Melbourne six-piece Frida could be described as a soaring, dark beauty as emotive, wild and framed by flowers as their legendary Mexican namesake. Led by vocalist Eilish Gilligan the group have been captivating audiences with their haunting harmonies, pop prowess and a percolating rhythm section for the last couple of years.
With the release of ‘Slowly / I Want It All’ on Wyall Style Records and an upcoming launch show at The Gasometer, we thought now would be the perfect time to get the lowdown on all things Frida.
Take us back to the beginning of Frida, how did band form?
Well, Frida started as Eilish’s solo project – in 2013, Frida expanded into a full band to audition for a slot at the Baybeats Festival in Singapore. The best part is, we got the slot and our second gig ever was on the main stage, looking over the Marina Bay Sands, fighting to be heard over the Singaporean National Day rehearsals (which includes several deafening cannons, just FYI…)
Who would you say are Frida’s musical influences?
We love Grizzly Bear, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Alabama Shakes, Lorde, Tame Impala, Kate Bush, Cloud Control, Connan Mockasin…and I guess we can’t forget the Motown that shaped our rhythm section from the very beginning…
Describe Frida’s musical style in three words…
Dreamy, ethereal, tasty.
Your new single ‘Slowly’ has just been release on new label Wyall Style Records, can you tell us a bit about the label?
Yeah! Wyall Style is our collective baby, named after the house that most of us live in and all of us make and record music in. Hopestreet Recordings reached out to us with the idea and we loved it: it’s for people who love music and people who love making it, and we’re so proud of Frida’s single as the first offering and can’t wait to share everything that is rapidly filling our 2016 timeline.
The forthcoming release is self-recorded and produced at the Wyall Street headquarters, where are the studios and why did you decide to do it all yourselves?
The Wyall Headquarters in Brunswick West is kinda mouldy, arctic in winter and something akin to the sun in summer, and there’s no fan in the toilet, but we love it dearly because it puts four safe walls around the music that we’re making. Plus, it’s free to record everything ourselves too, so there’s that…for me, I really love associating a piece of music, or even just a really particular sound, to a specific time and place in my life, and allowing it to serve as a soundtrack to the memories that I hold of that time and place. In that sense, I wouldn’t have wanted to record anywhere else, because even though Wyall is kind of dilapidated, it has been host to a lot of deliriously joyous memories. I was sitting at the kitchen table at Wyall when Frida was first played on Triple J, and I’ll never forget that – that’s just one of the really dizzy, happy times we’ve shared there. That’s probably a bit more of a sentimental answer than you were looking for…!
You’re releasing ‘Slowly / I Want It All’ on 7” clear vinyl, why not just as a digital download? What attracts you to release on vinyl?
We want to hold it in our hands! I think that as an artist it’s incredibly satisfying to see this thing that you’ve slaved over become a physical object that is aesthetically pleasing and something that is a clear token of what you have achieved. The launch of Wyall Style and a shining example of some of Frida’s best composition to date deserves that physical satisfaction, I think. Plus who can even deny how cool CLEAR vinyl is – I mean, how do they make it clear? It’s a mystery…
Tell us about the artist who designed the cover for the 7” and how they became to be the chosen one?
Gonzalo Ceballos is the MASTERMIND behind all of our artwork. I cannot speak highly enough of Gonzalo – I feel like he might be an alien from some beautiful other galaxy because I’ve never met another person in this world who can capture a person’s likeness in such an apt, vibrant, sympathetic and wise way. We came across him in a friend-of-a-friend (in this case, my sister) kind of way – he published some drawings that he did of us on his Instagram page (gonzalo_ceballos_official) around 2013 and we just loved them so much and he’s been doing our artwork ever since.
What was the inspiration behind your ‘Slowly’ video?
Initially, I was just in love with the idea of us sitting at a table, Last Supper-style, and eating from plates of really, really gross food and being deadly serious about it. We developed this idea with our friends at Point Cool Productions and it became a real spectacle in the end, don’t you think? It was filmed out the front of the Wyall house with all of our friends and there was lots of goon and food throwing and dancing and not-very-good lip synching. Please look out for the I Want It All video, which we’ll be releasing closer to the launch gig at the Gasometer on the 18th of September!
If Frida could support any other artist/s in the world, who would it be and why?
Any artist on our ‘influences’ list above, for obvious reasons…we would also love to support Ball Park Music, not for any really specific reason other than we just love them…!
What’s next for Frida for the rest of 2015 and beyond?
After the launch gig at The Gasometer on the 18th of September (with Plastic and Tully on Tully), we’ve got a bunch booked in. We’re actually just in the process of confirming a residency in October, which will include support sets from artists on the Wyall Style Records roster, not all details locked in yet though so keep an eye on our Facebook page! We’re writing and demoing our album too, which will be released in 2016, and in between everything else we’ll be gigging, giggling, and looking forward to the Wyall Style Christmas Party (details, again, TBC…but it’s all happening!)
Thanks so much!
Frida ‘Slowly / I Want It All’ Launch Show
The Gasometer Hotel
$12 on the door
Plastic (launching their EP, Nightmares)
Tully On Tully