Little Boots explains how joining ABBA’s live band inspired their new material
As Little Boots returns with their new single ‘Silver Balloons’, the singer-songwriter spoke to NME on how joining ABBA’s new live band helped shape their future material.
- READ MORE: The producers of ABBA “Travel” on what to expect from the live show “Circus of magical space”
The Swedish pop legends returned earlier this month, announcing details of a new “revolutionary” and immersive live show called “Voyage” with a new 10-track album of the same name and the first two singles of that. -this.
The live show ‘Voyage’ will see a ‘digital’ version of ABBA perform alongside a 10-piece band (put together with help from former Klaxons member James Righton and starring Little Boots) in the new ABBA specially designed for 3,000 people. Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London in a series of shows starting May 27, 2022.
Now Little Boots, AKA Victoria Hesketh, has revealed how the experience of working with her heroes influenced their long-awaited fourth album – slated for release in 2022.
“I’ve done a few EPs and collaborations, but until now I didn’t feel like it was the right time to do a full album,” Hesketh said. NME about her writing, producing and DJing life since ‘Working Girl’ in 2015. “The lockdown meant that so many people made albums because there was nothing else to do but to me, that forced me to become a producer. I had dabbled in it for a long time, but I had never really been brave enough.
She continued, “It just seemed like the right time. Having had this experience with ABBA, it absolutely touched and inspired me. I was wondering, ‘Can’t this song go further? What would Benny do [Andersson] to do?’ I would try to remember his hands on the piano. It definitely helped in the writing of the song. It’s like a great synergy between my new products and the project I’m embarking on with ABBA.
Hesketh went on to explain how “Silver Balloons” and her new record sees her returning “to her roots” in a spirit similar to that of her acclaimed 2009 debut album “Hands”.
“It’s DIY electronic pop with a disco twist,” she said. “I went back and wrote on the piano just starting out. It’s what I started with that really resonated with people, so it’s good to come full circle. I’m at this point where I’m not trying to please anyone else, so it’s just a very me save.”
Explain the lyrics “ssilver balloons, stay high / Pick up the pieces and hold me tightHesketh revealed how she was inspired by wanting to party during the pandemic.
“It’s a lot thinking about the canceled plans that exploded as you got closer and closer to them,” she said. “I wrote a lot of the album in Blackpool where I grew up and where I wrote a lot of the first album. There are quite a few nostalgic moments, and it’s a pretty uplifting record. No one wants to remember the lockdown, so that’s pretty optimistic. “
Admitting that she has been an ABBA “mega-fan” for as long as she can remember, Hesketh explained how “absolutely breathtaking” it was to be in the same room with them – not to mention play as part of their “Voyage”. bandaged.
“As a pianist, songwriter and pop nerd, I am in awe of them,” she said. “The way they approach writing and arranging is amazing. For a long time, people regarded their music as guilty pleasure – it’s outdated now. In the 70s, the disco got a little tarnished.
“I’m a huge disco fan so I’m glad the circle has come full circle to be recognized for his songwriting. ABBA is now an integral part of the fabric of our artistic history. “
Having been friends with former Klaxons member James Righton for many years, Hesketh said she was “in disbelief” when he called her to ask her to audition for the project.
“It’s a strange call to me, because I do my own thing: I still tour, I always make my own records and if I had been asked to play for someone else I would have said no “she said. “There is no way to say no to ABBA.”
Hesketh continued, “I’m a classically trained pianist, but I still have this impostor syndrome with the people who went to music schools and conservatories – the people who are really going to bring it. I really improved my game and trained with a really good Classical LA teacher to get back to my best form and then spent days playing all of the ABBA songs.
“Even then, I didn’t know if I would get [the part]. It was a mix of people auditioning. Some people were really high end session musicians and some were really well trained. I think my love for the music and the band came out of the audition even though I was so nervous. This is probably what made it possible to close the deal.
While refusing to reveal anything regarding the identity of the rest of the band, Hesketh praised ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ line-up for being “just a brilliantly high level of musicians.”
“The big message that came out was that ABBA could have called a music college sessional agency and had a bunch of guys who can play it all right away, but that wasn’t about that,” she admitted. “It was about building a group that had character, soul and personality that could also perform with an incredibly high level of skill. The group that we have is a brilliant mix of vibrant personalities, and I think that will come out. in music. “
She added: “This is what they had in the 70s and they wanted to recreate. All the sounds you hear except ABBA’s voices are made in the room at night. It’s incredible. It’s like lightning.
Describing the “emotional” process of auditioning and jamming with ABBA, Little Boots explained how dazzled she always feels.
“I didn’t think they would be there for the audition, then Benny and Bjorn came in and introduced themselves,” she revealed. “At the end of the day, Benny would jump on the synth with me and show me what kind of sounds he would use for different songs. I could not believe it.
“I remember one time when Benny started playing ‘Thank You For The Music’, I started singing and I had a moment. It was unbelievable. They are the cutest and most inspiring people, and it is a joy and an honor to work with them.
While describing the live show “Voyage” as something no one has seen or experienced before, Hesketh added that the band’s two new singles are “a testament to the magic of ABBA.”
“Young people love it,” she says. “These songs are all the rage on TikTok. So many artists are coming back and collaborating with EDM people to try to be modern and relevant, and it just doesn’t work. I love that they just came back doing what they do to such a high standard.
“To me, these are fantastic songs that tell a story,” added Hesketh. “It sounds so easy, but it’s hard to do well. “
To verify NMEwith producers and directors on what to expect from ABBA’s live show here, along with details on how long it could last, and Righton explaining what happened in making up the live band here.
ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ concerts will take place from May 27, 2022, following the backing album which will be released on November 5 on Universal Music. Visit here for tickets and more information.
Little Boots’ Silver Balloons is now available. Check out his upcoming UK tour dates below. Tickets are available here.
26 – Manchester, United Kingdom, The Deaf Institute
28 – London, United Kingdom, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club