Sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady formed music duo CocoRosie in 2003, and they have released six albums since then. Born in the US, they met in Paris after not having seen each other for many years, and started making transformative music together. Their sound is organic and hypnotizing. Heartache City, their latest album, is a trippy journey into a dark, kind of disturbing at times, yet beautiful world. The sisters are pushing boundaries musically and lyrically. Inspired by art and poems, they question daily taboos while staying disconnected from the outer world.
I find the new album, Heartache City, very delicate. Is it maybe more similar to your first albums?
Yeah, we’ve mainly been working just the two of us, trying to go back to a calm sound and calm process, to see where that would lead us. And in the end, this made us go back to the beginning, after having tried many different processes over the last years.
So why did you get back to this sound?
I think it’s just where we were in our creative cycle. In these past years we travelled to many different studios, experimenting with technological processes. We found that really exciting, but at some point we had enough of it, and wanted to focus more on poetry and stories and less on technology. We got together on a small farm with very limited equipment, using very specific few instruments.
How do you feel with the outcome of the album now that it’s done?
Good. But you tend to move on to the next thing, so naturally we’re already making new music. We're in a whole other musical world!
So you’re producing at the same time you’re touring?
Yeah. We just came from Norway, where we were collaborating on a project with theater director Robert Wilson. It’s our third production together, and it’s about Nordic and Icelandic mythology. We’re writing a whole different kind of music for that as well, so we’re coordinating, at the same time, different collaborations and projects.
What will we see on stage this time?
We’re less focused on the visual and more on the performance, I would say, which comes partly from working in theater. At the same time we are building a set with whatever things we find in each venue. So we’re doing a kind of site-specific installation every night.
Can you tell us about the creative process behind your clothing and makeup? Are you doing any collaboration or are these your own creations?
Mostly it’s just our own creations. I’ve travelled many times to Hawaii recently and I actually got a lot of our costume wear from there. It’s kind of very fancy, trying to copy the late ‘40s. We’re cutting down sports clothes with really glamorous things. The makeup and hair are somehow the same that we were wearing when we were 12 and 13 years old. Back to the early ‘90s again!
How are you disconnecting from the outer world?
Well, we don’t have cellphones. I am using the phone of my tour manager right now. We’re against this obsession with the phone that I think is turning everyone into zombies. So we’re just generally not plugged in. We’re not really consuming the internet, and before that we weren't watching television. We know we’re aliens in this sense, but it feels more and more important for us to take this stand as it becomes such an automatic part in everyone's human experience. I guess it’s not long until everyone have internet chipped into their bodies. And I’m sure it’s gonna become a bigger and bigger political issue to take a certain stand against.
How do you feel about your music being spread mostly online?
I think it depends on how you relate to it. I’m not saying that the internet is evil. I think it’s that boundary where it starts to merge with the human body that is too much. The internet as a resource tool is not what is disturbing us.
Do you have a fear of becoming too mainstream?
We don’t have the fear of becoming too mainstream because I think no matter how hard we tried, we could never succeed with that. So we don’t try to go away from it. Actually we try to go towards it! I can’t think of any fears right now. At some point I’m just afraid of being on stage - the really basic fears.
Your sound is very unique. Is there any music that inspires you?
We really love a rap group from the ‘90s called Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. They rap and sing at the same time, and they have a unique sense of harmony. They are pretty much our favorite band and what we play when we go to work. Other than that, we haven't really been inspired by music from the last 20 years, I would say.
CocoRosie will play at Sala Apolo, Barcelona, the 26th of May.