For many, art is an expression of the lighter side of things, and the celebration of happiness; for others, like the talented and dangerous Rawzilk, music can be a reflection of the darker side of thoughts and emotions, and in many ways can bring about a sense of true power in the understanding of embracing vulnerability. Releasing her new album titled “Joys and Horrors of Broken Souls”, Rawzilk pulls no punches, and does not hold our hands as we travel further down the rabbit hole.
Ryan: Band names are a difficult choice to make. How did you come up with Rawzilk?
Rawzilk: A few years back I got really into film noirs. I discovered a soundtrack piece from a neo-noir film called Body Heat, and I heard a version of this piece performed by a jazz band called Raw Silk. In my confusion, I thought “Raw Silk” was the title of the piece and “Body Heat” was the title of the band for the longest time! Since I listened to this piece so much thinking it was called “Raw Silk” when I was writing melodramatic murder love stories, I started associating the name “Raw Silk” with violent and romantic elements in story-writing – and since these are the same elements I wanted to use in my music “Rawzilk” felt like the most fitting name for me. Getting rid of the space and adding the “z” instead of the “s” is my little twist supposed to represent that I want to be different and unique with my work even when it’s highly influenced by other works of art.
Ryan: How long have you been playing music?
Rawzilk: I started making music when I was 16, about seven years ago.
Ryan: Where do you gather inspiration from?
Rawzilk: That’s a hard one! For my lyrical content the inspiration comes partly from things I witnessed growing up such as watching men die, lots of criminal activity and gang brutality. My own personal frustrations are also highly influential to my work. Musically, I look up to bands like Death Grips. I love their originality and fresh, unique style. I think they are such an important and iconic band.
Ryan: What does your song writing process look like?
Rawzilk: I tend to make the music before writing the lyrics. Normally I create an instrumental that initially I never know where it’s going, I listen to the (usually beat-less) atmospheric structure, and listening to melodic demos almost always gives me strong visuals. Sometimes it isn’t just visuals but memories too, and even strong emotions. I write down the things it makes me feel and then I re-write them in an even more subtle way using symbolism.
Ryan: How long did your album “Joys and Horrors of Broken Souls” take to make?
I wrote the song “Dolls” a little over two years ago and this was around the same time I started working on the instrumentals. What the album is now is completely different to what I had in mind when I started working on it two years ago – at the time I was intending for it to be grimmier and glitchier. Without including the weeks that I took breaks from working on it, it took roughly one year and a half working on this album.
Ryan: What made you choose to release “Nails” as your lead single?
Rawzilk: “Nails” wasn’t even going to be on the album at all, this was a last minute thing. I gave the instrumental to Filth and Joy to see if he would like to write something for it and he did such a terrific job. I gave him complete creative freedom without asking him what I would like lyrically or the kind of style I wanted him to perform. I think the final result is excellent. His vocals are like nothing I’ve ever heard in a track before, and the lyrics are cryptic and twistedly stunning. It immediately became one of my favorites off the album.
Ryan: At this point in your musical career, what are some of your musical highlights?
Rawzilk: Definitely getting to meet and work with talented musicians with such a rich and diverse style. I never thought I would collaborate with an opera singer like Natalie Orlie and she performed the vocals for “Dear Morgue” beautifully. The same can be said for all the collaborators. It has really expanded my musical horizons.
Ryan: Is there a specific theme that runs through your album?
Rawzilk: Yes, although it may seem like it’s just about crime and violence, it’s actually about insecurity, dread, and obsessive desire. It’s about the things that make you feel vulnerable or helpless, the things you obsessively crave that you can’t have, and the ugly things these negative emotions make you do.
Ryan: How would you describe your music to someone that has not heard it before?
Ryan: What advice do you have for any new bands looking to make their own album?
Rawzilk: Don’t be afraid to express yourself and be as original as you can be. Don’t let anyone who doesn’t like your style intimidate you. If people who don’t get your art bash it in any way, who cares?
Ryan: Who comes up with the albums artwork and imagery?
Rawzilk: I take pride in the artwork for my music. I’ve always thought the artwork is such an important part of the albums so I always design them or photograph them myself.
Ryan: Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your audience?
Rawzilk: Yes! I just released a mostly instrumental album titled “lovers burn” which I intend to turn into a short film sometime in the future. I’ll embed the film on my website https://www.rawzilk.com/.