Monsterheart a.k.a. Anna Attar is one of my new favourite musical crushes. Her debut EP out on boutique indie label Seayou Records was written in Berlin, Tel Aviv and Vienna – she currently resides in Roma, Italy. As ConversationsWithBianca.com readers know, I love finding new music and I love sharing it with you! I knew from the first moments of Monsterheart’s self-titled song (see clip below) that I came across, that I had found something special. She writes all her songs on organs and calls it ‘graveyard pop.’ Previously Anna was frontwoman of successful Viennese indie rock act, Go Die Big City, now she’s focusing on creating something unique and uncompromising in both sound and style with this solo project. Check her out—she may just capture your heart too!
What kind of music would you say that you make?
MONSTERHEART: I call it graveyard pop, because I always use organs to write my songs. I love organs because they remind me of cemeteries and churches and there’s something so peaceful about their sound and at the same time very powerful and also cheesy.
What’s your first musical memory?
M: I really couldn’t say. I always had music around me, growing up. I always listened and sang… oh but the first song I recorded was, Let’s Talk About Sex by Salt n Pepa, when I was five on my little tape recorder—reeeeally inappropriate!
How did you first come to making/playing music?
M: I started singing and playing in bands when I was 15. I wrote lyrics back then, but never the music. I only started writing music, when I was 22. I didn’t know I could do it until then…but it worked! Magically, I’d say.
What does music mean to you?
M: Music means life to me… and shelter…it’s a peaceful little island I can escape to.
What are your songs inspired by?
M: My songs are inspired by love, death and social cruelness. I try to place them in a fairy tale like surrounding, because I can’t relate to humans and I don’t want to.
When do you like to write them and where?
M: Whenever, wherever! But, most of the time at home.
How would you describe performing? How do you feel when you get on stage?
M: It always changes for me, maybe because I haven’t played that many shows yet…so every time is quite exciting and confusing. I’m still a bit lost on stage. I started playing the keyboard while singing at the last show, which is definitely better than just singing by yourself—it’s so scary! An instrument is like a pet, it comforts you on stage, that’s really great, thank you instruments!
What is your favourite song to sing live and why?
M: It’s called Basement and I like it because, it’s slow, so I can vary the singing melody each time I sing it. I also like it because I like to sit on the ground while singing and that’s the only song that allows that.
How do you pack for tour?
M: The only thing I can think of right now is fluffy, cosy sheets…I don’t know why? I think I’d love to go on tour on a bed with wheels. That would be great! With wings, even better!
Tell me about the music community where you live?
M: I’d say it’s flourishing. There’s a lot of indie labels popping up and new artists, they are all interesting and good. I think a lot has changed in the last 10 years in Austria, it’s really good.
How would you describe the clothes you wear on stage?
M: I tried to play with costumes, but I found it to be more handicapping than helping…so now I try to stay in a 60s vampire look!
Who are your style icons?
M: My style icons are Brigitte Bardot, Nancy Sinatra, Lee Hazlewood, Brian ferry and Debbie Harry.
Who are your musical heroes?
M: Beck, Kate bush, Lee Hazlewood, Sparks, David Bowie (the usual suspects).
Why do you love them?
M: All of them created their very own sound and style, without compromising, I admire this, a lot.
I’ve noticed on your Facebook page you have a ‘Dead of the Day’ you post; tell me the idea behind this?
M: I love cemeteries. I think I just wanted to create a virtual cemetery with all my favourite dead people. When I post them, it’s like putting a flower on their graves, the day they died and to say thank you, you inspired me.
What do you do that’s creative when not making music?
M: I like to build lamps. It’s a new thing for me. It’s really nice working with light and translucent materials. I also draw and paint. I want to work with sugar.
Where are some places that you like to hang out?
M: Cemeteries! (again!), parks and nature in general. I used to live in Berlin, the parks there, I didn’t like them but, the cemeteries were my sanctuary. In Vienna I really like the botanical garden and the hills around the city, the Wienerwald. I’m not very social!
What’s something that you would really like to do one day?
M: I would really love to be an explorer. I love spiders! I’d love to be on a research team scouring jungles and finding new species.
What projects are you currently working on?
M: Currently I’m collecting material for my first album, that’s all really. I’m always glad if people want to work with me, or just have me sing on their songs…so…hello! Thank you for the interview!
For more Monsterheart.
What new music have you been listening to?
*Photo credits: live pics – 1 – Niko Ostermann / 2 – Wolfgang Lienbacher