Easy Pieces: Nancy Whang
30 November 2012
Nancy Whang’s foray into music began when friend James Murphy asked her to sing and play keyboard for a band he planned to start called LCD Soundsystem. Long story short, Whang has since toured the world, won a Grammy, played a sold-out Madison Square Garden, and will forever be part of music history as a member of the band. With LCD officially retired, Whang now focuses on DJing and making music with Juan Maclean in their band The Juan Maclean.
Who or what influenced you to become what you are today?
I think "persuaded" would be more accurate than influenced, but everyone at dfa: James [Murphy] and Pat [Mahoney] from LCD Soundsystem, Juan Maclean, Shit Robot, Holy Ghost! – it had never even crossed my mind to play or make music until I met those guys.
Before you were in the music biz, what were you doing?
I was working in a wood shop building props for store windows.
What is the best food you’ve had in your neighborhood lately or while you were traveling?
Mission Chinese is not in my neighborhood but it is worth traveling for. However, the wait for a table is regrettably long, so I call in a take-out order, drive in from Brooklyn, and pick it up with my car. Dear Mission Chinese: drive-thru window?
Best piece of advice you've gotten?
At my first job out of college, I had this boss who...well, let's just say neither of us were big fans of each other. But the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten came from him. He told me, don't worry about trying to be somebody before you're 30 because it will be in your 30s when you and all your friends start settling in to whatever it is you're going to do in life and you will be in better positions to help each other achieve success. It was the only useful thing he ever said to me, but he was totally right. It actually helped curb some anxiety during my 20s, and I still think about it all the time.
What is your favorite music right now that you can’t stop listening to?
Chilly Gonzales’s Solo Piano II. It makes me want to take ballet lessons.
photos by Callie Barlow