Is Ella Hooper Your Seatmate? Get Ready to Chat

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Jun 01, 2017

The next time you hear a Killing Heidi song, you can bet the lyrics came to the lead singer when her head was in the clouds. As told to Kate Barracosa.

How often do you fly?

Every two weeks. Sometimes every week.

You must be pretty good at it by now?

I can leave it very late. The flight can be in two hours and I’ll race around, grab the necessary things and still make it to the airport in good time.

Do you have a go-to list of things you pack?

Comfy or stretchy pants, like leggings, depending on how much downtime I’ll have, and two pairs of shoes because my feet tend to swell on flights. And I always travel with some lavender oil because it makes my hotel or backstage area feel that bit more luscious.

What do you pack when you’re touring?

I have to take my make-up, my hair straightener and a giant can of hairspray. Of course, we have heaps of music gear, which slows us a down a bit but we still manage to make it through smoothly.

Have you ever lost equipment before a gig?

We’ve had good luck – we haven’t lost anything so far.

How do you kill time while waiting to board?

You’ll usually find me having a coffee somewhere. I have my favourite spots in every terminal at every airport.

Are you a pre-flight shopper?

I always look at sunglasses and dream about splashing $500 on a pair that I’ll end up sitting on. Then I buy a magazine.

How does travelling alone compare to travelling with the band?

With the band, you always have someone to talk to, although we’re meant to be resting our voices. If I’m travelling alone, I’m usually doing media so I’ll be rehearsing lines – the weird person talking under her breath.

How do you pass the time on a flight, other than by muttering?

I usually read or daydream – I find it easy to daydream on planes. I get ideas for lyrics. A few have come from looking at the clouds and made their way onto albums.

What puts you in that headspace?

It’s an amazing experience to be zooming through the air so far above the ground. There’s something poetic about being up in the clouds. The novelty hasn’t worn off.

Do you listen to music while flying?

I don’t. I’m usually either trying to totally rest or I’m working on creative output.

What was the last thing you read on a plane?

I’ve been reading the same book for a year now: Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch by Henry Miller. It’s a reflection on creativity as you go through the stages of life. I often read poetry, too, because it’s short and sweet.

When you’re not resting your voice, do you chat with your seat mate?

I’m a big chatter – you can’t stop me. I’ve had some incredible chats on planes. I once sat next to a guy from Interpol. He showed me his card and it was totally legit. We talked – but nothing too specific!

Do you chat much with flight attendants?

Being such regular flyers, we’ve got to know some of the crew over the years. They’ve become like colleagues.

Do you eat when you fly?

I don’t get too peckish on a flight. If I do, I just want nuts. I’m old-school.

What’s your best advice for a good flight?

Hydrate and don’t rush. 

Killing Heidi’s Australian tour starts on 2 June 2017.

SEE ALSO: Up Close with Blondie’s Debbie Harry