FAULT in conversation with Warpaint’s Theresa ‘TT’ Wayman

Words: Jennifer Parkes

 

Have you heard of TT? The moniker may not be too familiar right now, but you’re almost certain to know of Theresa Wayman, founding member of iconic indie rock band Warpaint, and otherwise known as TT.

 

While the group’s psychedelic dream pop has enticed and entranced fans for the past 14 years, last month saw Wayman release her own offering, LoveLaws, under her two-lettered alter-ego. But this is no band break-up – Warpaint shows no signs of slowing down, with several tour dates in the diary for 2018. FAULT caught up with Wayman in between shows to talk more about her debut solo offering, the challenges facing women in the music industry, and dream festival line-ups…

 

So, you’ve just released a solo album, which is pretty exciting! What made you decide to do that alongside Warpaint?

I just needed to be expressing more than I can do in Warpaint; it’s been 14 years being in a collaborative process, and I wanted to experience being on my own and having more control.

 

Did you approach this album differently at all to how you approach creating an album as a band? What were the challenges in that?

I didn’t have to do it in any specific timeframe, so I was able to indulge myself and question things more. It was scary to do that at times, and I worried I would never make it to the end – sometimes it seemed like I could keep questioning forever, but I figured it out!

 

You examine love and relationships in a number of ways across different tracks, but I’m also intrigued by the album’s title ‘LoveLaws’ – how did that come to be?

I thought of that title as a good concept to build an album from. I was feeling ruled by love and romance, and also seeing love as being a fundamental of life in so many ways. It seemed important to write about it.

 

Who would you say your influences have been, both in your own music and as a band? 

First and foremost, my music is always influenced by my emotions and mood. I tend to go into starting a song feeling blind, like I have no idea what will come out of me until I see it on the page. But then I start to hone it and let influences in, like Al Green, Sade or Trip Hop like Portishead and Massive Attack. Also current artists like King Krule, Rihanna and Adele, and that song ‘Get Free’ by Major Lazer.

 

How do you feel Warpaint’s sound has developed over the last 14 years?

I think Warpaint has gone in many directions over the years; we’re becoming more concise with our arrangements and clearer in what we’re saying. We used to jam a lot and write together in a room, but we did less of that on this last album – I think we’re into the idea of going back to that again, just because that old way now seems like something new and different.

 

 

It’s impressive that, as an all-female four-piece, Warpaint has stood the test of time in a notoriously misogynistic industry – how have you dealt with challenges that you’ve faced over the years in this respect? 

I think there’s more freedom in the indie-rock world for a girl band to exist, and not feel as much pressure and expectation to be something appealing to men. I think that’s a lot more common in the pop world.

 

I’ve generally felt very welcomed by our male peers, although there are times I’ve felt excluded from “the boys club”, like I can’t be a part of some technical conversation or ask questions. But I think the guys that act like that are the most insecure, and ultimately want to exclude women just because they just don’t know how to talk to them or don’t feel attractive to them.

 

Are there any new artists that you’re into at the moment you think we should keep an ear out for?

Kali Uchis, who I’m sure you’ve already heard of! And Dick Stusso – he’s from Oakland, he’s a really great singer/guitar player/overall musician, and he’s self-produced.

 

You guys have a few tour dates  over summer, including playing at All Points East Festival – are there any bands you happened to catch while you were there, or at other festivals?

Yes! War On Drugs at All Points East, and I saw Bjork and Fever Ray at Primavera – they were absolutely incredible!

 

If you were to host a festival, anywhere in time and space, what would your dream location and line-up be? 

Probably on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean. It would be Bjork from the Homogenic tour, so that she’s playing songs from debut and post too, with Portishead, Nirvana, Al Green, Kendrick Lamar, Fever Ray, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, and Bob Dylan playing all my favourite songs from over the years (I would get to choose)… the list could really go on and on!

 

Lastly, something we ask all of our guests, what is your FAULT?

I can be really stubborn and not let things go, and I always need to be right. I’m working on it!

 

LoveLaws is available to buy now – visit ttlovelaws.com for more info.

 

First Aid Kit talk Ruins, burnout & brave new beginnings for FAULT Online cover

FAULT Magazine X First Aid Kit

Photographer: David Yeo, Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland

 

FAULT: Stay Gold came out in 2014. What were you doing for the four years until Ruins?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We toured Stay Gold intensely for about a year and a half following it’s release. After that we felt quite burnt out and exhausted. We could’ve kept touring forever. However, since we’d toured pretty much non-stop since we were teenagers we felt like we needed a little break. We needed time to figure out our lives, beyond First Aid Kit. We lived in separate countries. I stayed in Stockholm while Klara moved to Manchester for two years. It was necessary to get a break from not just the band and the music, but from each other. It was pretty difficult but we feel like we learnt so much about ourselves and about life during this time period. We built serious relationships, bought our own apartments. Klara started taking acting classes. I got a driver’s license. We needed to catch up on some grown up things we’d been missing out on.

 

When did you start work on Ruins?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): When we took our break we told ourselves we didn’t need to work on new material straight away, we didn’t want to rush another record. We didn’t even have to listen to any music or go to any shows if we didn’t want to. However, pretty quickly after the touring ended we felt quite eager to perform and write again. Klara broke up with her boyfriend and had a little bit of a life crisis. This inspired the theme of the album and sort of got us started on it.

We went to Los Angeles for six weeks in April 2016. We rented a house in Echo Park and went on road trips across California. We hung out with other musician friends and gathered inspiration. That’s when we finished writing most of the tracks that ended up on Ruins.

 

 

How does it differ to your previous records?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We wanted to try new things on Ruins. Because it’s dealing with a relationship ending, the lyrics are both more personal and more universal than on our previous records. Before our lyrics were a lot more fictional and had more story telling elements. This time the songs are more direct. I think it stems from us being older, more experienced and more in touch with our own emotions. We’re also braver in a sense, it takes a lot of courage to write so openly about your inner feelings.

We decided to work with a new producer in a new city, so we reached out to a long-time favorite producer of ours, Tucker Martine. We told him we wanted to make an album that was less polished, had more of a live feel and a little more edge. Previously, we’d been pretty strict about the sounds we allowed on our records. It had to be very folky, pretty and acoustic. This time we sort of through all those ideas away, and we’re very open to new things. Whatever fit the song, we went for. It was super refreshing.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Johanna Wears: Red Silk Slip Dress by Amanda Wakeley, Black Poloneck Top by Alice McCall, Red Boots by Zadig & Voltaire, Pearl Hooped Earrings by Dower & Hall

 

Obviously, this is your fourth album, has the process been different to your others? 

Klara (First Aid Kit): The songwriting process hasn’t changed that much since we started, but this time we wanted to make sure we really took the time we needed not to rush the record. All songs stem from a line, an idea, a lyric and then we work from there. Sometimes that takes less than five minutes, sometimes it takes years. In the end the most important thing for us is that we end up with songs that feel real and interesting. Something that makes us curious.

This time the recording process was different because we had a live session band that improvised a lot in the studio. It was so much fun! Getting to hear all these musicians that we’ve looked up to for so long play on our songs was a dream come true.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Klara Wears: Black Blazer by Stine Goya, Red Tule Skirt by Amanda Wakeley, Black Top by Black Gold by Diesel, Red Loafers by Kim Kwang, Gold Curved Earrings by Dower & Hall, Silver Ring by Dower & Hall

 

How have you grown since your 2010 debut?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): When I watch old YouTube clips of us performing I feel like we’ve changed so much. We were just kids when we started out, although we felt like we were so much older back then. We were pretty insecure. We can hear in our old songs when we’re trying to imitate our idols and it’s kind of cute. It’s definitely not something we’re ashamed of.

We’ve always been good at what we do and had a strong core in our music, but we’ve just grown so much more confident with the years. Both in the studio and on the road, we trust our instincts much more and can relax. I don’t think we care so much about what people think anymore. We’ve always sort of been following our gut feeling, and it’s lead us this far…so we must be onto something, right?

 

Does this last album feel like the most “First Aid Kit” like album?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): I think all records are very ”First Aid Kit”-like in their own pretty ways. They’re just documents of who we were at that certain period of our lives. We think of them as time capsules. We don’t want to stick to a sound too much, we truly are open for experimenting. Who knows what the future will bring, getting too comfortable in a certain style is boring.

 

So talking about Ruins, can you tell me a bit about the lyrical inspirations behind it?

Klara (First Aid Kit): When we went to Los Angeles to write the record I had just gone through a breakup. The wound was quite open. I thought I was going down one road and then it all changed. The songs came through that and so of course, they all mirror that intense experience of this major loss. Visually, we see the record as a ruin of a relationship, walking around it, exploring it and trying to understand it. It felt like an important record to write as honestly and boldly as possible. That is how you get a real connection with people, which is always what we strive for.

 

And musically?

Klara (First Aid Kit): We always follow where we feel the songs want to go, arrangement wise. We usually have more a broad sense of what we want a record to be – this one we felt needed to be a little more raw with more of a live sound. Honestly, it’s all about the gut feeling. You go on in with ideas and expectations but in the end you go with what feels right and good.

We were listening to a lot of different music during the writing process, like Big Thief, Angel Olsen, Whitney and Mitski. We are always returning to our old favorites Townes Van Zandt, Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan too. The list is endless. It’s hard to pinpoint where the inspiration comes from, it can be so random.

 

You’ve said that most of the record is about questioning yourself following the breakdown of a relationship. Can you tell me a bit about that?

Klara (First Aid Kit): It’s so easy to grow comfortable and be blinded by what you once thought was good. It’s hard to uproot yourself and leave it all behind. You feel so very lost. In the midst of all that it’s hard not to second guess yourself, looking for simple answers to things that will never really make sense. The record was written during a really vulnerable, exciting, scary time.

 

Do you find it cathartic to write about these kinds of subjects?

Klara (First Aid Kit): It is very cathartic. Writing is the way that we deal with whatever is hard in life, which is why our music is so sad, haha. Getting to share our deepest emotions with people, even though that can be scary, is so rewarding. The connection that we feel with people who love our songs is so special. Playing shows and singing the lyrics to another human being in the crowd, seeing their reaction and knowing the song means so much to them, there is nothing like it.

 

You’ve previously said that you wanted this album to be “more real”. Can you tell me about the ideas behind that? 

Klara (First Aid Kit): That wasn’t something that we planned to do but the songs ended up being more direct and open. Like we previously stated, we wanted to have more of a raw feel, of a live performance.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Klara Wears: Tan Leather Jacket by Scotch & Soda, White Embroidered Shirt by MCQ by Alexander McQueen, Black Leather Skirt is Klara’s Own, Black & White Ankle Boots by Malone Souliers, Silver Ring by Dower & Hall

 

Is it difficult knowing that such personal songs will be listened to around the world?

Klara (First Aid Kit): All the songs and themes are very universal. We left out names or anything that felt too personal. The songs are still very emotional and of course that can be scary but it’s ultimately the most rewarding thing, when people react to something that came straight from the heart.

