Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe
Photo by Kristin Cofer

Known for her dark and entrancing folk music, videos, and lyricism in past releases, Los Angeles’ singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Chelsea Wolfe didn’t hold back when it came to her fourth studio album Pain Is Beauty. Releasing not only some magnificent music videos for the album, Wolfe also collaborated with director Mark Pellington on a sixty minute film titled Lone, showcasing the record’s music. To discuss Pain Is Beauty, the creation of the film, and her recent tours with Queens of the Stone Age and The Eels, we gave Chelsea Wolfe a call. Read the new interview below:

AMBY: You recently finished your tour with Queens of the Stone Age. How was that experience?

Chelsea Wolfe: It was great, we really love those guys.

AMBY: When going into this interview I asked fans if they had any questions for you, and one that popped up regarding Queens of the Stone Age is “how sexy is Josh Homme in real life?”.

AMBY and Chelsea Wolfe: [laughs]

Chelsea Wolfe: He’s a very beautiful man inside and out.

AMBY: I love how you actually answered that one! Don’t worry; I have a couple other touring questions, too. You just started a new tour opening for The Eels, and you soon play Toronto which we look forward to. When it comes to touring, what are some items you couldn’t live without while on the road?

Chelsea Wolfe: A jacket, definitely a jacket. You’re in different situations and cities every day and it’s always good to have something to throw on or use as a blanket in the van.

AMBY: In past interviews, you often mentioned stage fright. Did stage fright affect your performances and have you felt more confident with the audience lately?

Chelsea Wolfe: Not really. Especially for this tour because it was full rock and roll one day, and stripped down the next day. I still have difficulties being up in front of people sometimes.

AMBY: I also wanted to discuss your latest release, being your fourth record Pain Is Beauty. Some of the lyrics on the record are quite dark but relate to happy topics — my personal favourite being “your eyes, black like an animal, deep in the wander”, taken from Feral Love. When it came to the album’s lyricism, where did you draw inspiration from?

Chelsea Wolfe: That song is actually about love from an animal’s perspective. It’s a simple song about survival, providing for your loved ones and getting through each day.

AMBY: You also released an accompanying feature-length film entitled Lone to go with the album. When I watched the video for Feral Love, a section taken from the film, it was spooky and dark, but had this very luring atmosphere to it. How did the idea to create a film come to be?

Chelsea Wolfe: I was going to do a music video for the song “The Waves Have Come” with Mark Pellington, and as we were meeting to talk about this video, we listened to the whole album and discussed what it meant to me and what it meant to him. Eventually, he decided that he wanted to make a whole film surrounding the album. We’d go back and forth about what the imagery meant to us; it was a great collaboration. It was a pretty big project, but was a great experience.

AMBY: Did it make sense to create the movie specifically with Mark?

Chelsea Wolfe: Definitely. He’s a really intense person, and a really good person, and right away we got along really well. It was great to discuss art, music and visuals. The way he puts images together is this kind of frantic and beautiful cut-up way.. I really resonated with it and the project came together very naturally.

AMBY: What do you feel was the main point you wanted viewers and fans to receive?

Chelsea Wolfe: It was definitely Mark’s vision; a lot of it was his way of expressing a healing process and each character kind of representing an emotion. We both wanted this to be something cathartic for the audience.

AMBY: For our last question, what’s something about Chelsea Wolfe that nobody knows yet?

Chelsea Wolfe: It’s hard to say – I don’t know what people do or don’t know about me! I am working on a new album later this year.. Maybe anyone who cares to listen can find out more about me if you hear the album..

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Thank you Chelsea Wolfe, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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