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Shift And Change
Interview: Christine Stonat (8/2019)
Foto: Dave Todon
weird: You have a new album. It is called “Mental Health”. It is about your personal journey living with depression, anxiety, CPTSD and other for almost your whole life. Is it an album you had to do more for “yourself” or did you most of all see the importance to do it because it is an important topic that needs to be dealt with more publicly, also in music and art?
Rae Spoon: I would say both. Working through the way I have internalized the stigma about being open about mental health issues. I have always believed the best way to connect as an artist is be open about my own perspective. I believe there is still a lot of pressure for everyone to pretend they are mentally well all of the time. I was hoping that by being open I would add to the discussion about how this can change.
weird: Your last song on the album, “There’s No End”, is about as you say “occupying the spaces in between the worst parts (of mental health issues) and finding joy”. This is maybe the shortest but within it the most comforting and precise approach to mental (and also bodily) issues I have ever read being put into words. How long did it take you to get there and how do you try to live it in your everyday life?
Rae Spoon: I grew up in a very abusive home. For me mental pain has always been part of my experience. I have always experienced a lot of joy as well. I been on a journey to figure out how to not continue the patterns of abuse that I was raised in.
weird: Where do you personally find that joy?
Rae Spoon: I find that joy in music and connecting with other people. If I can connect with one person in a day I have a better day. If I get the opportunity to sing I also do. Nature is always a great comfort as well. I’m fortunate to live in a place with a lot of natural beauty.
weird: You are very open when it comes to your output as a musician and also as a writer. Everything is always very personal and deep. So is your new album “Mental Health”. What does this putting everything frankly into your work make with and mean to you? Is this something you need to dare to do every time anew?
Rae Spoon: When I’m making a new project (book or album) I look to the topics I least want to share. Usually they are the most complicated and therefore have the most driving emotions. It’s not a comfortable process, but I think it’s the best way to make engaging work. I am open to changing my work, though. It would be interesting to write about a historical figure or topic at some point.
weird: As a non-binary artist you have always taken a stand for LGBTIQA issues and especially for trans and non-binary people trailblazing the way for other trans/non-binary artists and people in general. Gender identity is also a topic on your new album in the song “Inheritance”. How do you yourself experience your stand and position?
Rae Spoon: I often say that I’m FTMTX. It’s been a journey where my identity has shifted when the options I see shift. Right now I identify as trans, non-binary, queer and pansexual. I love that I can change as I live to what feels the most comfortable and I hope that everyone has that option in the future.
weird: Also with regard to the album title “Mental Health”, your lyrics seem to be central and could even stand for themselves. Which role do each, lyrics and tune, play for you in your music and also with regard to the new album?
Rae Spoon: I like the idea of lyric and music being able to exist on their own. Sometimes my audiences don’t speak English and I hope there is something for them in the tune. I like lyrics that tell a story, so if there is a story that stands aside from the tune, I think that’s great.
weird: You are mixing electro pop, singer/songwriter and rock elements, analogue and electronic for a while now, also on this new album. What excites you to do so?
Rae Spoon: I love electronic music, but I also love working with human musicians. With this blended genre I get to do both. There are times when I focus more on one or the other, but my favorite is combining them.
weird: With Coax Records you have your own record label on which you are not only publishing your own work but also other indie artists. Artists with partly totally different musical backgrounds. What is one thing that all artists you sign do have in common? Is there a kind of “special something” you are looking for in music that makes you want to sign an artist?
Rae Spoon: I look for artists that are involved in their own communities. The artists on the label all work with other people where they live to build community. I see the label as one way of linking these communities from different places. I also work a lot at trying to help out artists who may not be given as much space as cisgender, straight, white male is given.
weird: You will be touring Canada with your new album “Mental Health” now in September 2019. How do you prepare for a tour?
Rae Spoon: I am touring Canada with the album. To prepare for a tour I look at the material and figure out how I want to play it live. I book all of my own Canadian tours, so there is a lot administration preparation as well.
weird: How is it for you to go onstage, be on tour?
Rae Spoon: I love playing shows live. It’s been a big part of my life for so long. Sometimes I worry about how open my material is, but it always works out to be wonderful experience. I will be accompanied by a drummer on the tour, which will be very nice.
Interview: Christine Stonat (8/2019)
Foto: Dave Todon
Am 16.8.19 erschien das 10. Album von non-binary/trans* Indie-Pop-Artist Rae Spoon (38) aus Kanada. Der Titel „Mental Health“ ist zugleich der thematisch rote Faden, der sich durch das Albums zieht. Rae Spoon hat ganz Persönliches in Hinsicht auf eigene Mental-Health-Probleme in den Texten verarbeitet. Inhaltlich geht es um den persönlichen Umgang mit posttraumatischer Belastungsstörung, Angststörung, Depression seit einer gewaltvollen Kindheit. Und auch das non-binary/trans* sein und queer und pansexual sein spielt thematisch mit hinein - wie auch schon bei früheren Alben und Buchveröffentlichungen. Musikalisch haben im Indie Pop elektronische Elemente genauso ihren Platz wie akustische. Rae Spoon ist im September 2019 live in Kanada auf Tour. Im aktuellen weird-Interview beantwortete Rae Spoon vorab Fragen zum neuen Album, zum eigenen Label Coax, zum auf Tour sein und mehr.
„Mental Health“ (Coax Records)
Out: seit 16.8.19
Single: „I Can‘t Sleep“
- in eigenen Worten -
Name: Rae Spoon
Beruf: Musician and Author
Wohnort: Victoria, Canada
Meine weirdeste Eigenschaft: : I have double jointed thumbs
Ausgabe Nr. 139