Interviews

Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman on John Waters Being a Fan: "Get Waters on the Phone!"



In the first part of our interview with one of Dirty Projectors' lovely sirens, Amber Coffman, she spoke with us about singing and loving R&B as a young girl. In the second part, we chatted about the costumes she wore in David Longstreth's upcoming film Hi Custodian, the fact that John Waters told New Times recently that he listens to Dirty Projectors, and that Coffman loves to sing some Loretta Lynn karaoke.

Read the rest of our candid interview with Coffman after the jump.  

New Times: In the Dirty Projectors' film coming out soon, Hi Custodian, you did a lot of dressing up. Is there an outfit you liked the best? 

Amber Coffman: I liked the braided-hair thing. Where Haley [Dekle] and my hair was braided together. That looked really neat. That was fun. There were so many! I was dressed up as kind of a Florence Nightingale type. It was fun to be in this old gown thing. Haley was a nun. It was pretty hilarious when we were dressed up as the rich socialite kind of ladies. It was such a wild difference from anything we ever wear. It was funny when we stepped on the set; everyone was a little shocked. 

Was it fun, not horrifying, to have to change so many times?

It was a long, hard day, but it was a blast. The crew, everyone, was just working really, really hard to get the best thing that we possibly could get in the amount of time we had. 

Someone at the paper just interviewed John Waters, and he said he was a Dirty Projectors fan. Any reaction to that?

That's cool! When we played Coachella and we were shown to our dressing room; his dressing room was right next door. I remember he said, "Oh, Dirty Projectors, you guys are doing great!" I didn't realize he was a fan, but I know now. That's awesome! 

We asked what he was listening to now, and it was you guys and Justin Bieber, I have to tell you...

Hilarious and great! I'm an aspiring actress too, so get Waters on the phone. 

Next time, for sure! Hopefully we are the people who bring you guys together. Have you acted in anything before? What would you like to do with that? Stage, film, television? 

Well, I used to think it would just be film, especially living in New York. But in the last few years, television has been pretty amazing. So I've gained a lot of respect for it. I am, by and large, interested in film. 

Do you still ever make your own music? 

I will jot ideas down. I feel like I'm still trying to sort of figure out what I'd want to do with that. Still kind of searching. 

Not to be rude, but how old are you? 

I just turned 28. 

Well, then you have time to figure it out!

I think I do! [laughs]

One dumb question. Do you ever do karaoke? 

I love karaoke. 

Me too! What are the karaoke songs that are yours and, like, no one else can sing them?

It kind of depends on my mood. If I feel like my voice is doing really good and I feel like going crazy, I'll do Beyoncé or Whitney Houston. But I usually start with Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline. I love to sing "One's on the Way" or "Don't Come Home a' Drinkin'."

I love singing Patsy Cline karaoke, but obviously my voice is far inferior to yours. Do you intimidate people when you sing karaoke? Is everyone like, "I don't want to go after her!?"

I don't know. Usually when I go and sing karaoke, I'm singing with a whole bunch of other singers too, and they're all great! 


Dirty Projectors perform with Pop Etc at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 7 at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $26 with fees. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.


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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy