REBEL YELL v EN.V
RY: It was great to play with you last October in Melbourne! It was the first time I’d seen you play and I was a already a big fan of your song ‘Anxiety Is The New LBD’. The new clip you just put out for it by Adam Hammad is great! When you played I noticed your other material was at quite a different pace to this song, is this a newer one? Is it the direction new material will be heading in?
EN.V: Hey Grace!!! Thank you so much! You’re an amazing musician and it was so good to see you play and I was honoured to be on the bill w u! ‘Anxiety Is The New LBD’ is a really special song to me, when I was making it I was having such a good time and it makes me so happy that people respond to it. It is def a lot harder than other songs, in the past I guess I was feeling shy about letting go and not ‘building’ the song, I want to make more songs that throw you in the deep end the way I feel Anxiety does, the new material Ive been working on is going in that direction and it’s really exciting.
RY: You seem to have a very prominent visual aesthetic, do you sort of plan out the ‘idea’ of EN. V and what it was going to look like? What inspires the look, photo shoots, videos, stage presence etc, or is it just all ‘you’?
EN.V: I never planned out EN.V as an idea, theres no concept or story because I am representing myself, I really don’t know how to be other than me and express the things that make me feel something. I have always loved costumes and did drama and music growing up so for me its felt natural in a way to progress into making and performing music. I’ve also always had an obsession with aesthetic and just ‘know’ or ‘feel’ and am sure of what turns me on. I really want to show something real and from my heart, even if it is me doing a striptease in a video, it’s a true & confident expression of my history, to gain back the power I’ve ever felt I’ve lost along the way.
RY: Making an assumption here, but being a female artist, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of patronising comments from random dudes in the crowd or sound guys, right? How do you deal with these comments?
EN.V: GIRL YES!! Just on Monday a guy started heckling me and I shut him tf down, like I am the femme on stage, guys/men/baby/boys don’t appreciate how much shit you have to wade through if ur a woman, and then judge the crap out of you, even though most of the world is literally made for men and accommodates them it blows my mind they even have the nerve to try it! In the past I used to be kind of quiet, but the truth is Ive always been feisty and I think its important because I have that inner strength that I show other femmes that most the time MEN KNOW NOTHING !!! LMAO!! So I tell them to fuck off or I make fun of them.
As electronic musicians, it can be frustrating playing to a lifeless/static crowd, what are some things you do to get the crowd dancing? Or are you like me and now refuse to play before 10pm?
EN.V: omg Grace LOL! Yes, I basically say now that it’s not going to work before 10pm because it just doesn’t, the music I’ve made really doesn’t suit as an early act, it feels so inappropriate and it makes me feel so weird when no one is dancing. If though I play early I tell people to dance and that they make me nervous if they don’t move around. I’ve also started to get more confidence and if I start dancing then I notice the crowd moves with me which I really love, it’s so special.
RY: I’ve been lucky enough to interview you for a zine I’m working on about Australian electronic music called Our Friends Electric, in one of your answers you mentioned your music is emotionally driven and expressed in abstract ways, are your shows an emotional experience for you? What do you do to pump yourself up or cool down after a performance?
EN.V: Thank you for interviewing me! I can’t wait to see the zone when it’s finished!! My shows are definitely emotional, I have to practice before hand or I end up crying on stage, for so many reasons as well, like- I think- fuck am I actually doing this- this expectation I put on myself that I’ve always dreamt of getting up and expressing in a way that connects with people and suddenly I’m doing it, it can overwhelm me if I don’t prepare, I’ve lost close friends who played music and encouraged me to perform so sometimes it can feel like their ghosts are watching me and if I don’t practice before a show I can’t process those feeling, it makes me sad that I can’t show them how much they inspire me. Essentially I give so much of a shit, not about what people think of me, but that I can give something to people in exchange for the fact they have taken time to interact with my creativity, its so precious to me.
RY: I can’t wait to dance this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for having me!!!
EN.V v REBEL YELL
EN.V: When & how did you decide you wanted to make techno/electronic/dance music?
RY: I started with 100% back in ooh maybe 2013? And I was using a little microkorg initially. I then got a drum machine and just played around with it. I had this idea in my head that I wanted to do a solo thing and it’s weird because I didn’t set out to make a ‘type’ of music, I just made these drum beats and the rest went along with it. The drum beats made me want to yell and be angry with it though, and I was happy with that.
EN.V: What makes you excited to make music?
RY: Time! When I have time I feel so much more relaxed and actually able to produce new stuff. I do lots of driving around listening to music that inspires me (a lot of it being mainstream pop music actually…), if I hear a cool drum pattern or something, it inspires me to make something but using it in a much darker way.
EN.V: Do you think its harder for femmes to break into dance music? Especially if they produce or work w/ masc people?
RY: I think so! I will say it’s definitely harder to get billed higher if a non-electronic music focused booker (usually a male) is in charge. I’ve found working with Jemma Cole for Insert a great experience and organisers like Amelia Jenner of Body Promise too. There have been male bookers that have done a good job too, just the best experiences so far have been with women who ‘get’ Rebel Yell.
Whats with Brisbane always putting out fkn good music? Do you think isolation can play a part in making new types of sounds?
RY: Haha thats good to hear! I feel like because we are a smaller town the community is a bit tighter perhaps? People are inspired by so many different genres and team up with each other to create new and different things. To me personally, isolation is key, but also I love the response I get when I play in different states, its so much more enthusiastic than Brisbane crowds, but that has nothing to do with the creation process.
EN.V: When I book shows I am focused on making the line up diverse & including people who may not always get a platform, Who are some acts I should listen to?
RY: Oooh! It’s hard because I want to mention all the Melbourne/Sydney bands I love! Like Pillow Pro, Habits, Various Asses, Vacuum, Corin, Rainbow Chan… but you probably know all of them! I love California Girls from Canberra, anything on Paradise Daily from Sydney like LA Suffocated!!, as for Brisbane, look out for Neo Flux (formerly Zeiiga) she’ll be pumping out some new stuff soon I hear, Brainbeau, X in O, Scraps, all Brisbane goodies. I’ve found when I try to book shows in Brisbane most of the electronic acts are actually more femme than guitar bands, and I’m still trying to find out who else is making electronic music here! Melbourne has a huge range of electronic acts to choose from, it is so much fun curating a line up down there!
EN.V: <3 Can’t wait for Saturday!!
Mellum Clublounge #1 details here.