The Official Site

{logo by Karmazid}


Is there a new tour on the horizon?
– Katrina


Are you with a new record label now? If so, are there any plans for a new album?
– Michelle

I do have a new record label and I’m very glad about it. Waiting to share all the new news, but there’s definitely some exciting things coming soon. 

Is there a new album on the horizon, and are you able to describe a tiny bit with no spoilers what the vibe of the new potential album is?
– Gary

A few ways I’ll describe the new work is: underworld journey, vulnerable, honest, containing multitudes. 

What was the very first show you ever performed?
– Damian

The first show I can remember playing was early 2000’s in a crepe shop in Sacramento. Just electric guitar, my dad’s Fender Princeton amp, and singing through a Boss reverb guitar pedal. I remember being surprised at how many friends showed up to support me, and I think I covered Hank William’s “Alone and Forsaken” in a similar style to Sixteen Horsepower, a band that had a big influence on me in the early days. 

I’ve always loved your stage persona and inspiration for certain songs, i.e. Iron Moon. Can you explain how power plays a role in your writing process? Especially when you write songs about the powerless.
– Andrea

A line like “death will no longer silence us” in “Iron Moon” is maybe a bit dramatic, but it’s meant to convey that through art and books and music someone can live on, even when their physical form has left this life. I often get theatrical or idealistic with my lyrics to the point where it feels healing or empowering – for others and for myself – and certain lines can almost become an incantation. 

Regardless of “genre” I always feel like you are the red thread in the music you do – but have you had any thoughts on/fears of being too all over the place genre wise?
– Anna

I’ve always followed my intuition on what the sound of my next record will be, even if it seems strange from the outside to go from something like Hiss Spun, a heavy rock record, to Birth of Violence, an acoustic record. As you said, my voice, and also my sensibilities tie all of my works together. Ben has also been part of all my records as co-producer, and his production is another red thread. Even when we have an outside producer involved, Ben and I’s pre-production work is still present at the core of anything we do. 

I don’t feel afraid to continue on the path of following my musical intuition as it’s worked out thus far, and I’m lucky to have a really supportive group of people who are willing to go on this journey with me. (thank you)

Where do you find inspiration for the sounds you create?
– Kellie

Sounds that have a little bit of imperfection to them call to me.. a warble, a crackle, some dirt. *reverb a little longer than it should be* kind of thing. Sometimes the book matches the cover – the other day Ben pulled out this Elektron Analog Drive pedal and I was like, I wanna try that! Plugged in a guitar knowing nothing about this pedal, and it was the exact kind of distortion I’d imagined it would be in my head. Wrote three song ideas with it. It’s good to record and write down initial ideas about things, like the first time you play through a pedal or are figuring out a new keyboard, because there can be lots of happy accidents that way, and then as you get to know the pedal more, of course you can continue working with it, but there’s no way to really recreate that initial energy. Ben has also encouraged me over the years to record demo vocals with nicer microphones so that if I get attached to an early vocal take it’s at least recorded nicely, which is really smart. 

Elektron Analog Drive guitar pedal, off-white with black knobs.

What’s the favourite guitar/pedal/amp that you own?
– Carol

favorite guitar: my black 1977 Gibson ES-335TD

favorite pedal: Death By Audio Apocalypse fuzz 

favorite amp: Fender Bassbreaker 

What is the creative process for you like? Do you usually have a guitar in hand and strum chords? Or does it vary considerably?
– Ron

The creative process depends on what I’m working on or who I’m working with.. If I’m in a producer’s studio who has vastly different equipment than I have at home, if I’m leaning more toward electric guitar or acoustic, if I’m feeling a lot of vocal layers, or more minimal at the time. Collaborating with new people pushes me out of my comfort zone, which is welcomed, especially these days. And at home I’ll create setups that are out of the ordinary, like setting up a bunch of pedals I don’t typically gravitate towards, playing through an amp and singing through the PA so it has a more live feel. 

