Link to interview: https://bitchmedia.org/article/female-fronted-goth-bands-subvert-gender-androgynous
Some unpublished questions and answers:
Who are some of your biggest music influences, both generally and within goth/dark music?My biggest inspirations in high school that helped me to want to create music were the SWANS, Einstürzende Neubauten and Lungfish. Later influences were Fovea Hex, Khanate, Earth, The Bulgarian Women's Choir and Alvin Lucier. My current influences are Arvo Part, Philip Jeck, Daniel Menche, William Fowler Collins, Black Spirituals, Aaron Turner and Alice Coletrane.What goth/dark musicians do you most often get compared to -- and do you think those comparisons are fair?Mamiffer and Mára often get compared to The Swans, The Cranes, Mazzy Star and Cocteau Twins. These seem fair to me, since many of these bands/projects were influential, and inspired me to create music. I see a similarity in these comparisons to the crushing nature of utilizing beauty and heaviness in sound.What elements of the original goth movement do you think you’ve incorporated into your own work, and why have those elements appealed to you?The elements I have incorporated into my own work and music are issues of difficult beauty and emotion and washy/gossamer delivery methods that leave room for the personal interpretation of the listener. I also utilize assuming different performative roles, and subverting their connotations in the live performance, during collaborations and in the composing and recording process. These elements appeal to me, because they can draw a listener in with beauty and blurriness, while maintaining the strength of personal interpretation and narrative. These elements are appealing because they are not exclusionary, instead they are inviting, creating a connection that can be made deeply meaningful. Subverting performative aspects of music appeals to me, these are the seeds of what can bring change to already seemingly solidified systems, using what has been historically seen as weak or submissive, and revealing the power and strength inherent in emotion and beauty or the feminine in music and sound.What elements of those early days do you see carrying over into modern-day music? And what elements do you think are now dated or obsolete?The elements that seem to carry over into modern day music are a DIY method to recording and releasing, using the cassette format, 4 tracks and unorthodox production techniques, and being OK with low-fi qualities. The power of the female voice taking the center also seems to have carried over, and peoples want to listen/pay attention. Men playing with or interpreting a feminine stage presence has also carried over. I'm not sure what is outmoded or obsolete, except that maybe some bands or people are just trying to re-create the past, instead of finding their own voice and creating something new.One of the notable elements of early goth culture was its focus on gender play and androgyny; it seemed to make room for women and femininity in a way that other scenes didn’t. Do you feel like that’s still the case, and/or do you feel like that’s in any way made it easier for you to make the music you make?This aspect of the music was very influential for me. It felt very welcoming to see men disregarding stereotypical male stage presences and methods of creating and instead welcoming and playing with female/gyno-centric based ideas of performance, living, experimentation and composing. These elements of the music drew me in, and felt very familiar to me.I was raised in the theatre in Palm Springs CA, where performers from all genders played many different roles, I thought this was normal, and that people could flow between identities very easily. Seeing this in music made sense to me, and when I am shocked/saddened by the realities of sexism in music and the world, I know I can rely on the support of people and musicians who subvert the dominant male, or masculine paradigm, and welcome all methods of difference.A big influence on me in terms of me wanting to perform music, was seeing the VHS video for the Einstürzende Neubauten album "Halber Mensh". The video is amazing, musicians making music with the materials at hand, the waste of architecture, and excess of garbage etc. In the video Blixa Bargeld wears the traditionally "male" instrument of power: the guitar. Not once does he actually use the guitar, yet he wears it as a prop. In high school I interpreted this as him subverting its supposed connotations, and rendering it useless, showing it for the object of projection that it is. I loved that silence could be so powerful when displayed this way, amidst the cacophony of controlled chaos and destruction.Do you have anything new (music, tour dates) happening now or on the near horizon that I should make sure to mention in my article?Mamiffer just released "The World Unseen" in May 2016 (Sige Records) and Mára released "Surfacing" November 2015 (Sige records.)Mamiffer just came home from a great European tour, where I was 27-28 weeks pregnant, which was an incredible experience to perform and sing live while being pregnant.A new Mamiffer record has been written as well as a new Mára record, which will be recorded next year. Alex Barnett and I just finished recording our new record for the label Blackest Ever Black (Barnett+Coloccia), which will come out next year.A live collaboration with Daniel Menche is coming out on cassette this year, as well as a collaborative photo book I made with him.I am taking a break in touring until 2017, and focusing on growing food, making herbal medicine and artwork at our home on Vashon Island in the WA state Pudget Sound.Thanks for the interview!