Inspired by her dark wave musical roots, Sammi began creating and mixing a myriad of influences from such bands as Metric, Stabbing Westward and Grimes to create a sound reminiscent of 90’s electronica / trip-hop, hard-hitting synthesizers encompassed with dark poetry. Upon teaming up with legendary producer Sean Beavan (NIN, Manson, 3Teeth, Guns N’ Roses) they wrote the debut single “AN OM IE”; the first release under her name. AN OM IE is an amalgamation of pounding dance beats and industrial keyboard hooks that showcase Sammi’s vocal range and front woman persona.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where are you now?
I decided not to return to Berlin, I’m still living on this side of the world in sunny, Los Angeles.
How have you been since we last talked?
Well, considering since then, we’ve lived through a continuous worldwide pandemic, confirmed UFO sightings, murder hornets, the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 and the US currently on the brink of a civil war… I think I’m doing just fine.
Sammi! This new track is HOTT!!! How does it feel having your official release finally out?
I wrote this song with Sean and Juliette Beavan last year with the intention of building up an arsenal of new songs to release as an EP; but since the pandemic, the format of the music industry has changed completely. There doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong way to create a self-release so a few months ago we started filming the music video in preparation. I think it was definitely the right time. It’s my very first experience as a solo artist – you can never be ready for the plunge of sending something brand new into the world in hopes it’s received positively. I feel like I’ve been teasing new music for such a long time in my live show and most recently, my livestream – so it feels amazing to finally release it in it’s intended form.
What was your vision for the new video?
“AN OM IE” refers to the ‘Anomie Theory’ by French sociologist Emile Durkheim. It’s social disintegration; it states ‘individuals in a society are in permanent competition with each other, expect much of existence and demand much of it and find themselves perpetually haunted by the suffering that arises from the disproportion between their aspirations and their satisfaction.’ We, more than ever, live within an anomic society and we are our own worst enemies. The video began as a concept of vignettes with director Ron Thunderwood. I knew that I wanted to create something beautifully artistic and visually unsettling. We filmed the video over the course of four months due to quarantine restrictions, so we had the luxury of time to build on the characters. Each character has a meaning that I find to be a reflection of the current state of society – for example: the leather daddy / faceless man that’s reading a newspaper and drinking his coffee in a breakfast nook… physically blinded by current events and living life as if nothing was wrong. I really give my blood, insomnia and tears to everything I do artistically, this was one of the most fun projects to put together especially because the team that I worked with were all close friends of mine that shared the vision.
Thoughts and explanations about the new single’s title?
It refers to the ‘Anomie Theory’ by French sociologist Emile Durkheim. It’s social disintegration; it states ‘individuals in a society are in permanent competition with each other, expect much of existence and demand much of it, and find themselves perpetually haunted by the suffering that arises from the disproportion between their aspirations and their satisfaction.’ We, more than ever, live within an anomic society and we are our own worst enemies.
Has the pandemic hindered you creatively in any way or has it been an artistic creative boost?
I was in a unique situation when the lockdown hit – I also play synth for Kat Von D for her upcoming music project; we didn’t know how long the lockdown would last; me and a few of the bandmates moved into her guest house temporarily and started working on what would have been the liveshow. When touring was cancelled, we added additional programming to her record and sent that off to be mixed. I’ve kept extremely busy without the noise of the outside world, it’s really helped me become more artistically focused and flexible – I felt like I’ve been preparing for quarantine my whole life.
Any future surprises coming up you can share with us?
I’m hoping to release a series of singles 8-12 weeks apart from each other, rather than an LP/EP. I feel an artist gives so much blood, sweat and time to writing and releasing everything at once; you give so much of yourself away – people just don’t have the attention span to digest it all. I think this strategy will be helpful for keeping the project current and giving fans something to look forward to.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you now?
Dark Beauty to me is a lifestyle, we can’t help what we are drawn to, we embrace what comes naturally. That in itself is beautiful – all elements, especially the dark.
Photo credits: Jpeg01, Jim Louvau, Danny Finn
Fashion Credits: Jane Doe Latex, Rannka rings, Charla Tedrick shoes
Video Fashion Credits: Ritual Fashion coat, Mother of London gloves + vest, Rannka rings, Maribaal Clothing cat bondage helmet