August 28 2014

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1 posts tagged "Austra"

Beauty And The Beat: International Thrifting And Aromatherapy Tips From Austra’s Katie Stelmanis


Life on the road has been the downfall of many a musician, but for Austra’s Katie Stelmanis, it’s not the sex, drugs, or rock ‘n’ roll that has gotten her in trouble. “I probably lose half of what I own when I go on tour,” the classically trained singer and keyboardist admits. Considering Austra was “on the road constantly—we didn’t have more than two weeks off” its first year out, long-forgotten jeans, dresses, and shoes dot the international cities where indie venues draw a crowd. The incessant traveling also amounted to a lot of new purchases, which isn’t a bad thing considering Stelmanis takes the styling of her bandmates—who have increased from two to five since the release of Austra’s debut album Feel It Break last year—seriously; an aesthetic that properly reflects the Toronto outfit’s operatic dark-wave dance music doesn’t just happen. With a slew of shows lined up for fall, Stelmanis spoke with about her best on-the-road finds, aromatherapy that works, and maintaining her peroxide white-blond tresses—that just took a turn for lavender—when she can’t make it home for a touch-up.

The band has become a touring machine since the debut album came out last year; how has the live show developed during that time?
I think that the record is a lot darker and more dramatic than our live show is. Our live show has turned into a dance party; it’s pretty high-energy. We like to keep momentum going, so every time we play a show, you’re just trying to create something fun.

It also seems like you all have fun with your clothing—one person is wearing sequins, another is in a tie-dye top, a third has some leopard print. Did you ever sit down and talk about the style you wanted the band to have?
That’s something that we talked about a lot, because it’s really important to us. It’s a very collaborative effort as well, and is something that’s constantly changing and evolving; we get bored with a certain aesthetic so quickly. We wear some pretty outrageous outfits, that maybe you look back on and are embarrassed about. One of the band members, Romy [Lightman], she has an actual background in art, and I guess a little bit of fashion, and that’s her thing. I definitely take her as shaping the direction that we’ve been going in recently. Six weeks ago we were really into long, flowing, Eastern-inspired outfits, and I guess we’re still kind of like that. Because we do so much traveling, we’re able to pick up such amazing pieces all over the world. We have so many pieces from Istanbul when we went there, and we got some stuff when we were in Singapore and Asia. We don’t want everything we’re doing to be trendy; we want it to be beautiful, special…an otherworldly feel.

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