Since seeing Secret Stains play at a house party earlier in the year, they have become one of our new favourite musicians.
Secret Stains is the solo project of musician, artist and fashion designer Alison Pyrke which transcends many genres whilst radiating an empowering darkness that perfectly appeals to our goth hearts. We are very excited that they are playing the next Identical Records show on Wednesday 23 May 2018 at the Grace Darling with Hextape and Real Love (which is free!).
Hopefully you will enjoy this interview as much as we did.
What is your musical background? What inspired you to start playing?
As a kid I always loved to play around performing, making videos and recordings. I don’t have any formal training in music, but sang in some choirs and later in some bands in high school.
Since then I was fairly immersed in live music as I dated a venue owner for 7 years in Hobart, and slowly taught myself to play drums on a kit I bought, but didn’t start playing with other people until just before I left Hobart for Melbourne 4 years ago.
Generally I’ve always aspired to the sense of belonging that comes with playing in a band and love being amongst the action rather than just spectating.
How did Secret Stains begin?
Secret Stains began when I moved to Melbourne, tinkering around and slowly learning how I can channel sounds through instruments, gadgets and voice. Living here has been a slow transitory process, and at times isolating. Secret Stains helps me to process challenging emotions, like a loud expressive diary.
For some people the idea of performing solo sounds very daunting! Do you have any advice for those who want to perform by themselves?
What I’m learning as a performer on stage (and in life generally) is to be unapologetic about my presence. I feel like performing solo can be about sharing personal dialogues with an audience, and depending on the content, doing this on your own can allow yourself to be incredibly vulnerable, I think it’s important to recognise the strength in vulnerability.
You previously played drums in one of our favourite bands, The Curse. How do you incorporate your drumming in Secret Stains?
In some of the Secret Stains songs I play on a floor tom sampled live through a loop peddle, other songs incorporate some pre-programmed bangers.
What music influenced Secret Stains?
Seeing DIY gigs, people making it up, being resourceful and doing it their own way. Watching the nuances of solo performers constructing songs, different approaches to layering vocals with other sounds, navigating space and movement.
Performers/musicians I have found inspiring and influential are Pikelet/Evelyn Ida Morris, Rainbow Chan, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Georgia Lucy, Toxic Lipstick, Waterfall Person, Grimes
Along with being a talented musician, you are also a fashion designer! What projects are you working on at the moment? Can people commission you to make them clothes to perform in etc?
For the last year I have been working with some start up brands developing their products, which will hopefully be released in the Melbourne, this winter! Absolutely, I’d love to make garments for people to perform in! For those interested 😉 please give me some good lead times so that I can be sure to have them complete for when you need it!
Thank you Secret Stains!
See Secret Stains live in action on Wednesday 23 May 2018 with Real Love and Hextape at the Grace Darling!