Music Interview

Margot Day

By Jett Black
Some Photos by Victoria Zolnoski

Margot DayMargot Day is "Sacred." And "Sacred" is now available! Check the website below for complete details. With approximately 20 years of vocal experience, Margot Day brings you the best in new Gothic decadence. The self-titled debut presents a flirtatious symmetry of spiraling vocal excellence. Sacred, now available, will draw you into the depths of outer space and back to Earth again. Gentle experimentation, sensual dalliances and the seductive siren, Margot Day converges to present you with a new CD that you must discover for yourself. Hailing all the way from Craftsbury, Vermont, Margot Day communicates her thoughts and replies through the Internet:

Who is in the current line-up of Margot Day?

Margot Day & Kurtis Knight.

When will you be touring next?

For now we'll be playing primarily on the east coast, but are looking into shows elsewhere and are very willing to travel so put the word out that we're available to play shows anywhere.

Where is your next tour set to begin?

We'll begin playing out again in March.

When will you be recording next?

Next week we'll be finishing up Cyberdreams, the last song for the new CD.

What concepts will be woven into the next recording?

Cyberdreams is about cybertribes, unity and still being alive.

What is the title of your latest and next release?

The CD released last year was MARGOT DAY - MARGOT DAY. The new CD is MARGOT DAY - SACRED!

When will the next release be available?

February 1999.

What changes in style & membership has the band undergone since its inception?

I started as a soloist in the studio about two years ago with the first CD MARGOT DAY - MARGOT DAY. Then I felt the urge to go live. I found myself happiest as a duo with Kurtis on the keyboards playing loops and bizarre organic samples. We felt pressured to be a "band" and added guitar and drums. Recently we decided that the music has more room to be heard with just the two of us, so now we are a duo again.

Margot DayWhat has been most effective in holding the band together?

Endless hard work and a deep spiritual calling to reach the world with our music.

What changes (if any) are planned for the band in 1999?

Blending the songs with more ritualistic transcending improvisation added to the live set.

How would you describe your band's music that is ultimately performed and recorded?

Passionate, intense, melodic, driving rhythms, ritualistic, spiritual & sexy!

Which musical classification would you prefer to be known for?

Ethereal-Gothic-Electro-Industrial-Ambient-Techno-Pop.

Since the late '80's, differentiations in "underground" music have resulted in distinctions such as "gothic," "industrial," "electronica," "darkwave" and others not as trend-setting. Where do you believe these distinctions in darker music are headed?

Things have oozed up from the underground into mainstream music but we are still under the domain of the major labels/big business. But I think people are desperate for music that moves them and is meaningful. Humans want depth. The mainstream music does not provide this. Therefore it is only a matter of time before the underground truly explodes. I believe with the Internet creating a place to connect, the underground's explosion is already started.

How would you describe their evolutions from the late '80's to today?

Personally, I have been hiding in creative seclusion making babies and music in the wilderness and only resurfaced a year and a half ago. So I have no idea the process of the evolution. Only where we were when I left (the end of the eighties) and now. In the eighties the big business music machine was in complete control and we in the underground of New York City unified together to support each other. It seems there are holes in the machine and brilliance and meaning have been surfacing!

What is the general idea behind your band?

Pleasure. Fun. To inspire and give hope. And to take people to other dimensions.

What messages infuse the music you create?

"Peace love and Chardonnay," to quote an email friend of mine.

What other bands have you worked with in the past that have influenced your style since then?

Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys played bass for me in one of my first bands. And when I was the lead singer for The Plague back in the 80's we played on the same bills as Farenhieght 451, Bad Brains and Sonic Youth. I would say it was a beautiful mesh of inspiration from being constantly surrounded by talented people.

Would you be interested in working on a side-project band with members of other bands?

Yes, but only briefly, if some one needs me for something.

Where might fans specifically look for the most recent reviews of your music and interviews with band members?

My website (http://www.margotday.com) has many reviews or links to reviews such as Outburn, CMJ new music report, Interface etc.

Any soon to be in print?

Yes, late Feb. or March, after I release the new CD.

Looking back upon the progression of your music, how have your messages evolved throughout the evolution of the musical styles?

