- Dark Cyber-Synth-Elektro-Pop
In this episode we chat with Eden Swan of Melbourne (Australia). Firstly, you can download a free copy of the track: "Ph1l0ph0b1a". It is featured on the "S.I.N.G.E.D. 2" compilation album. There are further links to Eden's music below.
Interview by DJ Robot Citizen:
Eden, if you had to sum up what your work is about in, say, 50 words...?
Eden Swan: My music is a sound and visual fusion of all the things I love: Japanese-horror-sci-fi-psychosis. I'm just a freaky chick on a tangent really haha, and loving that tangent immensely. It's me solo on stage singing & playing with two dancers. I write and produce all the songs and concepts myself.
Robot: What are the main items (like singles/visuals) you've released and where are they available from?
Eden Swan: My single "Philophobia" is on soundcloud ...
Robot: Is there a guiding ethos/theme/philosophy/ideology/subject-matter for your recordings and/or performances? If so please feel free to share about that.
Eden Swan: It's not always so 'overt' but my ethos as an artist is 110% about embracing who you are ultimately no matter who or what that may be. Personally, it is particularly about being a strong, independent woman and an empowered individual. Taking risks, learning, trying new things, exploring boundaries and pushing myself excites me. In this era, I think a sign of true showmanship and real entertainment is in an artists' performance. One that is unique, challenging, exciting and vaguely dangerous.
Robot: What's the background to your music work? When and how did you commence? What initially inspired you?
Eden Swan: Creatively, I have always been very self-inspired. As an only child, I didn't grow up with many influences and I think that forces you to be resourceful for entertainment purposes you know? To keep myself entertained, I used to write little stories, poems and songs, and I was always making artwork. As for my music background, I actually started out training in the music theatre scene from the ages of 10-18. I've actually sung at Disneyland before! In terms of that introduction to music... to put it mildly - I fucking hated it a lot - the whole being forced to compete against my friends for character roles and being trained to portray someone else's musical visions was a very tragic life. I felt like my self-worth actually somehow had something to do with "how good I was at music theatre".
I'm glad it all happened though because it really motivated me to create my own stories and to do it alone at 18 and that has been the most rewarding decision of my life so far. As for musical theatre, I actually broke my seven-year hiatus from the scene this year as I was cast in a new LGTBI musical for Midsumma's Festival where I played an Asian Dominatrix so it was nice to relive the musical theatre process with such a suited and fun role.
Robot: What are some of the events you've performed at? What were some of the highlights so far?
Eden Swan: I toured Japan in 2014 and I loved it! Playing at underground events, I got to experience the real life Harajuku culture and it was incredible being amongst a dying subculture!!! I love playing at any event that is artist focused or driven and it's hard to pick a favourite but I loved playing and being a part of the scene at the (now deceased) Liberty Social in Melbourne. That was awesome.
What are your plans and ambitions for this project for the near future? An EP? Album? More live shows?
Eden Swan: I am basically planning to put out all of the above. I'm excited about my next gig because it's a Kink theme and will be at 24 Moons in Melbourne which is a GREAT venue. It's an ex-strip club so it's got a great stage if you know what I mean.
Do you have other related media projects?
Eden Swan: I do. My dancer Jye and I, we have a duo-gogo dance act called WO//MAN where we, as you can imagine, explore gender roles and identity. The last gig we did was at an extremely inappropriate sit-down dinner style event. Let's just say, no one clapped after we finished. It was definitely the wrong crowd. By the end, I was only wearing a bra and Jye was wearing my dress... We're still developing this concept haha!
Lol, well wrong crowds do make for entertaining stories!... In recent times what is inspiring you to create art?
Eden Swan: Surprisingly more positive subjects and concepts. I say surprisingly because I usually create with dark visions or visuals in mind. You will see what I mean in my new EP to come soon.
What do you feel are some major challenges that independent/underground musicians face today; overall/worldwide and, if anything, anything that seems specific to being in our region?
Eden Swan: Unfortunately I feel that musicians, particularly underground musicians are being exploited in every way imaginable. I think that underground artists are about soul and the industry is about money or what sells. And what sells these days is something that goes for 15 seconds. That's not really enough time for most underground artists to do art. I think that as a society and as an audience, we've become very lazy and complacent. We are depressed and just want a quick fix. If you want to experience good art you really need to try and be a part of it. Most days it doesn't bother me but some days, it's like "wow that fucking sucks when we work just as hard". To be honest, I love the underground scene being broke and awesome over rich and boring and seen before scenes... I also think it's boring to complain about the state of things because it is what it is and I'm down for the challenge. We have to each carve our own paths. If we don't like something it's up to us to try to change it.
Robot: What are some potential solutions? Are there any particular positive developments that you're excited about?
Eden Swan: One main solution would be simply to pay the fucking artists for their work. We need more funding. Wake up world, we all need art, art is food for the soul!
Robot: I second the motion! :-) Is there anything else you'd like to add eg. like what are your websites where people can hear and see more?
~ Link to upcoming gig (July 2016) 'Magick'
Robot: Thanks for chatting and best wishes to you for productivity and success in all areas!
Here's a link to another great track by Eden Swan - s33-m3-1n-th3-dark - aka "See Me in the Dark"