Firsties and Faves: Holly Miranda

Holly has a couple new tracks out—one of which features Kelis—so we decided to talk to her about first kisses, Tool, and 'The Simpsons.'

Holly Miranda! Where have you been? It’s been nearly three years since your breakthrough record, The Magician’s Private Library, and we miss you. Thankfully Holly's reteamed with Dave Sitek and she's currently recording a new album. To tide us over she’s just released two tracks—on Sitek’s Federal Prism label—the best of which is “Desert Call” because she sounds like a broken-hearted angel on top of a Christmas tree and it features Kelis on backing vocals. For real. Anyway, we’ll have a proper, real, and serious chat with Holly when her next full-length drops, but for now, here are her firsties and faves. (And if you’re in Brooklyn, she’s playing the Knitting Factory tonight.)

Favorite TV series:
The Simpsons. It’s like my mashed potatoes. It never gets old. It’s always witty and funny and quick and it always makes me laugh. My favorite character is probably Mo. I identify with him. He’s always getting picked on—they always say he’s the ugliest man in the world and I think he’s kind of cute. I have a soft spot for him; I like the underdog.

First kiss:
Robbie after track practice. I was in 8th grade and it made me sick to my stomach. It totally did! I was like, I don’t wanna kiss boys. My mom had to drop him off so he was in the car with me and it gave me a stomach ache for the whole ride home.

Favorite thing in your house:
My dog Florian and my cat Charlie. He happily ignores her and I think she thinks he’s gross. They don’t not get along, but they don’t cuddle.

“Fuck smiley glad-hands/With hidden agendas/Fuck these dysfunctional/Insecure actresses/Learn to swim.” - Holly covering Tool.

Favorite angry-and-I-wanna-smash-shit-up-song:
“Ænema" by Tool. I like to cover that song. I’ve made babies in Spain cry when I play it. What’s funny is that it’s all, fuck LA, let it break off and float away into the ocean, and now I live there! I lived in New York for 13 years and I needed a little reprieve. I don’t know what the last straw was… actually it was getting broken into and robbed. It was time. They took the laptop which had video of my grandfather and I singing on it and he had just died, and they took the video camera and I had just filmed a bunch of stuff with The xx on tour in Europe. You can’t ever get that back. What’s funny is they came in through my roommate’s window and they took one of his bags, dumped everything onto the floor and filled it up. But when the cops came, 10 hours later to dust for fingerprints, they found one print on the copy of C.S. Lewis’The Abolition of Man, so burglars had managed a contemplative moment.

First job:
I was the hostess at the Family Buggy in Michigan for a weekend until I accidentally poured a pitcher of ice tea on an old lady. It was a horrible job, I wanted out! It wasn’t my forte, the food industry. I’m not good at that.

Favorite place in the world:
It’s probably between Joshua Tree and Kawaii. I think it’s more the isolation of those two places and feeling like you’re unreachable. They’re both pretty extreme. Kawaii is the wettest place on the planet, it’s constantly raining, like every 10 minutes and Joshua Tree, I have a little place there and it’s silent and desolate apart from Twentynine Palms which is a marine base that’s not too far and it’s where all the marines go to train before they go to Afganistan and Iraq. It’ll be totally random, sometimes you’ll hear them dropping bombs all day long and then you won’t hear it for a few weeks. I think the through-line of those two places is that they’re both surreal and pretty extreme.

First regrettable hairstyle:
Oh there have been so many. I think the perm I got in third grade. It was pretty bad. I looked like a lion and my sisters made up this song, “Holly’s got a perm” [in the tune of Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun”]. There was a whole verse and after the first couple of lines I would just start crying!

Favorite fictional character:
Alex Voss. Laura Prepon’s character on Orange is the New Black. I think I watched the whole series two, maybe three times!

Favorite film heroine:
Diane Lane in Ladies and Gentleman The Fabulous Stains. I think it was Laura Dern’s first movie, they’re all like 14 or 15, maybe 16, and it’s about this girl punk group that goes on tour opening for this band and Ray Winstone is the lead singer. It’s hard to explain—it’s a kind of weird, 80s avant movie, but the whole attitude is really fuck you, we’re going to do what we want. Plus, there was great stage make-up and really great outfits.

First time being starstruck:
Al Pacino held the door for me a few months ago. I was carrying an amp and we were face-to-face for minute. It took everything in me not to say, “Hoo-ahh!”

Holly Miranda Tour Dates
10.29 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory^
12.01 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
12.02 - Portland, OR - MS Studios

Kim is Noisey's Style Editor and she's on Twitter - @theKTB.