She's Got Claws
Up and coming solo musician She's Got Claws has be reigning in positive attention for quite some time now. Having been compared to the likes of Human League, Daft Punk, Ladytron, OMD, and John Foxx, as well as taking inspiration from Gary Numan, She's Got Claws has been able to reach a wide audience in a short span. Now with her new EP "Synthetic Emotion" coming out on the 4th of July, I got the time to chat with Manchine, the woman behind the music, about her history, influences, and "Synthetic Emotion".
Hello! Welcome to Brutal Resonance! First off, to get to know you better, would you introduce yourself and your solo project?
Manchine - "Hello, I am a solo musician called She’s Got Claws. This is the project I launched in 2012 with my debut album, which is also called She’s Got Claws. When I eventually perform live with this project, the band will be called She’s Got Claws and my name will be Manchine. My music is purely electronic, using Logic Pro X to write, program and to produce my songs in my own studio called Automata Studios."
When did you first pick up an instrument and when was it that you decided that you wanted to make electronic music for a living?
Manchine - "In my teens I auditioned to be in a band as a singer. Being surrounded by many musicians inspired me to write and take control of the whole writing process. I was inspired initially by Trent Reznor to become a one woman army, so to speak. I loved how he manipulated every instrument and created such an inspirational sound that bands still aspire to create. Every instrument has the potential to become more than it was created to do, especially with electronic music. I love to splice and to be spontaneous, creating and melting fractured beats with chorus synth hooks that swirl around the vocals, which are multilayered and effected to create a robotic style tone to the voice. This is the sound of She’s Got Claws."
Was there any particular musician or band that really influenced you in getting involved with the genre you're in?
Manchine - "She’s Got Claws is a song by Gary Numan whom is a true inspiration to me and to many other electronic musicians as he is one of the pioneers of the electronic genre. Any artist who pushes the boundaries with electronics drives me to push and create something new also. Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers all have inspired me to look at music from a different perspective."
When was it that She's Got Claws first formed? And when was it that you first put out recorded material?
Manchine - "She’s Got Claws was formed in 2011 after I left my previous band Paparazzi Whore. Previous to this I was in an electronic industrial band called Adrenalin Junkies who were signed to Earache Records. She’s Got Claws’ first release was a debut album in 2012 called 'She’s Got Claws' as I didn’t want any confusion about what this new project is called."
She's Got Claws is a very empowering and interesting name. Where did you get the idea for the name?
Manchine - "When I need to be inspired I confide in the ‘Numan’ for inspirational words, so one day I sat with Chris, the bass player from Paparazzi Whore, with a stack of Gary Numan albums and he read out the song titles to me. As soon as he said She’s Got Claws, I knew this was the name for my new band."
Did everything go as planned when you first started up with She's Got Claws? Or did some things go askew?
Manchine - "When you first begin a new project or band, it can take a little time to get your feet and your style together. With She’s Got Claws it all came pretty quick as I had a firm vision for this project, just like I did for Paparazzi Whore. I still went through a transitional period of taking away the organic instruments to using purely electronic ones, however going through this process Synthetic Emotion EP was created."
I absolutely adore the cyberpunk aesthetic that is written all over your soon to be released EP "Synthetic Emotion". Tell us about the EP and the story involved.
Manchine - "I think the cyberpunk aesthetic you are hearing is from my the days in Paparazzi
Whore as this was an electro punk band. I am pleased this punk edge is firmly embedded in my writing and production.
Synthetic Emotion is a concept EP which tells the story of a humanoid called Manchine whom is programmed to become human through emotional tests which we all as humans naturally endure to become stronger and wiser.
The first song ‘I Die For You’ takes you on a journey of how she is being created by her creator. The creator is a roboticist who’s main aim was to create a soul mate as he works in his laboratory. He programs her to learn and to feel like a human being, so when her creator dies, she is left feeling heartbroken, which makes her question if she truly wants to feel like a human. ‘Hurtbeat’ expresses her emotional torment and her battle within.
‘Manchine’ is about her realising that she could overcome this loneliness by creating a soul mate for herself, through using the skills she learned from her creator. Intentionally her soul mate has an uncanny resemblance to her creator, as this is her way of resurrecting him as an immortal so he will never leave her again. Now there are two humanoids, so why stop there? With the song ‘Utopia’ she begins to create a new world where she believes humanoids can live equally with human beings. The story does not stop with Utopia, as this is the beginning of a future which scientists even now are striving to create. We live in hope that humans will be prepared for what they are creating."
What style of music were you trying to go for when it came to the EP? And do you think you hit the nail on the head creating the right fuse of emotional music and electronic pop to display the story of "Synthetic Emotion"?
Manchine - "I didn’t try to create the style, it naturally happened as I’m inspired by many electronic artists. Through telling the story of Manchine, I believe it is possible to create emotion from the machine. I needed to create a balance in each song so you are taken on a journey by a humanoid and not a human. The vocals were multilayered and effected to create the robotic voice of Manchine singing to you and the synths accentuate the emotions she is expressing. Without sounding overconfident, I believe I have hit the nail on the head."
When it came to writing the lyrics for this album, did it all come down smoothly? Or did you have some trouble putting words to this story?
Manchine - "Sometimes it can take a little time to hone the lyrics into a complete story, however
with this EP, they literally wrote themselves after I had decided on each song title. The melody for the lyrics is a counter-melody which inspires me to form the words and to where I should take the instrumental to arrange this into a song. When you start a song with a set idea, sometimes it can slightly or completely change as you work and arrange it. Thankfully I kept focused and determined to not stray from my path of telling this story."
When you finally finished writing the EP, and were done putting it all together, did you walk away astonished with your work? Or were you worried that it wasn't good enough? Or maybe something different entirely?
Manchine - "Everybody who writes from the heart often has doubts about their work, however these doubts are installed naturally into you as an artist so you never stand still and you are always trying new ways of developing and progressing on your creativity. If you write with an arrogant attitude of believing that you are the best then you will never push yourself or experiment, therefore you hinder yourself and your career. I work on a song until I am happy to let it go, sometimes it’s hard to let go but you need to know when to or you will ruin your creation by chipping away at it until it doesn’t resemble your vision anymore."
Do you have any tours, live shows, or anything additional planned for She's Got Claws?
Manchine - "Not for the foreseeable future, as everything you hear is me. For a band to perform this live is going to be a challenge so I shall leave this to the label who picks me up. I am not particularly happy about having any of this music as a backing track, but I know even huge acts like Nine Inch Nails and The Prodigy have sounds sequenced when they play live, so if its good enough for Trent Reznor…"
And, at this time, is there anything you wish to mention that I may not have covered?
Manchine - "Synthetic Emotion is released 4 July as a download from iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Google Play. If you join the She’s Got Claws mailing list then you can enter the chance of winning a hard copy of the EP, which is very limited. Go to www.shesgotclaws.co.uk to join the mailing list."
Lastly, I thank you for your time, and I hope that ‘Synthetic Emotion’ is received well!
Manchine - "A pleasure! Thank you for your fab questions, can’t wait to see this on your website."
I would say that the most important thing in life and probably our biggest freedom is for people to be themselves. And if a person has the opportunity to express themselves, they shall not hesitate to do that for one second. And it's not a question of doing that in a creative or artistic form of art. So I think that would be my last words. If you can express yourself, DO IT!
Front 242, Jan 01 2003
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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