But most usually yes, if I’m at home it’s acoustic guitar in hand, playing and singing what comes to me or working out an idea I had in my head. Or singing along in Ableton to an idea that Ben or Jess have sent to me, then working on the arrangement in there. 

I’d be curious to understand how you approach your song writing. It’s hard to translate ideas into new songs, so I’d love to understand your approach and process!
– Alison

I like to have a lot of lyric ideas to work with when I sit down to write. I’m always writing lyrics down and eventually I’ll group certain ones together that are starting to form a theme. So then when I have an idea on guitar, I’ll often set those lyrics I’ve already started in front of me and see which ones I feel drawn to for the guitar part or song idea I’m working on, and build from there. 

What tips would you give to someone that is learning to write their own songs?
– Jessica

Don’t ignore creative bursts. Keep a small notebook with you so you can jot down anything that comes to you when you’re out in the world. That’s one of my main creative practices: to not ignore a moment of inspiration, even if it feels annoying to stop whatever else I’m doing, or get up in the middle of the night to quickly go record an idea, or find a quiet place to write if I’m out in public. 

What are your creative touchstones and how have they evolved with you as you’ve matured as a person/artist? 
– Adrian

One of my very favorite things is going to my bookshelf and pulling a bunch of books that feel intrinsically related to the song I’m working on, whether that’s visually or in subject matter. In 2020 I organized and labeled my bookshelves like my own little used bookstore so when I’m working on a certain song I can go pull a few books to do some research or just get some visual inspiration from. It makes the process fun for me. I still look things up on the internet as well, but much prefer sitting on the floor with a bunch of books around me. I recently went through all my books and donated anything that doesn’t resonate with me anymore, or authors I don’t feel connected to anymore like D.H. Lawrence, and that felt good. 

What are the best & worst things about recording new songs?
– Bret

I love working on vocal harmonies. I love when the lyrics start really coming together as I spend time on them. And I also love mixing – listening for all the special details that happened in the recording process and making sure they’re highlighted and have a place in the mix. Sometimes that’s also the worst part, because I get so freaked out that some little sound is going to get lost in the mix or accidentally turned off and that I won’t realize until later. But that’s where acceptance comes in and you realize you can’t tinker with the songs forever. At some point you have to set them free. 

Can you describe the process of gaining confidence/not cringing at oneself? 
– Madison 

I’m still learning to embrace the cringe. But we must! We’re only in this life for a limited amount of time, why not live it, expressing the weird and wonderful gifts we have inside of us? I was in a bad mood one day because of fear of the cringe (aka fear of being judged for being your authentic self) and kept thinking to myself “fuck normal!” A few days later I was listening to a lovely podcast conversation my friend Julianna Barwick was a part of and she said that growing up she had the phrase “why be normal?” posted on her wall so I wrote that on a piece of paper and put it on my wall, too. 

You’ve mentioned previously how you struggled with stage fright early on. Do you still struggle with it to some degree?
– Robbie

I’ve never been quite sure “stage fright” is the right word for it. It’s like, I fully believe in my talents and abilities as an artist, but the performance element isn’t something that’s in my first nature. I’m a true hermit. I love to be hermited away in the writing process where I get to be totally in my head, in my own world. So at first, getting into touring mode and focusing on presenting all of the stuff that lives in my head onstage in front of people can feel like pulling teeth. But then I get past the first show and remember, I can do this, I enjoy doing this, and this is going to be a wonderful experience. (That said, my apologies if you’re the first city of tour. I’m 100% present, but also 50% more nervous than all the rest of the shows.)

What’s a work of yours that you’re most proud of?
– Jas

My song “Survive” comes to mind. I was asked to write a song on spec for the show The Walking Dead, and given a great scene to work with, when Beth and Daryl were trying to make it in the wilderness on their own, and there were some hints of a love story there but still unclear. I wrote and recorded “Survive,” and they didn’t end up using it (which is totally fine), but it went on to get used in a good number of other TV shows, and over time came to mean something else for me and became one of my favorite songs to sing live. It’s always a nice moment for me when we’re playing heavier sets, to get to focus more on singing, without competing with any other sonics. 

