Los Angeles based electronic/downtempo R&B act who make ‘gorgeously gloomy pop’ that exudes unparalleled passion, emotion and personal lyrics into their music. Lead singer Terra Lopez has been praised by The FADER, Pitchfork, Billboard, BUST Magazine, Stereogum and more for her captivating and ruthless stage presence. Their beguiling debut ‘Devoted’ (produced by Wes Jones and co-produced by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez) was widely acclaimed in indie circles and led the group to national tours with Deftones, Tricky, ANTEMASQUE, Le Butcherettes, The Afghan Whigs, Built to Spill and Doomtree. Most recently, Lopez has collaborated with Tricky and The Glitch Mob and can be heard on both of their most recent works. Rituals of Mine are currently working on their highly anticipated sophomore LP. We’re excited to share their NEW MUSIC VIDEO ‘BURST’ (watch it below).
Interview Meikee Magnetic and Aurora Love
Where were you born and where are you located now?
I was born in Sacramento, CA and now live in Los Angeles. I feel like I live in various spots in California though with how much I travel.
Who is Rituals of Mine and how long have you been performing under that name?
A dark electronic/r&b duo comprised of myself and drummer Adam Pierce. We’ve been performing under the Rituals moniker since 2016.
What motivated you to pursue music?
Ever since I remember, music has been my coping mechanism. My means of survival. I became obsessed with music when I first heard Patsy Cline’s voice over my grandmother’s radio when I was 3 years old and became insatiable when it came to studying and learning music. I spent hundreds of hours singing in front of my mirror in my bedroom to 50’s music as a kid. As I got older, writing songs became the only way I knew how to communicate directly how I was feeling regarding trauma in my life so I clung to songs and just kept at it. Before I knew it, I was fronting bands and performing in front of others. It became a part of me. Music has opened a lot of doors for me and has connected me to some of the most important people in my life. Because music was always rooted in self expression for me, it has always been something I knew I had to keep doing despite the struggles and setbacks. It was a life force.
What is your vision for the future of Rituals of Mine?
I want Rituals of Mine to continue to be a source of catharsis for those who resonate with the project. This is the greatest platform I’ve ever known because it not only helps me with navigating the world and with coping but it also directly helps others. I can’t tell you how many times people at shows come up to me in tears afterwards and tell me how much the music helps them. I have big plans for Rituals because I know that the bigger the project gets, the more people it will help so with that in mind – I want to take the project as far and wide as I can. I work every single day to make that a reality.
You just completed two epic tours, one with 90’s trailblazers Garbage and more recently with the Portland-based, Mexican lyric slinging Y La Bamba. Do you have a favorite moment or story you’d like to share from either or both of those experiences?
Touring with Garbage felt like a real life dream. I can’t express fully just how much it meant to me but to see legends not only perform beautifully every night but to be so damn humble and human about it all not only inspired me but made me realize that you can truly be 100% authentic and succeed in this industry. Shirley Manson would come into our dressing room every night and just want to talk and listen. She’d ask me about my life, about being Native American, about feminism – she just wanted to learn about who we really were and that blew me away. It made me feel deserving and worthy. Y La Bamba are beautiful humans who I feel so honored to call friends. Luz’s voice speaks to me in a way that I can’t quite articulate – it just feels like home, struggle, and joy all at once. It was so beautiful performing with them every night and being surrounded by other folks of color.
Another project (or movement) people can find of yours is called Bitchwave. Can you elaborate on how this was conceptualized and how it came to fruition? Where can we learn more about it?
Bitchwave was born out of a desire to help create space for marginalized folks in this industry. The music industry has always been dominated by white men and it’s catered to white men. I want to do my part in trying to help even the playing field and to help uplift queer/womxn/non-binary/trans/artists of color who have important and crucial things to say but just can’t seem to get their foot in the door. With that mentality, Lauren Ross and I started Bitchwave as a movement/collective/sometimes record label in an effort to promote, engage with and support those in the community. I have some big goals for Bitchwave, like creating workshops, pop-ups, events for marginalized communities and really can’t wait to continue building this idea.
Do you have any new material on the way? When might we be able to experience it and where do we find it?
Yes! Our ‘SLEEPER HOLD’ EP is coming out October 4th, 2019 on Carpark Records! It will be available on limited edition purple vinyl and in all all digital retailers. We are also working on a full-length as we speak.
Overall, how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
It ain’t pretty but it’s real. Manic. Intense. Passionate. Real.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
LIFE. That’s exactly how I view life. The joy and pain that is life, that is everyday is dark beauty. Creating is dark beauty. I channel the dark elements of myself, of my life to create.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey LaTour