Catching up with Ellie Herring + new single “Judge”

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When Impose spoke with Ellie Herring at SXSW 2015, her mentality was shifting away from the vocal washed downtempo of her Kite Day EP and into more of a DJ/producer hybrid terrain. It mirrored her aversion to live singing in favor of being the silent—but always bouncing—manipulator behind the table. Good on her intentions, the past year of singles and remixes stuck to deconstructing vocals into clips of rapid fire hits of hyper-phonic production. In catching up with Herring, it seems her m.o. against live singing is steadfast, but she is still drawn to the private art of songwriting.

“It’s definitely another thing in the back of my mind,” she said. “Creating this project that I’m potentially not  going to be comfy performing in a live context. They’re more for me, but also something I feel like may be worth sharing. Maybe they’d help someone the way they’ve helped me. ”

Although “Judge” is not a glimpse into the emotionally vulnerable side of Herring. Released on Tokyo-based Trekkie Trax, the single is cut at a footwork pace of sharp synths and pitch-shifted vocals. An ambient bridge reprieves the assault only for Herring to hit back stronger in round two. Packaged with a limited edition Rain Damage t-shirt, the “Judge” artwork reflects the damage done by Herring as she punctures the production with haymakers.

Read on for a brief interview with Ellie Herring.

On “Why’d You” you used your voice to build the track, did you employ a similar technique on “Judge”? Is that you manipulated? Or is “Judge” different and you’re already on some other shit since “Why’d You”?

E: It’s not my voice manipulated on “Judge”, it’s actually a little sampled blip from a rapper’s recent release that rhymes with A Life in Cabo. But, you nailed it, the vocal ideas came first on both “Why’d You” and “Judge”. And the process is still repeating itself in the tracks I’m working on now, so thems still the shits.

Trekkie Trax is based in Tokyo. Does this mean there’s possibly some overseas shows on the horizon for you?

I wish, Blake. There were some hypothetical overseas touring ideas being pushed around back during the Kite Day release, maybe “Judge” will help. Tokyo is very high on my list though, music or no music.

The recent run of singles has been well-received, but what’s up with the next project?

There’s a project I’m working on, but I have no idea if I’ll finish it. Ok, I’ll finish it, but I don’t know if it will get out there for many people to hear.

It’s definitely more personal, emotional, and I’m singing far more on it than even “Why’d You”. We’ll see. I have to be comfortable with it. I feel like a continued run of singles in the same realm as “Judge” may offset my fear and eventually I’ll release the other project.

You’ve begun playing festivals and traveling more for shows, has the travel fed into your creative process? Does doing festivals and out of town shows feel like it helps or hinders your process?

It helps me tremendously. A lot of ideas happening in new places. Different air, people, sounds, etc… I do have trouble actually producing when I’m traveling. I like a 6+ hour block of time to work on music and that’s hard to get traveling. Unless it’s after a show, and on the real I’m more of a chill + food + movie kind of post-show person.

How do you feel about Kobe retiring?

My manager is going to punch me in the throat over this, but I don’t care about Kobe retiring. Give me Jordan, Drexler, and Kemp back.

LeBron was confirmed for Space Jam 2. How do you feel about this casting and who should make cameos?

I feel weird about Space Jam 2, but if these kids won’t watch Space Jam 1 because they don’t care and their parents won’t blow their minds with the best… then OK, let’s do Space Jam 2.

LeBron is fine. I don’t know who I’d replace LeBron with. So, he’s good here. I’d love to see Manute Bol’s son, Bol Bol, in this. That kid next to LeBron is gold. Give me Anthony Davis. Give me the obvious, Steph Curry. Give me David Robinson. Give me Spud Webb, let these kids know anything is possible. Give me James Harden. Give me Dirk. Give me Jack Nicholson on the sideline. Willow and Jaden on the sideline. DMX on the sideline. Queen Latifah on the sideline. Pat Summitt on the sideline. Rihanna on the sideline. Maria Sharapova on the sideline. Tobin Heath on the sideline. Llana Glazer on the sideline. Abbi Jacobson on the sideline. Ariana Grande on the sideline. Bill Gates on the sideline. Adam Driver as Rylo Ken on the sideline.