world of Grimm, you are born a witch, but your powers can be taken away. So Adalind’s mom was a witch, but we don’t know anything about my father yet. So of course I created my own back story, I assumed he abandoned me—upon discovering I was in fact a full-blooded witch baby.
(I break into wild laughter at this point, as this conversation sounds like the overheard ramblings of two Bellevue patients).
My Hexendaddy couldn’t handle the prospect of dealing with a teen witch, in the prime of her adolescence.
Who’s Adalind’s Baby Daddy?
One of the brothers, the baby will be of Royal blood. Adalind is very cunning that way. We were laughing that it might be a bit of a Rosemary’s Baby too. I was imagining "now, what would a Hexenbaby crave?" Blood? Raw flesh?
Please explain Shirtless Rage?
Sasha Roiz (Renard) has his shirt off in a lot of episodes, usually when he gets angry. So every time he gets mad, his shirt just happens to come off (laughing). I don’t know if he coined the phrase, or if a fan tweeted it, but it definitely has become a thing. I wish I knew how it started.
He’s like 6ft5 and you are tiny.
He’s a full foot taller than me, I’m a petite 5ft4 and he is 6ft4. He’s a pretty strapping guy.
You are an avid American football fan?
Yeah I have a blog where I predict scores, amongst other things. My team is the 49ers, I grew up north of San Francisco. As an 80s kid, I would see Joe Montana on TV in his hey day. Then when I graduated high school, I started following college football. About the same time I got back into the 49ers again, they weren’t doing so well at all. I certainly can’t be accused of being a fair weather fan. When they got a new coach, things started to improve.
Is that the team that’s going to sign Manti Te’o? (I know, I know, I don’t know ANYTHING about American football).
Well he’s a college recruit, so he hasn’t been drafted yet. He’s considered a real good player, but after the whole Catfish debacle, a lot thought it was a strike against his character. Like, how much of an idiot must someone be, to fall for this. Different positions, require a different skill set I say. I mean if your purpose is to bash in your opponent, maybe it’s better if you don’t ask too many questions.
Do you think you could ever be Catfished?
No way, Jose! I’m a very skeptical person, with everyone. People create entire fake profiles, they look for your weak spot as a way in. That someone would go to such lengths, to be so devious online, the internet can create highways for certain people to wreak havoc. At a really rapid pace.
Gay men would be my kryptonite. If you could be any football player, living or dead, who would it be?
Patrick Willis, he’s a linebacker and he’s ferocious, that seems like fun. Getting all those frustrations out as part of your job. He also has an amazing story, so he seems like a genuinely good person. Ferocious on the field and a sweetheart in real life. I think that’s a recipe for happiness.
Do you feel a pressure to maintain your shape?
Well I work out A LOT(laughing). There’s pressure as there is with any job, and I look at exercise as part of my job description. I’m not going to train like an Olympian, but yes, it comes with the territory. Then the wardrobe of an evil seductress, tends to be tight. Or I’m involved in some shirtless rage with Sasha (cackles), so it’s best to keep in fighting form. Thankfully, I like to exercise, so it’s not too much of a chore. I’m also generously rewarded with ice cream. That’s the thing I’m not willing to compromise what I eat, I love going out for dinner, I live in NY and film in Portland! Some of the best food and restaurants ever.
Well at least the boys have to also, none of them look too shabby on Grimm.
We were having a cast Super Bowl party and David, had to have his shirt off the next day, so he was eating celery and veggie dips. For the guys, if you are going to be half naked, the carbs are the first things to go. Oh yeah, the boys have to maintain too. Equal opportunity exercising, for all of us.
As an actress, have you ever read a post with one of your shoots, and thought “what the what?”
I try not to read the comments, you never know what’s going to get posted. I think as an actress, when you shoot pictures (or film a scene) in lingerie, you forget how many people are going to eventually see. There’s this buffer of time delay, as it may come out months later.
Even the complimentary comments, there is that point when they get far too specific.
I had a couple of situations like that on Twitter, where it wasn’t negative, just too explicit and graphic. I decided to block a couple of people because of that.
Whether recipient or sender, there’s a fine line between”hot” and “gross.”
Yeah, I never understood why men thought it was a good idea to send/text snapshots of their junk. Thank the Lord I have never received one in my lifetime.
Wish I could say the same, ugh.
Oh God, No, NO! How are you suppose to reply to that?
Good grooming? (lol)
I don’t think that was the response he was looking for (laughing). Maybe a memo should be sent to all men in the universe, when you send a penis pic, it probably isn’t going to end well. Was there a guy convention where they came up with this idea, without asking any actual women?
A film role, you would relish?
My most beloved movie of all time is Amelie, I would love to be set loose in that world. Fantasy laden, heartbreaking, charming and gorgeous. To work with that director (Jean-Pierre Jeunet) who sees the world in that way. Also I would like to be Dr Who’s companion, fantasy is the best.
Ice cream, pints and pints of ice cream, loaded up ready to go—in my freezer right now.
Are you a vintage clothes connoisseur?
I love vintage clothes and Portland has the best thrift stores. NY and LA can be overpriced because of the popularity, but in Portland you can find real gems. Vintage shoes and season bags. Sometimes I have to restrain myself, but the prices are really reasonable. I have had shoe binges out there.
Are your neighbors horrid?
In NY? I don’t know any of them, so that makes them wonderful. Though I will say a couple of units were partying the other night, and someone had taken a bag of beer bottles and vomit soaked paper towels and left them in the hallway!! Take it to the garbage, disgusting human! I was enraged.
You should have gone all Hexenbiest o them, at their front door, full make-up!
Then I found pup poop. I can’t say it’s the same person, but I do wonder.
Musically what do you like right now?
My fantastically talented boyfriend is a musician, he plays the mandolin. So I’ve been listening to a lot of mandolin. Classical music too, he’s recording a Bach album.
When is Shohreh Aghdashloo coming?
My God I love that woman! We share a future storyline, which is coming up—soon. As an actress and a person, I can only say glowing things about her, she is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met—in life. She’s so perfect for the show, ah and that voice.
She’s the Queen of ALL The Gypsies! God these gothic, melodramatic characters, are delicious, yum.
Well she’s an ally… with an asterisk. Adalind doesn’t really have any friends, pretty much the whole cast wants to kill her. The Gypsy Queen should be arriving in about a month, I can only tell you that much though.
If they made a fairytale film, which one would you want to be in?
They did already, Hansel and Gretel.
As Gretel or The Witch?
Before, I would have said Gretel. As a kid I always liked that name, I was also Gretel in the Sound of Music (ha ha). Now, I would be the witch. I feel it’s in my wheelhouse, I’m good at it. I also like the idea of a house made of candy.
Forget those kids, there’s a whole house of sugar, BABES!
Also Jack and the Beanstalk. In that scenario I would have to be Jack, of course.
Catch Claire getting all crazy on Grimm every Friday night at 8/9pm on NBC.
And to see the bonus out-takes from Claire’s Me In My Place shoot, be sure to pick up a subscription to the MIMP MOBILE WEB APP here.