For our final Ja Ja Ja London show of the spring season, we’re joining forces with leading UK music magazine, website and promoter DIY to bring three brilliant emerging Nordic artists to The Lexington. Together with Ja Ja Ja, DIY have hand selected the three artists set to play, and among them are Gothenburg’s Ruby Empress!
Having released their debut EP Empressionism back in February, we caught up with the band to find out a bit more, as they spent Easter weekend on an island outside of Gothenburg. So read on to learn about the ideas and influences behind the band’s distinctive sound, and grab tickets to the show right here!
Ja Ja Ja x DIY Proudly Present:
Ruby Empress | Slowes | Tófa
Thursday 27th April 2017 – 7:30pm ’til late
The Lexington, Pentonville Road, London N1 9JB
Spotlight Interview – Ruby Empress
For those that haven’t met you yet, could you please introduce yourselves – who are you, where are you from, and where are you speaking to us from today?!
We’re four very different individuals creating, performing and combining music, beats, lyrics together in a band called Ruby Empress. Right now we’re having lunch with some friends on Axel’s summer island Köpstadsö outside Gothenburg, our hometown in Sweden. It’s beautiful today, very cold and sunny. We’re eating an archipelago omelette special and drinking wine.
We’re completely infatuated with your debut EP Empressionism and would love to hear more about it – what were your biggest ambitions when creating the EP?
Thanks so much Francine! OK, well, this EP is our starting point. Our aim was to make a natural first chapter in a pop culture tale that holds up over time. It’s also a kind of document of how Ruby Empress became what it is. We allowed it to include different paths: a ballad, an indie chill psyche song, some strange forms of disco, poems and so on. So we’ve introduced some themes that will be present also in the future. There are some parts that we will add to this, and a few we will reduce probably. And finally, we created an ism too in the title of the EP.
And can you particularly tell us more about the EP’s first single ‘Deluca’, which caught a lot of people’s imaginations when it was released… Did you expect such a reaction?
No, it was unexpected really. It started getting attention in South America and Korea at first, so it was like “what?”, do they have some kind of joint playlist or secret connection? But it’s perhaps a metaphor of our own music, how we want to cross borders and combine some what unlikely parts into a whole, like a girl from Syria being Swedish or us being a band from the 60s (1860’s that is!) when we were born like in a computer 15 seconds ago… But we love ‘Deluca’ too, and I think we’ll always keep making songs like this every now and then.
To us, your music feels like a glamorous blend of all sorts of different genres – we can hear trickles of psych in and amongst pop and R’n’B touches, and of course electronica – but how would you guys describe the sound and feel of the music that you’re making?
The less we say the better! Excuse the pun. But there’s something flattening, not flattering, about describing your own music. We like music, neo-soul, psyche, french electro, classical music, ELO and so on, and you can hear it in our music. But I like that you try to describe it instead of us. It’s better.
And what about your musical backgrounds? Who are some favourite bands and artists that you bond over?
Each member of our band has a different love and fascination of various musicians and artists, contemporary or old. In our playlists on Spotify we try to give some suggestions.
Where are some of the best places for you to find inspiration? Is there a certain setting that you guys find to write your best music?
Hanging from a disco ball and recording by the sea in Biarritz off-season in some kind of a sweet decay, when everyone has left except for the rust porn guys who are there drinking Absinthe.
And you hail from the hot-spot that is Gothenburg! So what are the most exciting musical happenings in the city right now?
It’s vibrant! There’s probably more happening now than in a very long time. You’d have to go back to the 1980s to find the same kind of collaborations, parties and creative development. Everyone is open to meet and play together and exchange ideas and inspiration. It’s a very nice, friendly and open atmosphere where people are nice and don’t care if you’re sexual or not, if you’re into vinyl or drugs or are super rich or super poor – as long as you’re contributing to the party, bringing energy and a nice vibe.
Musically there are so many bands, producers, collectives, styles happening: Höga Nord, Nibla and the SOM031 collective, the Tu5en collective, the techno scene is very strong, we love curlicues like Pomona Dream, Wildhart and those who have built a heritage: Little Dragon always (we still regard them as Gothenburgians), The Radio Dept and The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – always too many to mention but still always important to remember.
We’re very excited for you to join us at the upcoming Ja Ja Ja club night in London! What should people who are coming to the show expect from Ruby Empress live?
Grandness, love, smiles, rhythm, and eerie parts. We hope to spark some magic. That’s what is all about isn’t it? We also hope that it’ll be a collaboration. We love everyone that comes to our shows and want them to feel our love and respect. But we also love to be loved and can never get enough of that.
And finally, what does the rest of the year hold for you?
Oh, traveling, writing, dressing up, dreaming, playing instruments, singing, making love and meet thousands of people. Probably some crying, some despair and some fighting too. We need to stay open, embrace whatever is coming, not plan every second you know.