Just the other week Montreal duo She-Devils released their debut EP and on that very same night we caught up with them before their Toronto show. We linked up with Audrey Ann & Kyle Jukka at the Garrison before their sold out show with Majical Cloudz. We talked about space, building your own world and what makes them cry. Check out our interview and photos below.
Sidewalk Hustle: It’s always a thing that’s sometimes annoying or funny, when you have a sound that’s different – the sort of categories you get put in. You’ve been classified as “beach goth” or “winter surf” – how do you like to describe your sound?
Audrey Ann: Oh! (giggles) It’s hard to say…
Kyle Jukka: From my perspective, it’s that I’m sort of like a sewer, like a machine that does this via tapestry. Any recorded music that’s been recorded at any point is potential material or fabric or thread to be fed into my sewing machine. To me that defines the sonic characteristics of the music.
AA: I guess it’s like, music for culture lovers, or in love with art history. It all goes through the funnel and comes out.
SH: Your video for “Come” has a strong visual aesthetic, what visual inspirations do you pull from?
AA: I guess movies probably… It’s hard to say because you can say it comes from somewhere, but then it all happens in the moment. You feel like “these are my influences” but then it all kinda gets mixed together and comes out completely differently. It doesn’t look at all like the thing I was thinking about at first.
SH: It gets all mixed up in your brain.
AA: Yeah! And it stays there for so long it becomes something completely different. Like when you mix red and yellow it becomes orange. It’s a new colour.
KJ: For me too, there’s a lens. And on the other side of that lens there’s this fantasy world, and it’s just about building that fantasy world.
SH: If you could time travel, when are where would you want to go to & why?
AA: Wow! It’s hard to say past or future. I feel like I want to travel an alternate universe? Rather than our own. Kinda just see what’s going on, on the other side. That would be the most interesting thing to do.
KJ: Yeah. The other side of the universe seems most ideal. If that’s a valid response.
SH: Hell yeah. What makes you cry?
AA: Ooooh! For me? Almost everything! Beauty in general. Really strong emotions. When things just seem so perfect and it’s just like “Oh my god!” Like when I saw Star Wars for the first time I was bawling – “It’s so perfect! They’ve created a perfect universe!” I don’t know. Art touches me. Humans too. The will that we have to create is definitely something that makes me cry for sure.
KJ: Things that have an overwhelming amount of humanity in them. Characters that are these sort of beasts…Entities that posses a creative genius but at the same time they’re so fragile. They’re vulnerable.
SH: Your EP just came out. For a long time you didn’t have any music online, taking a different approach and waiting, versus having a lot up right from the start. Can you shed some light on that?
AA: I guess we just had songs. At the beginning we just had songs that we were excited about playing so we just started that way.
KJ: And we didn’t have any recorded songs either.
AA: We were just making songs in our studio and then it’s like “let’s bring people into it” – but yeah it took more of a push for us to record and finalize things. It was also just nice to see how the songs evolved through performing them. I think it was the right choice for us.
SH: Day VS Night – and why?
AA: Ah! I feel… probably both. Either the morning or the night, but not the middle. I really don’t like the sunset, when it changes. I’ll be like “Why do I feel so bad now it’s only 5pm?” But I guess the sun needs to go down. It’s been around for a while.
KJ: I’m 100% night. It just feels like the whole world decompresses and there’s this sort of soft shade that comes over everything. You finally can relax & feel soothed by your environment. 100% nighttime. And I feel more creative then too.
AA: Night is better for being creative and day is like, if you have things to do then daytime is the time to do them.
KJ: The sun kinda sends the message.
AA: Yeah! Get it done!
SH: When you’re creating these textures in your music, what pulls you to certain samples or sounds?
KJ: Different things. At first it was more about “oh this would be trippy and weird coming out of a sampler” or something like that. Thinking about the context and what we’re like as a band, and how that would change the meaning of the sounds we’re using because we don’t have guitars or anything. It gives the music this feeling of “What’s going on here? What are they getting away with?” I think that’s what first initially inspired my sampling, but now there’s so many different factors. It’s a pretty intuitive thing. You just get attracted to a sound and you feel like it can work. You feel like you can fill its place in the larger complexion of the sonic world that you’re fleshing out.
SH: Lyrically when you write, what’s your process like?
AA: Most lyrics and melodies either come right away or don’t. I never spend too much time on it. I definitely go back to lyrics a little bit. Usually I’ll just start with one verse and chorus I repeat over and over again. I don’t add that much variation too it, but I try and find more. Looking back and thinking “what was I trying to say?” Push it a little bit more, but not too much more. I still want to stay cool.
SH: Leave the mystery.
AA: Oh for sure! It’s part of the experience. When you experience art, you want to put your own meaning into it. If someone just gives too much away then you can’t make it personal.
KJ: You gotta spill yourself out, bit by bit.
SH: What a recent piece of art you’ve been projecting on? What’s struck a chord with you lately?
KJ: The album Propaganda by the band Sparks. I’m really obsessed with Sparks right now. They’re really special and adorable. Very creative and very smart. The music is so full of life and humour. It just has this energy that makes me want to chase it to the end of the album every time. I can never stop listening to it. It’s just got some special energy to it that I think would be positive for anyone who can connect with it.
AA: I guess for me Star Wars. Sometimes I just take a break from listening to music or doing anything. But after the new Star Wars I watched Dune. There was this big library of movies and I was like “What do I watch?” and I was all alone so I picked that. I thought that was really cool. It’s something that was never really interesting to me before, what’s outside of the Earth or whatever. There’s definitely a lot in there… What we as humans imagine the rest of the universe to be like, I find that really interesting. Our perspective. Our imaginations. What’s going on there?!
KJ: Filling in the blanks.
AA: I think it’s cool. We’re so curious as a species.
SH: Do you believe that there’s something else out there?
AA: Yeah! I think so. It’s hard to say. It’s so vast. I think there is. At least microbes or bacteria somewhere. I doubt that we’re alone. At the same time… who knows! That’s a boring answer. (giggles)
KJ: I just love imaging the universe as a sort of kitchen, and the earth is something the universe cooked up successfully, even though it’s so flawed. So maybe next time the recipe will get improved.
SH: Closing up, words of advice?
AA: Just do it man! Seriously though! You have ideas, you have things that touch you. You just have to get it going. It’s not that hard. You gotta try. Maybe you’ll fail, maybe you’ll fail for years! Then at some point you’ll be like “Wow, I’m able to express my true essence” and things will open up in front of you. You’ll be in there. Just keep trying. Keep doing.
KJ: Privilege character over fidelity, when it comes to music. It’s a good thing to remember, it can always help steer you in the right direction. When things are cloudy, always work towards the thing that has the most personality.
AA: Creating your own world is really important. Finding the seed and letting it grow.
Grab the She-Devils EP from their bandcamp & catch She-Devils live at one of the dates below…
Jan 29th | Los Angeles CA | Masonic Lodge *
Feb 14th | Toronto ON | The Garrison
* shows with Majical Cloudz
Photos by Kate Killet