Words: Lewis Allan

Death of Art have been mainstays of the Melbourne Gothic/Industrial scene for many years, with Erin Blackie’s distinctive voice and theatrical stage presence wooing many a sea of black-clad club-goers. Though there have been a few line-up changes within Death of Art more recently, Blackie remains the driving force behind the band, and will bring the full power of her voice to Pinnacle Music Group’s benefit show for Share the Dignity, Venus & Lilith: Worshipping Women in Dark Music.

“It’s an honour to be invited to be part of this event,” Blackie enthuses. “It’s a great charity, and a great line-up of bands. We’re looking forward to it. It’s exciting!

“We’ve done a few shows this year,” Blackie continues, “Our last ones were in May. So we thought we’d change up the set a bit. Bring back a couple of songs we haven’t done in while. Maybe a new one,” she adds cheekily. “Just depends on timing. We’ll see how we go, but we’ll change a few things up from the last shows. I’m being vague to leave some surprises!”

Pinnacle Music Group is very proud to have rising stars of the vinyl world Rue Morgue Records supporting Venus & Lilith: Worshipping Women in Dark Music. Fittingly enough, Death of Art also have a single release in the works through Rue Morgue. Blackie elaborates, “I’m just looking into organising some things for that at the moment. We’re going to be doing a single release, which is exciting! I’m currently learning more about vinyl, because I don’t own any myself,” she chuckles. “What needs to be different, and all that sort of thing. There are technical things that are quite different to the tracks you’d have for a CD – I didn’t realise how different! Otherwise, I’ve started on some artwork ideas. Without giving away which tracks we’re doing, we’ve chosen a couple from our ‘War’ EP, a side A and side B. And the other thing that came up with doing a vinyl single is that you have a five-minute limit to the song! So there was one option I had originally, and it was too long, I couldn’t put it on vinyl. Some of our newer tracks are seven minutes, so that wasn’t going to happen!” she laughs. “I was going to put our remix on too, that was a consideration, but that’s about six minutes.”

Speaking of newer music, there does seem to be something emerging from the darkness. “We’ve been doing a couple of our newer songs that haven’t been recorded, so they will be in the show. But I feel like we need to write a couple more to have something to put together for more recording. We’re definitely keen to do that, but it may not be for a little while yet.

“I guess in a way we haven’t been writing so much. It’s been more about bringing in new members, learning the material we have and getting familiar with those things, the show, that sort of stuff. But we have been talking about writing new songs, and I’ve been coming up with my own ideas. Not exactly sure how that’s going to come about. It may be different, a bit more of me taking the reins. We’ll see!”

Looking back on Death of Art’s previous shows, Blackie particularly recollects their show at the Swamplands on May 17. “We did some shows there back when it was still Tago Mago, and they’ve been great. It’s a small venue, but it does work. It’s just a good vibe, a good feel. Something a bit fancy, but the staff are really chill. And cheap drinks are always good!” she laughs. “But when you play, because it’s not a massive venue, everyone’s right there and involved. So I really like it. There’s just something about it.”

Coming back to Venus & Lilith, Blackie muses, “I’m keen to see the other acts, that’s always good, that part of playing a show. But often on the night the focus can be on, ‘What do we need to do, what do we need to be ready?’ so I may not be able to give my full attention to everything before I play! Hopefully I can catch a few songs, but certainly afterwards! I can have a drink, watch the next band, and not worry about what’s going on. And the Bendigo Hotel is a good venue to play, as well. They’ve had a few changes over the years,” Blackie points out. “I remember that stage used to be smaller, not as deep. You had to put the drummer to one side, otherwise you couldn’t get past them. I remember playing a show there when we didn’t realise this, and we put the drummer in the middle. Then it was just me and the guitarist on either side, and we couldn’t interact with each other or anything because we had this drum kit between us! Although I sometimes think I take up the space of two people on stage,” she laughs. “You might look at me and think I’m little and don’t need much room, but I do!”

Venus & Lilith: Worshipping Women in Dark Music will keep you warm on the final night of Melbourne’s winter, so get your tickets now!


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