 

How has your relationship with each other changed during this album?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): I think our relationship is stronger now than ever. Touring together for so long has been hard. We’ve been put under a lot of pressure and pretty much been around each other 24/7. No wonder we some times argue and can’t get along.

For a while I think we were on totally different wavelengths. We wanted different things for the band but didn’t express it clearly enough. We’re much better at communicating now to make sure we’re on the same page. We also know when we need space from each other. We have so much more fun together now, too!

 

Now that it’s out, how has the reception been?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): Honestly, it’s been pretty darn amazing. Releasing Ruins was scary, especially after that four year break in-between albums. We didn’t know what kind of reaction to expect from either music critics or our fans. We didn’t know if anyone was still into our music. We never expect anyone to care or take our popularity for granted.

Also, when we’re making music we’re constantly torn between feeling like what we’re doing is the greatest thing ever and feeling like it’s a complete piece of shit. Sometimes when you’re in the studio singing a song you feel like it’s a masterpiece. Then when you get home and get some perspective on it, you listen to it and get doubts about it. That definitely happened with Ruins in a sense. However, it’s been amazing playing these sold-out tours full of crowds who know the new songs by heart. When we look at our listeners we can tell that the songs mean so much to them. It’s powerful.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Johanna Wears: Pink Embroidered Suit by Alice Archer, Silver Silk Shirt by Bogdar, Silver Mules by Jones, Gold Earrings by Dower & Hall, Silver Rings by Dower & Hall, Bracelet by Dower & Hall

 

What do you want people to take away from your latest album? 

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We want people to feel comforted, to not feel alone in their feelings. We hope it’s a relatable album. Everyone goes through heartbreak in their lives, one way or another. It’s important to realize that it’s completely normal and that things are going to be OK. That’s the beauty of sad songs. They allow you to wallow in those sad feelings for a while and then hopefully gather the strength to move on.

What are you working on next?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): Though we just started touring Ruins, we’re already thinking about the next record and future tours. We can’t say much at this point. All we know is we think we’ve got a really exciting future ahead of us.

 

Interview by Ely Watson

To find out more and to purchase RUINS, visit here.

Photographer: David Yeo
Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland
Make-up artist: Jaimee Thomas at Untitled Artists
Hair Stylist: Jordan Leigh
Nail Artist: Diana Drummond
Stylist’s Assistant: Ana Carnu
Photographed at Yoyo Studios

Kojey Radical Speaks to FAULT about ‘In Gods Body’

At just 24 years-old, Kojey Radical is a trailblazer with a strong sense of artistic and personal vision. Nominated for two MOBO awards last year, the London-based poet, musician and mixed media visual artist is mostly known for his unique hybrid of spoken word and rap. But he’s so much more than his music; Kojey’s also the founder of creative collective PUSHCRAYONS and the art director of menswear brand Chelsea Bravo. More recently, he’s joined VOXI by Vodafone as a curator. VOXI is a new mobile service by Vodafone created for and by young people, enabling them to use their phone in the way they want and need. The VOXI SIM lets you use social & chat apps, as much as you like. And it doesn’t affect your data allowance. With as much calling and texting as you want, the freedom to roam in Europe as you do at home, and no contract, VOXI is accessible, flexible and completely transparent. 

We caught up with Kojey to talk about his latest project, ‘In Gods Body, being a curator for VOXI and reflecting one’s authentic self online.

You got into music through your love of painting and poetry, but it’s become your career focus. Do you ever wish you had pursued one of the others instead? Or do you intend to integrate your passions into a project at some point?

I feel like art has always been one entity for me. Everything that I’ve learned over the years has been a different medium to help me create. Me doing music was more from an art focus than a music career focus. It was a means to express myself. I’ve never necessarily switched off from the other mediums. I think eventually, as I have more successes with music, I definitely wanna to turn my hand to creating other experiences to help other generations.

You dropped your latest album, ‘In Gods Body’ two months ago. How has the reception been?

Crazier than I expected because I never intended it to be an album, I think people heard it and appreciated it so much that for them it’s an album. For me, it’s a living and growing project. I don’t think it’s really begun to take shape yet, I think people are still digesting the music. It’s been beautiful to see how much people have connected with it and how much they love it. I think at the moment I’m just in a period of being grateful. There’s definitely more to come.

Which is your favourite track from the album and what does it represent to you?

It changes every week but my favourite two at the moment are ‘Mood’ and ‘Icarus’. ‘Mood’ because it represents so much for me in terms of my creative team coming together to pull off things I never thought were possible. The space that I was in when I wrote it was genuine, so I think it’s one of my most honest pieces. ‘Icarus’ because of the stories I’ve heard in response to people listening to it. Things like that make all the difference when you’re a creator.

You were on tour for the best part of this year. Now that it’s over, do you miss life on the road?

I’m back on the road again soon. I’m going to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brazil, and South Africa. It’s been a wild experience this whole year, to be honest.

You’re currently working with VOXI by Vodafone as a curator. What does this role involve?

As a creator, I’m working with a team of young people, which is the most exciting part of this whole experience; being able to sit down and talk with new creators and find out what’s happening. Everyone’s under 25 which is completely rare for a big project like this. I think what Vodafone have created with VOXI is completely unique and I’m just there to help!

How do you hope to inspire other young people?

