XLR8R checks in with cheeky rapper Amanda Blank while she catches her breath after touring the states all spring with Santigold. Blank privies us to Brazilian crowd-surfing, sticks it to club-rap haters, dishes on buddy Spankrock, and delivers big ups to Missy Elliot, R. Crumb, and the Wizard of Oz. Blank’s debut full-length, I Love You, comes out July 14 on Downtown.
XLR8R: What are you listening to right now?
Amanda Blank: The Fleet Foxes (I know I'm late on them, but they are so good!), The Death Set, Major Lazer, Rahfee Malik, Julie Ruin, and Maluca. Oh, and the new Sweatheart EP that's about to come out! It's our tour soundtrack this month.
What's the weirdest story you've ever heard about yourself?
That I am a 19-year-old Puerto Rican from Baltimore. I wish!
What band did you want to be in when you were 15?
Every girl band ever, but probably Heart the most!
Worst live show experience?
I've fallen off stage a few times, and I almost knocked my teeth out with the microphone on a few occasions. Probably the worst was also the best: I ran and did a stage dive at a festival in Brazil into a crowd of thousands of kids. It was so fun (but also so scary) when they took me out so far into the crowd I thought I wasn't coming back! They were so excited that they were pulling at me really hard. One guy even tried to take my sneakers off – and the girls were grabbing my crotch and my tits! I guess that's how it goes. It was pretty exciting in some ways, but I think maybe in the future I'll be a little more careful. Eh....probably not. Who knows?
What's the shittiest thing about the club-rap phenomenon?
The assumption that we're stupid or vapid because we make club and party music.
Favorite venue to play in?
The Barbary in Philadelphia.
What is your favorite thing you own?
Woah! That's like having to pick a favorite band. My house is full of weird-ass shit! I did recently get an R. Crumb drawing that I really, really love. It's of three very plump and curvy naked women with super-long hair, and it's beautiful. It's the first thing you see when you walk into my house.
Name one item of clothing you can't live without.
My cropped black leather jacket. I got it at a thrift store years ago and it's so comfy and worn in and fits me perfectly. I thought I lost it once and actually cried like a little baby!
Tell us something funny about Spankrock.
I thought he was the one that lost the jacket and I swear I almost killed him. He has a scattered brain and loses everything!
What did you always get in trouble for when you were little?
Doing the opposite of everything I was told to do or not do. I was always getting caught with my hand inside the cookie jar. My poor mom!
Which pop star would you most like to work with?
Missy Elliot. She's so rad!
What's the last thing you read?
I'm reading City of God as we speak. I've seen the movie a million times and someone told me the book is beautiful, so I bought it at a lil' used bookstore in Omaha, Nebraska on tour. It is really quite good. I also bought the Royal Book of Oz. I love all the Wizard of Oz stories.
Complete this sentence: In the future...
I will take care of myself more on tour and not rage out like some dirty boy in a dirty rock band.
Stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?
Trusted a liar.
What's next for you?
Hopefully some sleep.