BEUTY QUEEN AUTOPSY INTERVIEW
In many ways you are two very different musicians, what was it that brought you together?
Matt: We met years back in San Francisco when I was playing a show and Erica asked me later on to help her out on an Attrition cover. At some point after that I thought it would be fun to work on a project with a female vocalist that’s darker and sexier than anything I could do with Caustic (and pretty much ANYTHING is sexier than Caustic), and Erica felt like the perfect choice. We tried a few ideas out but everything got sidetracked with our solo stuff until I accidentally stumbled on what would become “our sound”. I tossed a demo Erica’s way, she liked it, and here we are now!
And how does the music of Beauty Queen Autopsy differ from the music you both usually create?
Matt: When it comes to Caustic there aren’t limits to what I try and do with electronic music―I’ll do an electro ska track and then a power noise track and then a straight EBM track right after that. With Beauty Queen Autopsy I wanted to work with a simple, more specific palette. We diverged from it here and there, but overall there’s a distinct mood to the album and a distinct sound that I really enjoy. Big drums, big distortion, and sexy lady vocals bringing it all home.
Erica how did you manage to embody the character that Matt created so well when you laid down the vocals for Beauty Queen Autopsy?
Erica: I relate to her very well, actually. A big part of me really is this brazen, fearless, sexually powerful woman, so I just have to tap into that, maybe picture myself in sexy heels and a little black dress (though most of the time I'm recording in pajamas) and use the particular confidence I get when I'm dressed high femme.
Matt you wrote all the music and lyrics for this, where do you get inspiration for the stories of the sexually empowered woman?
Matt: Most of the stories, or the feelings in them, were inspired by my life, at least my younger life. I don’t think there’s much of a difference in how men and women see things when it comes to heartbreak, love, and sex. How people deal with the feelings may be different, but we all feel those things. Some of the stories of the character are made up, for instance The Devil You Don’t, which is the final track, but a lot of the other tracks are how I’ve felt―going out on the town and feeling invincible, getting my heart broken out of nowhere, wanting someone to be obsessed with you. Some of it is elevated for drama, but when you’re young you really feel a lot of these things as life or death.
Erica if you had more writing power within Beauty Queen Autopsy how would it differ from how it is now?
Erica: From the beginning of writing for this album, Matt had a really strong understanding of this character. She goes through a lot in the course of the album, and at this point I feel I could write songs for her too, but it made a lot of sense to step back while Matt was writing the first one. I wouldn't change a word on Lotharia -- but perhaps for the next one I'll take our heroine on some adventures.
Is this a one off album of is there a lot more life yet for Beauty Queen Autopsy?
Matt: We’d like to do more, but it won’t be for a while as I’m finishing up the new Caustic and have a lot of big stuff going on in my private life. I loved making this album though, so I’m definitely on board.
Erica: There are definitely some covers and remixes coming soon as we're doing those for kickstarter backers.
You quote the female character for Beauty Queen Autopsy is like a female Jarvis Cocker, what Pulp song or lyric is the closest to how the Lotharia character acts?
Matt: ‘I Spy’ would be a good example, but there are a lot of tracks off their big trilogy of albums (His n’ Hers, Different Class, and This is Hardcore) that have seeped into the overall feel for BQA. Jarvis Cocker writes incredibly poignant bedroom music. I tried to harness that through a different character’s eyes and my own sensibilities, and Erica brought it to another level with her vocals.
Just for the record what is your favourite Pulp song Matt?
Matt: The easy answer would be ‘Common People’, as that’s simply one of my top 5 tracks of all time. For this album, songs like ‘Pencil Skirt’, ‘Underwear’, and ‘F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E’ all really played into it. Different Class is one of my top all time favorite albums, so there’s a lot of fuel for BQA’s fire in there. Same with albums from Suede.
If Beauty Queen Autopsy is bedroom music then what sexual position is a perfect goer when listening to Beauty Queen Autopsy?
Matt: If you’re doing it right then you’re getting to a bunch of them.
Erica: Pegging, any position.
Of all the songs on the new album which one did you try make the sexiest of them all and why is it so sexy?
Matt: Ahahah, well I wasn’t trying to out-sexy any one song over the other. (Um folks I was asked to edit this answer, shame you couldn't see it
What are your thoughts when you listen to yourself sing?
Erica: usually they go something like, "I could have pronounced that word more clearly, I was 20 cents flat on that note, I'm a sexy bitch, I need to use less vibrato, I'm flawless, I should have edited out that mouth noise" etc. There are a LOT of thoughts.
They say pets are like their owners, I have cats and the trait they take from me is that they are all loving yet completely mad Do you have pets and if so what trait from you do they borrow? If you don’t have pets which of your traits do you think they would take from you?
Matt: We have a few dogs and a cat. Our boxer means well but has little to no common sense. I’d say that what we get from each other.
Erica: I don't have pets but I used to have cats and all cats resemble me in that I make it DAMN clear when I do or don't want to be touched.
What do you feel is the importance of liking the music you produce?
Matt: Why the hell release something you hate? You eventually do get to a point in the process where you aren’t sure if what you’re doing is even any good, but that’s where having done this a long time comes into play and you just trudge forward. Everything will suck in your mind at some point, but I think being kind to myself about stuff like that helps. Plus I’m not one of those people who wants or expects anything to be “perfect”. Part of BQA is imperfection, musically and lyrically. I’m not that self-destructive any more that I care to hate anything I do. I also trust my instincts enough to know a good idea when I hear it.
Erica: No one is going to like what you're doing if you're not excited by it. I think young artists are embarrassed to be seen to like their work too much, but if it's good, your enthusiasm can be infectious.
The news in the UK is currently all financial based and I feel there is more important things to tell the people of the UK about, is there any current story on the news that you are sick of constantly hearing about and what has been a news article you have heard recently that you have enjoyed hearing about?
Matt: I’m already tired of hearing about the presidential election since it’s still so far off. Also, people bitching about marriage equality. Suck it up, kids. Everyone deserves the same rights. Love is a beautiful thing.
And a news story that makes me happy? All the people not being awesome about marriage equality.
Erica: Yeah, I know he's a joke and all, but I could stand to never see Donald Trump's face ever again. I can't think of a lot of news articles that I actually enjoy reading, but I've been into looking at Google's Deep Dream images.
I have been happy about this story, though. http://www.boredpanda.com/dead-raccoon-memorial-shrine-mourning-deadraccoonto-toronto/
Thank you so much for giving Vampire Freaks this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Matt: Just thanks to everyone buying the album and streaming it. We appreciate all the support!
Erica: What Matt said! Also, tell your friends!
Check Beauty Queen Autopsy out on