If you’ve stopped by the Wildfang offices lately, there’s a good chance you’ll hear some Band of Skulls on the speakers. We’ve been longtime fans of the British group, especially bassist/vocalist Emma Richardson—a talented artist and all-around badass chick who can sometimes be spotted rocking Wildfang gear on-stage. After dropping their third album, Himalayan, in March, the band is currently playing the summer festival circuit through the US and UK, delivering killer, energetic live shows—even after 10 years together. We got the chance to hang out with Emma when they rolled through Portland last month and get the scoop on her favorite tomboy icons, the best way to pack for tour, and her ultimate summer playlist.
Tomboys tend to have a healthy disrespect for the rules and status quo—tell us about the last time you made a choice to follow your heart rather than follow the rules?
Choosing to do something creative for a living has been the best choice I have ever made. Going against what is expected and doing something that has an element of risk, but allows me to challenge what I am capable of musically and artistically, is very satisfying.
Tomboy isn’t a trend she’s been with us for hundreds of years—who are some of the female heroes/icons you look up to and why?
Amelia Earhart for being the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic solo. Skills and bravery. Bad Ass.
Frida Khalo because she battled the society she lived in and came to be recognised as one of the outstanding artists of the twentieth century.
Coco Chanel for leaving such a huge legacy, for being determined and ambitious, and liberating women from the clothes of the time.
Jacqueline du Pre for being one of the greatest cello players. She had a tragically brief career and short life but left behind many astounding performances.
Billie Holiday for being a pioneer of the jazz vocal and a seminal influence, pushing the limits of phrasing and timing. She sings about heartbreak like no one else.
What’s your favorite menswear-inspired clothing item in your closet?
I’m a big fan of a cowboy boot and have quite large feet so always end up hunting out men’s boots in various countries. My favourite pair has to be the snakeskin ankle boots that I found in Hamburg on the reeperbhan a few years ago. The local cobbler in my hometown hates me as I’m always bringing back plenty of repair jobs!
You seem to be touring permanently and jumping from one country to another—how do you pack for a tour? How do you plan your outfits?
As long as i have a few of pairs of good black jeans, boots and shirts and a hardwearing leather jacket I’m good to go. I end up trawling the vintage stores on tour and so that helps with having the right clothes for the right climate, buying on route!