What is one of your songs that reminds you of one of your favorite memories?
– Jenny

“To the Forest, Towards the Sea” from Apokalypsis. I’d recently started working with Ben and he told me about this empty building next to where he worked that had amazing natural reverb, so I went there and brought my little recording setup, put it in the middle of the room, and sang what came to me. The room was gutted, just brick and glass and concrete floor – nothing to absorb the sound, so it just floated around me. (the room is now a small movie theater) I enjoy singing in spaces like that so much and am seeking to do more. As much fun as it is to sing into a reverb pedal at my writing desk in headphones, creating an inner landscape, there’s something so special about interacting with a space like an empty silo, parking garage, or a cavern. 

Watery cave.

Have there been any close calls or any supernatural experiences on the road?
– Moises 

I definitely felt a hand on my shoulder while I was checking vocals during soundcheck at Texas Theatre. I turned around and there was nobody there. At King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow, my amp’s volume knob kept turning down on its own, and the sound guy found mysterious cuts on his arms after our set. He then told us he’d recently visited some caves or catacombs and was worried a spirit had followed him back. 

I would like to know if you are still sober and if so how did it change your life?
– Roniver 

Yes, still sober. It’s opened up new worlds for me. It actually makes me excited about getting older, feeling open to new adventures in a more present way. I’ve probably drank enough for this lifetime, though I’m not opposed to possibly trying to have a healthy relationship with alcohol when I’m in my 50’s or something, we’ll see. I’m committed to at least 13 years of sobriety, and am genuinely excited about living and loving and creating from a space of clarity. That said, sobriety is not easy, but neither was binge drinking and all of its awful effects. 

What was the most challenging part of becoming sober?
– Robert

Having to leave situations that were only tolerable by numbing out through drinking. Learning to sit with emotions that rise up to the surface, instead of dousing them in alcohol. Learning to have boundaries, and learning to say “no.” 

What are some things you think you might start approaching differently with life/art/music?
– Olivia

In a post-2020 world, and as a sober person, moving more slowly feels authentic to who I am. Before, I had the mindset that I had to keep the train rolling or it would crash. Now I’m focused on finding more sustainable ways to create, exist, and continue my work. 

How is your sobriety going? How has it affected your art and creative processes? Thank you for sharing about your journey with us.
– Deborah 

Thank you for that support. It was important for me to get consciously sober; to not just stop drinking alcohol, but to figure out *why* I was drinking in the first place. I worked with Ruby Warrington’s 100 day sobriety workbook (The Sober Curious Reset) so that I’d have a touchstone every day for that first part of sobriety. 

When it comes to my creativity, it takes a bit more time to get into the same headspace that I may have gotten to more quickly with a drink, but now once I get there, I feel more empowered. Alcohol can drop you right into a space of vulnerability and inhibition, and I’ll admit that was a useful tool sometimes, but who’s to say that that’s a better approach than slowly sauntering in, putting in the time, moving past the fear, questioning the fear itself? 

How are you doing?
– Emily 
Are you happy?
– Jurek 

Maybe this is just the human condition, and maybe I’m just more conscious of it since I got sober, but I feel like there’s this duality where I’m simultaneously thriving and struggling at the same time, all the time. And recognizing that makes me strangely ok with it; brings me into a more neutral space. As I’ve been working through some compartmentalized trauma, I’ve found that happiness isn’t really the main goal. States of being like peace, calm, feeling embodied – that’s what I’m going for. And Joy. When a moment of joy presents itself I really try to savor it, letting it take hold in my memory. 

