With the success of their Debut EP Empressionism, Scandinavian psychedelic-pop band Ruby Empress has been called “The Indie Revival We’ve Been Waiting For” by Bitchslap Magazine and we sure do agree.
They recently released a new single Kimono House and have been announced as the first fifty that will perform at The Great Escape festival in the UK. On the path to success, Ruby Empress stands out with their unique style and sense of rhythm. We caught up with them to ask them a couple of questions about the band and their music.
indieBerlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background
Tom Serner: I didn’t have a musical background until I started myself when I was 16. Then I just realized that I could try to sing, and play guitar and I just started from scratch. And from then on I was crazy in love and spent every waking hour playing around, tried to learn everything. I knew I’d be the right one!
“Ruby” was shimmering and mysterious, both male and female, and so was “Empress”, an eccentric, ancient and exotic ruler
indieBerlin: How did you come up with the name Ruby Empress?
Tom Serner: “Ruby” was shimmering and mysterious, both male and female, and so was “Empress”, an eccentric, ancient and exotic ruler. It made a lot of sense and described the band well. Of course, we’re all guys, but the band is both in a way.
indieBerlin: How did you get together as a band?
Tom Serner: we’re all from Gothenburg, Sweden. When we were like 17 we were all searching for each other I think. We all separately wanted to meet strange young people that wanted to be up late in dark clubs, who were into retro disco, classical music and psyche and wanted to make that kind of music. That left the four of us really in the whole town.
If I really want to say something about myself I usually just say it
indieBerlin: Tell us something about yourself that you always wanted to say but no one has ever asked you yet.
Tom Serner: Well, if I really want to say something about myself I usually just say it, so I normally don’t wait for a question you know. But I think it’s funny that people don’t get more personal than they do in interviews. That’s what I want to read or hear about people. Personal stuff, and also what they buy, how they live, what they fear or dream about, what they know.. you know.
indieBerlin: If your music was a movie, which genre would it be in?
Tom Serner: Akira Kurosawa, Ang Lee and David Cronenberg: what genre is that if you mix it together?
indieBerlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Tom Serner: From people who are brave and wise. There are so many incredible people in the creative arts. I think the celebrity-business sometimes puts that in the dark almost. And from silence and dreams.
Psychedelic, pulsing colors
indieBerlin: Do you see your songs in color or in black and white?
Tom Serner: Definitely color. Especially psychedelic, pulsing colors. Off-colors and colors that still not have a name. Sometimes colors that you can’t see at first but only after many listens.
indieBerlin: What was the nicest compliment you once got?
Tom Serner: “You’re a huge risk, but worth taking”
It’s fun to hear people massacre great songs
indieberlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
Tom Serner: We love to make covers. Recently we did Prince Pop Life and OutKast’s She Lives In My Lap. Connan Mockasin made a great version of Lives In My Lap but we didn’t know that then. It’s also fun to hear people massacre great songs.
The Berlin audience is super nice and supportive
indieberlin: How do you think the audience in Berlin is different to the audience in Potsdam?
Tom Serner: First of all I think that German audiences are the best in the world probably. And if you’re a young and new band the Berlin audience is super nice and supportive. At least that’s what we’ve experienced. We would absolutely love to come back soon.