Florence Welch on Gearing Up for Lollapalooza, Meeting Justin Timberlake

Singer readies for first-ever appearance at the fest

florence and the machine
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for A&E Networks
Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine at Lincoln Center in New York.
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Florence and the Machine are preparing to tour North America from July through October, including a stop at Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 5th. It'll be the group's first time at the festival, but frontwoman Florence Welch is well aware of Lolla's long history. "The name resonates with me a lot," Welch says. "It's one of the festivals I think about in terms of having an iconic status, like Glastonbury and Coachella."

Excited as she is, Welch hasn't had time to look at the lineup yet. When Rolling Stone spoke to her last week, she was still mentally wrapped up in the U.S. tour that wrapped up this past weekend.

"If I started thinking about the next one already, I think I'd go insane," she admits. "I can't imagine anything beyond this tour because I've still got to do Australia with this one. I think I haven't quite managed to get home and decompress this one yet. Usually that's what happens and then we think about where to move forward with that."

Welch is also looking forward to her upcoming trek with the Walkmen – "I love them, so that'll be exciting," she enthuses – and she hopes to incorporate "Breath of Life," her song on the Snow White and the Huntsman movie soundtrack, into the band's new setlist. "We haven't had time to rehearse it, so it wasn't ready for this tour," she says. "But, yeah, I'd like to think for the next tour, maybe we'd be able to play that."

Before Welch left the States this past weekend, she made a return trip to the fashion-centric Met Ball in New York. "I had a lot of fun. It was just amazing seeing everyone's gowns," she says. "I just liked being in the Met. They have some of the most incredible artifacts there, so it was a really beautiful evening. Everyone gets how surreal it is and how high-drama."

Welch was particularly excited about meeting Justin Timberlake at the Ball. "When I was a teenager, we were obsessed with Justin Timberlake, so when me and Isa [bandmate Isabella Summers] started making music, we said, 'The goal is, we gotta meet Justin Timberlake and get him to come to the studio,'" Welch recalls. Did she ask him that night? "No, I was too shy," she confesses.

Also on Welch's wishlist of collaborators: Kanye West and Usher. "I think Usher, Kanye and Justin Timberlake all on one song would be amazing," she said.

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