EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Stream Le Destroy's Industrial and Post-Punk riddled Debut EP "We Destroy"
Le Destroy is a fairly new industrial, rock, post-punk, and combined genre project that has really started to take shape within 2018. With Kristina Olson, the founder and sole member of the project, recently releasing her new music video 'Monster' I was immediately hooked by her rough styling and electronic mayhem. With that being said, we collaborated with Le Destroy to bring you the premiere of her debut EP "We Destroy". But there need not be any more words to preface this. Click that play button, dance your ass off, and read our interview with Kristina directly below!
Hello Kristina and thanks for chatting with us! Though we featured your music video not too long ago, there might still be some readers who are unaware of Le Destroy. So, if you could best describe Le Destroy to someone who has never heard of them before, what would you say?
Kristina: Thanks for having me and giving me an opportunity to share more about Le Destroy with your readers. Le Destroy is a multi-media music project. The sound is somewhere between industrial, rock, EBM, and post-punk. It’s a bit of an amalgamation of a bunch of different influences crafted in my own style.
I believe you are the only one in Le Destroy though you do have some partners in crime here and there. Do you work with anyone else on Le Destroy, or is it your own machine?
Kristina: I’m the sole member and creator on the music side. I write, produce, engineer, and play/program everything myself. There’s one case on the song 'Run', off the We Destroy EP, where the mix engineer added an additional piano part, kick, and snare.
On the visual side, I’ve been lucky enough to have become friends with a very talented Makeup and FX Artist, Meredith Johns (Owner Of Hawgfly Productions, Inc). We met in November 2017 for a video shoot after I’d already been working on the creative direction of the visual elements. Since then, the direction has continued to evolve and we’ve created some amazing visual elements, like those seen in the 'Monster' music video.
Le Destroy is a fairly new act to myself, as I've just come to discover you this year. So let's talk a little history. When and where did you first start playing music? And what or who made you get into the electronic side of industrial music?
Kristina: Le Destroy is definitely a new project and is still very much in its infancy. What’s really special to me about this project is that it’s one-hundred percent my handy work. As an artist, it’s a beautiful thing to see something you created on your own and in your own image without being impacted directly by other people.
Though Le Destroy is a new project for me, I’ve been working in music since 2001 (with the exception of the break I took from the industry after I dissolved my last project). My last project was a band I founded and fronted that had many members over the years with me being the only permanent fixture. It was called Kristina & The Dolls (originally known as The Paper Dolls). We were close to signing with Warner Bros Records back in the day but it just so happened that it was right around the time Tom Whalley stepped down as CEO.
Later I signed the project to Lakeshore Records. It’s a division of Lakeshore Entertainment whose known for releasing soundtracks to binge-worthy favorites like Stranger Things and films like Logan. While signed to Lakeshore Records, I wrote songs for some movies and also sang a theme song for Mattel’s Barbie which credited me under my first name only (probably because I was too edgy for them). Shortly after, I dissolved the project. It never really turned out how I had envisioned it. What started as a grungy riff-rock vibey project, ultimately turned out somewhere between that and pop punk. Over the years and iterations of members coming and going and different producers, it kind of got away from me.
Before I disbanded the last project, I was feeling a big desire to produce and engineer my own material. I really wanted to get into the programming and electronic side so I could do it all myself (without a band) and experiment. But at that point, I was already too burned out and needed a break.
One of the big reasons I want to program music (though I play guitar and keys) is because of the songwriting, musical parts, and arrangement. When you add other people to the mix (like band members who all play instruments), it never quite comes out how you envision it. But when it’s just me, I have full control over the sound and parts. As a songwriter, that’s a beautiful thing. I didn’t choose this path because I loved other industrial or electronic bands. It was based on necessity for the songs. That being said, of course I draw inspiration from bands/artists like Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Garbage, Chemical Brothers, Marilyn Manson, A Perfect Circle and more.
Did you have a hard time getting Le Destroy off the ground? Or has making the music, imagery, and overall themes for the project been relatively easy?
Kristina: I have to chuckle a bit when I read the word easy, only because no part of the life of a musician or creator is easy even if we LOVE what we do. I think a better word would be fluid maybe? Or seamless? I only started the project in January of 2017 and didn’t even have a name for it until May or June of 2017. I spent a lot of time in the studio just writing and playing with sounds without any real direction. I wanted the development of the sound to be organic and honest.
