Interview: 5 minutes with Evelinn Trouble

Evelinn Trouble is a psychedelic-pop musician and vocalist currently based in Berlin. Originally born in Zurich to a Swedish jazz singer mother, she grew up in the city’s vibrant squat scene where her musical talents were battle tested, living and playing in occupied houses. Trouble has been called the bastardly child of Thom Yorke and Patti Smith, encompassing the sensitivity and sonic inventiveness of Yorke, fused with Smith’s roaring, revolutionary spirit.

Drawing inspiration from Frank Zappa, Nina Simone, Karon Dalton and Jimi Hendrix, her latest single ‘Monstruous is a collage of two years of home recording in several bedrooms, attics and hotel rooms across the globe. The result is sleek and sultry psych-pop chemistry crafted with the utmost care and wisdom.

We caught up with Evelinn Trouble on recording progression and synthesizer treasure:
(Be sure to check out Evelinn Trouble’s latest single ‘Monstruous’ below!)

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

My mother is a singer and it didn’t feel like I had a choice!

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

I usually get haunted by a piece or melody, or even words, which I then have to make sense of and shape into a song, either on piano or on guitar. Then I record it in a simple way and take it from there.

What’s on your current playlist?

Kendrick Lamar

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

They love me and I give them emotional abuse in return.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I think the main factor here is my technical limitations, the originality comes from me not knowing how to better achieve what I want to hear.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I usually go to my studio and first meditate for an hour or so, then I listen back to what I recorded the day before, deem it unworthy and try to start over, give up after two hours and go home. Then do the same thing the next day again.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

No, there wasn’t. I knew that I wanted to be a singer from the moment I could think. I remember my mom teaching me the standard “Black Coffee” when I was about 4 or 5.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

My in-ear moniters – if I can’t hear myself, I’ll fuck up my voice and that usually leads to a lot of trouble.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

I have to be frank and say that I mostly listen to music by people who already died.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Turmoil of life.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I use Pro Tools, recording through a universal audio preamp and RME fireface nowadays. But I’ve also recorded an EP through the speakers of my laptop, I thought it created something very real and moving nevertheless. My preferred synth is the Juno 60 – I found it in a friend’s attic ten years ago and have used it on all my records ever since. I also use a Nord-Electro keyboard that I distort with Big Muff and lots of reverb. And a Duesenberg guitar.

Any side projects you’re working on?

I have a Black Sabbath Tribute band, we played a small tour last winter and might record soon. And I have a band where we cover Drake-Songs, but this one’s on stand-by at the moment.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I think my songwriting has become simpler and more direct. My arrangements make more sense, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel anymore. I’ve realized there is no escaping who you are, so I’m less preoccupied when I create.

I’ve improved my recording skills, at least a little (as in from laptop speakers to actual microphone). And I’ve learned a lot about my voice this past year, how to use it without causing damage.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

My new EP “Hope Music” will be out in the summer and I hope to be touring it with my new band by the end of the year. Hopefully, we’ll stop by the studio and record more songs for an album. So hope is the key. And hard work of course.

Evelinn Trouble’s latest EP Hope Music will be out on May 4th via Radicalis

Purchase ‘Monstruous’ Single by Evelinn Trouble via iTunes

For more information follow Evelinn Trouble on Facebook