“The First Lady of Dark Pop” Katherine Hymer’s music intertwines Romantic melodic lines with dark and foreboding undertones. With the addition of her live show band (Fiona Steele and Benjamin Trappitt), the lush orchestration is realized. With Katherine’s pure amalgamation of classical piano and Victorian Gothic inspired costume, audiences often draw parallels between her shows and musical theater.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where on the planet are you now?
Born and currently living in Melbourne, Australia.
Could you go back in time and tell our readers a story from growing up in Melbourne:
A one hour drive out of Melbourne and you are in the bush. As a family we did a lot of day and overnight hikes and it is an activity I still enjoy doing. Being so close to the city and nature is something I am grateful for.
Tell us the back story on when you discovered your love for music:
At the age of 3 I insisted on taking piano lessons. I have always had the desire to learn, play and listen to music. I have always seen music as an expression, not just of the self, but also the composer’s intention. I have always found great joy in being able to embody and articulate this expression.
Why do you think the piano became your instrument?
I love the piano because it is fully immersive. The full name for the piano is the pianoforte. The piano’s delicate nature is beautiful and its forte is grandiose. I enjoy this full range of expression.
How would you describe yourself as a songwriter?
I like to think of myself as a composer. I aim to pay careful attention to orchestration and intention.
Describe your music:
As a classically trained pianist writing alternative songs, my music intertwines Romantic melody with dark and foreboding undertones, culminating in a sound that has best been described as ‘hauntingly beautiful’. Right now I am exploring the workings of the human psyche, the coping mechanisms individuals adopt, and how we operate and understand information within a societal framework.
What other musicians do you work with?
My live show band consists of guitarist Fiona Steele, and bassist Benjamin Trappitt. Fiona is a classically trained guitarist and Ben’s background is playing in tech death and symphonic metal bands. This pairing is perfect for the music I want to be performing.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
We are playing next at ‘Nightfall’ and then ‘Dystopia’. For Nightfall, every year in Melbourne the Gothic community organizes a picnic. I made contact with the picnic organizers and suggested I take on the role of producing the after party. The all-day-goth-day will be held on Oct. 14th with the after party at Ding Dong Lounge. For Dystopia, we are very excited to have been asked to join an incredible bill of top Australian alternative acts. Dystopia is a dark/industrial/electronic showcase that will be held on Nov. 17th running from 8pm-4am.
Top 3 favorite bands:
Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.
Share with our readers something personal about yourself:
My coffee order: long black.
What do you wish to accomplish musically?
To always write with integrity.
What are your future plans?
We have a music video coming out of a live music shoot. I enjoy producing video’s as it engages audiences in a more immersive experience. We are hoping to do more videos and are looking to record.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Raw expression. There is an element of light and darkness within everyone and everything. By being able to express both elements, this is what I believe gives the darkness beauty.
Extra Credit: photographers Max Pan + Greg Holland. Hair: Naime Bahri