Naked Hippies, Glowsticks and the Final Tour: A Chat with LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Whang

lcds__t1000James Murphy has said This Is Happening will be the final LCD Soundsystem album. Do you think it really will be?

I think it’ll be the last studio album of this sort. And I think this will be the last tour we do this way. I don’t think this is going to be the last you’ll hear from any of us musically, but it’s just going to come in a different form probably.

Murphy is LCD Soundsystem when it comes to the studio, but for those that don’t know, what is your role live? And how do you feel the music translates?

I play keyboards and sing backup. We try and stay pretty true to the recordings. Especially with each record there’s been more and more involvement with other people playing. It definitely feels different and sounds different because we’re all playing live, seven people on the stage playing together. It’s just sort of like the recorded version, but more of an experience because the audience is there; we’re there together. Sonically it’s just different, it’s more enveloping, more of a body experience.

Are you working on anything else with the Juan MacLean or a solo project?

Pat, our drummer, and I have started some music together, and we’ve also been making art again, or at least Pat has. I have intentions to, once I get a minute.

What can people look forward to on this last tour song-wise?

I’d say about half our set is from the new record, or maybe a third. Then the rest of it is songs from the other two records. It’s pretty evenly balanced.

How about production?

We have these giant light boxes that we made like a million years ago for the first video that we made “Movement.”So we have those with us, which is pretty exciting. They’re not mind-melting or anything like that, just big plywood boxes with colored plexi in it, but we like them because they’re kind of shitty.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened so far on this tour?

The naked guy at Bonnaroo that jumped up on the stage and attacked our crew. Some guy was crowd-surfing, and then he managed to get onto the stage. He was completely naked. We had this theory that maybe he was on PCP and he wanted to make the sound stop, so he was unplugging amps, and it took four people to pin him down. He bit our guitar tech’s leg. But Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips happened to be there, and he was integral in helping us tame this wild man. That was really crazy. I think he peed also!

Was the guitar tech okay? Did he have to get a rabies shot or something?

I think he was okay. I don’t know if he broke the skin, but he definitely left a mark. Luckily he was wearing pants.

Speaking of crazy things, I hear Lindsay Lohan once tried to throw a drink on you?

Well, she didn’t try to throw a drink at me as much as she threw my drink at me (laughing). It was a misunderstanding, I suppose, where she misunderstood that it was okay to throw my drink at me.

Got any crazy party plans for when you’re in Vegas?

I’ve only been to Vegas once and it was like 15 years ago. I feel like Vegas is probably a wildly different place than it was 15 years ago. … It seems a lot newer and shinier now than it used to be. I feel like there was a lot of like old, gritty Vegas left over back in the mid ‘90s. So I’m gonna kind of miss that…. I’m excited, though. I watch CSI religiously. I’m going to be in LA before Vegas, and I think me and a friend are going to drive from LA to Vegas, hopefully in some kind of very fast, very expensive vehicle and maybe do a little travel writing or take some pictures. I haven’t figured out exactly what we’re going to do yet, but we’re trying to pitch it to a couple of magazines and see if they’ll pay for us to drive a very fast car through the desert. So that’ll be fun.

What kind of music fans do you think LCD appeals to?

I feel like when we first started, we were categorized as dance music, and we’d play at dance clubs and would be seen by club kids and stuff. But the music isn’t really just like that; it’s pretty rock-influenced. I think a lot more people know about us, so I hope that’s it’s a pretty eclectic group of people and music fans.

Should we bring glowsticks?

There are always glowsticks at our shows. I’ve gotten used to it, that there will be flying glowsticks hurled at my face while we’re playing. But that’s cool; if it makes people feel celebratory, that’s good.

Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly.

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