English musician, Eliot Sumner just started her first North American tour ever and we chatted with her beforehand about her music process, getting ready for the road, and the evolution of her songs. From being a pop musician under the name I Blame Coco to her self-titled work, Sumner draws influence for the underground punk and techno scenes to find how her music can change culture around her while tying in her personal experience.
You are about to start your very first North American tour! We’re so excited to see you in Dallas next week. What are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to everything really, none of us have ever been on this adventure before, so I think we have no expectations, but a lot of excitement to see America.
What’s your favorite part about the material you are performing? Is there a song you’re most excited to play?
We love to play all of our songs, so we’re excited to perform and hang out with the touring bands and watch them play. We’re excited about playing in Portland, we’ve heard so many good things about it.
Have you noticed a difference in your live performance style since transitioning from I Blame Coco? What has been the most difficult part about the transition?
Yes, definitely! On the new album there’s a lot more hypnotic kind of beats, I also think it’s about very personal subject matter. Blame coco was much more commercially accessible and this album, I really put my heart and soul and much more about what I wanted into it. I was young with Blame Coco and now that I’m older I was able to put all of my personal experience on this record. As far as what I wanted it to sound, before I was thrown into something that I didn’t really want to do and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but now I make music that I love and that means something to me.
We are working on an issue right now about creative processes (Austere Made). Can you tell us a little bit about your songwriting process? What led to your latest singles?
I don’t have a particular formula, the songs that I love kind of just happened easily, and I think those are the best songs because they’re not forced. If they’re fluid it’s a lot easier to write something rather than to sit and push myself to write. I like songs that just happen.
Do you have any plans for a new album?
I’m always coming up with new songs and ideas and as soon as we finish this tour, I’m gonna try to go out somewhere with the band and try to write a new album. I’m not very good at working from home, it’s too comfortable, so I need to take myself out of my comfort zone to make something new.
Is there anything you wish people knew about your music?
I want my music to be a bit or some part of a subculture or another world, I’ve always loved music like that. To me it’s so interesting to follow underground techno and the punk culture, I love following those kind of trends and seeing how new things come from it. I hope that people can find some of that in my music. I like making music that makes people think about something new. Pop music doesn’t have that and I definitely want to make something challenging.
Catch Sumner in Dallas on August 25th at Club Dada, and other select cities in the US and Canada this fall.