We recently saw one of our favourite musicians Rachel Goswell perform at the Forum as a part of her band Slowdive. Each time we go to the Forum we are always mesmorised by the ceiling but this time we were mesmorised with Rachel. Later, we met with Rachel at our Fitzroy store to show her our collection and talk music, fashion and Rachel's incredible glass art.
Who are your musical influences?
Musical influences range from The Velvet Underground through to The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, the Cocteau Twins and we always used to listen to this compilation album called Nuggets which was kind of 60s garage psychedelia. As we’ve gotten older I think the influences have become much more diverse. We all like different music in the band. Simon does a lot of field recording work and is into a lot of ambient stuff. Neill listens to a lot of electronic stuff.
Personally, growing up, wanting to sing, my influences were Siouxsie Sioux, Grace Jones and a bit later on Joni Mitchell. All three women are very strong characters, and were hugely inspirational to me.
How did Slowdive begin?
Neil and I started playing together in a band when we were 15 at secondary school. This kind of went through various stages, but the core of Slowdive began when we were 18 really, and this was when Nick our bass player joined the band. He was a friend of our original drummer. Christian our guitar player answered an advert for a female guitarist, he was the only person to reply to our advert and had the same musical influences as us. When Christian joined the Slowdive sound really started to come together properly having that extra guitar. Simon was, in fact our third drummer in a very short space of time, but again like Christian, when he joined it felt right and like we had the best people in the band, this lineup is still the same today which I think shows how important everyone is to Slowdive.
How do you describe the Slowdive sound?
I would describe our sound as being equally etheral and noisy. We very much use vocals as part of the tapestry of our music, so they tend to be quite low in the mix. This was a conscious decision early on when we started to make music together. We would describe our music as music to escape to. We’ve never been an outwardly political band for the reason that there needs to be some escapism from the mundane of life, and that is where Slowdive fits in.
What is the perfect outfit to perform on stage in?
I love clothes so much and I love to chop and change what I wear on stage. Sometimes I will go for something that’s very floaty and lightweight which is always a good choice because it gets very hot on stage.
I chose the Nora skirt from your range, because I love the structure of it and the pin tuck detail. It’s absolutely stunning.
Describe your personal style?
I would say my style is quite eclectic. I love to wear black and I love finding clothes that have attention to detail which I have found in your range of clothes - and I think it’s done very well.
My aesthetic at the moment is quite dark and witchy. It’s it’s fun to play with clothes and to experiment. This is where I am currently in my life.
What is the soundtrack to your Australian tour? Are there any Australian artists on your rotation?
I have actually been listening to a lot of podcasts on this tour rather than music. I think when we are travelling, it’s very important to find space and some quiet away from music. If I was to choose somebody it would actually be a New Zealand artist Nadia Reid who played with us in Auckland. I’ve been a fan of her music for a very long time now and it was just lovely to have her play, and to meet her.
We’ve really enjoyed all of the bands that have opened for us in Australia and we chose all of them personally. We had Blue Honey in Perth, Lucy Francesca Dron in Brisbane, Flying Colours in Melbourne, Dust in Sydney and Andrew Tuttle in Adelaide.
Have you ever had a pinch yourself moment in your time with Slowdive?
I think I’ve had several of those moments with Slowdive since we reformed in 2014. So much has happened to us and all of it really quite unexpected. I think the first time we played primavera festival in Barcelona which was our third gig when we came back, it dawned on us the love for Slowdive is out there in the world. I think the audience was something like 20,000 people and it was the most we’d ever played to in our lives and I never imagined I would do it in this lifetime. It still gives me goosebumps to think about that show and how I felt on stage. I don’t think I stopped shaking throughout the entire performance. This is all such a privilege for us.
Favourite place to visit in Australia?
That’s a very hard choice to make. This has been our second trip to Australia and I loved visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane the first time round. In fact I loved it so much I went there twice! I love koalas what can I say?
I’ve really enjoyed on this trip, visiting the botanical Gardens in most of the cities. I think my favourites were Perth and Sydney. We’ve loved our time here in Australia and are hopeful that we will be able to come back very soon to play the new album after its release in September. Australia is somewhere that is easy to relax into very quickly. I’m sure it's because partly the language is the same. You also drive on the same side of the road which doesn’t happen in many places in the world, and there is just an easy familiarity to the country.
We are obsessed with your glass art and the patterns and colours? How did you start your practice? Describe the process of how you create your pieces?
I first became introduced to fused glass work back in early 2018 from my mother in law. She did glasswork for 20 years and wanted to retire from doing it so she gave me a two day crash course in the basics of glass fusing. I found very quickly that I loved the medium, as much as I love singing really, and it was kind of a relief to find something else that I was equally passionate about. Over the last four years or so I have done many courses and learnt a lot of different techniques on how to manipulate glass.
I now have two kilns in my home studio. I’m still very much exploring where my style is. I’ve done a lot of optical illusion dishes with a lot of different colours which were really fun to make. I do love a lot of coloured glass.
The most recent work that I did was a series of landscapes inspired by the area I live in Devon which is in the south-west of England and I’m surrounded by countryside. I live in a very small village which is very peaceful and quiet; and is the polar opposite of touring life. It’s always good to go home and to be grounded in nature, so I would say that a lot of my inspiration does come from nature and it’s my happy place.
The processes are very complicated I mean I could write an essay on glass fusing. It’s kind of a bit like alchemy I think you never know exactly how a piece is going to turn out once you put it into the kiln to cook so it’s always a surprise and that’s another thing I love about it. Over the last year I’ve been quietly learning, traditional stained glass techniques, and I plan to marry the two together in the future and find my niche.
If you could perform in one place in the world where would it be?
This is actually a very difficult question to answer. We are lucky that we have performed in so many different countries in the world and had so many experiences over the last few years.
I don’t know is my honest answer! I would love to play more shows in Japan as we have only played in Tokyo and Osaka. But I think this is more of a me wanting to travel and explore countries further rather than doing shows. I would love to go to Cambodia and Vietnam and to further explore Mexico.
If you could be an animal what would you be and why?
It would have to be a cat. It’s no secret my love of cats. I actually have four cats Frida, Lola, Earl and Philly. I love the independence of cats and the fact you get to sleep for about 16 hours a day that’s cool to me. I must have been a cat in a previous life.