First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
My name is Laura, and I'm also known as Lorelei. I live in the music hub that is Chicago.
You have a debut album that has recently come out. You have obviously put a lot of time and effort into it. Is there a theme or message to your upcoming album, or is it simply a testament to your creativity? Is there anything in particular you want to say about your record before it's released? Was there any funny or unique stories you wish to share about it's inception?
I'm glad to hear that the energy that went into making "Banshee" shows through to you! There are a few different themes intertwined throughout this work. It took a couple of different directions; some songs were written before November and some were written after. Certain thoughts and emotions had a stronger presence in later songs. Dissent has always been important to me, and plays a large role in this album. There is also a theme of getting out of comfort zones, and pushing and breaking boundaries. Strengthening as individuals and as a force together against adversity. One sort of funny story is that the song "Parachute of Gold" was spun out of one line/concept in particular in the beginning, and at the end we almost threw that line out of the song entirely. We didn't, but it very nearly didn't make it off the chopping block.
The album was produced by the famous Zoog Von Rock from famous Industrial-Electro-Punk band Angelspit. What was the experience like working with him, and how did you two meet?
I toured with Angelspit in 2015 and 2016 and did a little recording with Angelspit as well, so we were no strangers to working with each other by the time we got together to create "Banshee." We met on a dance floor, which is where I tend to meet most people I think, haha. I spend a lot of time there, so it can be kind of hard to meet me otherwise! It was an underground club night in Chicago I'd never been to before, and quite randomly I was offered a free pass and a ride to go an hour before heading over. He also went there for the first time that night, also via a free pass through another person, so it was a very odd collision.
So much has been said, and it sometimes feel that every word combination has every been taken. As a lyricist myself I know the pain of how hard it can be to articulate something in a way that is both engaging to the audience and uniquely artist. How do you find inspiration for your lyrical poetry?
That struggle is real! The inspiration often comes from frustrations that burst and bubble into words. But sometimes, instead of frustration, it is from an idea that feels important enough that someone else may need to hear it. I find it is easy to undervalue our thoughts and ideas as not meaningful or useful, but I think we are often wrong about that, and about what could trigger something interesting or valuable to someone.
What inspired you to start getting into electronic music, particularly the heavier and more industrial kinds? Are there any bands that you would say are your "core" or "prime" inspirations when making music? Are there any new bands that you are currently really vibing?
When I was young, I equally loved 90s dance music and almost everything that played on the alternative radio station up until about 1996 or so. I had no money and was pretty much limited to what was on the radio. I found Wax Trax much later in life, well after the fact. I loved it when bands like Static X, Powerman 5000, and NIN got airplay. And for me nothing quite compared to the energy of Prodigy songs. The 80s new wave lunch break was my favorite hour of music every day. Luckily, by the time I was not liking the radio much any more (no coincidence it was also the time one company was beginning to control all the radio stations, music venues, etc.), I was finding other ways to discover music. I received some excellent mix tapes from friends who introduced me to bands like V.A.S.T. and Kidney Thieves, and movies began to help me find music too. The Hackers soundtrack was great, and Mortal Kombat got me to Orbital. Then I went away to college in a city large enough to have industrial dance nights- I was immediately in love and I've been ensconced in the dark dance scene ever since. Core inspirations are tough; I cast a pretty wide net for what I enjoy. Depeche Mode is on that list, and the spirit of Pat Benatar if not her sound. This Morn' Omina is definitely core for me. Seabound, Iris, Covenant, Lo Floa Maldita, and Qntal blew me away and inspired 18-year-old me in ways that remain with me today.
New bands I can't get enough of lately are My Gold Mask (another Chicago band that I just recently discovered), Health's album Death Magic is new to me if not actually new, and I also just found Austra.
When it comes to your musical self and your real world self, would you say that their is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
Not a separation; just a different representation. My musical self cuts through some of the trappings or affectations I can accidentally saddle myself with when navigating the day-to-day, and gets to the core of me. And then I throw it all out there, hoping it may connect effectively with others listening.
For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?
Thematically and visually, I think the aesthetic is like a dystopian warrior. There is a battle cry in the music and in how we present it. For the 2nd question, I don't think it is an either/or but an all of the above. For anyone who has seen me live, I hope they'll agree that I am very much energy and audience driven. But I am also thematic and give care to presentation. I try to take care with and pay attention to what can affect the audience experience and energy. It is all very much entangled.
Promotion can be one of the most difficult things in the music industry. Do you have an agent that helps book shows and manage your online presence, or have you decided to trek it out without and mantle the reigns of the social media apparatus yourself? Is it difficult engaging the online world consistently and originally, or do you find it easy?
This one is tricky, and indeed it is very difficult. There is an agent that has already helped me book a show, and is keeping me in mind for future endeavors. My label Black Pill Red Pill (Zoog) helps with my online presence. But at the end of the day, bookings and online presence largely fall to me at the moment. Hopefully that will not always remain the case. I struggle to carve out enough time to navigate the social media outlets as well as I would like. I also get glowing-screen burnout pretty quickly.
What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?
In the near future, I am focusing on the live show presentation and booking shows. I also aim to make a music video. In the not-so-far future, a 2nd release will be in the works.
Outside of Industrial music, what other genres could you see yourself composing music in? Or should I say, do you see yourself inspired by?
Outside of industrial music, I am very inspired by the right ethereal music and new wave.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?
It is difficult to say when I started- this is a path I have been chasing ever since I was a teenager. It took a long time for all the right pieces to fall into place. I am quite the extrovert, but to launch this I've had to disappear from many events and people I love. I think this affects me much more than my introvert colleagues. But no one said launching your dream was supposed to be easy. Creativity has always been here, we all have it from the day we can perceive the world. Being immersed in the creation process for so long does help hone all those things. This journey is far from over!
With your band becoming increasingly popular have you had any insider attention regarding label support? What's your thoughts regarding being independent music scene versus being part of a record label?
I would consider very carefully anything I thought would help the music reach more ears. Being independent has unique challenges and unique perks, and ultimately I take being a good steward for this project very seriously.
What sort of new bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Is there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?
Kanga has certainly caught my attention, with a very strong initial release last year. I have also been paying a lot of attention to some new projects by long-time scene musicians, like The Rain Within and Stoneburner. Fortunately, I already had the pleasure of collaborating with them on this release (they are both remix artists on this release). For the future, it would be fun to work with iVardensphere (another tribal industrial band I adore). It would be pretty awesome to do something with Rodney of The Dead Milkmen. We seem to know a lot of the same people, funny enough! I also hope to continue to collaborate with the remix artists on "Banshee," in addition to whatever fun new artist collaborations the future may hold.
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
I played roller derby with The Windy City Rollers for 6 years, 2007-2012. I also spent years learning circus arts like trapeze, silks, and acrobatics before thumb tendentious put a stop to that. I spent much of my youth and my adulthood playing tabletop RPGs. Lately, I've only had time for board games, which I also love. I am an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy novels, and have a very special place in my heart for comic books and the marvel movies.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
We live in turbulent times. Use that anger, direct it to your art and out to where you can make your voice heard. Run for office. Dance and music has created and held together communities in the past, and it will now too. It seems like there has been a resurgence in recent years of industrial music festivals, and that is AWESOME!
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