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Premiere: Ruby Empress - "Kimono House"

What is your first memory related to music?


I was like 5, and MTV started blasting out Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication," and I was high on a cocoa drink my mother had made. I freaked out completely. The sugar rush and the thrill and the grandness. I could have died there and then, a happy kid. My mum had to call the doctor.


How did you guys start Ruby Empress? 


We’re all from Gothenburg, Sweden. We were like 16-17 and searching for strange young people that wanted to be up late in dark clubs, who were into retro disco, classical music and psyche. That left the four of us back then..

Do you have any intention with your music? What do you want to offer to the music industry?


Ah, in a way. We are pretty eclectic and don't really follow any certain format, so I think we offer an alternative to the current algorithms. That is the offer to the industry. To people and friends we would just like to offer love, a good deal of drama, some grand historic elements and a retrospective of the future. All we can say is that we’re trying. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting better and better I think.


Where did the name come from?


“Ruby” was a shimmering and mysterious word to us, both male and female and both strong and beautiful, 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 male and female in a way. 


Who is your role model, outside of music? 


Our role models are people who are brave and wise, and who know a lot. It doesn’t have to be facts, but just intuitive knowledge: people and minds like Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Kawabuko and so on. It's humbling to watch creators take things to its edge, to see how some people challenge their courage and fears. I hope I can meet those people and work with such great minds. 

If your band were a cartoon character, who would it be?


Easy! That would be Fletcher Hanks' character Fantomah--sadly rather forgotten. We should revive her.


Tell me about your new single “Kimono House".


Kimono House is a song about love, time and momentum. I saw this adaptation of Edward Hoppers paintings by Gustav Deutsch, and then I got into Hoppers' world. I knew what still-life was but this was more like still-time, I thought. There's this hope that we can defeat time, "We can do it if we try," repeated like a mantra in the song. A mad love, frozen in time.


What is your pump up song?


TS: How about "Pop Life" by Prince? Every time I think of "Pop Life," I get happy and must play it. It’s a curse!


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