At this year’s Fuji Rock Festival we were very excited about catching indie-folk act Daughter in the Red Marquee. Formed in 2010 by their beyond-cool front-woman Elena Tonra, they stole the spotlight with their cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” on BBC Radio 1’s live lounge. The subsequent Youtube video went viral, clocking 3.3 million views and serving as a springboard for the band to get more recognition for their own emotive brand of heartfelt melodies and mind-encompassing ethereal folk. We were lucky enough to have time to fire a few questions to Elena to find out a little more about the band.
Daughter started out as your solo project, how does it differ now having three regular members of the band?
Well Daughter started out around the time I started working with Igor, I did a few solo shows under the name, but it only really became Daughter once we were writing and performing together. It’s really enjoyable to be able to feed off each others energy while on stage as a three piece. The writing side of Daughter is still kept minimal, just me and Igor, but in arrangements and in live performances it’s very much a group collaboration with all three of us.
Does it change the song writing process?
When I started working with Igor in late 2010, after being in the same class in college, it really did change the way I was writing, letting someone else in is a hard thing to do when the writing is so personal. But over the course of the EPs and the album, we have become more experimental with the way we write together. The song “Winter” was based on an icy ambient guitar loop that Igor made one day and I found it so inspiring I wrote lyrics to it! It is inspiring to have someone to bounce ideas with.
You signed to the 4AD label last year. Is there any pressure that comes with signing for such a prestigious label?
I think there is a pressure, but it’s a creative kind of pressure. Listening to all the incredible albums that artists on 4AD have made, it’s only natural to feel a certain amount of pressure to reach a level of music and artistry that matches up to the 4AD artists that have gone before us. Obviously we have a long way to grow as it’s our first album, but I think it’s an amazing thing to be signed to a legendary label!
Tell us a little about your Daft Punk ‘Get Lucky’ cover & how it came about?
We played for a show called “Live Lounge” on BBC Radio 1 and it’s basically where bands and artists are asked to cover a song, which Radio 1 would have included in their regular playlists. We were trying to think of who to cover from the list and at the time we were on tour and Get Lucky had just come out in the UK and Remi kept playing it in our dressing room while we were getting ready. We all really enjoyed the song and the more we were listening to the song, the more it felt like the right one to do. I read the lyrics, it seemed perfect as I found a dark undertone in them and I felt we could really change the whole mood of the song! Igor started playing atmospheric swells on the guitar and we were off!
Which song do you most enjoy playing live and why?
I enjoy playing all of them if I’m honest, as the whole show is like a journey. I think “Youth” is very enjoyable to play because it usually gets a great reaction from the crowd, that’s our sing-along moment! It’s always really amazing and overwhelming to see people singing your words back to you!
Do you have any festivaling horror stories?
Hahaha not really! So far so good! Though we did get caught in a lightening storm recently at a festival in Italy… So we were a little worried about being electrocuted!
Words: Mark Birtles
Translation: Kaori Ishikawa
September 12, 2013