Once upon a time I made the choice to follow my heart and sing from my soul. So I formed The Plague (Gothic) in NYC. Lived loved and played in the club scene. But I had so much more I needed to learn. So I escaped to the desert, ran with the wind for a while and immersed myself in life's many secrets, gave birth to two children and metamorphosed from the caterpillar to the butterfly then spread my wings into Cyberland. Now I remember back to the wisdom of the ages; music & rhythm & ritual reach dimensional places. I want to take us there.

What experiences have been most influential in the development of your music?

Traveling around and around the world when I was a child. Playing music and living in New York City. Living in the wilderness. Dancing all night, night after night. Falling in and out of love over and over again. Finding my soulmate. Childbirth. Motherhood. Being wealthy and being poor. Being high and being straight. Being a slut and being monogamous. Being so thirsty nothing's perverse to me. Living in fear of the end of the world through detonation or pollution. Dreaming of other realities and other deities.

What do you believe is lacking in the industry that if added would stimulate evolutionary growth and creativity?

RISK. Bringing MYSTICISM to the mainstream. Taking chances on new talent. Growth comes from inspiration and freedom not from stagnation and fear.

What barriers do you perceive exist in the industry that prevent evolutionary growth and suppresses creativity?

FEAR. If the industry does not carefully control the trends then the investments that have been made already in bands/records are not safe. Anything that threatens to be a variable or not controllable is a danger to the system. This is very important to the music industry big business machine. No waves. Play it safe, so much money is at stake. But if the industry opened up to more talent and took chances the world would be a better place to live.

How do computers, and (additionally) the Internet, impact how Margot Day presents itself?

My friend, the graphics genius, did my website (http://www.margotday.com) with stars and nebulas and a slide show etc. I think it has been an invaluable way for us to get the word out about who we are and what we do! There is about 700-1200 web visitors per week and I've only had the site for 8 months! It is a beautiful way for the like-minded to link. I am always open to linking. So feel free to email me and lets link. margot@together.net

Do you utilize computer technology to develop the music itself?

YES!!! Never have I experienced a greater freedom to express what I hear in my head then computer programming my music. We use organic sounds such as cats meowing, rain, people laughing or the sounds of outer space when the voyager recorded RF waves from the planet Neptune (on the new CD)! To me, combining melody, rhythm, technology and organic sound is the highest level of music evolution.

Margot DayWhat record label are you currently signed onto?

My own label Future Records. But I am willing to sign with the right label and welcome support. I'm open to suggestions.

Where have you found the largest positive support for your music?

Humans (just couldn't help writing that). Its been a very interesting crossover, but the greatest welcoming has come from the Goths (you know who you are). Thank-You!

What activities occupy your time outside of recordings and performances?

Is there time outside of recording and performing? Oh yes, that's right there is promoting and doing interviews and emailing Kooooool supportive people!

What might be the most positive thing to have happened or be happening in the music industry?

Out of desperation the industry sneaks around trying to steal safe inspiration from the underground.

Do fans compare Margot Day to any other band frequently?

As the lead singer I'm compared to Tori Amos, Lisa Gerrard, Nina Hagen, Lena Lovich, Sioux and Kate Bush. Partly due to a similar vocal range and perhaps, to quote something the press said about me and them, "…female musicians who push the boundaries…"

Margot DayWhat influences the development of the music and lyrics of Margot Day?

Life. And this desperate dream to save the world with a song.

What problems have you experienced with audio during your live performances in the past?

Yikes, endless problems with sound checks that were too short and sound men that didn't understand the melding of technology and the traditional ways. Drums and guitars too loud. Now there are only the two of us performing live...NO problems!

What really adds to your personal satisfaction of your own live performances?

Candles, incense, magic and a large audience.

What do you like most about performing live?

I love the power of the energy that rushes through me into the audience and back again, like a figure 8. It is a ritual experience, it's a rush.

How do your recordings generally evolve?

1. Inspiration
2. Lyrics
3. Programming
4. Recording
5. Mixing

Who usually guides the band through these evolutions?

Myself, Kurtis, our mentor Jeff Cooper and those guiding spirits (you know who you are)...Thanks!

Does Margot Day appear in any music video or video compilations?

Yes we just finished a video for a cable TV show in NYC.

How might fans reading this be most likely to contact Margot Day for more information?

http://www.margotday.com
email; margot@together.net
write; Future Records, Box 47 NE Kingdom, Craftsbury VT, 05826, USA