Ever since she was announced as a (rather unexpected) multiple MTV Video Music Awards nominee last month, things have gotten sort of weird for Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch . It’s not so much the awards show thing — back in her native U.K., they have become mainstays at shows like the Brits and the Q Awards — as it is the overwhelming number of questions Welch has had to answer about fellow VMA nominees Eminem and Lady Gaga (both of whom have videos up against her “Dog Days Are Over” clip for Video of the Year).
But it’s not the pesky press dogging her. Rather, it’s been members of her own family.
“I think my sister has already asked me [all the questions]. Everyone at home is like, ’What’s Lady Gaga like? Are you going to meet Eminem?!'” Welch laughed. “The first single I ever bought was ’The Real Slim Shady,’ and my sister said that I should bring it to the VMAs and get him to sign it. That’d be so funny. I’d be like, ’Hi, I bought this from Woolworth’s when I was 11, can you sign it for me?’ He’d be like, ’What’s Woolworth’s?’ ”
She’s probably right. Last time we checked, they didn’t have a Woolworth’s in Detroit. Regardless, Welch’s autograph quest is a pretty nice metaphor for her entire VMA experience. After all, Florence and the Machine are starting to make a dent Stateside. And at Sunday night’s show, where they’ll not only perform but are up for four Moonmen, they’ll take another step toward mainstream success in the U.S.
But Welch isn’t really thinking about any of that. To her, the whole VMA experience has been one big whirlwind, and not just because her family keeps bugging her about Em and Gaga.
“I was sitting on the floor at home [in London], and all of a sudden this commercial for the show came on, and it’s all these big names, and explosions and things like that, and I thought to myself, ’Wait a minute, I’m just sitting here,’ ” she said. “I would imagine most of the other nominees were doing something else. Or at least something more interesting.”
And to that end, she makes it very clear that if she were to somehow shock the world and win on Sunday, she will not only be extremely excited, but extremely unrehearsed, too.
“I haven’t really thought about it, actually. I don’t know what I would say if I got up there, who I would thank,” she laughs. “Maybe I’ll get [a thank-you list] tattooed on my arm. I don’t know. I am really unprepared for all of this.”
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. The party starts with MTV News’ VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET.