Skeletons in Dramings Closet
Usually, the first things that come to mind when we hear the words “ritual and seance” are bible bashers or goth girls in black lipstick. We think seizure like gyrations and speaking in weird tongues. Yet we overlook the practice of creating music, art, photos and everything in between can be a ritulistic seance of its own.
We dance rhythmically to the music, the tempo holds us- as beats pulsate; enthralling us. We sing and chant to lyrics that may or may not have tangible meaning to us; like having faith in something that is not really there. In photos we take on beings that we may not want to see staring back at us in the mirror, yet release them with the click of a shutter. Here, DrÃ¦mings sheds light on her music, rituals of her own, and that embracing the darkness can be as uplifting as holding onto the light.
photography by Kalin December, interview by Juliana Bojorquez, makeup Austin Mark. Visit http://www.draemings.com for more info
VAGA: Like a diary entry, your lyrics are very earnest and open. Is creating music cathartic to you?
Making music feels more natural than anything else in this world. I’ve always felt the juxtaposition of darkness and light inside of me, ever since I was a kid. I think my music reflects that- sometimes my lyrics are playful and sometimes they’re devastating-it just depends on what part of me is at the control board at that moment. Being a human often feels surreal and unnatural, but there is something about making music that just connects me to this greater power source. It makes me feel like I belong here on this planet.
Tell me about the concept of the featured photo shoot.
I’ve been working with Kalin December, who is this amazing LA based photographer on creating lots of photographic imagery. We wanted to do a sort of baptism/rebirthing ceremony, but instead of trying to wash away the demon/darkness, we wanted to show that it’s ok to embrace that side of you. I think that’s always been my thing about darkness and evil- everyone has it inside of them… but if you can embrace it without letting it consume you, it can be a powerful tool in stepping into the light. It’s all about finding the balance.
Visually and musically, what defines your aesthetic?
This is always a hard question for me to answer, because I feel like my aesthetic consistently changes. My first EP was really defined by living in a dream state. I had just broken up with my boyfriend, and the band I was playing with for two years was breaking up as well, so I was really trying to redefine who I was as a single unit. It stressed me out so much that I just sort of reverted to living in a different reality for a couple of months. During that time I was watching a lot of fantasy movies, listening to dreamy pop bands and housesitting my friend’s beautiful place in Venice, so I definitely feel like my vibe was more of a dreamy, beach vagrant- visually and musically.
Right now, I’m really into hip hop, Enya and Bjork. I’ve always loved gangster rap, ever since my first boyfriend turned me onto it years ago, and I grew up listening to my mom’s Enya cds. I’m working on a full-length right now, and it’s super sample based, and DEFINITELY all about beats and ethereal sounds. I’ve always tried not to take myself to seriously. I appreciate musicians who are all about their craft and being “serious “, and I spent years trying to fit into that world, but right now I’m really enjoying just doing whatever weird thing comes into my head and not worrying about how it’s going to affect my image.
Is your current project a solo music project or do you collaborate with others?
It started off just me- all my songs, and me playing all the instruments. The new stuff I’m writing is more of a collaborative effort between George Cochrane and me. The Dræmings project as a whole is starting to turn into a collaborative effort between a bunch of different people. I am working with Dane Dal Bacon on set design, Spektral Films has been producing amazing visuals for the live show.
When did your start playing music?
I started singing and playing keyboards in bands when I was 18, and have been playing guitar for three years.
What bands have u been in, what did you do?
Lots and lots of bands. Most recently, I played in the Black Ryder‘s backing band and Black Flamingo. I played keyboards and guitar in Black Ryder. I played guitar and sang in Black Flamingo
Working with other bands do you find it artistically constraining?
Not at all, I love working with other people.I’ve written by myself a lot, and although its super satisfying, I still like creating with other people more. I write with these two lovely guys, Chris and George (they’re in super cool band called Weatherhouse),and I just feel that writing with them opens up all these other creative channels in me that I can’t access when I’m writing by myself. George is co-writing/producing my new album with me, and we have so much fun. I can walk in and say; ” Hey for this song I want to use the Whisper Song by the Ying Yang Twins and Bjork as a reference”, and he totally gets it, and gets excited about it, and we can just laugh at ourselves and also have the best time ever. Which is what music is supposed to be.
I think as artists we are naturally pitted against one another- because there’s only so much room for success- or at least that’s what we are led to believe. I can’t function in that mindset. The people I am surrounded by, who are creating amazing music, art, film, etc… they inspire me more than anything else. Without them I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, and I feel that its our duty to help lift each other up.
LA vs. NY: How do they each inspire you?
I love both places. NY is inspiring because its NEW YORK. I love walking everywhere, the fact that you’re forced to be in such close proximity to other people at all times, and that there’s always something to do- the city really never sleeps. LA lets me breathe, it inspires me, relaxes me, it gives me the time I need to create.
I love that New York always has something for me to do, but I also hate it, because it distracts me from focusing on anything important. I hate that LA is such a driving oriented city, but I also love that because it means that the only way I’ll go out is if I REALLY want to go do something, rather than just doing something because of the convenience of being able to do so.
What are some rituals your perform on a daily basis?
I meditate daily. I write every morning, no matter what- I spend 30 minutes handwriting in my journal.
I also try and take my vitamins every morning.
I’ve also been taking 10 minutes before I go to sleep every night to look at photos of magical places, or interesting artwork, because I think it helps expand my dream state to be more fantastical.
Tell me something interesting about your childhood?
My childhood was a fairy tale. I was raised near a ferocious river and deep woods. The neighborhood kids and I built kingdoms among the trees, and in the summer we’d always stay out in the fields and play hide and go seek until it was dark enough to see the stars. I barely watched television, and I didn’t mind.My imagination grew wild, and it was truly the most beautiful, innocent time of my life.
Mysticism: daily life
Light: All Around Us
Jim Morrison: Overrated