How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Ra: The lyrics that I end up liking the most are ones that come from an impulse to write someone a letter. Usually I’ll write something quickly so I have the idea and impulse captured and then I’ll spend days, weeks or months finding the best ways to express the idea. It’s also fun for me and Andrew to throw ideas around together. Tossing words in to a lyric cloud and seeing what rains down.
Andrew: Yeah I love working together to see what comes up. It becomes like a word poem, and together we can see links that individually we might not see. Like a metaphor that references another part of the song. For me, I love expressing an old emotion in a new way. It’s hard to write love songs in a new way, after thousands of years of love songs, so it’s fun to find something fresh.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Ra: The most important thing is that the song says something, that it has a voice with something to say, something to add to chain of songs that came before it. As far as the elements of a song, I think they can all be important as different times, sometimes an instrumental melody can be in the spotlight, sometimes the vocal, the lyric, the drums etc.
Andrew: For me, it’s just about feeling. Does it feel fresh and exciting? It’s so hard to make that scientific, so I just leave it as a feeling.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
Ra: Yes, I’m quite a private person. But I know that I write the best stuff when I get over that fear.
Andrew: I don’t mind being quite open. Get me drunk and I’ll spill my darkest secrets, so might as well put them in a song.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)
Ra: I’m pretty happy with the ‘Deep Cut’ lyrics. I think it’s hard to write positive emotions and I think I did a pretty good job there.
Andrew: For this album, my favourite song is ‘Back To The Start’, and those lyrics mean a lot to me as well.
And the favorite one in your new album?
Ra: ‘Deep Cut’.
Andrew: ‘Back to the Start’.
What inspired “Deep Cut”, part of your new album “Mid:Night”?
Ra: Being in a relationship where there was a moment of insecurity. I remember her saying something like “you’re a 10, you could be with a model”, which gave me the idea for the first line, “I’ve I’m a 10 you’re a 38”.
Andrew: Ra wrote all the lyrics for this one, I was on production.
And “Racie’s Cousin”?
Ra: I’m really not a fan of propagating a victim mentality, I think it’s an unhealthy focus. However, I also think the world would be a better place if we were kinder to each other, and one way to do that is to acknowledge the suffering we go though as individuals. Many times I see someone being called out for racism, when really it’s classism they’re guilty of. But classism doesn’t yet have the same sting as racism, so racism is usually the laziest outrage porn to grab hold of.
Andrew: I love this song because it’s not about love and interpersonal relationships. It’s nice to step out of that mode sometimes.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Deadset Lust”?
Ra: I remember the day I thought of the title lyric. I was on the beach with only lust on my mind.
Andrew: It’s rare a song gets written in a day. It happens, but not that often. It’s usually a process.
What was the best moment of your career? And the most difficult one?
Ra: Best; Playing a sold out show in Madrid. Most difficult; being torn between living in different countries.
Andrew: Working with Dita Von Teese. Most difficult: dealing with different personalities, especially now we have a team, and everyone has their own needs and opinions and ideas.
You just released your new album and now, what are your plans for the upcoming months?
Ra: Touring and writing the next album!
Andrew: What Ra said. I can’t wait! 🙂
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your album “Mid:Night”: Ra: Mint. / Andrew: Liquid Chrystal Display.
- The best show you ever played: Ra: Joy Eslava (Madrid) / Andrew: Coachella.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Ra: Alcohol. / Andrew: Hugs.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Ra: Prince; Sign o’ the Times. / Andrew: Best of the Art of Noise.
- Your favourite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: Ra: Ivy by Frank Ocean. / Andrew: I Wish – Stevie Wonder.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: Ra: Listen to what your grandmother says. / Andrew: Don’t view being single as a gap between relationships, or somehow lacking, like unemployed. If you view being single as a great state to be in, and an end to itself, then you can enjoy that, and not enter into a relationship with panic, or desperation. You can enjoy the relationship for what it is, without fear of becoming single again, because being single is totally great as well.