Interview: Rebel Yell keeps it raw
Rebel Yell’s new EP Mother Of Millions dropped today and is Grace Stevenson’s first solo industrial project. We asked her to tell us about it:
Firstly congratulations on your EP, Mother of Millions. What was your biggest challenge in putting out this EP and equally what was a positive surprise during the process?
Both the biggest challenge and biggest surprise has been the reaction from listeners. I was quite nervous sending this bad boy out into the world and have been really humbled by any attention its received.
The EP is out through the good folks at Rice Is Nice, how did your paths cross?
I emailed them. They wrote back. A romance for the ages.
Your video clip Take Away was shot in Iceland. Do certain landscapes inspire you, particularly Mother Nature’s more darker and raw locations?
I was visiting some really isolated areas of Iceland and Ireland. Often I would find myself slipping away from my travel partners to try and take in some of the landscape on my own. Sometimes this would work in my favour and I would start to form a song in my head and sometimes I would get stung by a thicket of nettles.
On a technical level, what’s in the kit and what fx do you favour to create that Rebel Yell sound?
Each song begins live on my ESX-1 sampler. Lately I have been bringing in my boyfriend’s old Yamaha CS10 and a stack of effects pedals. I’m very committed to having my recorded sound translate in a live setting so I like to keep it minimal and raw.
There is strong Atari Teenage Riot/KMFDM, industrial energy to your music, what is it about this genre that appeals to you so much because it is not you’re only work (having played in 100%)?
Honestly, I find myself taking more influence from acts not playing Industrial music. Any Industrial influence that seeps into my process are Industrial acts that flirted with other genres like The Prodigy, Cabaret Voltaire and 80s era Ministry. The ATR comparison has been made a few times and I just don’t see it haha.
Although your lyrics often play a supporting role to the beats, can you elaborate on what motivations lie behind the lyrics and what the subject matter you tend to focus on?
I seem to find inspiration for material in the strangest spots. Street signs, restaurant menus, doctors advertisements. Concerns about the human body seems to be a running theme through the EP. I have been through a few surgeries this year and maybe my anxieties about them have filtered down into the music.
What does the rest of 2016 have in store for you?
Sydney, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, relax, get a third cat.
Mother of Millions is out now via Rice is Nice. Keep up to date with Rebel Yell on Facebook.
Interview by Courtney Dabb.