The Exclusive Interview With Britta Phillips
Britta Phillips has provided the booming bass guitar work to hot indie band Luna for three years now. Her past body of work includes not only musical stints in bands such as Ultra Baby Fat and Belltower, but she has also done voiceover work as the 1980s cartoon character JEM, and has even dabbled in acting for a 1988 movie called "Satisfaction" alongside an unknown actress named Julia Roberts! Britta was kind enough to spend some time to answer a few questions!
[Britta Phillips] Hi Britta, and thank you so much for joining us here! I wanted to start off here by asking you about your band Luna. I know you guys just got done with an extensive Euro. How are fans reacting to the new material off of Luna's latest, Romantica?
Britta Phillips We usually play about four or five songs from Romantica and the response has been really good.
[Billy Donald] How long have you been playing with Luna and how did you end up joining the band?
Britta Phillips It [was]three years this March. I had just finished a tour with Ben Lee at the end of '99. His guitar tech also works with Luna and gave them my number when he heard they were looking to replace Justin for their upcoming tour. After that first tour they asked me if I'd like to be a full-time member. I said yes, of course.
[Billy Donald] You have actually done a lot of work outside of Luna and even outside of music. In 1988, you were featured in a movie called Satisfaction, starring alongside a young Julia Roberts. How did you enjoy the experience of doing work on the big screen and how did you get along with Julia?
Britta Phillips Well, we all knew the movie was going to be a joke, but we had fun making it,anyway. I got along great with Julia. She was a lot of fun and very sweet.
[Billy Donald] One of the other very interesting things you do is to provide the mock jingles for commercials of Saturday Night Live! I can't tell you how many of these things crack me up, so what are some of the jingles you have done for them?
Britta Phillips I've only done a couple. I've done a lot of jingles and voiceovers (mostly demos unfortunately) so it's really difficult to remember most of them. I can only remember that one was for a beer. It was a provocative little piece with lots of skimpily-clad women.
[Billy Donald] Did music always have first priority for you over TV and movies?
Britta Phillips Yes. But I'm still open to doing some acting.
[Billy Donald] You are originally from Pennsylvania, but you have also lived in London and New York City as well. Where have you enjoyed living the most?
Britta Phillips Definitely New York City, although London was great, too.
[Billy Donald] Tell me about the work you are doing in the studio with Tony Visconti.
Britta Phillips We're remixing a few songs this week. We took a week off after Christmas to give our ears a rest, then listened to it again on New Year's Eve and it sounded great. It's quite different sounding from Luna. There are a few songs with strings on them (live strings!) and more keyboard bits. Lush is a word that someone used to describe it. There are three original songs from Dean (I sing one of them) and two of mine. The rest are covers. A few obscure songs by Opal Angel, Corpus Christie, and Buffy St. Marie and a couple not so obscure songs by The Doors and Madonna. At the moment we haven't thought of name that we love so we might just be using our full names.
[Billy Donald] Have you always been a bass player by choice or were you one of the unfortunates who was elected to be bass player by default? Ha ha!
Britta Phillips I switched from guitar around '94 because our bass player stayed in New York City when we moved to Charleston, South Carolina. I wasn't happy about being "demoted," but soon found it much more challenging and exciting than the guitar.
[Billy Donald] Is a new Luna album in the works for this year?
Britta Phillips Not yet. We're just finishing up this one now and then we have another Luna tour. After that Dean and I might put a band together to do some shows to promote this record. Then we start working on another Luna record.
[Billy Donald] Britta, I want to thank you so much for joining me here, and I want to wrap up by asking you what other kinds of projects you would like to get involved in for the near future?
Britta Phillips I'm quite happy about what I've been doing and will be doing (more writing recording and playing). The only other thing I'd really like to try is acting.