I just wanna be able to offer a perspective of reality. When I was growing up and trying to get into the creative field, you’re given so much overly optimistic advice, rather than actually being given key pieces of information that you can take away and learn from. I just wanna be honest with them, find out what they wanna do and help them find the best way to achieve it.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say, if the milk looks off, don’t drink it. I would say, you don’t look good in turquoise, and I would also say, stay focused; remember that not every no means the door is closed but more that you have to find a new way in. I think if you have that approach to life, nothing can really defeat you.

You’re pretty active on social media and have amassed quite a loyal following. With social media being one of the main perception builders about the character of others, how do you ensure that your profile represents the artist you want to be?

The internet makes it very easy to fabricate who you are. We’re in a day and age where you can brand being yourself and monetise that. It’s a great tool to be able to kickstart your earliest ideas. Social media allowed me to do so when I first started writing poetry on the internet. I wasn’t sure how that would create links to other things but slowly and surely it did. It wasn’t about the views, it was about getting something out into the world so people could appreciate it. I think that’s one of the best things about social media and how we can use it. I don’t think you can try to be authentic, I think you wake up and you’re authentic.

What is your FAULT?

I don’t get excited by things, I’m constantly in a state of acceptance and sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes that’s a bad thing. You wanna make sure you’re doing good for everyone when you’re on stage, you’re saying the right things and people are enjoying the music.

Words: Aimee Phillips

Sundara Karma – Live at Brixton O2 Academy

Reading four-piece Sundara Karma played their biggest ever headline show on 5th October to a delirious crowd at Brixton O2 Academy. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Oscar Pollock, drummer Haydn Evans, bassist Dom Cordell, and guitarist Ally Baty, the indie pop/rock band has been making music since the tender age of fourteen.

With support from Willie J. Healey and The Magic Gang, the quartet kicked off their gig with gothic number ‘Another Word for Beautiful’, before launching into the more upbeat crowd pleasers ‘A Young Understanding’ and ‘Loveblood’.

The evening saw the band play the entire ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ album, intertwined with a few old favourites such as ‘Flame’, ‘Run Away’ and ‘In the Night’; much to the delight of their captivated fans, who sang along with Pollock word for word on almost every track. The androgynous frontman even jumped into the crowd during ‘Vivienne’.

“Is heaven such a fine thing?” Pollock sang on ‘Olympia’, bathed in the blue luminescence of the stage, which shifted to red as the gig progressed, three white orbs glowing behind him. 

Ending their set with ‘Explore’, Drummer Haydn Evans cast his sticks into the crowd before the band exited the stage to a fittingly roaring applause.

Sundara Karma’s lyrics might be about the trials and tribulations of youth, but their evolved sound offsets their young years. Filled with entrancing guitar riffs and soaring vocals, a live show with them is not to be missed.

Words Aimee Phillips

Fault catch up with PVRIS ahead of their sophomore album

PVRIS are back with their new album ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ (AWKOHAWNOH), featuring some massive tracks that are sure to fill venues on their upcoming US and European tours. FAULT had the opportunity to catch up with Lynn Gunn ahead of the album’s release.

Hey! How’s it going? Has it been quite manic with the release date for the new album approaching?

Yeah, it’s been a lot of chaos, but it’s fun chaos. I think it’s a lot of the universe testing us but making things somehow fall into place.

 

All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ is an interesting album title. What was the motivation behind this?

It was a super serendipitous kind of thing. I was staying in Sacramento finishing editing our video ‘Heaven’ with our director, Raul [Gonzo], and it was around the same time we were getting the album art and track listing together and really just finalising all the details, and we still didn’t have an album title. Raul and I wanted some kind of dialogue or poem or quote to put at the beginning of the video that we released before ‘Heaven’, just to mark the transition and capture the theme of the next record.

I was online all day looking at quotes and just trying to find some really cool things mostly just pertaining to the word heaven, not necessarily hell either. I was up all day trying to find stuff and I just couldn’t find anything, so I gave up. Then later than night I was watching a TED Talk and the lady giving the talk had quoted the last line of an Emily Dickinson poem, so I wrote it down and looked up the poem the next day and found a few different personal interpretations for it and I just thought it was really beautiful.

I think it captured especially what ‘Heaven’ was about, but I think afterwards – once it was finalised and announced it was the record title – I noticed a lot of things tying together and just naturally playing off each other.

 

So it was like everything was nicely falling in to place then?

Yeah. The album art is kind of duality in itself. There’s a lot of really subtle references in the lyrics to duality, which was not a conscious effort whatsoever, it just happened pretty naturally. There’s a lot of pushing and pulling and rising and falling. Even the first verse in a lot of the songs on the record and the second verse were written a year apart, which I think offers a natural duality in itself.

That was such an important thing all us learned in the past year, the importance of balance, whether it comes to your emotions, music, or your health, or hard work.

How would you describe the pressure that you, Alex and Brian had to live up to ‘White Noise’?

It was quite intense and it wasn’t at the same time. Our approach with this record and our mentality was very much the same as ‘White Noise’. It was all just about following our tastes and not boxing ourselves in… not being afraid to experiment, just follow our inner compass and create what feels real and genuine.

I think with this record it was natural from being on tour and then suddenly stopping – it was a total emotional whiplash and all of us processed it completely differently. For me, personally, I just kind of shut off emotionally and mentally. That was something we had to shake off at first when we started the recording process, but we found a lot of really beautiful moments in that mindset and that experience.

 

There’s quite a feeling of intensity and a very full sound to AWKOHAWNOH – it feels like a more mature sound compared to ‘White Noise’. Do you think that reflects the maturing you’ve gone through since releasing your debut album?

Yeah, absolutely. I think everybody can hear it. It’s different and it’s fresh and it’s definitely just naturally more mature and progressed from the last record, but I definitely think it still has that heart and that guts and same integrity behind it.

