Chelsea Wolfe

Interview by Miriam C.

Chelsea Wolfe is really a strange beast. Musically is quite impossible to define [she mixes doom, folk and acoustic music] her but the beauty in her music is that she’s able to mesmerize you, haul over another dimension. Until then, please take your time to discover about this magnetic sorceress.
 
For being so young, you have already published a lot of records and I’ve really enjoyed the “Prayer for the Unborn”, congratulations. What can you tell us more about your musical background and when is started your passion for the music?

I’m not so young. I’ve been making music since I was child. I already thought of myself as old when I was 18. I always have written songs and I always write songs and I will until I die.

You have released on Southern Records for the Latitudes Session “Prayer for the Unborn”. First of all how’s born this collaboration with Southern Records?

Last year I recorded five covers, or interpretations, of Rudimentary Peni songs based on only reading the lyrics or only hearing the song once, so the covers are very loose. It’s why I called it a tribute. I love Rudimentary Peni‘s lyrics.. very frantic and poetic.. a special way of summing things up. Anyway, Southern Records asked if I wanted to record a session for Latitudes while I was in London for a show in April I think so I decided to re-approach the tribute songs and record them at Southern with my band.

When you have come across Rudimentary Peni‘s music? Also, what do you have felt recording this songs with the same engineer who worked with Rudimentary Peni on the original recordings?

I live in a big house with a lot of people and for a while this guy lived there who was really a character and he basically holed up in the living room and listened to records and recorded music.. I don’t pay attention to a lot of music but one day I was walking through the living room and he was listening to a Rudimentary Peni record and I stopped in my tracks and had to know who it was and what it was.. the energy behind that voice, Nick Blinko. The guy had a cat back home named Blinky, after Nick Blinko. A few nights later is when I recorded the original version of the tribute. Then we got to Southern Studio and I discovered we were working with Harvey Birrell who originally recorded many of Peni‘s albums.. magical fate I suppose. On top of having that connection, Harvey is such a fantastic engineer and I really loved working with him. We were also able to have Nick Blinko make us a drawing for the album cover and t-shirt design.

Doing a step back on 16th October 2012, you have published thru Sargent House your third album “Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs”, what infos you tell about its genesis? When you have started to nail down the first lyric? About “Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs” you say : “is a collection of songs that were “once-orphaned, [and] given a home”. Why?

When I started working with Sargent House, Cathy (Pellow) told me that some of her favorite songs of mine were ones that weren’t on any albums.. just old acoustic or folk songs that were on YouTube.. live performances or demos that hadn’t been properly released. So she had the idea to gather those songs into an acoustic album. As I was gathering the songs I felt inspired and wrote some new folk songs and re-recorded some of the older songs with new energy. This is the collection that came together for “Unknown Rooms”.

Your personal highlight of the year for sure, without doubts, is the live gig at the Roadburn. What memories do you have of that precise gig? What were your feelings?

I don’t know if that was my best show, but it was a special night and I was really happy to be playing that festival. I was really sick with bronchitis on that particular tour and on a lot of medicine and trying to keep my voice together so it was a struggle but maybe that added to the intensity, feeling more vulnerable and susceptible to falling apart.

In your point of view, as an artist, what difference you can find between “The Grime and The Glow”, your debut and this last one “Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs”. What is changed?

I have more trust in myself and my own musical instincts, but at the same time I’m not afraid to edit myself now.

I really loved “Spinning Centers” and “The Way We Used to” : I don’t know why but “Spinning Centers” reminded me of a forest in autumn and “The Way We Used to” has this southern vibe. What is those songs about?

Many of my songs are about drawing parallels between macro and micro.. “Spinning Centers” of energy within us and around us and the universe encapsulating us. Carl Sagan taught me that we are made of the same particles as ancient stars. Some songs are seasonal in feeling, yes. For me “Spinning Centers” is a winter song. “The Way We Used To” is for summer because everything is more difficult and angry in the heat.

I read that another album is in the works – will be different from “Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs” and in what elements will differ?

I have a new album almost finished. The songs range from piano, folk, rock n roll, electronic. I’m exploring many genres and sounds. The themes are elemental and ancestral.

 

Credit Photo

Single Photo by Kristin Cofer

Band Photo by Brandon Long

 

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