BRITTA PHILLIPS

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britta-5BY:SARAH SWEENEY                                                                                      PHOTOGRAPHS: SHANNA FISHER

What are some of the things that inspire you on a daily basis?
I get inspired by listening to great music, reading great books and watching great movies. But I don’t feel inspired on a daily basis (not to write music, anyway!)
What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
I love to get out of NYC on the weekend if I can. We try to go upstate to Dean’s parents’ house and swim in the lake, eat a great steak and drink wine on the deck and talk about the world.
When do you feel most creative? Where?
I usually feel most creative right before I fall asleep, so it’s good to have a notebook nearby. Sometimes it’s a drag because I can’t remember music/melodies (only lyrics) and I’m usually too tired to get up and record them. Also, when I sit down at my home studio and just start noodling around on any instrument, I start to get ideas. Sometimes I end up sitting there playing all day
Whose style do you identify with more: Nancy Sinatra or Ann-Margret?
Definitely Nancy Sinatra. Ann-Margaret was more of an actress who could sing a   little.
What music do you listen to when you’re getting ready to go out?
La Femme D’Argent by Air is sublime and sexy. “Friday’s Child” by Nancy Sinatra.
You were once the singing voice of Jem, and you’re truly the living embodiment of her. You’ve done it all: musician, actress, and now fashion icon. What other role do you have that we don’t know about you?
I’m a step-mom! My step-son, Jack, is 8 years old.
Lee Hazlewood was someone I loved and enjoyed for years. His passing was truly tragic and even more so because most people don’t know who he was. I love the cover of “You Turn My Head Around”. What’s your favorite Lee song?
My favorite Lee Hazlewood song is probably “Your Sweet Love,” from the album, “Love & Other Crimes.” I used some of the chord progression on that song to write “Your Baby” (on our first album, “L’Avventura”).
It’s always been popular to re-do something retro, but you and Dean make it feel very fresh and new, not just redone. Dean is a modern day Serge Gainsbourg, only better looking; but you’re less Jane Birkin, more Brigitte Bardot—style-wise and in sexiness. I love the MySpace photo of you and Dean’s haircuts together. How does your image factor into what you do?
Hmmm….I’m not sure I understand this question… Dean and I certainly had fun with the photo shoot for “Back Numbers.” We decided to go for something fun and sexy. It’s a lot easier and more fun to do a photo shoot with just two people (especially a man and a woman) than it is with a whole band. I try not to think toooo much about my image. When I see a look that I like, I just “try it on.”  I have a lot of different influences… I love the 60s look and sound, but there’s also great music from the 70s and 80s (as well newer stuff!), and I think it’s good to allow lots of different influences mingle. You can’t over-think music (or art or fashion etc.). So much of it has to do with your right brain, your unconscious, working stuff out. In the early stages of creativity you want to just go with the flow. Then you can bring your left brain into the equation to edit and finish up.
Where are your favorite places to shop in New York?
That depends on my budget. I love Lyell ( www.lyellnyc.com) on 173 Elizabeth  St. I bought 2 gorgeous coats there last year. For vintage, I like Dulcinee at 127 Stanton St. I have an obsession with vintage Ferragamo boots right now….Pinky Yotto has a few stores downtown and is great for petite women since it’s Japanese. When I’m penny-pinching, I go to H&M and Uniqlo on lower Broadway.

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