For the visual elements, I’ve done a lot of research and lean on my lyrics, the sound, and feel of the music. I use a lot of imagery when I write and see things in my head, so that can be very helpful. One of the major goals for the creative direction is building worlds where the music and aesthetic feel cohesive, united, and fluid. I don’t want the sound and visual elements to be disconnected. In theory this sounds simple, but applying it in reality can be much more difficult especially with the ideas I have haha. This is one of the reasons it’s so amazing that I’m able to work with Meredith and the rest the crew. They can help me hone the visual elements more and really bring the worlds, characters, and performance art to life.
Overall, I’d say the development of the project has been pretty straight-forward and fluid, mainly because it’s just me and my vision. But making it fly is a whole other monster.
I've noticed that you have a near-futuristic, sort of cyberpunk theme and aesthetic with Le Destroy. Was this a conscious choice or did it just kind of flow with your work as it was written?
Kristina: Honestly, I had another aesthetic in mind in 2017. But artists are constantly evolving, everyday, and it’s important for your art to reflect that growth and not let it become stagnant or hold onto something that was. By letting it evolve and not forcing it into a box, this is what’s materialized. I really learned a lot about the importance of embracing the artistic evolution during my last project. I didn’t evolve and kept hanging on to the same thing for so long that it killed my fire. I love my art too much to go through that again.
Musically you touch base on a lot of different genres, from industrial rock to EBM to a little bit of dance and synthpop all mixed in between. How do you go about writing these songs? Can you tell us a little bit about the process?
Kristina: Every song’s process is different. I’m definitely an emotive creature so it really depends on how I’m feeling. I tend to come up with a lot of ideas in the shower when my mind can just wander. This can vary from baselines and melodies to full on songs. I turn my phone on voice record outside the shower and put on a show, haha.
In the studio when it comes to instruments, it’s usually one of three things – a drum beat, bass line, or vocal melody/lyric. But as I mentioned earlier, I don’t like to put boundaries on my approach. So if I find a cool sound from a synth that’s very hooky or something, then I’ll start with that (like on 'Monster (Remix)'). Really, I just want things that sound interesting and cool, and that evoke emotion and contribute to the song as a whole.
Lyrical content is always important. From your most recent video 'Monster', I took away themes of control and dominance, as well as lack of power. What do you try to inject in your lyrics as you write these songs? Are they from personal history, frustration, or is it all just fun fiction?
Kristina: The lyrics are either based on experience or my interpretation of the world and other things. I use a lot of metaphors in my lyrics, so some are not as straightforward as they may seem. I really want people to decide what they mean to them, instead of me force-feeding them what they mean to me. Leaving room for one’s own interpretation is one of the beautiful things about art. If I told you what 'Monster' (aka 'Monster(Remix)') meant to me when I wrote it, you may not like it as much or feel differently about it and I don’t want to ruin it for people.
So far I have seen nothing but positive comments about the project and all that you're doing. Would you say the same yourself? Have you experienced any negative feedback?
Kristina: Everyone has their own opinion, especially these days when the keyboard wields unyielding power and people are shooting off their emotional reactions with complete disregard for others and their actions. I’ve definitely received some negative feedback, but nothing out of the ordinary. It’s to be expected and just comes with the territory. My music and art won’t be for everyone. In fact, I want it to make some people uncomfortable, so I’m definitely going to get some negative reactions haha.
Your debut EP “We Destroy” is due out on July 13th. But do you have anything planned beyond that? Any upcoming gigs, remixes, or other songs planned for the rest of 2018?
Kristina: I have a Patreon Page that I’ll be launching shortly after the release of the EP. I’m also working with Meredith and the crew towards the next music video, and am cataloging music for the debut LP. I don’t have a release date yet. I’m aiming for the end of the year, but we’ll see. Once I’m done with the LP, I’ll change gears and start working on the live show. I really want it to be an immersive experience and not just a band playing a gig at venue. I want people to leave feeling like, “Damn, that was fuckin rad,” and remember the environment that was created that night. It will take some time to build the live show and right now I just don’t have the resources or time to devote to that. I can’t wait until I do though. It’s going to be rad!
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your time. I wish you the best with “We Destroy” and I hope it has an awesome release! You can mention anything I may have missed directly below!
Kristina: Thanks so much for having me! If any of your readers have any more questions for me or want to get in touch, they can always hit me up on social media. I’m particularly active on Instagram as opposed to Facebook, but either work!
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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