Grimes featured on Supersuper magazine.
ALERT: A SPELL HAS BEEN CAST ON POP AND IT HAS NOW BEEN SUCKED INTO THE SHADOW REALM, WHO PERFORMED THE CHARM ON THE GENRE? POP’S BASEMENT PRINCESS GRIMES, A TRUE ART CHEMIST IN A TRIPLE THREAT FASHION, THAT IS LIGHTYEARS AWAY FROM TYPICAL. SHE PRODUCES HER OWN CAPTIVATING, MONSTROUSLY LUSTFUL REMEDIES THAT ARE ALWAYS SET IN GEAR TO BE GLIDED BY HER SECRETIVE, DYNAMIC & GENTLE PIXIE DUST VOICE. POP IS METAMORPHOSING INTO SOMETHING MORE MAGICAL THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE, THE MUSIC WIL TRAP YOU UNDER A LOCK & KEY. ON MARCH 14TH 2012, GRIMES WILL BE RELEASING VISIONS HER FOURTH STUDIO ALBUM IN TWO YEARS. WHAT? I CAN’T SAY ANYMORE OR CAN I….. ?
DOWNLOAD “GENESIS” BY GRIMES.
ALEX KAZEMI: Have you come to the realization you are half fairy and half forest nymph? This probably explains your enchanting, deadly, mystical voice. As a preteen/child, were you always naturally gravitated to escapism, different realms, and/or dimensions?
GRIMES: Firstly, I would identify as an elf haha. I can’t tell if I’m serious or not about that… Well, in theory anyway. A lot of people like to tell me I’m a hobbit… grrr.
Umm, but yeah, the first book I ever read for real was Lord of the Rings. It took me almost three years [to finish]; I started it when I was five. I really owe a lot of the structure of my psyche to that book.
ALEX KAZEMI: Did you play Zelda/Pokemon? At what time in your life did you decide to magnify your beliefs via sound and start creating music?
GRIMES: Zelda, Ocarina of Time on N64 was the first video game I ever played!! I also played Pokemon Gameboy, Red & Yellow versions (tho yellow version sucks), and Pokemon Stadium. I started making music when I was about 20 I think. I would have started earlier but I needed someone to teach me how to use recording equipment.
ALEX KAZEMI: What was the meaning behind coexisting cues from lo-fi R&B and Lost Woods? Minimal electronica with personable lyrics? Do you want this to be known as your staple intersection sound texture?
GRIMES: Are you referring to Lost Wood in Zelda? I mean, at the time I didn’t think the R&B I was making was lo-fi, because I’m an idiot haha. There is no Grimes staple because it will be forever moving towards something different. I think R&B and fantasy are just my natural inclinations because they are two of my favourite things.
ALEX KAZEMI: Do you feel when you produce and do things independently that you are more fulfilled and the music is stronger than collaborations, or having other hands on your project?
GRIMES: It depends… I learn so much by collaborating, but often that knowledge is better translated when I use it independently afterwards. I need control; I hate compromising artistically, at least with sound. Although sometimes it’s perfect. I guess maybe the thing I don’t like about collaborations is that like ninety percent of the time I just sing on other people’s tracks. I don’t really view myself as a singer so it’s kind of like, unfulfilling or something.
ALEX KAZEMI: Layered robotic vocals is something you hear a lot in modernized pop songs by artists like Britney Spears; however, it sounded more at ease/in place on “Eight” (DJ Shadow vibes). What was the link/connection between grinding the metallic vocals on your manic cries?
GRIMES: I just thought it sounded good, haha. Vocals are so harmonically rich. I really enjoy using them instrumentally because even if you fuck them up, they’re so unrecognizable that they’re still lush. I dunno, I just think it makes the song itself sound rich. In the song “Eight”, I liked it because it sounded sci-fi.
ALEX KAZEMI: What makes K-Pop so stimulating to you aside from the obvious innovation in pop production? Do you see yourself, want to be a ”pop-star”, or would you rather make dope, memorable music for a small audience forever, helping the people who have potential? Timbo vibezz!
GRIMES: My number one goal is to have a cultural impact, and I think you can be a pop star who also makes really experimental and forward-thinking music. This is the goal right now anyway.
My long term dream is to be like Timbaland; I don’t necessarily want to be a performer in the long run. The thing I want to do the most is create pop stars, and if I become a pop star myself, I feel like I will learn everything there is to know about making more of them. Plus, it’s fun and I get lots of free stuff and spend all my time writing songs, which is pretty fucking sick.
The thing I like most about K-Pop is the extreme aestheticization of the music. I think every aspect of everything should be aestheticized at all times. But I also just like music that sounds like anime or something. I feel that when I first discovered K-Pop, I identified with it strongly; it really felt like it was the closest thing to Grimes that I had ever heard… or what Grimes was striving to be at the time.
GRIMES 2K12 ICEY R&B PLAYLIST
Favorite Aaliyah Song: I don’t listen to Aaliyah haha. I know I should, like, I know that’s insane, but I don’t.
Favorite Ciara Song: Jesus… I don’t know… “Gimme Dat”, probably. I fucking love Ciara. She’s way tougher than Aaliyah and Cassie. She’s fucking fit.
Favorite Cassie Song: I also don’t listen to Cassie.
ALEX: How long does it take for a Grimes melody to nurture a Grimes production? Does it ever drive you crazy? Is it a 24 hour process?
GRIMES: It depends so, so much. Sometimes it happens in two hours, and sometimes it takes many weeks of tears and anguish.
ALEX: Everybody wants to see pop (what’s left of it) as an art form, raped/beat up/modified in 2012, with 666BRITNEY666 chopped and screwed, droned H-town vocals… Why do you think that this has suddenly happened? Is it a boring rebellion or a contradicting insult to pop culture, while still enjoying the music? #WiccaPop
GRIMES: I think it’s people trying to add meaning to music that is really good, but often emotionally and spiritually void. There is a reason we like pop; it clearly appeals to the core of humanity somehow. I think people want to see more experimentation or more meaning in it, and that’s why we have all this craziness. It is an art form; pop is beautiful. Pop is an attempt to make the most sensual and pleasurable experience imaginable; I don’t see anything wrong with this.
ALEX: Do you ever try to picture yourself in a spiritual mind state (or actually in one) or living in an altered zone from reality when you are recording vocals for tracks?
GRIMES: There’s a few different mind states, but it’s the best when it’s the least coherent and the most fucked up one.
ALEX: Do you think earthly/ice mermaids live in Shannon Falls (on the way to Whistler, BC)? How do you react to hot weather? Do you need to feel calm, adjusted, and most happy in a rainy place like Vancouver?
GRIMES: I like rain and darkness, but I’m okay with hot weather as long as I don’t have to wear too much clothing or work in an office. There’s definitely some mystical shit in British Columbia, but I don’t think so much in Whistler.
ALEX: Imagine someone in 1999 fighting over the last copy of Visions at HMV… it would be quite hectic! Do you ever find yourself reminiscing of the life before M4A? What it would be like if you were an artist making music in a time where the music industry was in a healthy, analog state? Or do you see the digital era as more of a mystery/blessing?
GRIMES: The digital era is a blessing; no one would know who the fuck I was if I was competing in the old days. The internet made me, haha. My first two records were free releases, which is the only reason I think anyone has them. I also believe in free music.
Music is better now because people can do what they want and not what record labels say. The world is more creative; I believe we are in a renaissance thanks to the digital era.
ALEX: Would you ever make out with a white snake? What would you get out of it?
GRIMES: If the white snake was Voldemort, then I would make out with it, haha. I like villains.
Words: Alex Kazemi
Photo: Claire Boucher