A collaboration between Australian duo Aimee Nash and Scott Von Ryper that supply music to soothe your soul. With hypnotic vocals and layered vintage sound guitar work, it’s a heavenly musical voyage we invite you to take with us…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you both born?
Aimée Nash: SYDNEY AUSTRALIA
Scott Von Ryper: SYDNEY AUSTRALIA
Photo by Kristin Cofer
Tell us the story on how you met:
I felt like an outsider in school so I was looking to find somewhere to fit in. I was listening to bands like The Jesus & Mary Chain, Nick Cave, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees and Nick Cave. So I started going to a goth club in Sydney just before I turned 15 and I met Scott there. He was in a band and I thought he was quite lovely. We had some mutual friends so we would see each other out occasionally. I stopped going to the club when I was 17 or so and started playing in bands, we didn’t actually start seeing each other until I was 21 and a few years later we started collaborating musically.
How would you describe your sound?
An atmospheric and emotive journey of layers, textures as well as melodies. It’s music that soothes your soul.
You have a haunting ethereal vibe visually and sonically, what draws you to this?
I’ve always gravitated towards the more mysterious, mystical and unusual things in life, whether it’s music, film or art. So it would make sense that it’s reflected in our music and visual aesthetic. For me part of making music is creating other worlds and atmospheres. It’s a form of escapism, which is something I’ve always loved about music. A good song can take you anywhere. I enjoy creative stimulation and application, making something from nothing and building your own world gives you a sense of purpose. The ability to creatively express yourself without actually saying what it is you’re trying to convey is challenging but rewarding if you get it right.
Photo by Kristin Cofer
Who do you have in your band line-up and what are their roles?
Right now we’re a four piece, so it’s Scott and myself both on vocals and guitars. Nicole Emery on bass plus additional vocals and Graham Roby on drums.
You’ve played with Primal Scream, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Cult, The Black Angels, The Raveonettes and The Charlatans to name a few. Which shows stand out in your mind and tell us why:
Each one of those shows plus tours was special because we were playing with bands that we really love and respect. Our first live shows were on an Australian tour with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It was the first time we played as a band so it was the first time we’d played our music to an audience too. We’ve always played music with good friends and great people. On this tour it was friends Archi Read, Jules Ferrari and Ricky Maymi (Brian Jonestown Massacre), Luke O’Farrell and Kate Wilson from The Laurels. BRMC are good friends too so I couldn’t have thought of a better way to start playing as a live band.The Cult tour was significant because that would be the beginning of our transition over to Los Angeles from Australia. We started touring together in Australia and then continued on to America. We would pack up our lives, say goodbye to friends and family then take the plunge into the deep unknown. That was quite an intense, challenging and amazing time in so many ways.
Very exciting you toured with The Jesus and Mary Chain, I see you played at the legendary Warfield in San Francisco with our friend DJ Omar Perez (Popscene). How was that experience for you and tell us some highlights?
The Jesus & Mary Chain have always been one of my favorite bands. I vividly remember the first time I heard their music, it left such an impression, so it was surreal going on tour with them. Thankfully the whole tour was great and they were lovely. Their shows were incredible, mind blowing shows. The audiences were very generous and cool with us. Sometimes things don’t work out on tours, all sorts of things can go wrong but quite honestly it all went so well that it was quite difficult to come back from. Singing ‘Just Like Honey’ with them was a highlight. Standing on a stage with one of your favorite bands and hearing their music all around you like that was pretty magical.On the last day we played an in-store at Amoeba Music in San Francisco. Jim Reid and members of the band and crew surprised us by showing up, which was really very lovely of them. That meant a lot. Jim even bought a CD and got us to sign it, so in terms of a positive and wonderful memory I’m not sure how to beat that. >>> CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS <<<
Photo by Kristin Cofer
When writing lyrics what do they consist of, let’s start with the meaning behind “Let Me Be Your Light”:
I find that whatever is going on at the time of writing music will influence the mood and content of the lyrics. When we were working on ‘Let Me Be Your Light’ I was feeling quite lost. We’d gone through so many different transitions and changes over the years: playing in bands, not playing in bands, getting married, moving in and out of houses, starting our own band, getting divorced, leaving Australia, relocating to Los Angeles, starting a new band, playing shows and going on tour. Each of us going through our own personal experience and journeys that had led us to that point. It caught up with me and at times I was overwhelmed. I wasn’t feeling particularly optimistic or strong then. Nothing felt easy about finishing this record. We weren’t working with any label(s) because we were trying to record as much as possible before we played it to anyone. Being separated from friends and family was affecting me. Going through some deaths and other personal situations added a certain heaviness to how I was feeling. I think I was looking for something reassuring, re-affirming, cathartic, but I really couldn’t find it anywhere. So when you can’t find what it is you’re looking for you need to try and be that for yourself, lyrically I feel that’s what I was trying to do.
What’s in your Ipod?
160GB worth of music! You’ll find anything from Popul Vuh, The Cramps, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Beatles, Mamas & the Papas, Etta James, Howling Wolf, Patti Smith, Spectrum, David Bowie, Slowdive, Dead Skeletons, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Can, Serge Gainsbourg, Lee Hazlewood, Nancy Sinatra, The Velvet Underground, Suicide, Leonard Cohen, Ravi Shankar, Santo & Johnny, Singapore Sling, Joan Baez, Meditation drones, The Gun Club, T. Rex, Tom Waits, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and so many more…
Photo by Kristin Cofer
What are your thoughts on the music industry today?
It’s a constantly changing and evolving industry. Music is more accessible than ever, which is positive because people should be able to enjoy music at any time, but I feel that music has been losing it’s value along the way. I don’t believe that artists are benefiting from the current structure as much as they should be. Downloading and streaming have revolutionized the way we interact with music. For some there is an expectation that music should be free, and this expectation is sometimes justified with a not particularly accurate assumption that artists can still make money from touring. This may be true depending on the size and popularity of the band or artist, but for many bands touring is another expense and not a way to make money. Making, releasing, promoting and touring your music costs money (even if you DIY as much as you can), especially if you’re making music independently. A moderate streaming income isn’t going to be covering much and if less people are buying albums then I don’t see how this is sustainable. I’d like to see things lean more towards the artists favor than against it. I’d also like to see more dialogue and information about what kind of deals are in place between streaming companies and record companies/distributors. So the artists and consumer actually know what’s going on.
Let us know what big plans you have going on at the moment as well as future plans:
We’re joining The Jesus & Mary Chain on tour again in August/September which we’re very happy and excited about. We’re also playing some headline shows in Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. After that we’re working on some new material plus other projects in the works. I’m looking forward to keeping busy and creating some new music.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
One of my favorite quotes is by Galileo Galilei: “I have loved the stars to fondly to be fearful of the night.” Some of the most beautiful things can come from the darkest moments.
Cara Robbins (photographer)
Seventh Moon – Tim Cadiente
Let Me Be Your Light – Juan Azulay
The Door Behind the Door teaser – Michelle Peerali