Still in fashion // Sinead O'BRIEN

Interview en V.O (2022)
                    Land of mysteries and legends, Ireland hosts many fabulous artists. Sinead O'BRIEN is a member of the 2022 batch. For the release of her debut album, she graced our webzine with an interview that was initially scheduled for two. It was the occasion to talk about fashion, voice and women's place in the music industry.


sinead-obrien-banniere_500.jpg, by Bingo



          Sinead O'BRIEN's Time bend and break the bower was released in the early Summer of '22 on English label Chess Club Records and was mixed by Dan CARREY (the go-to soundguy for all the hippest current bands). The videos and the imagery that come with the music are as rich as dense. Having seen her live at L'Ubu during the 47th Transmusicales de Rennes' closing party in December 2021, I had tried to do a split interview with Molly LEWIS (a stunning Australian whistler). As it was impossible to do it orally on that day, I tried to set up some email exchanges. Despite my many attempts at contacting her, Molly never answered. However, Sinead gracefully went along with it.


I N T E R V I E W     ////     I N T E R V I E W     ////     I N T E R V I E W


"I am sometimes surprised by what I write"

What is your relationship with fashion ?

Sinead O'BRIEN : It's part of the performance. It enables you to inhabit different skin. And it's fun. It can be about using what you have. There's no need for high consumption or to invest lots of money, I love collecting things, building ideas and enjoying the possibilities of what I can assemble or imagine.

How was your first time on stage ? How did you feel ? Is it a good souvenir ?

My first time on stage I had a bad cold so I was a bit numb. I was so focused on how low my voice was sounding that I kind of did the performance without being too self aware and totally avoided nerves. I honed in on my diction and delivery of the words and had a really good time yeah. I got lost in it quite deeply and I realised that I felt convinced of what I was delivering and that I would need to do something more with that feeling.



You’re very often accompanied by dancers and other artists, your videoclips are very aesthetics and full of unworded messages, meant by gestures and others arts expressions. What is your relationship with arts ?

I love working on the other aspects of my project once the music is there - it's an opportunity to give another layer of context for people to access the work. Film, photographic image, movement and dance all communicate on levels which words can't. They operate physically and visually. By tapping into other senses they can cooperate well together like if there's the right combination, a synergy it can really elevate the message and meaning of the music.

Sinead, you are on sprechgesang than on proper singing. How much are voices, sounds and words important for you ? How do you write your stories, what are they made of ?

My voice is important to me. It's central. I mean the sound of it but 'my voice' in writing. I write a lot and I try to read a lot too. I usually start every morning at my desk with coffee and my notebook. 
Sometimes I'm directing the process and other times I am in freeflow ; falling, swooping and lunging. I think it's like physical or mental exercise, it must be regular, that's where you really start to see progress and development. I am sometimes surprised by what I write - like a short story or a monologue or just a two line statement, anything can happen really. I like these surprises and I want to keep this openness. That's really important to me - to keep it alive and moving.



"There's always a huge gender imbalance in music"

I am not asking anything about this Covid shit happening, we all hate it and want it to disappear, but I’d like to speak about something everybody speaks about, but I think it’s important. I’d like to have your feelings & experiences about being a young girl in the music industry ?

I've had generally positive experiences. When I say that - I mean there's always a huge gender imbalance in music - you can count on being one of the few if not the only female in the room in a lot of situations. To change that I say team up with other females in a variety of roles - look for female collaborators, crew, management, agents. I have a team largely made up of females actually, my manager, agent, lawyer, accountant are females, I collaborate on making my videos, photographs with females but there's more I can do. I am frustrated by the gender imbalance on festival line ups, it's just not moving fast enough. 

Did you know Molly’s work before Transmusicales ? Please can you tell us some words about her music ? What does it provokes in you ?

I hadn't heard of Molly's work before we met at Transmusicales. I was really intrigued by the idea and managed to watch the show right before ours at the festival. I couldn't stop smiling, the feeling in the room was warm. People seemed so receptive to this unusual [Molly LEWIS is whistlerand highly skilled form of music. It was a radiant set and truly a great pleasure to watch.

Please pick one track of Molly which is fundamental for you.

I like Oceanic feelingit has a sort of familiar nostaliga which is very filmic but not because its actually familiar. I think its the beauty of how its written. It gets right in there and familiarises from the outset.

If you had the opportunity to work together, Molly and you, what would you imagine for the other, what the project would be ?

I can imagine something like an whirling Mort GARSON's Plantasia less the electronics, narrated darkly. That would be cool.


"We make a great unit"

Can you have some words of your musicians' crews ? Any people important for you ?

Julian (guitar), Oscar (drums) and myself have been playing together as a three piece since 2018. It's really fun writing, collaborating, and composing together. Everyone has their unique strengths and I think we make a great unit. 

What will the rest of 2022 be full of for you ?

Live shows and new releases ! Lots.

Article & interview by La SCANDALEUSE

(july, 12 2022)

sobrienpochette.jpg, by Bingo
Sonead O'BRIEN. Time bend and break the bower (Chess Club Records, 2022)


Go further...

Sinead O'BRIEN : Bandcamp
Sinead O'BRIEN : official web site


In our radio archives :
Rock à la Casbah #778 (08/06/2022)
Rock à la Casbah #794 - Best of 22, part. 1 (14/12/2022)
Interview by La SCANDALEUSE
for the radio broadcast Dig Dig Diggers (Ferarock, july 2022)

In our written archives :
Fille à la mode,
    this interview in french version (05/07/2022).

Photographs : Chloe Le DREZEN
Thx : Eric F.