GENRE IS DEAD! Interview With Eve Minor

NYC artist Eve Minor refuses to be labeled. Blending elements of punk, industrial, hip hop and black metal she’s not afraid to break boundaries and test limits, including her own. After feeling betrayed by people she thought she could trust, she turned to music for solace and ended up writing an album. Proving she’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon she kicked off 2020 with a new single and another album in the works.

Eve Minor chats with GENRE IS DEAD! about channeling her pain into music, learning how to let go, and her big plans for 2020.

GENRE IS DEAD!: You’ve been recording, producing, writing, and sharing your own music for a while now. How did you first get into music? Is it something you grew up with?

Eve Minor: Yeah! I was always a natural musician and artist. I was playing classical piano from the age of four and graduated to string ensemble instruments before my tweens, before picking up the guitar. I remember sitting in a chamber orchestra and having my mentor tell me, “you can’t rewrite Mozart,” because I would play my part but improvise in key. And I remember telling her “why not?” and doing it anyway. I had to get special permission to be in that ensemble because I was about five years younger than anyone there, but I was really dedicated and playing was very natural for me.

GID: Awesome! Recently, you dropped your latest single, “Red Red Red,” which I haven’t been able to get out of my head since I heard it. Can you tell me a bit about it?

EM: I recently discovered a collection of cyberstalkers along with physical stalkers outside my place of residence. It was a bit frightening, but I wanted to take back my power and purge those feelings into a record. Red is the most common safe word for BDSM play, so it’s me reframing the situation. It’s a bit of a dom statement: “You’ll never feel safe again, no matter if you scream red, red, red.” I structured the drums for a tribal feel and added a lot of really heavy guitars and ambient sounds to give it that tense mood. The chorus intentionally opens up with a brighter feel, but I used a lot of jazz chords. It’s pop in a way but completely anti-pop theoretically. It can be considered screamo, but I don’t really have a genre. I do my own thing.

GID: There’s definitely a lot going on in the song sonically, which really stuck out to me. Hearing about the jazz chords, the tribal feel, and the pop vibe, you have a lot of different musical elements at play. And your influences include a good mix of rap, punk, black metal in there. How do you take these genres you love and translate it into your own music?

EM: I grew up as a punk and metalhead primarily. I played in death metal and street punk bands and did some battle rap with my homies for fun. I think it’s like anything else; my music is subconscious and organic. I don’t think about it, I just do it. So naturally, sounds and things I enjoy translate sonically. I’m really rebellious and equally philanthropic. I feel like hip hop and punk speak to both of those themes. I’m not an artist who says, “I’m inspired by such and such band” and then rips them off. I have enough musical knowledge to create my own thing while being inspired by others.

GID: You can hear traces of those influences in your music, but it’s very distinctly you. A great example is “Lazarus,” which was also recently released. It sounds totally different from “Red, Red, Red.” It has this really trippy, hypnotic sound to it.

EM: I was in a funk and feeling energetically irritated. I wanted to do sonic alchemy, which is why “Lazarus” dropped at 11:11. It’s a bunch of third eye transmissions; it’s like sonic astral projection in a way. Since about May 2019, I’ve felt this strong energetic presence of someone calling out to me through the ether. I have reason to believe it’s my mirror soul and I’m determined to find them.

GID: It really does sound otherworldly, like you’re trying to reach some sort of faraway presence. Along with those songs you also released the album Dear Diary, I’m Over It earlier this year. How did that record come about?

EM: I had to rid myself of all that past energy to make space for a new horizon. It’s a collection of demos, and finished songs I did through the course of that year. It’s really a breakup album, but I didn’t intend to release it. My militia wanted it, so I put it out. They’re my collective community of fans, so I really give them whatever they want. I love them dearly. For me, it was about releasing those dark moments so I could fully move on.

GID: It sounds like the album deals with a lot of personal pain. Previously you said it’s about love, loss, and salvation. What was it like revisiting this painful period of your life and channeling it into music?

EM: The entire thing was difficult. I made it in 24 hours on Christmas Day as a distraction from complete despair and loneliness. I cried so much making that record. It was me coming to terms with how people I once trusted betrayed me in the most hurtful way and that all that baggage was over. The process of letting go is extremely hard. It’s marred with constant feelings of abandonment and lost love. Although I’m so grateful for all of it, losing so much was a tremendous burden and I had to heal, which is why making that record was so essential for my soul.

“Oh Well” was probably was the hardest track, next to “Forever.” I missed my childhood friend and high school sweetheart Keith and for a long time. Since his passing, I kept him so close to me and just wouldn’t really give anyone my heart space. Letting that chapter of my life go hurt but was equally cathartic. I felt a lot of guilt leaving him for someone else because I felt it was healthier for me at the moment, which it wound up not being. Letting go of an emotionally abusive relationship that came after that one completely destroyed me for a long time. I’m still healing from it, but I know now that I am better off without someone crippling my mental and emotional wellbeing. I want to be healthy and find true love.

GID: Looking at your output, you’re constantly releasing music and I understand you do just about everything yourself. Where do you find inspiration when it comes to songwriting or working on new music?

EM: I’m my own label and writer, producer, and instrumentalist. Super female empowerment! I am always inspired. I go through the course of a day with a million ideas in my head and I won’t feel satisfied unless I translate them into whichever medium I choose. I recently wrote a song, “Ostara,” which is about a current crush I have. Anything I’m passionate about I’ll usually produce a song for. My love songs are typically me not being able to tell someone how I feel for whatever reason and it comes out artistically because that’s the only way I can communicate effectively.

GID: Finally, what are your plans for 2020?

EM: 3:33 is the album I am almost done working on. I’ll be touring that record extensively. I know I’ll be at Punk Island at Randall’s Island this year and Revival Fest in Rhode Island playing songs off that record. I do have plans to complete another album, American Tragedy, shortly after and another record this year. I’m very determined to meet and connect with as many people as possible this year and continue to spread love and empowerment to others. I always do exactly what I want for freedom of expression and love of humanity, almost like a modern Ian McKaye or H.R. of Bad Brains.

Stream and download “Red, Red, Red” here. Make sure to follow Eve Minor on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and check out more of her music here.

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Illinois Entertainer. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Creeper, and Green Day.

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