Melt Festival this year was a blast and indieBerlin was happy to be there! In between bunches of great music and trying to stay out of the serious sun, we managed to sit down with a few of our favourite artists, and this is the third in our short series of Melt! interviews. Ruby Empress are a terribly exciting indie glam pop group from Gothenburg who indieBerlin have been fans of since we first heard them.
Ruby Empress: We’ve been playing a lot of shows in Europe, actually mostly in Great Britain and this spring we’ve been going back and forth from Gothenburg in our van. We spent like 30% of the month of May in the van.
indieBerlin: Does the van have a name yet?
RE: No we actually change vans all the time but we’re definitely longing for our Scooby van. Groovy man.
You don’t want to say something you don’t mean.
indieBerlin: You guys released an EP in the spring. Tell us more about that.
RE: That was our first “session” project. We consider it more as a side-project and the concept is a soundtrack for a character named Jane that we based on real-life Andrea Feldman [1960’s actress and Andy Warhol’s muse]. It was the first time we did a concept project based on a person and we’ll do more of those sessions. But we’ve really been refining our sound and really thinking about how we’re going to come across with our next thing, our album. So we’ve been writing a lot of music and playing live. We really want to get some stuff out there. We’ve been working on the album since we released our first EP [Empressionism, released in 2017] and this middle thing we released now, Mindgame Sessions, that was a little something that points in the direction that we always wanted our “regular” music to go as well, so this next album will be a mix between the first and second EP. A little bit more symphonic and with big soundscapes.
indieBerlin: You’ve been around for a while now but you haven’t released a lot of music. Now that you’ve been playing for so long, have your influences changed throughout and, if sow, how has that impacted your sound?
RE: I think our sound has changed but it’s been a very natural progression. I think we are very rooted in different parts of the 1970s and that’s where we want to be, but we’ve been experimenting, I mean we’re an eclectic group and we like to be a bit genre fluid, so we’ve been trying out combinations and different ways to make music. I think we get tired of our ways to create pretty fast. But I’d still say we’ve been knowing what we’re doing the whole time, we just haven’t felt that it’s ready. We don’t want to put something out that doesn’t feel 100% like, fun, for us to do and something that is necessary for the world to hear so that’s why we’ve rather not been releasing. Some people we work with don’t understand why we don’t release anything, same with fans, but you just don’t want to say too much. You don’t want to say something you don’t mean.
indieBerlin: Yeah, it’s harder to take something back once it’s out there
RE: Exactly. Our goal is to make music for forever, timeless music. And that’s hard to do today because the trends change so fast but we try not to be too affected by trends but in order to do so you’ve got to go back and find the artists that make things that speak the same language that we want to. It’s been a long process of us taking in a lot of art. We’ve been reading, listening to a lot of music, classical and various genres from different countries, exploring and researching, basically. It’s been a real research process. It has taken a lot of time but luckily we both like knowing what has been said and done in the past before we add our own opinions to it. But sometimes it takes a long time. But it’s fun and we’re managing to do this full time. We know it’s weird to people when we release so little music but it’s a big process and we feel like now we’ve found a way of expressing ourselves in music much more accurately than we had before. So from here on we believe it’s going to go a lot faster and this album has much more music on it.
So maybe indie is everyone except Taylor Swift?
indieBerlin: Although most of your influences are from decades past, are there any current artists that influence you today?
RE: There are a lot of people who influences us, especially electronic influences. There’s a Norwegian group that we’ve met at festivals called Sassy 009 that we think has a very beautiful blend of electronic elements but also symphonic and organic elements and beautiful melodies and that resonates with us very much. We think they’re great.
RE: We’re going to be focusing on our YouTube channel from now on. It’ll be a mix of music, interviews, art pieces, movie projects and exclusive music.
indieBerlin: What does indie mean to you?
RE: We don’t know anymore. We knew when we were 15. Honestly, it was so clear in the early 2000 but now we have no idea. We have been talking about how indie has become more pop lately, at least what Spotify defines and indie, we think is pop compared to what it was 10 years ago. Basically everyone is doing everything on their own. So maybe indie is everyone except Taylor Swift?
indieBerlin are proud to exclusively premiere the acoustic video of ‘Mind Games’ by Ruby Empress below
You can find Ruby Empress on…