“Some people find it hard to believe that a woman can growl that low”: 13 Questions with Lauren Hart

From ridiculous rumours to being a “crazy cat lady”, Once Human’s Lauren Hart faces K!’s 13 Questions.

“Some people find it hard to believe that a woman can growl that low”: 13 Questions with Lauren Hart
Paul Travers

As Once Human gear up to release their third album Scar Weaver, vocalist Lauren Hart faces Kerrang!’s 13 Questions, diving deep into her life, career and appreciation for all things feline…


Why should people listen to Once Human's new album, Scar Weaver?
"I think people will really see an evolution in the band with this album. This is coming after a five-year gap, and between that I was on tour with Kamelot [as live backing vocalist]. I really learned a lot about my vocals during that time and I think that shows. Musically, it's really complex. It's quite dire in tone because of the time it was written in, so I feel it could be therapeutic for some people. We all went through this terrible time together and I feel it could help people bleed through it together."


When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"First I wanted to be a cat, then I wanted to be a ballet dancer, and then I wanted to be a singer. In fact, I just found a picture of myself singing into a used toilet paper roll as a microphone, putting on a show for someone who took a photo of me. Eventually I studied to become a veterinary nurse and I became one in Australia. And I also sing, so dreams do come true. I never became a cat, though…"


What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
"As I was doing the vet school I was working as a waitress at the same time. I was working at a cafe and then a club called the Marquee at night. So I'd get up early and take the train to work, and some nights I'd work until the sun was coming up. Then I'd have to go to the vet clinic to do my volunteer hours and sometimes I'd sleep in the cat cages for that couple of hours before I had to open up the clinic. That was the only time I had and sometimes the cats wouldn't let me sleep – they'd be batting me on the head going, 'Feed me!' It was a tough time because I barely slept, but you can do that sort of thing when you're young."


If you were in Slipknot, what would your mask be?
"Well, they don't have a cat so I would make my own evil cat mask. A crazy, demented cat. I love all animals. I'm a huge reptile fan, I love goats, birds… any animal, really. But I'm definitely a crazy cat lady!"


What happens when we die?
"It's not something I really think about, but I'd guess it's like going to sleep every night. When we wake up, it's like being born in a way. Then the day turns to night and you get tired and go to sleep. I imagine it's like that, but I really have no idea."


What is the funniest rumour you’ve heard about yourself?
"People thought that I was using a distortion pedal to cheat my growls onstage, and that isn't true at all. I didn't even know you could use a pedal on your voice but they thought I was hiding behind effects with my screams. I think some people just find it hard to believe that a woman can growl that low, and when you don't understand something you just make shit up, right?"


What's the worst injury you've ever suffered?
"I've been really fortunate never to have broken a bone or get really seriously injured, and I hope it doesn't happen soon now that I'm jinxing it! I did lose my voice once on tour. I got bronchitis which is an illness more than an injury, but I couldn't scream and I still have nightmares about it. We didn't cancel one show and I actually had to sit in the audience and watch my band play without me. That's literally a recurring nightmare for me – I have these dreams where I get up onstage and nothing comes out. It definitely impacted me and I do everything I can to make sure it never happens again. I know what an infection in my throat and lungs feels like and I immediately get on the Z-pak [antibiotics] and get some rest. I've also discovered techniques where I can use different parts of my voice that help reduce swelling and put less strain on my voice."


Have you ever been kicked out of a bar?
"In Australia it's kinda hard, but you know what? I have been. It was when I was around 18 and I don't actually remember what happened, but there's a reason I can't remember! I've been picked up and put back on my chair before so we were clearly in a state worse than that and I just know that someone told me we got kicked out after it had happened."


If your house was on fire, what one thing would you save?
"It would be my animals of course, but if you ruled out living creatures, there isn't really much. I'm not really into things so there's nothing I'd put myself at risk over. There's nothing I own that I'd be really upset over losing."


Who is the most famous person in your phonebook?
"Oh my god, there aren't too many but maybe Robb Flynn."


Where’s the best place you’ve ever been?
"I love Switzerland and Germany because I'm all about nature and hikes. You can't beat Australian wildlife. I can hike for days back home, but in Germany it seems like even the trees are structured and well-ordered. Everything's so clean and immaculate and spaced perfectly. It's just interesting to me how nature does that."


Do you have a party trick?
"Not really; I'm pretty boring! I do have hyper-extending elbows and that tends to freak people out. A lot of people don't like bendy joints for some reason, and I am really bendy!"


What's your biggest fear?
"I'm not really great with flying, to be honest. Turbulence always really freaks me out. I've tried watching videos on how to be a better flier and to understand what goes on in an airplane and why turbulence happens, but they still don't help. I can think logically about it when I'm on the ground and then as soon as I'm on the plane all logic goes out the window. I'll normally have to take a sleeping tablet to help me sleep through it because I honestly turn into a big baby on an airplane. I'm not even afraid of dying, it's the falling part I don't like to think about."

Once Human's new album Scar Weaver is due out on February 11 via earMUSIC

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