Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Black Magic”?
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I wouldn’t say any in particular, but rather a collection of failed romances that inevitably tried to change my opinion about love in general. I was on a strange trip at the time, always falling over and finding that when you seek companionship from that place, it only will end in disaster and knowing less about yourself.
How was the experience filming the video?
Hot and full of gin.
The single comes off your new album Halloween – what’s the story behind the title?
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Always felt really connected to it. It’s the most human holiday to me, in that you’re given the moment to act out some form of deception or darkness or superstition under the guise of lightheartedness. It used to be the end of the Gaelic year, where you had this period of cold and dark stillness that you hoped you make it out to the other side to begin the harvest again. Bad things can always lead to good things.
How was the recording and writing process?
Quick and energetic. I like to work that way. I don’t want to feel like I’m taking an SAT test in the studio. I try and let the moment speak for itself.
What was it like to work with Mike Mogis and how did that relationship develop?
He is a poignant and rambling genius to me. So succinct but sporadic and yet focused all at the same time.
How much did he influence the album?
I had the vision of what I believed this EP would sound like. He really helped to achieve that vision. He has quite a few colors on it that I never would have thought of.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else than when you are writing in your own?
Not completely. I have more patience that is implied when you work on something collaboratively.
Known for blending different genres together – do you try to balance them together or does one style tend to shine out the most depending on the lyrics?
Nah, I just play. Whatever’s going on or what I’m listening to at the time, comes out I guess.
How have Kurt Cobain and James Taylor influenced your writing?
Cuz they’re fucking brilliant.
What aspect of the holiday (Halloween) did you get to explore on this record?
Being able to have a sense of humor about living in the black.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yep, next year will be very involved touring wise, as we’re ramping up to release my new LP.
What else is happening next in Ruston Kelly’s world?
New full length record will be coming out sometime in 2018. It’s inspired by the area we recorded it in (El Paso area). It’s psychedelic and dark and hopeful and warm. I hope people dig it.