Do you feel like there’s such a thing as “sad” music and “happy” music?
– DeadNettles

I think there are songs that can help us move through a feeling. Sometimes, when you’re sad it’s best to really allow yourself to feel it, to cry as a release. But then other times you need something silly or upbeat to help pull yourself out of it. If I’m really pissed off I’ll listen to something that matches that energy for me, just one song, like “Shitlist” by L7, and afterward I feel better. But then, I also listen to “Shitlist” when I’m in a good mood! So I’m not sure that any music is inherently “sad,” or “happy,” or “angry.” Maybe it depends on the day you listen to it. 

What are some of your simple pleasures? Scents, treats, feelings, things that bring you back to earth.
– Jessie

Wandering through a bookstore, especially one that has a lot of used books. Listening to isochronic tones. DIY-ing essential oil blends. Watching one of Christine McConnell’s videos on YouTube (the oil painting episode is a favorite). Burning incense from Black Earth Botanica. Practicing archery in the yard. Making tea. 

Archery target full of arrows.

Do you have rituals or processes you do for your creativity?
– Rachel

I did the Artist’s Way last year, and have continued doing morning pages. Creating just to create, not for any specific thing, even if I might end up sharing it later. I’ve got a one-hour sand timer on my desk because if I’m feeling resistant to sitting down and doing the work, I’ll tell myself I’m just going to work until that timer runs out, and then by the time the hour is up I usually end up continuing writing without noticing time even exists. 

What are some of the challenges you face when being creative? Is it mostly listening to yourself and letting things flow naturally, or do you have to work towards it?
– Ariela

Sometimes it’s just getting started. I tend to build things up in my head, and if I’m not in a great place mentally, self-doubt can creep in. So, I’ve found the best thing is to just dive in. Just start. Even if it’s messy or not great that day, sometimes you have to just start the thing in order to get into it. 

What do you most often do when you are feeling creatively blocked? Do you push forward and continue to work on the piece, or do you seek ways to unwind?
– Chandler

When I’m feeling really creatively blocked I know it’s time to rest that side of myself, to not keep pushing it. When I was younger I’d always worry that I’d never write again. Now I know that sometimes creativity feels like a powerful ocean, and sometimes it’s like a tiny pond you come across in the woods, waiting for the rain to come and fill it up. I’ll read a new book or watch a movie I loved when I was in my teens, or I’ll pick a lake I haven’t been to before and spend a morning there. I’ll ask questions of my dreams and find inspiration and guidance there, too. Then, one day, I’ll realize I’m writing again. 

How do you blow off steam?
– John

By leaning into the feeling. Scream and howl at the full moon. Create. One time when I was feeling silenced and angry, I went out to my car to scream and let out some energy. At the time I was working on Bloodmoon demos so I sort of channeled that anger into teaching myself how to sing-scream and ended up writing the end part for the song “Blood Moon.”

Not so much a question but would love a tour of your closet/favorite garments.
– Bonnie

That would be fun. I actually just started a TikTok ( @chelseawolfeofficial ) and have been doing some outfit-of-the-day posts there.

Where does your personal style come from?
– Kyrin

Some days it’s like, Victorian era meets Viking shield-maiden, other days it’s witchy art teacher, with lots of layers of black and gray. And sometimes it’s something like earth-goth, or whimsigoth. During the early pandemic times when tours weren’t happening, I did a big closet declutter and rediscovered all of these lovely linen pieces I’d gathered over the years from brands like Ovate, Holy Voids, Sisters of the Black Moon, Turn Black. In the past I’d relegated them mostly to photo shoots, but suddenly had the obvious epiphany that I could wear them in daily life if I wanted to, so I started doing that. I donated or sold a lot of stuff during the closet cleanout, letting go of leather jackets, and anything made of a fabric that didn’t feel nice on my skin. Life’s too short to wear garments that may look beautiful, but are a sensory nightmare! Lately I love wearing dresses that have a Victorian nightgown vibe.. It’s summer and they’re comfortable in the heat and also I like looking as if I could be some scary woman in the woods from a horror film, with my hair a mess and a long white gown on. 

