Wasn't it deliciously surreal to see acclaimed British collective Florence and the Machine take over Tuesday's Dancing With The Stars the same way she took over the MTV Video Music Awards in September? I thought so, too, so I decided to ring up Flo herself to get the full, exclusive 411 on her recent buzz-generating appearances and all her backstage dish. Oh, and pre-order the deluxe version of award-winning debut LP, Between Two Lungs, here.
UsMagazine.com: It was surreal to see you on Dancing With The Stars, the biggest show in the Country.
Florence Welch: It was pretty relaxed. I wanted to stay and see the whole show but we had to go. I did see the dancers who went on before us. I was excited to see what the performers were going to do with our music.
US: Did you meet any of the celebrities on the show?
FW: I met The Situation. I was on my way to do an interview and he had gotten off on the wrong floor. I was trying to give him directions and we managed to get back on the lift together and he got to where he was going. He was so sweet. I was really excited Brandy passed me in the corridor. "The Boy Is Mine" was such a huge song for me.
US: Are you a Jersey Shore fan?
FW: I've never watched it, but I've heard about it. It's a huge phenomenon. We don't have Jersey Shore in England yet.
US: Where you upset that The Situation was voted off?
FW: What? He was? Oh no! Now I'm upset — I didn’t know that! I think if the Jersey Shore is on TV I'll watch it, but we don't get it in England. My TV only has five channels.
US: What is it like being on reality TV, was it surreal?
FW: It is always quit surreal doing any television performance because it's quite removed from any live performance. It is about TV magic. I find it quit nerve-racking doing TV because there is not really any real room for error. You have one minute, one moment and you have to get it right.
US: What was it like behind the scenes?
FW: I got to hang out with the house band which was amazing. They're all Italian and have accordions. The big secret is that the lead singer from the Black Crowes [Chris Robinson] was sitting right in front of me, and wow, was that surreal. He had his lady friend sitting next to him and I could feel my heart beating really fast. We were exchanging conversation and laughing, it was quite fun.
US: Would you ever go on Dancing With The Stars?
FW: I would be too inclined to freestyle. I would just start wigging out. I love dancing, but I wouldn't be able to keep to the steps. I'd be too much of a wild card, crowd surfing into the audience.
US: Last time we saw you on television you were performing on the VMAs. What was that like?
FW: It was an amazing opportunity. I knew that and I really didn't want to fuck it up. It was such a massive moment for me. We sang "Dog Days Are Over" a million miles away from where it started. We were recording in a studio in South London, just coming out of art college and working in a bar. We didn't even have drums so we used the walls. That song really opened up the rest of the album for me, so being able to perform that song on the VMAs was really awesome. It represents what the rest of the album is about. There were times I thought, 'I can't do this.' There was so much preparation and then it's only two minutes. It really felt like we were being given free reign to create something colorful and expressive that captured the video and the song. We were so lucky that we could do something that was so out there. I mean we painted fifty people blue!
US: What was your favorite part of the night?
FW: There was so much that could have gone wrong, but as I was running back to the dressing room in a haze, I realized we did it. Then all of a sudden we were all running and screaming, everyone was jumping up and down. There was so much preparation and for everything to have gone well, it was the ultimate feeling of euphoria.
US: Did you get to see any other performers?
FW: I saw Kanye, which I was really excited about. I've always loved Clipse who was performing with him and I didn't know that was going to happen. I thought it was an incredible performance, really colorful.
US: Is there anyone you met at the VMAs you were really excited about?
FW: I waved at Nicki Minaj and she waved back. That was really exciting. I was such a geek. I am such a huge fan of her. She waved back at me but I think she might have thought I was crazy. Lady Gaga was really sweet to me. Someone tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to Lady Gaga, who mimed 'hello,' and asked if I was nervous. I mimed back 'vomiting.' She came backstage after my performance and gave me a big hug and she was so lovely. She’s always been so sweet.
US: What is next for you?
FW: I'm back in the studio in Soho, which is like the center of London, a den of iniquity. I would pop out to grab a drink and I would come back with three books on art, a bottle of vodka with a scorpion in it and some sort of strange vintage blouse. There are just so many distractions. I think it's good, it keeps things interesting, keeps you inspired — scorpions, vodka, a vintage blouse, it all goes into the album.
US: We recently did an interview with Madonna's daughter Lourdes and she named you as her favorite musical artist.
FW: That's amazing. She is so beautiful. I’m a huge Madonna fan, so maybe that means Madonna has heard my music too? Wow, that kind of messes with my head.
US: Are there any other artist you're currently into?
FW: Right now I'm listening to The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. It is so good. I am blown away. It completely changed my idea of what kind of music I want to make. I obsessively listening to it. I'm a really big Lil' Wayne fan as well, I'm excited for his new album. I love Drake and I'm excited for Kanye's new album.
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