Already hailed as the next Chrissie Hynde, Tiffany Page could well be the new female rock star on the block. Her fiery, passionate performances reflect her songs, which themselves manage to sit somewhere between dark and edgy and upbeat pop melodies. She has supported her idol, Courtney Love, is already signed to Mercury and now she plays the famous Queens Head Stage at Glastonbury, higher up the bill than Fiction Planes, Joe Sumner's (Sting's son) band, who actually helped her get her first gig, but who's counting?! Contactmusic.com had a chat with her before she played an energetic set to the packed tent. She told us about how her opera training helps her perform today, how the 90's grunge scene really kicked off her passion for music and what we can expect from her upcoming debut album 'Walk Away Slow'.
CM: So who are you hoping to catch this year?
Tiffany Page: We're playing Hard Rock Calling on Sunday, so if I stay here tonight, there's going to be no Hard Rock Calling!
CM: So you're name is probably new to quite a few Contactmusic.com readers, do you want to give us an introduction to Tiffany Page?
TP: I've always sung since a young age, I started out having singing lessons and went on to learn how to sing opera. Looking back on the experience I think it's great for what i'm doing now because it means I've got always got a powerful vocal and I can smoke as much as I want! I guess I started gigging about four years ago and Joe Sumner (points to the stage where he is finishing up) gave me my first gig. So it's really cool, now I'm like 'Ahhh, we're better than you'!!! No, I'm joking!
CM: So 'Tiffany Page'; are you a solo act or a band?
TP: We're definitely a band, everyone says we need a band name but we just couldn't think of one.
CM: How did you get the band together?
TP: Ruben recorded on my album and basically I fell in love with him and then Dan and Dave we found at BIMM (music school), where they'd both finished. They were both in different bands but we poached them. We're really lucky because we get on quite well and I think it's really rare. We've been through a few bands and sometimes people don't click and it doesn't work but I think we've found it now!
CM: You grew up in Africa, the music there is so different and diverse, did that influence you in any way?
TP: I think it will do one day but it hasn't yet, not really. The bands my Mum used to listen to, like Neil Young, Carole King and the artists that were allowed to come in. She used to have to go to South Africa and smuggle music in, so I guess not Africa itself but the bands that my mum could get her hands on definitely influenced me. But it was when I got my own taste in music that I really started wanting to trash and smash a guitar!
CM: Yeah, you don't strike me as your typical opera singer, what led you to that?
TP: I'm not really an opera singer, that's why I didn't last long! Yeah, I was a bit too much for them basically but it was a great experience being a kid. I always wanted to perform but I just didn't know how and because I was watching all Disney movies and stuff, I thought I wanted to be an actress. After doing a few plays, I realised you can't have your own personality, you're acting as someone else and singing someone else's songs. I learnt that I needed to write my own music and having a go at it for myself.
CM: That makes sense; you've always said that you like angry, powerful female voices.
TP: Yeah, love them! I guess I was a bit of an angry teenager, like most teenagers really. So the music that really got me was music that I could mope to and I really wanted to be like those artists. I'm lucky that my voice actually dropped and I was able to do something similar.
CM: So, you must have been a big fan of Hole?
TP: Nirvana were one of the first bands I really got into and obviously that led onto Hole. I really loved Courtney Love's music, I'm not sure about her new stuff but her old stuff is amazing!
CM: You actually got to support her, how was that?
TP: It was incredible, absolutely amazing! I had a gig at The Garage in London and I was really ill and had to cancel it, it was the first and last time I'll do it because apparently she came along to watch me and I didn't turn up. Later I got a call and they said, 'you're going on tour with her'!
CM: It must have been a bit daunting touring with one of your heroes, how was she to tour with?
TP: I didn't meet her. I've been told not to meet your idols and I stayed well away. I watched her sound check but I wouldn't go and say hello or anything. Because what if I said something wrong or she didn't like me, I'd never be able to listen to her stuff again.
CM: Talking of strong female singers, there are loads of comparisons between you and Chrissie Hynde, how do you feel about that?
TP: I think it's really flattering, really cool. I mean I can see it a little bit. It's funny because I never listened to The Pretenders, I didn't really know who she was until people said I sounded like her. I think it's a huge compliment, I find it really funny, and maybe we are really similar people too. I don't know.
CM: You talk a lot about the fire and the passion behind your songs, does that reflect your character as well or are you a different person off stage?
TP: I write songs because they make me feel better about things that are going on, so I guess I write songs to be a character that I'm not really in life, in a funny way. So that when I listen to them I feel like I really got that thing out my system, which I could never really do in real life. I'm not very ballsy or anything, so I guess I write songs to get a side of me, I don't know if that's really 'me', but it's certainly a way of venting things.
CM: Your songs seem very personal, are they written about your experiences?
TP:)Yeah, I went through a break up recently and the songs are about that. I guess I focussed on that and based the whole album on that year. The next album will be completely different.
CM: Although you have to leave the festival tonight, who would you really have loved to see?
TP: Snoop Dogg!!!! I can't believe we're not going to get to see him! I'm really hoping we'll see Lissie, I've heard she's absolutely incredible. And there was Rolf Harris this morning, there were so many people watching! I love Glastonbury Festival because it's like a bigger version of the Secret Garden Party (SGP) and more hippy than Reading. So I've only ever been to Reading and SGP, so that's what I've got to compare it to.
CM: You've got your new single 'On Your Head' out now and the album to come, what can people expect from that?
TP: I'm really looking forward to getting the album out, more so than any singles because people say 'oh that song won't be a single' and I just think 'for f*cks sake, there are some great tracks on there!' There is something for everyone, sad songs, happy.well actually, not really happy songs! They're dark but they are bubbly, just a good balance.
CM: And where can our readers see you play over the summer?
TP: We're playin Cornbury Festival in Cambridge and V Festival, I'm really excited about that because I've just moved to Colchester, so all my new friends can come and see me play! Our biggest thing as a band is to give incredible live performances, sure everyone wants to have hits and be great on record but that isn't the most important thing for me.
CM: Thanks for chatting to us.