I’m also into accessories that have a slight cosplay feel to them. Some of my favorites are 18th-century style tie-on pockets I got on Etsy, lace-up boots with a metal heel from Nutsa Modebadze, and a belt/phone holder from Nuit Clothing. 

I’ve always loved your fashion style and I was just wondering if anyone or anything inspired your style?
– Sammy-Jo

Thank you. I’ve always been into outfits that feel a bit off or undone in some sense. And so I’m drawn to designers/fashion houses that have that same sensibility. A few of my favorites are Ann Demeulemeester, Yohji Yamamoto, Margiela, Alexander McQueen – I’ll often look back to their 1990’s / early 2000’s runway shows for inspiration. I loved MTV’s House of Style when I was growing up. I like an unfinished hem that frays over time, a dress with only one shoulder, a cutout where you wouldn’t expect it. If my makeup looks too perfect I’ll do something to smudge it or wipe part of it off so there’s just a stain left behind. I only wear one earring at a time. That kind of thing. I also like to wear an apron onstage sometimes – “here to serve” energy. 

I’ve worked with costume designer Jenni Hensler for a long time for stage outfits – I’ll send her a host of inspiration and colors and textures and she creates these dreamy collections that I get to wear onstage, she’s amazing. During Hiss Spun the inspiration was 90’s/early 2000’s glam rock, with dramatic silhouettes, extra long sleeves, and parachute skirts. Much of Hiss Spun’s subject matter was reflecting on my time in Sacramento during my late teens and twenties which was also during that same era, so for me it made sense to nod to the fashion sense of bands during that era like NIN, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage. 

Chelsea Wolfe and band performing onstage during her Hiss Spun tour.
{Photo by Ry Murphy}

During Birth of Violence, Jenni made these modern Victorian pieces reconstructed from old wedding dresses – that was some of my favorite work of hers. I love to pair any stage outfit with tall boots. When I was younger I felt self-conscious about often being the tallest woman in the room so I decided to lean into it and go even taller. I love to combine contrasting elements: something messy with something elegant, something feminine with something masculine, something vintage with something modern. I think my fashion misses have been when I only stick with one thing, like all elegant or all modern – I’m just not as good with that. There’s gotta be a little bit of chaos or contradiction to the outfit. 

Chelsea Wolfe performing onstage during her 2019 Birth of Violence acoustic tour
{Photo by Michelle Wacker}

How do you usually choose your outfits for your performances?
– Justyna

To add to what I said above, a practical aspect of choosing a stage outfit is functionality. Since I’m usually playing guitar for much of the set, I have to make sure what I’m wearing won’t get in the way of that. 

What’s your favorite folktale?
– Ted

The legend of the exiled, wild self as written about in Courting the Wild Twin by Martin Shaw. 

“A healthy psyche is alert to the reality that we aren’t lived by a myth, but by myths, plural. We could think of each mythic narrative having a temple attached. In the course of a day, we may serve in several of them.” {Martin Shaw}

What are your favorite books?
– Meena 
Book recommendations please
– Jess

I tend not to pick favorites of things, but if I had to I’d say 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, The Moon Book by Sarah Faith Gottessdiener, and Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman. 

I’m a reader who’s always got multiple books going at a time, which is why it may take me years to finish a single book. Some people think this is odd, but it’s just the way I operate, and also if I’m enjoying a book, I love making it last. 

I read a lot of non-fiction, but it’s been helpful for my mental health to have at least one fiction book in rotation, something fun in the realm of fantasy or subtle sci-fi. One I recently enjoyed was Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, a movie I’ve always loved but had never read the book. 