I think we’ve really been able to hone it a lot more on this record with our writing and everything. We’ve all matured so much. And even coming down to our team in general, from videos to producers to management, we’ve all gotten so tight with each other and there’s a lot more trust and better communication. Everything in every aspect is really honed in.

 

When ‘White Noise’ was written you were around 19…?

I think 18 or 19, I don’t even remember! I was a baby! We’d just been on one tour and then recorded the record and everything else was history.

 

So does it feel quite different doing things the second time around? Do you still feel that kind of sense of ‘newness’ that you felt with ‘White Noise’?

I think there’s definitely a ‘newness’ and it feels like a sophomore update for us. We’re working properly and everything works. It definitely has a really nice freshness to it, but I think we’ve learned so much as well… so it’s a freshness but with a little more of a backbone and a little bit more preparation I guess.

 

When you were writing the album did you set out to create an almost anthemic sound?

I think it just really naturally happened. A lot of the demos before this record, before we went through and started picking and choosing, were really kind of, not stripped down, but quite driving and quiet. I think the studio we were in and the environment we were in at the time was so massive with so many tools. We had three drum sets set up, two grand pianos, organs, harps… there were so many instruments and tools around that we were like little kids in a candy shop.

Do you think having all those instruments at your disposal encouraged you to play around more?

Definitely, yeah! We had a bigger arsenal of instruments but also a bigger environment and space to be in and think that really helped create the big atmosphere. But also I think there was a lot of energy to get out and a lot of catharsisism in the process of making the record, and I think that just came across in the bigness of it. Working with Blake [Harnage] as well, he always takes things to the next level and really just makes it huge and that was another key factor for sure.

 

That must’ve been exciting with all those instruments there to play with!

Yeah! There was a drum set set up at all times and I would probably hop on it three times a day, just getting anger and frustration out. We tracked a good chunk of it and it blended in on some of the songs, which was really cool. There was so much explosion of sound, which was really fun.

 

You deal with quite heavy themes in your music, with the likes of depression and anxiety, and you’re quite open about that. Do you find music’s been really good at helping you express all those emotions in an artistic form?

Absolutely. It’s so cliché saying that music is our release but it really absolutely is. Just the creative process in general – whether it’s some visuals, to videos, to just tracking and recording and writing – it really is the most cathartic part and the biggest release, and really is the reason we do it.

 

You mentioned the visuals there; from the visuals you’ve released so far for AWKOHAWNOH there seems to be real focus on marrying them in tightly with the music. Is that something you were all really keen to focus on?

We’re on our 15th or 16th video collaborating with Raul, our director now, and this time around with this record he and I are basically kind of co-directing now, so it’s been much more hands-on and a lot more of an honest and intimate process. We’ve become best friends through everything we created on ‘White Noise’, and even that was a super collaborative process, but this time around on this record it’s been even more hands-on and I think that really comes across.

 

From watching the ‘Half’ visualette you recently released that definitely shows.

That video was super last minute and was something that really makes me think there’s some kind of crazy inner workings and a weird energy looking over us at all times.

Happen’ leaked a week before we had anticipated releasing it and the boys and I had just got back from Australia, we were in LA doing some press there and I had to stay an extra day and the boys had gone home already, and we got a call from the label and management saying they wanted to put ‘Half’ out next. We had another song we’d planned to put out next and a video that was already booked to shoot and that was in the works, but the management and label wanted to put ‘Half’ out and wanted to provide some visuals for it, so asked if we had any ideas we could get rolling on. Coincidentally Raul was in LA at the same time shooting another video for someone else. I forget how it came about, but we linked up and drove from LA up to Sacramento, came up with the visual idea on the car ride up, and filmed it in like an hour the next day.

 

So, backtracking slightly… in a recent piece in Billboard you discussed coming out and how you identify, and it’s great seeing how open you are. How important do you think it is that artists are open about how they feel and who they are?

I think this is something I really was battling with a lot over the past few years, especially in press, with how open should I be. I never want it to be something that takes away from our music which overshadows everything else we do, I never want it to be a main focal point of our band. But I think in the past few years, because I was so unsure as to how much to share and discuss, I was really not being fully vulnerable and not sharing everything. I think that really builds up over time, especially with anxiety, and definitely made it worse, and I think that just being vulnerable and straight up about it really helps with it. It was such a big thing and such an important thing I’ve learned, especially in this record cycle – just being vulnerable and being open and honest. That in itself can be really healing.

And I guess when you’re using songwriting as an emotional output as well that must’ve helped you flourish creatively?

Yeah! Cause there’s no blockages and no energy being shut off, it’s just all flowing and feels so much better creatively. Even on stage there’s much more openness, it’s not like anything’s being hidden, it’s all out there on the table.

 

When you’re out on stage do you love getting in the moment and just going for it?

Haha, I try! I have a really weird relationship with playing live because I get so anxious to play and I’m just on edge all day waiting to play for some reason. I still haven’t figured it out as to how to properly navigate it yet, but I’m really trying to work on that and just being in the moment and enjoying it, not worrying about sounding perfect… that’s definitely been a concern the past two years, just sounding great live and focusing on that. I think every singer and everyone on stage deals with that to a degree.

I’m definitely overly critical of myself so I just really am trying, especially with this record cycle and on the next upcoming tours. I want to be in the moment and learn to just roll with it.

 

Are there any particular songs from AWKOHAWNOH that you’re really looking forward to playing live?

