A Q&A with Vanilla Sugar
Electro, pop, nu-metal roots – they call it horrorpop: Here’s Vanilla Sugar…
How did you get the title of your album She, and what does it mean to you?
She represents me as a female, solo artist. I went through a lot to get to where I am, and there’s so much history that I had to work through to get to this. She is strong, representative, and powerful.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
I would say the hardest part about putting this album together would have been writing the lyrics for the songs. This album was a journey for me mentally. Lyrically, I was more exposed than ever before… talking about a lot of mental issues I have, and how I deal with it. I have never able to openly express myself like that.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
Jim Finley produced this release, and really shaped the album. I could not have done this without him. We worked on the tracks together and spent hours upon hours in the studio. He really knows how to put our thoughts and ideas together to create this amazing, original sound. We spent so many months in the studio putting in a lot of blood, sweat, and glitter to make it happen. I really enjoy starting a music idea from just a little riff and watching it grow into a full song. There is something very fulfilling about driving down the freeway and listening to something you helped create.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I like for people to know they are not alone. There is someone else out there, like them. It never hurts to reach out. Helping people through music is what inspires me to create. Music truly saved my life when I was younger. I was depressed most of the time and did not know how to handle it. I got into KoRn, and felt like I could really connect with their lyrical content. They talked about deep, dark things I had never heard someone else be so open about before. I want to do that for people who listen to my music. I want them to have someone they can relate to.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
It usually starts with the music. Typically a synth melody. The bass, drums and other instruments fill in from that. The last thing added to a song are the vocals. Occasionally, an idea can form while sitting in the slow Los Angeles traffic. I’ll record it immediately on my phone, and save it for the studio later. I also have days where I go in the vocal booth and freestyle what I am singing; sometimes full lines make the cut, sometimes it’s just a phrase that turns the track into a completely different song.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
I find a lot of inspiration in Sleigh Bells, Grimes, KoRn, The Prodigy and Mindless Self Indulgence. I grew up listening to Metal and EDM. KoRn influenced me to play guitar. I love the heaviness of their music, and how eccentric it is compared to other bands in the same genre. Electronic music has a big role in my style as well. I’m extremely drawn to saw synth sounds. Artists like Mindless Self Indulgence, Sleigh Bells, The Prodigy, and Grimes paved that pathway for me.
When the world is back to normal where would like to tour, and why?
I currently have a tour planned for the UK in July and August of next year with The Birthday Massacre! I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait to play live again. I miss it so much. I have never in my life gone this long without performing before. It’s so strange. I’m very excited to tour the UK – I have never been outside of America before. I would also like to plan out a US tour. I started a US tour in January of this year, then in March, everything was cancelled before we were able to finish the tour.
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
I would suggest showing a new listener ‘ThisDarkPlace’. It is my newest single, and definitely my favourite song from the album. It’s a perfect representation of everything Vanilla Sugar is. Dark, melodic, creepy, and haunting.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
I would love to be able to tour in packed theatres. That would be so much fun. Some short term goals for me are going back into the studio after this pandemic to work on album #2, and shoot some more videos for She.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
I always tell everyone I love them, because I totally do!!! I appreciate the support. It means so much to me. I love to get to know my fans, and I love for them to get to know me. I have live streams every week across all different platforms so I can interact with everyone in any time zone. On Mondays at 7pm PST, I live stream video games on Twitch. That is super fun; we are all able to chat and hang out virtually. On Thursday nights at 7pm PST, I host an “Ask Me Anything” session on Facebook and Instagram Live. We talk about whatever comes to mind. On Saturdays at 1:30pm PST, I live stream a cooking show on YouTube and Twitter. Fans can suggest a dish they would like for me to make and I create a gluten free and vegan version of it. I love interacting with everyone. It has made this pandemic bearable!
For more info visit: facebook.com/vanillasugarmusic