Here’s a few stacks of what I’m currently reading, re-reading, or looking at: 

{Orsinian Tales by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Charge of the Goddess by Dorreen Valiente
The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Positive Magic by Marion Weinstein
The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison
Mysteries of the Dark Moon by Demetra George
Introduction to Old English – Peter S. Baker
The Library of Esoterica Plant Magick – Jessica Hundley}
{Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Pictorial Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers – Paul Hamlyn
Wormwood Star by Spencer Kansa
Dreamers of Decadence – Phillipe Jullian (thank you Jess Schnabel Horkey)
A Guide for the Perplexed – Werner Herzog conversations with Paul Cronin}
{Fangs – Sarah Andersen
Clothes for a Summer Hotel by Tennesee Williams
Trafik by Rikki Ducornet
Lost Girls: Cinema of Jean Rollin
The Art of the Occult by S. Elizabeth
A.F. Vandevorst Ende Neu
Midnight Neighbor – Blake Armstrong
Misophonia: The Art of Jesse Draxler
Unmuted – Nedda Afsari}
{There is No Right Way to Meditate by Yumi Sakugawa
Courting the Wild Twin by Martin Shaw
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The Joan Baez Songbook
Recording Unhinged – Sylvia Massy}
{Makeup 1989-2005 – Inge Grognard
Salvation Mountain – The art of Leonard Knight
Cameron: Songs for the Witch Woman – Yael Lipscutz
Dreams and Dreaming – Mysteries of the Unknown}

((disclaimer: I have not completed all of these books, nor do I vouch for 100% of what the authors have written or said.))

Besides Townes Van Zandt and Sibylle Baier, who are your musical influences?
– Garrett

To name a few more: Roy Orbison, Broadcast, Nico, Radiohead, Massive Attack, Stevie Nicks, Katastrophy Wife, Tricky, Björk, Cocteau Twins, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sneaker Pimps, Wardruna, Portishead, NIN, The Cure, Ozzy Osbourne, Depeche Mode, Placebo, Tammy Wynette, Roky Erickson, Autolux, Abner Jay, Rudimentary Peni, sunn O))), PJ Harvey, Deftones, The Pixies.

What’s your go-to falling in love and heartbreak songs? If your life was a movie, what song would play in the credits?
– Robbie

Love: Jóhann Jóhannson “Two is Apocryphal”

Heartbreak: Smashing Pumpkins “Ava Adore” or “Daphne Descends”

End credits: Colleen “I’ll read you a story.” 

What are some of your favorite albums at the moment?
– Alex

The Smile – A light for Attracting Attention. Anohni and the Johnsons – My Back was a Bridge for you to Cross. Lindy-Fay Hella – Hildring. Divide And Dissolve – Systemic. Gatecreeper – An Unexpected Reality. Iris Dement – Workin’ on a World. Clark – Sus Dog. The Tanya Tagaq “Earth Monster” remix Ash Koosha did, and Robert Del Naja and Slava Vakarchuk’s “Obiymy (Legacy of War Mix).” Christian Wallowing Bull is putting out some really cool music too. 

I was wondering if we could get a list of your favourite films and/or filmmakers?

Portrait of a Lady on FireCéline Sciamma

ThirstPark Chan-wook

The VVitchRobert Eggers 

If you could go back in time and do an official song for a show/movie, which would you pick?
– Ro

I’m a big fan of Mike Flanagan, and would have loved to have written a song for Midnight Mass. Would love to work with him in the future too, as I’m sure he’ll do many more great works. 

Do you have a comfort film or TV show that you like to rewatch?
– Kendra

I’m definitely a comfort movie kind of person, and go back to Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Spirited Away when I’m feeling down. Also anything in the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit world.

Do you have any rituals that help you write? Comfort foods, candles, lucky shirt, etc.
– Sarah

I’ve made my little writing room into a space that feels safe, magical, and inspiring, surrounded by art by Jackie Dunn Smith, Steve Vanoni, Bill Crisafi, Sophia Rapata, Bruce Lee Webb, Xavier Ortiz, Sarah Scherer, Abigail Larson. I do light certain candles, and tend to do a card pull before I write. While I was demo-ing vocals for my new album, my cat Wisp would often jump into my lap, which was sweet and special, and I really miss that. She sadly passed away in April. 

