I first came across Berlin-based Ella’s music via her project Jools Hunter (she was also in Go Die Big City along with label-mate Monsterheart’s Anna Attar). Ella’s music is electronic, experimental, whimsical and at times intense. She’s currently focusing on latest project UMA, with her husband.
What kind of music would you say that you make?
ELLA: Experimental pop Music or maybe Flower Goth?
How did you first come to making/playing music?
E: I started playing music when I was 6 years old. I think like lots of people did I started with playing the recorder, then started the piano 4 years later and did not stop taking classes till I was 19.
What does music mean to you?
E: Music is like drinking the tea I need to drink every morning if I want to have a good morning.
It calms me down to play/make music when I am stressed, it makes me feel good when I am in a bad mood, it makes my mood even better when I am already in a good mood.
Last year, you were a participant in the Red Bull Music Academy; can you tell me about your experience of it?
E: Red Bull Music Academy was the kind of school-trip you never had in school but sometimes imagined. With the 29 best classmates you can wish for. It was also super intense, but in a very good way. You get overwhelmed with impression just to get send home after it and feel like after a very long sleep.
I highly recommend everyone who is into music to apply! He/She will not meet my new friends which are the best on earth, but I am quite sure that there will be plenty of new people you will get to know and fall in love with instantly cause the people from Red Bull do a really good matching job.
You were born in Austria and are based in Berlin; (based on your personal experience) what are the music communities like in each place? Are there a lot of differences or similarities?
E: Where I grew up and lived for 18 years in Austria, there was only the church choir, the male choir, the the musical school with all it’s classes and that was basically it. I mean don’t get me wrong, it was still nice and I loved to sing in the church choir and be part of the musical school but it was all very shortsighted and you could feel very early that there must be more.
Berlin is great in these terms. I mean there are tons of concert of every kind of music you can think of. There is so much going on that you can’t really keep track. Community wise I am not really integrated in one specific. I know a lot of different people. To break it down to it´s basis it´s maybe the people with an art background and the people with more an indie background, but also those boundaries blur easily. I love Berlin for it’s diversity and for the possibilities it gives you!
What projects are you currently working on?
E: Currently I am working on UMA! UMA is me and my husband, it is sort of the natural continuation of Jools Hunter or something very natural Jools Hunter wanted to do forever. We are going to release an EP via Seayou Records plus a 3 song 7“ on Enraptured Records in May; we are shooting video(s) for this EP, but also already started working on our Longplayer which should come out in winter I guess! And then concerts, concerts, concerts!
What are your songs inspired by?
E: Palm trees, gravity, inventing differences, the other side of the moon, chaotic systems, the solutions of first and second degree equations, alien reptiles, mirapuri, strictly wasteful histrionics, positively endless possibilities and love; but basically it’s palmtrees I guess!
When do you like to write them and where?
E: When I am in a very calm mood in my studio, ’cause there it is very calm as well.
I read you played your first shows as Jools Hunter mid-last year. What was that first show like? How were you feeling at the time?
E: The first show was in terms of the crowd and the show a good show I guess, but I was freakish nervous. And when I am freakish nervous I tend to talk weird and the thing with first shows is, that there are basically mainly friends and their friends, and then you are nervous and act weird. Thats just a bit weird and also a bit emotinally challenging I guess.
How would you describe performing for you?
E: …and then the concert starts!
What is your favourite song to sing live and why?
E: It’s Drop Your Soul, ’cause I am just so used to this song and put so much work into it, so that I feel really comfortable singing it, even the very high parts of it!
What do you do that’s creative when not making music?
E: I am writing a lot and currently I got really into working with paper as we are shooting our first video and I can´t afford super expensive designer creations and just decided to build my own dresses. In lack of a sewing machine I chose paper/cardboard and am now folding and rolling a lot.
What do you do to nurture your creativity?
E: Sleeping and reading and being very observing in daily live. I am huge fan of human behaviour in public situations.
I’ve noticed online, you’ve mention things such as alien reptiles, Mirapuri and the cosmos; where does your interest in these things stem from? What are your thoughts on each?
E: Hui, ok, let’s see. I came up with all of those during writing my first presstext ever and it´s a bit odd to write your own presstext, as a press text is for promotion uses and then again you somehow want to “sell” something and when it is you it feels veeeeery strange to do so… But here you go:
Alien-reptiles: As I am not a huge fan of animals in general and reptiles especially, alien reptiles are in this context the worst thing that I can imagine to meet. Even though I love space, imagine an animal from an alien planet! I think on them it is fear and the energy what comes with it, and the question why am I afraid in general that is very interesting.
In terms of getting to know yourself better. Mirapuri: altered to myself, the idea of ideal in reference to normality in the sense of “humans are the norm” is a very interesting one, as the question of, is there an ideal in general and how do you ‘norm’ it and what does it give you in exchange. But in general it’s more about this, ’cause I am not that much of a spiritual person, the question what would make me start believe in such a strong and consequent way. I mean, I think it is sort of pretty crazy, this whole mirapuri thing, but in it’s craziness really interesting and fun. This can get a bit out of hand, so maybe it would be easier to just watch this movie.
Where are some places that you like to hang out?
E: Really boring but super honest: my bed. Really exciting but maybe made up: in underground systems on the hunt for some special noises!
What’s something that you would really like to do one day?
E: I would love to live somewhere in the alps, with my studio floating over a slope and behind that the house, with my bedroom towards the woods. I would just like to live there, make music, read and write stuff and scare my kids with weird stories and embarress them.
What’s your greatest vision for Jools Hunter?
E: Oh Jools Hunter should spread around the world being really influential above kids under 10 cause of the wisdom she can spread, haha, no honestly, I really hope that one day when I am old, I will be able to be proud of everything I did, or at least the most parts of it, but in general I hope to be able to say I tried, I always tried to be honest and sincere with myself and my surrounding and while saying that I want to be able to throw big notes out of the window at my studio, down the valley, ha ha and afterwards go to my little space shuttle and take my kids to a one day trip to the moon. yeah, that would be great!
*Photos courtesy of UMA’s facebook.