S2: 13 - Chelsea Wolfe on Working with Kurt Ballou, Poetry, Weird Musical Comparisons and More
Half way through Chelsea’s set, apropos of nothing, my girlfriend exclaims “She’s quite moody, isn’t she?” Ironic, really because Chelsea and I talk about how her music is perceived as dark, and why that is the case.
Of course, what she meant is that Chelsea Wolfe’s music is moody in the atmospheric sense. It’s an accurate observation, particularly when you listen to Abyss and Pain is Beauty; there’s a dark, brooding atmosphere in both records, and if one is familiar with Chelsea’s entire oeuvre it becomes clear that such “darkness”, as I am loathe to put it, has always existed within her music. It’s the very thing which attracted me to it, and the thing which I find most enchanting whenever I listen to it.
It also channels a kind of intensity that most artists find difficult to pull off. It’s heavy in places, sure, but it’s the way that heaviness is delivered, and how it sits alongside quieter moments. That’s where the intensity comes from, I think.
Meeting Chelsea was kinda daunting for me. I’ve been a fan for a while and for some reason I always approach people whose music I’ve liked for a while with a great deal more trepidation than I do newer artists. I think that’s because I’ve had time to live with their music, and it feels like I’ve somehow come to know that person better. Because I’m a naturally anxious person, that usually means I’m always going into an interview with a bunch of preloaded thoughts about what the person is actually like.
I’m always wrong though; Chelsea was great. She’s a super down to earth person, and it was a total pleasure to share her company. I think we had a pretty good chat and I hope you think so too. We cover a lot of ground, from poetry and weird musical comparisons, to recording with Kurt Ballou and how her new album was a much more collaborative process than ever before and much more into the bargain.