Interview with

Joanne Robertson

Black Moon Days is the second amazing solo LP by British polymath Joanne Robertson. It comes six years after her 2008 debut, The Lighter (Textile), which was one of that year’s signal releases. In the meantime, she has continued painting (the activity for which she is best known), curating shows, writing, recording odd bits in trio Tom Greenwood and David Cunningham, touring and recording with Dean Blunt, and doing whatever the hell else it is she does. The songs on Black Moon largely proceed from the avant-volk tradition Joanne first explored on The Lighter. One can hear shards of Sibylle Baier’s deepest darkness in these acoustic moments. But there’s also electric material that is rougher, and more indicative of the wand ering approach Joanne takes to rockist songwriting — open form, open chord squalls of quiet brutality leavened by sweet vocals and lulling cadences. Her poetry, painting and music all have the same binary quality — they pour sugar directly onto raw wounds in a way that is healing and transformative.

Facts

1:  Politics, religion—tv. Don’t, what’s that? I don’t think about facts. There is, there are no facts—just lots.

2:  First fact. The first thing that comes to mind. It is a fact, (crows), facts allow us to have ideas (crows), but facts limit them. Destroy the fact and see a soup. But there are facts, like who is president.

3:  Third fact should be spiritual. (Cough). Don’t do the cough—don’t… no!

Questions

What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Um… TV—love, um… hmm… isolation, nature.

How and when did you get into making music?
When I was… um… eight years old. I started singing. Hahaha… and then I bought, I swapped instruments for a guitar when I was thirteen—and bought an FX pedal and a four-track.

What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
Um… I might not cook tonight—I don’t want to think about food anymore.

What do you associate with Berlin?
Um… um… food? No, nice food? No, um…

What’s your favourite place in your town?
In my lover’s arms? In my lover’s company—that sounds really bad.

If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Invent it.

What was the last record you bought?
Jand ek.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Um… that’s hard because I collaborate with lots of people—with someone already—but besides him—Kool Music? And Heather Leigh.

What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As I said that—that came past (Pointing at broom in garbage man’s push cart.)

How important is technology to your creative process?
Irrelevant. And vital. No that’s bad, can we delete that?

Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
Yes—an older brother and a younger sister. They are both doctors (clears throat) which I think is a very musical profession in that you have to see life and death simultaneously, so… maybe… my music makes them happy?

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Links:
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