There’s a DIY queer film festival in Berlin starting today and going on until Sunday. This Sulkies video is in one of the installations. You can find out about the festival here.
All the Sulkies videos now have subtitles, so you can scream along if you wanna. You can select captions in the bottom right of the video player.
An interview with The Sulkies, from the Cardiff-based zine, ‘Fuck Off Facebook’.
1. What was the idea behind The Sulkies project and how did you go about recording your first album?
I always got asked if I play an instrument. I would usually reply with, ‘Um, no,’ even though I had been writing lyrics for years and making some weird music that I never showed anybody. Because there’s an antiquated notion that ‘real’ music means playing an established instrument, like a guitar. I don’t and never wanted to. I want to make something new and different. So, the idea of The Sulkies is me saying, ‘I make music. Fuck you.’
With ‘As Is' (the album), I spent about 3 or 4 solid months just sleeping all day and making music all night and not seeing anyone. I recorded most of the album using the built-in microphone of my laptop and used free software, like Audacity. I like trying to get a great, big sound, without a great, big audio set-up.
2. Who are your influences and how would you describe your style of music?
I like people that make music for free and share it online. People who are making music just to be heard. And it’s really the best music I’ve heard. And it’s voices that are never heard in mainstream music, outsider voices. Some such artists include; Cats Millionaire, Frankie Fricative, Council of Lions, Elvis Depressedly, The Ovens, ContraMundi, Cousin Brian. I also have a long-standing devotion to Sisters of Mercy, though they don’t officially give away free music.
Someone described The Sulkies as ‘electroclash’ once. I didn’t know what that was, but it sure sounded cool. Sometimes I tell people it’s some kind of industrial goth-pop. But I don’t really care as long as they listen to it.
3. What kind of subjects do your songs talk about?
The most common themes relate to things like gender, patriarchy, and socialised roles & expectations. Hitch-hiking is also something that I talk about, as I spend a lot of my life moving around. And friends. I really like to talk about friends in my songs and I find them inspiring. And sometimes falafels.
4. You have some great, creative videos on your YouTube channel to go alongside your music, how important is it for you to combine audio and visual mediums?
I like when you can see that bands have a kind of consistency and forethought in their artwork and videos. Even things like using the same font in different mediums. With the download of As Is, there’s also a digital zine with photography and lyrics. So I guess it’s pretty important to me, or something I think about a lot. And I want the videos and visual mediums to enhance the feeling I have of the songs. Which is usually something, like, goth-y
5. Are you planning on performing live any time soon?
I have considered a few live shows and there are some places I’d love to perform (I’m looking at you, Cardiff), but I have not done any to date.
6. You released your album for free through Bandcamp and DIY CD’s - why did you choose to do this? And how do you feel about people that say music should be paid for?
I dislike money-based values. For me, it’s important that all kinds of art remains free. It should not just be for the privileged, though it always will be to some extent. You still need a laptop, a CD player, a life where you have the privilege of choosing new, hip music to listen to. It’s already pretty privileged, so I’d like my music to be freely available to anyone who has the possibility to hear it. I know a lot of artists share their music for free, with an option to pay if you wish. This seems more fair than making it compulsory.
7. Do you know any good jokes?
8. Where is the best place you have found to get a falafel?
Malmö is, like, the falafel capital or Europe. Every street has a falafel stand. And there’s a place on Taborstrasse in Vienna with six different kinds of houmous, but it’s crazy expensive. However, the best place I have found falafel is in the skip in Brighton. After a month of falafels wraps, my passion almost faded.
9. What are The Sulkies plan for 2014?
Wow, 2014 is, like, the future. I don’t know. If I’m still alive I guess I’d like to abolish compulsory gender roles and hitch-hike flying cars or something. Oh, and The Sulkies will also release another album, which will probably be called We Die. It’s about death of all kinds. Death of hope, of friendships and of people. It’s about the basic feeling that we will never know each other. People are killed simply for their way of being. I feel totally hopeless and I’m feeling the hate of the world a lot right now and I wanted to make an album about it before it kills me. So, I won’t make any plans for 2015 yet.
Polari Magazine’s Favourite Albums of 2013
From lo-fi to hi-fi, piano to punk rock, this is a selection of Polari Magazine’s Favourite Music of 2013.
The Sulkies are on this list and the magazine said really nice things…
‘…a landmark in the history of queercore, combining dark industrial and synth sounds with incendiary lyrics advocating free art, individuality, and trans* identity. It was harsh and hypnotic, mixing an old school vibe with a distinctly contemporary sound. It’s hard to say what their next album will be, but it will be a challenge to top the fierce independence of As Is.’
You can hear ‘Fuck Age Forever’ by The Sulkies on this best of 2013 podcast by Edinburgh Man. There’s lots of cool bands in there, so maybe you’ll find some other stuff you like, too.