Yeah absolutely! Honestly, almost every single song… I think a lot of them are gonna translate very well into a live setting, just from the size of the songs and the size of the venues we’ll be playing, but also because there’s a lot of new instruments and a lot of jumping around. I think all of us are really going to get to showcase how diverse our talents are and our musicianship.

 

‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ is out August 25th.
Pvris are playing across the UK at the end of November, and tickets are available now.

Words Sammie Caine

Photos Brandon Taelor Aviram

FAULT speaks to Ella Eyre about her new single ‘Ego’ and upcoming album

BRIT School-educated Ella Eyre first stepped into the spotlight back in 2012 with a feature on drum and bass hit ‘Waiting All Night’ by London band Rudimental. Since then, the award-winning singer-songwriter has featured on feel-good tracks with Wiz Khalifa, Naughty Boy, DJ Fresh and more recently, Sigala. Now, Eyre is back with pop single ‘Ego’ and a sophomore album in the works.

We spoke to the songstress about taking a new direction with her new music, guilty pleasures, supporting her rivals, and learning not to swear on social media.

Hoodie – Gucci at MyTheresa.com / Sunglasses – For Arts Sake

Your new song ‘Ego’ ft. Ty Dolla $ign is out now! What were the inspirations behind the track?

Finally! I wrote it last year so it’s been a long drawn out process trying to make sure it’s perfect. I think it’s fair to say that most of the men I’ve ended up dating have been quite sure of themselves and confident. When you first have a crush on someone you wind each other up. It’s that sort of playfulness in the early days of dating that I wanted to capture for this song.

Dress – Vetements at MyTheresa.com / Earrings throughout – O Thongthai / Trainers – Vans / Socks – Topshop

You’re currently in the process of writing your new album. Will you be changing direction from your debut album ‘Feline’ [2015] at all?

Completely, yeah! I’d say there was quite a bit of pop on the first album so I’m definitely honing that more and moving away from drum and bass. I love drum and bass and I’ve had so much fun touring it but I want to show diversity in my voice and explore a different genre. At 23, I’m still very much in my youth so I want to maximise that. I feel like my first album was rather sad and depressed because as a teenager you think the world is against you. Off the back of that, though, I’ve taken some time to reflect, travel the world, see my friends and realise life’s not all that bad!

Dress – JW Anderson at MyTheresa.com / Trainers – Converse

Who are you working with on the album? Any exciting collaborations with other artists?  

There will be a few more [besides Ty Dolla $ign on ‘Ego’]; I don’t know how many yet as it depends on what songs are on the album. I came up on collaborations and I feel like it’s a really great way of introducing new artists who’ve come up with something new, different and exciting, so there will definitely be more!

You recently teamed up with Sigala for feel-good dance track ‘Came Here For Love’ as well!

The fact that it was the official soundtrack for London Pride was amazing! I’m so glad I was a part of that.

Hoodie – Gucci at MyTheresa.com / Trousers – Topshop / Sunglasses – For Arts Sake

You have been a well-known face in the music industry for several years now. How have you developed as an artist in that time?

I’ve definitely learnt to be more patient. I’m quite an impatient person, especially when it comes to things like my career. Even if you don’t want to be, you become a role model and people aspire to be like you. One of the hard things for me has been learning not to swear on Twitter. I still do sometimes but when you have young people following you, you gotta stay PG [laughs]!

Have you noticed a change in the way people treat you [in the industry]?

I came from the Rudimental team and they’re all about family, so whenever I meet somebody who might be seen as a competitor, like Jess Glynne or Raye, I’ll always be friendly. I think being happy for other successful people is something people really struggle with in this industry but it’s something you have to do because the industry is so unpredictable.

Dress – Topshop Boutique

What is your biggest bugbear?

A lot of things piss me off. For a start, I hate automated phone calls. Having to call up a company and speak to a robot for half an hour before I can speak to an actual person. I hate balloons – I hate the rubber ones because when they pop they’re so loud! It makes me anxious when people hold them [laughs]! I also really hate slow drivers.

Who would be your dream dinner party guests?

Joanna Lumley, Stormzy, Barack Obama and Lauryn Hill!

Bra – Love Stories / Jacket – Le Seine & Moi / Trousers – Rick Owens at MyTheresa.com / Trainers – Adidas / Choker – O Thongthai

What is your guilty pleasure?

When I was younger, I would mix butter and sugar in a bowl and eat it! I still do it sometimes when I’m sad.

What is your FAULT?

Never being satisfied with what I have and not appreciating how lucky I am. I would like to think I could retire happy.

Ella’s new song ‘Ego’ ft. Ty Dolla $ign is now available on Apple Music, Spotify and iTunes. Find Ella on Instagram.

Words Aimee Phillips

Photos Jack Alexander

Styling Daisy Deane @ Frank Agency

Hair and Make Up Yasmina Bentaieb using Kerastase hair and MAC Cosmetics

Stylist’s Assistant Lois Jenner

Special thanks Jon Greenland

FAULT catches up with Oh Wonder upon the release of their sophomore album

In just three years, songwriting duo Oh Wonder – made up of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West – have gone from a self-releasing online sensation to an internationally-touring band signed to Island Records with over 4.5million monthly listeners on Spotify. Now, they’re back two years later with their bedazzling 12-track sophomore album, ‘Ultralife’. We caught up with the duo to talk about their evolution since their self-titled first album, staying grounded, emotional music, and weird fan experiences.

 

What was the inspiration behind your new album, ‘Ultralife’?

