You won’t find any neon, candy and nausea-inducing vocal hooks in Audrey Napoleon’s repertoire. The LA-based producer arrives in San Francisco for EPR on August 21 with dark house beats and hints of sex, bloodlust and blasphemy in her latest project.
We spoke with Napoleon in a phone interview from LA about her new fashion line, vocal tracks she’s working on and her new video that required nine pig hearts and a bucket of ice-cold blood.
How’s the summer treating you, so far?
The summer is treating me pretty well. I’ve been writing a lot of music, I’ve been touring and my collection has gone into production. I started designing some more pieces that will be available for sale later this year, so it’s been a very busy summer.
Tell me a little bit about your collection.
I did a collaboration collection with a fashion house out of London called Rodnik Band. We had a show at Fashion Week in London in February where Elton John and Katy Perry even attended. Now, we’re going to production with limited-edition pieces that are basically pop art on clothes. Pop art is intertwined with my darkness, so it’s skulls and skeletons and things like that.
Is this your first foray into fashion outside of your personal image?
If you look at my personal image, it’s all-inclusive with fashion and it has been since I was a kid.
You also have a new single “Dope A La Mode” out this summer. There’s a lot going on with the video—religion, sex, and murder. Tell me about the concept behind that project.
It’s my version of a love story. I’ll let you guys figure out that love story from there.
You used nine pig hearts for the production?
Yeah, there were nine pig hearts. A couple of them were for the first scene and the rest were in my chamber of hearts at the end. I got sick after the video because we filmed it in an abandoned mental institution. After washing my hands in the water that came from the institution and then holding pig hearts, I got very sick afterwards. Also, the blood pouring down over me was ice cold.
That sounds like a wonderful experience (laughs).
With the visuals I have on stage, I have water raining down. I don’t know why, but I like to pour things on myself and it always happens to be cold. It’s never hot.
A sacrifice for the art!
I agree, always.
The Identity Festival tour was a big event for you last year. Did you enjoy that experience?
I wish it were this year again; I miss it. It was my first tour on a tour bus and my first festival tour, as well. Everyone by the end was like family. I loved how planned out everything was, working with the tour and all of the artists, and getting on a bus and writing music from there. Waking up and going to play a show in another city is very educational, in a way.
There was a lot neon and candy at Identity, which seems almost opposite from what you are doing. Where you ever odds with the scene at the festival?
Why would it be at odds? Black and white are opposite but they look damn good together.[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/86075347" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]
Good point. Are you working on a follow-up to your first studio release Ornamental Egos?
Yeah, I am. I’m actually singing on a lot of my songs now and toward the end of the year I’m going to go live with it. I already did a couple of shows where I sang live, so with the EP release I’ll be singing the songs live.
What inspired you to sing on the new tracks?
My fans. They pushed me to be an artist and do things I wouldn’t normally do. I’ve been singing since I was a child, but that creative part went dormant for a while.
Do you see yourself transitioning away from working behind a console at your shows into a more live format?
I’m not really sure where it’s going. You never know where anything is going; you just become it. Maybe you and I will sit down next year and we’ll know where it went.
Audrey Napoleon performs at EPR (715 Harrison St.) on August 21. The party starts at 9pm and admission is $15 before 10:30pm, $20 after.