Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Revenge Wife

Describing her music as “Nintendo ABBA” and with inspirations from the philosopher Albert Camus and film director Ari Aster, it’s no surprise her music is so unique.

Nistico sits down with journalist Issy Packer to discuss the UK crowds and why the music industry can be so exclusionary. 

Credit | Wonderland Magazine

How did you come up with the name Revenge Wife?

The name came from my friend; he was talking about how he had recorded a breakup album. And he referred to it as his revenge wife. And I asked if I could use it for my solo project? And he’s like, yeah, and then it’s just become this meta parallel. Leaving HOLYCHILD was so hard and I kind of felt like there were all these difficulties with the music industry. So I kind of started the project as something to have for myself. 

How long have HOLYCHILD been broken up now?

We did our last tour right before COVID, but I realized we were on the outs for a few years before. We knew we were trying to do our last album and we knew we didn’t want to announce it. It’s weird to publicly do that but we were like, okay,  we need to get out of this.

You’ve just finished touring the UK with Kate Nash, how did you find UK audiences?

It was amazing, everyone was so sweet and receptive, everyone was great. I really don’t have anything bad to say, it went perfectly which I can’t believe, like, how many things in your life can you say that things went absolutely great for the first time.

It was also so great touring with Kate, she’s a good friend after she featured on a HOLYCHILD track and she’s so inspiring so it was great touring with her.

How would you describe your solo project?

It depends who I’m talking to. I usually say like, nerdy Madonna. Or like, Nintendo ABBA. Or if someone doesn’t get it, I’ll just be like, it’s weird pop music.

Who would you say you’re inspired by?

Like Albert Camus, the philosopher and author. Also F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut. I love a lot of filmmakers, there’s a filmmaker right now who’s really inspiring to me. Ari Aster [director of Midsommer and Hereditary].

Musically, I feel like the people who inspire me are the greats like Fiona Apple, Billy Joel. Radiohead, Oasis and, of course, the Beatles.

I’m reading The Myth of Sisyphus right now by Camus which is a philosophical essay, describing his concepts on Absurdism. It’s an essay about suicide and why, despite the world being like an absurdist place, and nothing makes sense, don’t kill yourself. That’s the concept of this 130 page essay and it’s broken up into parts. The part that I’m on right now is on the Creator, and how creation is an absurdity, you can’t separate absurdism from art. And he says that our philosophy is without conclusion. And I love that. Like, really good art is posing all these questions and trying to figure out things and trying to understand and I don’t ever feel like I have an answer so I liked the way he described it.

It’s also kind of posing the same questions and making the audience think about the same sort of thing. It’s a never ending circle. That’s a really good way of thinking about it. Does that inspire your writing?

It was really inspiring for me to read it right now. And I want to read more about how philosophers describe art because this is the first time I’ve ever seen art described like that and I was like, oh my god, like this is it. I’m feeling a bit ravenous to read more.

Do you like to be involved with the whole process; from writing to producing, directing the music videos, etc?

I really do.

Right now, I’m in the studio with this guy. His name is Ben but he’s an artist called MC Fabulous and he’s such a good producer. I feel so lucky to be working with him right now, he’s so under the radar and he’s amazing. He’s killing it. But we’re so collaborative. 

I started HOLYCHILD, and I wasn’t super involved in the production of the music. I wanted to be involved in visuals. I mean, I’ve always directed my own visuals. But now is like the first time that I’m so involved in the production. And it’s cool because things sound like what I want them to sound – finally!

Do you find the music industry, in general, to be quite exclusionary and unwelcoming?

I always feel like I’m on the outside of everything. Like, I’m not in it and I’m not in the music industry which is such a lie. It’s like this intangible thing that you feel like you’re not a part of. I’m just kind of trying to do my thing so that I don’t have to rely on anybody else and I don’t have to rely on a label or people, because it’s pretty common to meet with somebody who puts all these numbers on you and then makes you feel like shit. 

I moved out of LA, which is like such a music industry place. It’s fun to be there, if you’re doing music, like I have a good time. I write music for other artists so I have a good time when you’re constantly in the studio, it feels so exciting. Everybody’s collaborating. If you get in with the right people, everyone’s happy and everyone’s making art and that’s what it should be.

Do you have a type of audience in mind when you’re writing or is it a completely personal experience?

Yeah, it is 100% personal. I mean, obviously, it’s mostly girls and gays. For me, like, that’s my world; those are my people. My fans are just like, something that I noticed is they’re all so smart. Like, everyone’s so smart. So cool, so interesting. But when I’m writing, I don’t think about other people.

Do you make stuff that you wish you could have listened to when you were younger?

Yeah, I surely make things that I wish I could listen to like right now. My advice for songwriters and anybody trying to make music, like, just make what you want to hear.

What does the future of your music look like? Like, do you have any goals in mind?

I think in terms of the tone and how I want it to sound, I’m falling into this place right now where I’m super inspired by high end disco from the 70s and 80 and I love those tones, I’m kind of in this world where it’s a bit of that but also super chill vocals with lyrics that means something to me. 

I’d love to tour Europe, I’ve never done a tour there so that would be fun. Hopefully I can get a supporting gig out there.

Is there anyone you’d like to support on tour?

I’d love to support Caroline Polachek, also Rex Orange County would be sick. I know I’m different from him, but I feel like that’d be really cool. Really fun show.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently in the studio working on it at the moment, working on my debut album which I’m hoping to release sometime next spring. 

I have so many songs written, after we hang up, I have a bunch of songs that I wrote acoustic a couple of years ago, and they’re so good. So I’m gonna put them on my patreon and be like, tell me which one you want. And I’ll make sure I record that this month as well.

Photo credits: Ryan Flint

Words by Izzy Sigston

Posted On 3 October, 2022