Hey, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m from London. I grew up here so I’m biased but it’s the best city in the whole world. It’s expensive and sometimes seems like it’s being taken over by faceless developments, but it will never lose its soul.
I have an obsession with skulls. I find them oddly beautiful. I know its macabre but my dad loved skulls so maybe I get it from him. My guitarist Rob is the same, so we spend a lot of the time we should be rehearsing drooling over skull jewellery we can’t afford.
My inspirations right now are like a madman’s attic: gospel music, Soho, red neon, moody 60s groups like The Shangri Las, film noir, crucifixes, this really weird deserted town in California called Salton Sea, old Hammond organs, tarot cards, infrared photography, backwater motels, David Lynch, 50s beauty pageants, cults, dilapidated British seaside towns…the list goes on.
Artists I can’t stop listening to right now are Lana Del Rey, The National, Alexandra Savior, Bat for Lashes, Bryde, Lera Lyn, George Cosby, Agnes Obel, Wild Beasts and my old pal Freddie Dickson.
How did Altar come about?
I’ve been working on my debut Altar EP for the last 6 months. I finished the songs pretty quickly but all the other stuff I kind of had to learn from scratch, like the production, how to do the artwork, making the ‘Altar’ video, figuring out how these things actually get out into the world… So that took ages.
I’m not religious but I went to Christian schools and my paternal family are hardcore Baptists in Florida, so I’ve always been surrounded by the terminology, and I find the idea of things like ‘sin’, ‘the devil’, ‘demons’ – all the dark stuff – really interesting, because I think all this stuff is just part of the human mind. It’s what we decide we want them to be.
So the EP explores the demons we all carry, and also questions whether it’s right to follow someone else’s dogma if you don’t truly believe in it. Your sin is probably very different to my sin. I mean obviously society has moral values and we all share similar moral compasses, but ‘sin’ is something that has always been used to shame behaviour because it’s progressive, autonomous or rebellious. But for me this is where creativity flourishes – in anti-establishment thinking.
Is there more content in the pipeline?
For sure. I’m finishing the follow-up EP at the moment, and just figuring out what songs I want to release as singles and all that jazz. So there will definitely be new stuff coming out over summer which I’m really excited about. I get impatient with new songs I just want to put them out as soon as I’ve finished writing them, but hopefully this time around won’t take so long because I (kind of) know what I’m doing a bit more.
What’s on the horizon for you?
In an ideal world I want someone to pay me to go and write songs in New Orleans. Via Salton Sea. And I want to make a music video but I’m such a control-freak and so fussy that I’d probably be the worst client, hovering over the DOP’s shoulder like “are you sure that shouldn’t be more central?” or demanding I storyboard the whole thing myself even though I have no idea what a storyboard is. I should probably learn to just chill the fuck out.
For now though I’ll be finishing off the next EP, and just focusing on making more music. Who knows what’s on the horizon? That’s the fun part.