Chelsea Wolfe at her writing desk with her grey cat Wisp on her lap

I’m curious about your outward expression of yourself and how you feel it ties into your music and your spirituality. I’m always interested in the overlap of our outside and inside selves.
– Alyx

I think this overlap is something I’ve always done quite naturally, but maybe not in the most succinct way. Now that I’m getting older, I approach outward-expression-of-the-inward-self more intentionally, for no one but myself. A small example of this is feeling drawn to only wear jewelry that is personally meaningful to me. Same with any new tattoos I get. My most recent tattoos are small symbols of my path, and a little book with flowers growing out of it that a friend drew, to remind me that even though one chapter of my life has ended, there’s still so much more new growth and blooms to look forward to. These tattoos even had Wisp’s ashes mixed into the ink. 

How do you work magick into your life, specifically when you’re on the road? I have a hard time staying motivated and connected to spirit, and am curious.
– Alexandra

It can be more challenging on the road, as you don’t have much personal space. I’ve found it helpful to bring a few things with me as a sort of traveling altar. If there’s a little table in the back of the bus, I’ll have a basket there with a certain incense that reminds me of home, tarot cards, a pendulum, a book or two. If I’m in a van, I’ll have my cards in my backpack, and maybe a small herbal bundle, tea light candle, and matchbook in an old tin – just some things I can easily grab if I need a physical reminder to help me get back to a centered place. And headphones become sacred! Put on your headphones and sunglasses and listen to a spiritual/magical podcast or audiobook. I’m currently listening to Mysteries of the Dark Moon by Demetra George. 

I also have a tendency to do a quick rearrange of the backstage area so it feels more cozy. I’ll plug in some forgotten lamp sitting in a corner and kill the overhead lights, burn some rosemary and lavender, move the chairs around so it’s more welcoming, turn the kettle on and make some tea. I’ll make sure I have a little space to do my makeup and put on a playlist I’ve made that helps me get into a good place mentally before the show. 

How does your witchcraft journey look for you in your daily life?
– Aylin

One thing I’ll share is that an important part of my practice is finding what I need inside of me.. Whether that’s through visualization, meditation, journaling.. As much as I love tools like tarot, candles, moon water, herbs, and love doing specific rituals and workings, most often the moment that I need strength is a time when I’m out in the world and have only myself and Spirit. And that is enough. An example of this is being alone in a room at a doctor’s office, just you in the gown waiting on the table, and it feels very vulnerable. This is a perfect time to tap into your own power, your own inner realm. I’ll take opportunities like this to close my eyes and breathe calm into my body and drop into meditation until the doctor comes in. 

How do you manage to handle your dark side in everyday life?
– Raf 

Doing shadow work when you’re actually feeling strong is a good way to feel more comfortable with your dark side when you’re not feeling so strong, or having a rough day. Bring a nuanced perspective to the shadows; move past the idea of being a “good person” and focus more on kindness. Learn to be ok being the villain to some people who simply do not want to understand you, or that need to make you the villain so they don’t have to face their own shadows. 

“The Shadow” painting from Blake Armstrong’s new art book Midnight Neighbor

Why does shame hurt so much?
– Haley

I’ve learned a lot about un-shaming through the work of Britten LaRue.. One of my favorite quotes from her is, “..suck on your shame like bone marrow, thanking it for the buffering you no longer need.” When I saw that line in one of her newsletters, I didn’t quite understand what it meant yet, but it took my breath away because I resonated with it so deeply. 

Shame is such an intensely rooted thing – ingrained in us by society, our families, religion. When we start to work on it and confront it, it can feel very visceral. 

Shame hurts because it forcefully pulls you out of the present moment. Suddenly you’re living in a past memory that holds a lot of shame for you, or you’re worrying about future shame. It’s important to learn to forgive yourself, to find ways to let go of the past, to let go of expectations for the future, and surrender to the present moment. 