Josephine: We’ve been touring constantly for the best part of two years, which has been incredible because when we started with this band, we just conceived it as a writing project, it was never going to be an internationally touring thing! ‘Ultralife’ is totally inspired by that shift in living and the new routine we have, which is just bizarre. You’re away from everything you know all the time. A constant adventure.

 

How do you feel you have evolved musically since your self-titled last album was released?

Anthony: Being on the road, we’ve played with musicians on stage and it made us feel we really needed to convey that on the record track.

Josephine: We brought our live band into the studio – our bassist and our drummer – and they’re all over the record. So much of the record is live takes of the four of us jamming. We hope that we’ve injected a lot more of the raw, live energy that really comes to life at things like festivals.

Anthony: The first record was very mellow so this time we wanted to give it more life.

 

 

What is your creative process when writing songs?

Josephine: It’s totally equal and collaborative. Typically we do write at a piano and we both come forward with ideas. We never go into a space where it’s like: “I’ve written this song, what do you reckon?” We would never do that because we want to conceive everything completely together.

 

How do you stay grounded with your increasing international fame?

Anthony: Trying to have a sense of normality about your life is the hardest bit.

Josephine:  Our friends are really good at that. None of them really care that we make music. You get home and they’re like, ‘You’ve been away? Cool’ [laughs].

Anthony: We take our friends on tour as well to keep us grounded.

Josephine: Fame as a concept is not something that really appeals to us. I’d hate to be famous. You have to just constantly remind yourself that five years ago when we were playing to like six people a night in Birmingham – that in itself is amazing. To have six people come out to watch you in Birmingham is as amazing as having 3,000 people come out to watch you in San Francisco. You lose perspective really easily when in Kuala Lumpur you’re like, ‘We’ve only sold 3,000 tickets; it’s a 4,000 cap room!’ You just have to stop yourself and be like: this is amazing. Whatever level you’re at in life, it’s just about gratitude.

 

What is your favourite song to play live?

Anthony: Our song Heavy – we’ve only played it live once – we put it together last week to put on stage. We don’t really have to do anything as on the record, that song is literally just a live take of us playing.

Josephine: It’s just got such a groove! I’m just really annoyed that I have to play an instrument when I just wanna dance!

 

What was the first song you played live together?

Both: Livewire!

Anthony: It was at our first show in London in 2015. It was the first song we played and we were so nervous!

Josephine: We’d been practising for ages, trying to sing completely in unison. It wasn’t natural; it was all very robotic.

Anthony: Probably the best show we’ve played! We’ve let it slip a bit since then [laughs].

 

What song makes you cry?

Josephine: So many!

Anthony: Probably Still – The Cinematic Orchestra. Brothers on a Hotel Bed by Death Cab [For Cutie].

Josephine: I got a text from my brother the other day, who’s in Madrid currently, saying that Castle on a Hill by Ed Sheeran is his new favourite jam and when I hear it to think of him. I heard it on the radio and just because my brother has sent me this note and he was so far away, I found myself welling up in the car!

 

What song always make you feel happy?

Anthony: Mine would be Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi. It’s the morning tune isn’t it? Perfect to make pancakes to.

Josephine: Mine would be Phoenix – Listomania. Big tune. Great driving tune.

 

 

What is the weirdest fan experience you’ve had?

Josephine: There’s so many! We get a lot of people asking us to write our names on a piece of paper, then the next morning we’ll check Instagram and it’s been tattooed on them! We’ve been given loads of weird gifts like shark’s teeth that someone found at the bottom of the ocean. We’ve been given little figurines that someone’s made of us.

Anthony: Lots of paintings. Fans are like, ‘Take them home!’ and we’re like, ‘We’re getting on a flight!’ [laughs]

Josephine: We get a lot of proposals. The weirdest fan proposal we’ve had was in Brighton –

Anthony: Not proposals to us – between fans.

Josephine: He [the fan] wanted us to be there in this room whilst he proposed to his girlfriend. It was a bit odd because we came down and she was like: “Oh hello!” and he was like: “I’ve got a question to ask you,” and then she kind of said yes and then they were like, “Ok, well bye!” We just thought, why are we here? Do they want a photo? They were like, “No” [laughs].

 

What is your FAULT?

Anthony: Mine would be tanning [he reveals his burnt arms from a recent holiday and laughs]. Practice would be mine. I would be a lot better at stuff if I practised more. I always do things to a level and then I’m like, let’s move on to something else. Attention span. That’s why I’ve signed up to marathons.

Josephine: You’re trying to do the Great Wall of China. It’s hard to walk, let alone run!

Anthony: There’s a chunk of it – 26.2 miles – but there’s 15,000 steps involved. And I’ve got terrible knees.

Josephine: I am very stubborn. If things don’t go my way I don’t like it very much. I’m a bit of a control freak. Everything that you see that is Oh Wonder related has come from us.

Anthony: That’s also the secret to your success as well.

 

Oh Wonder’s sophomore album ‘Ultralife’ is out now. Find it on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

Words Aimee Phillips

Photography Annick Wolfers 

FAULKNER X THE NYLON PROJECT

Eric Scullin, Lucas Asher, Dimitri Farougias, Christian Hogan

Revolutionary transcendent music with a borderless echoing frame of vibrational change, FAULT presents to you, FAULKNER. An instant draw of curiosity with an embedded foundational name, this talented mix of East and West coast four rocked statements of awareness as they joined The Nylon Project kicking off New York Fashion Week. Founded by Jordana Guimaraes, The Nylon Project refreshes and reminds us of the daily unrelenting flashes of homelessness and the pressing needs of those without on our New York City streets. The united collaboration and substantial support of fashion and celebrity influencers such as FAULKNER and Christina Milian are continuously and actively working to highlight this urgency and raise funds to donate 1,500 meals by February’s end. The leading and resonating campaign, “It Can Be You,” undoubtedly reels you in and speaks to every one of us. It plays true, cautioning us indeed, “It Can Be You” as you will find and see as we took the time to sit and chat with lead singer, guitar and songwriter Lucas Asher of FAULKNER post performance and runway show.

