Gabriella Cohen Q&A
Gabriella Cohen's unapologetic lyrics and laid back vocals echo nostalgia and honesty. In the self produced album Full Disclosure and No Details, Cohen astonishes us with her melancholic songwriting and rock 'n' roll air. We talk Dirty Power Records, life as a female solo artist and artist inspiration.
Q. Your new album ‘Full Closure and No Details’ came out on 2 November. Could you tell us what inspired the album and the recording process?
The album wrote itself in a series of events that occurred in the summer or 2014. God that doesn’t sound very romantic does it. Kate [‘Babyshakes’ Dillon] and I went to the countryside and spent 10 days there with our own gear, recording what turned out to be ‘Full Closure and No Details’. The name came much later. The recording details…? Oh that’s a bit gritty… can’t musicians be mysterious anymore? I joke….. We spent a few too many days on drums… I hadn’t played a few years… Maybe I was too ambitious but we had a lot of fun. There is some serious archive footage of Kate and I recording ‘Alien Anthem’….. It was pretty funny….
Q. You’ve been with The Furrs but have always been a Solo Artist. What are your views on the progression of female solo artists in the music industry and can you comment on your individual experience so far?
I think it’s a wonderful thing to see flocks of female musicians being a public normality. Good for society. Good for humanity. Good for young females who can be further inspired. My individual experience has been a good one, but no more special than any other female. I think it is a privilege to perform as a career no matter what gender.
Q. The songs on your new album are very raw and personal and as artist, it’s important to take risks and be brave. Is that a fair comment?
Thank you, I’m glad you think so. I also agree- it is important to take risks and be brave. The scary things are the best things. I guess at the time of writing and recording, I was not actively thinking if the limits were being tested. And I’m glad ‘cos that would have been HARDCORE.
Q. Are there any other artists you can think of who have a similar message to you that you really like and how do they resonate with you?
I like the music of Christopher Owens from Girls, very much. I like what he sings about. I especially love his solo album, ‘Chrissy Baby Forever’. The last few songs are the most beautiful modern ballads I’ve heard in a long time. His choirs have long fed my dream of choirs. I very much enjoy Vashti Bunyan…. she reminds me of solitude and peace in the world.
Q. For our listeners who haven’t heard of you, how would you describe your sound?
That’s a hard question. I’ll tell you what…… A green forest… figs… composts…. love and spring, and perhaps a dark cloudy blue that you’d see at 6 AM on the flight back to Australia. And you can’t tell if it’s the ocean or the sky.
Q. Could you tell us about how your own independent label ‘Dirty Power Studios’ came about?
Dirty Power came about because Kate is a gun. She had the idea, and it was a damn good idea, to own all our own stuff. And so Dirty Power came to be- an umbrella and a haven for independent recording artists. Also Dirty Power is an on the move, independent studio that Kate builds, rebuilds from scratch in every new space and place we come across. I’m surprised she hasn’t made a mailing list for people to sign up to DIY studio building online tutorials. (In the works)
Q. Your UK/America/ Australia tour is fast approaching. How do you plan on maintaining your musical stamina?
Maintaining musical stamina: Chapter 1. Be sure to bring ginger, turmeric, honey, cayenne pepper and black pepper with you. Put all that in a tea and guzzle that down every day. Otherwise you will get ulcers, you will get a hearty cough that people on the street will part for, and you will feel uncomfortable in silences during interviews. Also if you don’t wanna drink and party every night, don’t. Who cares!
Q. What is your ideal venue to play at for this album and which places in particular that you think you’ll enjoy performing in?
Ideal venues to play this album. Churches, theatres. Very small bars with a few people only paying attention. I think right now any venue to play- is great. And it’s even greater if you can make the music talk in any space. But in terms of venues, can’t be picky yet.
Q. Could you tell us about your musical influences for the album and tell us the story behind the name?
The name is something the came months later. It makes sense more and more. I guess the album delves into things and topics that thread a common theme around each other… that theme is something that people don’t really disclose or willingly give details in everyday conversations. I think I’ve listed most of my musical influences up top. Anyone who has the courage to open their mouth and sing, or pluck their own extract of originality from within themselves is an influence.
Q. If you look into the future for Gabriella Cohen, can you describe in detail what you see?
Yeah I can see myself by the sea a lot and by the mountains. Hopefully, the mountains and the sea. I can see a dark room… and an artist studio… and way round the back, or even underground, there will be a little recording studio so soundproof and shut off, and it would smell really earthy.