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Baker's Dozen

Lay Of Her Land: Brix Smith Start's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , December 15th, 2016 11:19

As she prepares to release a debut album with her band of former Fall troopers, Brix Smith Start takes Julian Marszalek through some of the records that have shaped her life


Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
[Throws her head back and bursts into song] 'Hey! Hey! Momma! Said the way you move/Gonna make you sweat/Gonna make you groove!' Do I need to say anything more? That just says it all. It's got everything.

I think my biggest inspiration, as a singer, is Robert Plant. Not that you'd put me in the singing style as him. See, I'm a frontperson, too, now. I've been following what he's been doing and he's a musician's musician and that's a wonderful thing. When he did that thing with Alison Krauss, it was so brilliant. It's must be so great to play with so many different musicians and spark off.

When I was in The Fall we were discouraged from – no, we were not allowed – to play with other musicians and bands. There was the odd thing, but really, it was frowned upon. But it's so important to do that because you just grow so much. Robert Plant has kept growing as a musician, and he's kept pushing the envelope and pushing the boundaries, and he's aged beautifully in every way.

The stages of life are an interesting thing. Twelve years ago I was quite ageist about anyone in their forties and upwards carrying on and playing music. Look at The Rolling Stones – I've never seen the Stones and I wouldn't say I'm a fan but if I had to pick an era then it'd be the Brian Jones era – and I used to think to myself, oh give it a rest! You're so fucking rich, go and do what you want instead of this. But that is what they want and now of course they are doing it. And I'm like, 'GO FOR IT!'

I've come to realise that age is irrelevant. In fact, the older you are, the more history and power and honesty and wisdom you bring with you and you can channel it and bring it out and become a much more powerful performer. You also lose your ego a bit and a lot of the insecurities you have when you're young. Certainly for me, I'm a thousand times better than I was then. So now I understand what the Stones and Plant are doing and I'm happy that they're doing it. I think everyone should do it!