I would like to know what helped you with anxiety or agoraphobia. I’m having a really hard time with both and your music helps me to calm down my palpitations.
– Barby

I’m so glad to hear that my music calms you. Finding little things that help is so important. 

Some little things that help me with anxiety and agoraphobia: Make sure you have extra time before you have to leave the house so you can focus on being calm. Create moments of intentional transition between one social event and another (close your eyes, breathe, and come back to yourself energetically). I’ll put some Death Witch Empath oil on my hands before I leave the house to help me remember to stay in my own energy. I think it’s also helpful to be ok with having a bad day sometimes. Be gentle with yourself and know that tomorrow will be better. 

((Side note: I’m feeling like I need to give the obvious disclaimer that I am just a lowly bard, and please seek professional help for any mental health or medical issues you’re having. I’m just sharing a few things that have worked for me, and not even getting into some of the deeper, more long-term work I’ve done with my therapist because it feels too personal. I would say that if you’re able to, finding a therapist that you connect with is very important. I’m very grateful for mine.))

What do you do when/if you’ve lost confidence in yourself – what helps you come back to yourself ?

I tend to do a tarot spread. You can find spread ideas in tarot books, from your favorite creators, or come up with your own, something like: 

  1. What is blocking me from feeling confident in myself? 
  2. How can I move past this block? 
  3. How can I be more kind to myself right now?  

I’ll set some time aside to pull cards and then journal on what comes up. It helps me work through difficult feelings. I find the archetypes of the tarot empowering, and like a guiding hand out of the dark. 

What keeps the fire inside you and pushes you to self-development, experimenting with genres?
– Kirill

Damnit, I don’t know. It’s just there. I started writing poems around age 7 or 8, songs at the age of 9. It’s always made sense to me to write songs, to record, to experiment. It’s never made sense to box myself in, and when that starts to happen (or, when someone else tries to start limiting me), I end up bursting out and trying something new, just to get out of my comfort zone. I’m a Scorpio sun and Pisces moon, so there’s a lot of strong water energy there, as well as openness to change. Change is scary, but I fear stagnancy more than I fear new beginnings. 

Are there any of your songs related to the concepts of beauty and tenderness? – Arturo

I like to write songs starring unexpected characters, attempting to bring more beauty to a heavy situation. For example, “Offering” is written from the perspective of the Salton Sea, sort of telling its own story as a love song in relation to the earth and humanity. And “The Warden” is written as an alternate ending to the book 1984. I think there’s a lot of tenderness in my songs, a lot of like, life keeps throwing shit our way but we’re not gonna give up. And then I also think there’s a lot of embracing the void in my music, which is its own sort of love story – surrendering to what we cannot control. 

Picture of the Salton Sea
{the Salton Sea}

My question is, is it ever late to start creating music? I’m 24 and have been feeling stuck for a little while now and want to start creating music again, it just feels like it’s a bit late for me.
– Gökçe

It’s never too late! You can start a new creative practice anytime in your life, and it’s really good for your brain and spirit to do so. I watercolor paint, but it’s not something I’ll ever show anyone. It’s just for me to express and challenge a different aspect of my creative self. If you can carve out even one evening a month, maybe on a new moon or a day off, and work on creating something, I think that’s a great place to start. 

What is the most useful advice you could give to a young musician, that you had to learn on your own through your own experiences in life? And do you live by what you’ve learned?
– Licia

Trust yourself, and advocate for yourself. I’ve learned the hard way to advocate for myself, because there are some in this industry who will try to convince you that they know the best way for you to use your gift, but that may actually just be the best way for them to use your gift for their own personal gain, pulling you further away from your own dreams. 

If you had a word of advice for a girl trying to get into making her own music and finding inspiration, what would it be?
– Monica

Follow what you feel a spark for. If you love a certain movie, check out other movies that same director has done, especially their early work. If you feel drawn to a certain instrument, just try playing it, even if you don’t know the “proper” way. Make your own rules. ♡