Educate us a bit on your origins and the band’s.

I was in Dumbo area, I’m a New Yorker but then I went to L.A. cuz I hooked up with RZA from the The Wu.

 

How did you hook up with RZA from The Wu?

I just hustled him, I hit him up like everyday for like half a year and then he finally reached out and was like, “Yo kid send me a track.” And then I sent him a joint called “New York Anthem” and he liked it and so we worked on it at Rick Rubin’s Studio and then the New York Yankees started playing it at all their home games. And then it just went from there.

 

How did you link up with the rest of the guys?

In L.A. I’m the New Yorker, they’re the L.A. guys.

 

So have you guys known each other for long?

Three years. Good chemistry though, ya.

 

What does Faulkner mean? Does it have any relation to the writer?

No, no relation to the writer. I’ve been to 30 countries and I was in Egypt and there was a shaman and he told me to name my band FAULKNER. He said it would be successful and to be honest its going pretty good so far.

 

In this journey, have you always wanted to do music? 

Always, always music. And I listen to a lot of hip hop because of the aspirational qualities to it. And that’s why I’m part of The Nylon Project, just cuz I was homeless at one point. And I’ve always just been a hustler, and just gotten stuff done. And so I always was just the kid listening to hip hop, like a hip hop madden and stuff, and now I play in a rock band, so it’s an irony.

 

What do you feel, with everything that is going on now and that we are facing, what do you hope to do with your music as far as reaching people and especially where you’ve been through and you’ve been in that position, what do you want to translate to people? 

Be an aspirational band that people can believe in. Because we came from the streets. You know And now we’re living our dreams finally, the world, working with the Wu Tang Clan. So just believe in your dreams and the aspirational of quality there’s so much negativity in the world. We just want to focus on the positive.

 

 

What are you influences as far as music aside from Wu Tang, and hip hop and specific fashion and music influences?

David Bowie, for me it’s James Dean too. I think red jackets and rebels, even Eddie Murphy had that red jacket. To me when I walk into a room and see someone in a red jacket I assume their the rebel in the room, and so that’s kinda what it represents to me, is rebellion. So ya, I love fashion, I’m always in L.A. on Melrose or in Soho looking at cool new and upcoming designers. There’s this designer in Soho called Miguel that I really love right now, he has this little shop in Soho.

 

What is he known for?

Like Mandarin collars, Asian influences. Ya, he’s dope. But I love discovering like boutique cool designers.

 

Always supporting everyone who is coming up.

Ya, ya. So musically other than hip hop, is Freddie Mercury and David Bowie probably.

 

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing on your mind before you go to sleep?

First thing, I usually meditate and get into warrior mode. Cuz everyday I see it’s just like, “Let’s get it.” I usually do a quick meditation and then get into warrior beast mode and kick it off.

 

What is your FAULT? 

I think I invest so much in people and my art. I just I pour everything I have into it and when you do that and it’s the wrong person…or something, you’ve got a lot invested in that.

 

I guess that is something that everybody in the artistic realm goes through. You’re going to end up investing in people and it is the heart you have as well.

Ya, you got to go for it all the way.

 

Do you have anything you want to add? About moving forward or this time that we’re living in?  

Oh ya, with culture. We’re trying to reflect that right now even in our music. That’s what “Revolutionary” is about. The first song we played. We shot that music video in Hawaii on the Na Pali Coast. People can go check out that video on Youtube. That’s kind of what we’re talking about in the song. Is how divisive ideologies can be and how inclusive ideologies can be. And you can see one leader that has an ideology that brings everyone together and then another leader that has an ideology that separates everyone. So obviously standing from one of those and not the other.

Very well said, thank you so much again. 

FAULKNER’s majestic movement of progress engages us to recall and retell musical sounds and encourages us to be the change we all so eagerly seek. No question that these four artistically accomplished and gifted gentleman, Eric Scullin on lead guitar, Dimitri Farougias on bass guitar, Christian Hogan jam rocking on the drums and lyricist Lucas Asher have just begun on an intended and predestined magically tuned ride.

The electrifying unit that accompanies FAULKNER is resounding. And with all they have to offer, they are led by the JV.Agency force who is also a consciously contributing factor with publicist, Jaz Valencia’s newest leather accessory introduction. This dazzling, economical and functional iPhone purse is ideal for those of us who live on the edge, non stop from coast to coast, with much to carry and not enough hands. Fit for rock and roll aligned with studs, in black leather, THE VALENCIA, designed in New York is now available to all. Cause for action while you shop, as your purchase will contribute to the distribution of meals for the homeless in NYC.

 

“WE BELIEVE A GIRL CAN NEVER BE TOO FABULOUS, TOO SMART, OR WEAR TOO MUCH LEATHER…”

FAULT would like to thank FAULKNER, Jaz Valencia of the JV. Agency and Amanda from A.FAYE PR for having us and taking the time. Apart from the gripping music and funk of fashion, the great story is that of an open heart and helping hand, to reach those without, because we can and we understand, and so we are charged and entrusted to take a stand. There’s no better moment than now to strike with a revolutionary artistic change.

Words and Photographer: Chaunielle Brown