1883 Magazine
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The Nave is a Church/Steiner school in it’s spare time, so where better to interview a humble, spiritual musician, than sat on primary school chairs in a class room where the curriculum is overlooked.

How are you feeling about tonight’s performance?

It feels pretty good, this is a beautiful space. Energetically you kinda know when you walk into a space. It also depends on how we play and how we respond I guess. I feel really lucky to be here.

Are you into Churches because of the acoustics and the atmosphere?

It’s the atmosphere, the acoustics can be hit and miss but I think there’s something beautiful about people coming together to listen to music or coming together for any purpose of art of spirit. I’m not particularly religious but very spiritual. It’s so humbling to walk into a space like this.

I’ve heard you mention the word humble a couple of times since I met you earlier. In your mind is that an important attribute of an artist?

Yes for sure. I think when artist’s are doing what they love they become humble. I think when you hit your stride as an artist and start finding out who you are, you go the opposite way from ego which is humility. I try to surround myself in a situation where there’s not a lot of ego, but there’s a lot of talent, so then you can try to understand and appreciate what each other is doing and you feel honoured to be working together I guess.

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Would you say the more humble you are, the more sponge-like you are to the environment?

Yes I grew up in a really quiet place on a little Island off the East Coast of Australia. There were a couple of hundred people where I grew up so it was really quiet. I travelled a lot and lived in LA for a while. You hear the world get louder and louder around you so a few years ago and went to a much more internal place and then I think you start to appreciate the quietness in other people and aspects in music like the space.

Were there any experiences you can name that made you get a bit insular or change your outlook?

I have so much I could tell you but I think really that everyone has points in their life, be it ruled by stars, events or triggers, that start to change us and maybe it’s all interwoven you know? We all have these periods where we start to reference our lives and start to reference what’s actually important to us and I think during that time the other things get stripped away and those walls get pushed down. It’s really emotional when it happens but you’re left with a lot of space around that, and when you have that space there is clarity again and you didn’t realise how confined you are until all those walls painfully come down. Then you realise that having that emptiness is actually quite beautiful.

That’s so lovely! Earlier on today I was reading some of your lyrics from your Berlin EP, it feels you have a perfect gage on how to say just enough to show people the exact feeling that you want to convey, and you have found the perfect balance between personal and relatable. Would you say that came naturally or did it come through experience?

A combination of both I would say. I think that if you’re being very honest and raw about yourself, whether it’s an experience or something poetic, if you’re telling it in an honest way, then people receive it in that same way. People can relate to what’s honest, even if they haven’t been through it necessarily. Lyrically I try to be really stripped. Sometimes it’s a little hidden…

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Is that so that people can relate their own experiences to it?

Yes that and maybe some sense of protection from me unknowingly when I’m writing. In a lot of writers and artists that I love, there’s always something left unknown or open, because there’s always something left unknown and open in us too, like when we have an experience and learn from it but we might have more to learn from it. I grew up with amazing lyrics in the house, artists like “Dylan” so there was the storytelling element and Jeff Buckley, where a lot of his music came from a really emotional place. But at the end of the day you only have your own story to tell.

Did you go through anything to find the level of honesty that you mentioned? Do you remember ever having barriers up?

Yes I did. Apparently I can be very good with words and when I was younger I didn’t know what that meant so you could extend stories to make them look a certain way to somebody else without knowing. It took me a while to realise that some of those actions actually affected other people and when I realised, it gave me a chance to look at that and see that there’s no pain in honesty. There can be pain in the receiving of honesty in a way but then there’s forgiveness and respect for the honesty so I started to see that there’s no other way than to be really honest and communicate that way and then people will always understand.

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I read that you find it easier to be honest in your songs than in real life. Would you say that if you were in a situation where you found it difficult to tell someone how you felt? Would you say that would be one of your most creative times, as you’d need to get it off your chest?

Yes it usually happens before I know it though, subconsciously so I’ll sit down and write things before I’m aware that I need to communicate them if that makes any sense? I look back at songs and realise that I was writing a song about somebody whom I didn’t know I was writing about at the time.

How did you meet Frank Weidemann? Did you hear something in Ame that you think would work well with your songs?

We actually didn’t know anything about what each other were doing. We actually met through the protagonist of some of the songs. We just had a very intuitive connection with each other and talking about the same artists that we liked and I was really surprised to listen to what he was making which was deep house and techno and really minimal stuff. I didn’t fully understand it and he didn’t really understand the emotive place that I was coming at music from. We met on equal footing, there was no adoration or understanding of each other’s music but we realised that we wanted to make music together. It’s been really special. He’s been a great mirror for me artistically and in life. The first song that we did was “Howling.”

Tell us about the Berlin Techno scene?

I love it. It’s been around for a long time but now it’s coming much more to the forefront. It’s not grunge and it’s not punk in the way of what they did, but it’s a new format of expression. What I’m trying to do in that format is to breath intimate experience in those huge clubs, with huge sound-systems, where everyone is in a heightened state of being and to be able to put songs in there instead of vocal samples is an amazing thing. Frank and I are calling our project “Howling.” We go into these electro environments and really try to play live music. I think it’s so exiting. We got named as starting the Genre “Tender Techno” I’d never say I’m at the forefront of house and techno but at the seed of change maybe. I feel very exited and honoured to be there.

It’s like there needed to be a friendship for that to happen otherwise there are producers trying to get vocalists and vocalists trying to get producers and they don’t have that intuitive connection that you found.

Exactly it’s not organic and in a way we are taking what we do away from commercial realms and into the electro clubs of Europe.

You guys were in the boiler room weren’t you?

Yes and we played the Oval space, playing these electro festivals in a live, raw way is really something special.

What’s your plan for 2014?

I think I’m coming back early next year to do some shows and then I’ve got some other projects to stay tuned to. We’re working out how to actualise some information into the world from the heart and it’s kind of a hard process sometimes. “Howling” will be touring next year.

 

Berlin is available to buy o ituns here
For tour dates go to  www.ry-x.com

Interview by Anna Waldmann - www.thecrybaby.co.uk

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