East India Youth
SIG: Which other artists have you met at the festival?
EIY: I went to see MONEY because I’ve heard a lot about them. They were good, I really love his voice. Then, I watched David Byrne and St Vincent last night, which was incredible, and I went around backstage to meet David Byrne afterwards. I don’t get star struck very often but he is next level. It doesn’t really get much more [for me].
SIG: Did you to talk to him at all?
EIY: No, you know when that happens I just get too skittish and I couldn’t think of what to say. My relationship with him is through his art, not him as a person, so you have to know where you’re boundaries are with that I think. So I just got a photo with him and toddled off.
SIG: David Byrne put on quite an impressive performance alongside St Vincent, with some great moves reminiscent of Stop Making Sense. Has he been an influence on your own performance?
EIY: I think that kickstarted rock musicians into thinking about the performance and doing it in an arty way rather than an arena, fists-in-the-air type thing. More about how you can play with the choreography and how you can subvert things on stage. It’s not just amplification and performance per se, but it makes me think about how I might perform something. Everything about him, his methodology, how he writes music and all the other art he creates is just really inspiring and he’s a huge influence on me.
SIG: As an unusual word that doesn’t get used very often, what does the title of your latest album Nepenthe mean?
JB: It actually means a bunch of different things, but the definition that I found that I like was a potion used by the ancients to induce forgetfulness of something sorrowful or painful.
SIG: And does that represent and reflect the album and the ideas that have gone into the album?
JB: I mean not too literally, but there were some heavy times during the record, and amazing times too, it wasn’t just a bummer. I named the record a year after I made it, so it just kind of made sense when I read that, I thought it was a beautiful word to begin with and I just like the idea of it, because there were parts of that whole experience that were rough. But it’s not too literal, the album is not a nepenthe itself, for the world’s troubles or my own troubles, but it’s kind of what hit me.
SIG: Having only ever recorded in New York, what was the experience of recording in Iceland with Alex Somers like?
JB: It was just completely different in every way. I was not only out of my comfort zone and out of the places I go to and have my habits and all of those things in New York for over twelve years, I was in a totally different place, not in my bedroom, doing it with other people almost 100% of the time. And Iceland is one of the wildest places on earth, it’s just ridiculously amazing so the recording experience for Nepenthe was almost the antithesis of anything I’ve ever done before. It was pretty overwhelming emotionally and being stimulated by new sites and sounds and people, it was just a completely different experience.