Trullie, Madly, Deeply

Dazed Digital introduce New York’s coolest art rock star with an exclusive video performance.

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First things first. 25-year old New Yorker Lissy Trullie is not the 21st century Nico or Edie Sedgwick or whatever.  From her boyish crop to her elegant insouciance (not to mention killer pins), she’s her own unique, hard-to-put-in-a-box character. And despite recently modelling for Luella and Chloe Sevigny, she’s emphatically got the goods to distance herself from any hipster connotatons. Her one and only release so far, ‘Self Taught Learner’ is a Molotov cocktail of short, sharp hits of pop perfection and blue-eyed soul that included an amazing rendition of Hot Chip’s ‘Ready For The Floor’. And live, she and her band rock out, oozing equal parts pure attitude and pop hooks, which helped them slay the crowds at the recent SXSW showcase in Texas.

Prior to her first big gig in London, she sat down with Dazed Digital at The Hoxton Bar. Though she may appear the paragon of Downtown cool, in the flesh she’s endearingly  awkward, her husky voice made deeper by the cigarettes she smokes.  Check the video film by Cameron Smith where she performs, ‘Self Taught Learner’ exclusively for Dazed Digital.

Dazed Digital: You’ve just come from SXSW. How was it for you?
Lissy Trullie: INTENSE! It was like carnival or something! Tons of people crowding the street, drunk and crazy. The best times we had was when we were playing for sure.
The best story from SXSW? Well me and my drummer went to see the Black Lips and GZA got on stage with the Black Lips! Though it was kinda weird show…

DD: You’ve already been compared to some pretty iconic women for someone just starting out. What do you make of it?
Lissy Trullie: The Nico reference is a fairly obvious comparison just because we both have deep voices. I get Chrissie Hynde also but I don’t think I really sing like her. I think if you’re a new artist, everybody tries to draw a comparison but I don’t give a fuck.

DD: How do you find mixing modelling with making music? Do you find you have to prove yourself harder?
Lissy Trullie: I’m not really a model.  I did that when I was younger at school. Me and Donald (Cumming from The Virgins) were in a similar situation where we thought we could make some quick cash but I haven’t done that in many years except for friends. For people who don’t know me and only know me from my modelling, it’s definitely been a struggle, trying to prove I’m a worthy musician. I think I’ve always had that mentality of “fuck it, I don’t care.” And I didn’t even think it’d be some sort of issue till I realized how people wanna know about the fashion part. They’re so unrelated.

DD: Your sound is tough and could only have come from New York. What do you find inspiring about living there?
Lissy Trullie: I didn’t realize how much New York influenced me till I left for a long period of time.  There’s a definite grit to New York that’s always going to be there, it’s inevitable. You get a tougher skin and you get a little bit jaded too. I think it has some influence on what I do but I really try to not let it get into my head. But there’s also so much great shit about New York.  You’re surrounded by so many great people. Everything’s at your fingertips.
For me and my friends, we’re all been working for a bit now, things are working out so it’s super exciting. Especially things that take you out of the city are super exciting. I love touring! We’ve played Canada and this is our first time in London.  Paris, I really liked playing in. I’d love to go to Japan, South America and Scandinavia.

DD: People have preconceived notions of what Lissy Trullie is like, just from the way you dress and look on stage. What might people be surprised to know about you?
Lissy Trullie: I think a lot of people assume that I just decided I wanted to play music. I’ve actually been playing music since I was a kid. It’s always been an obsession of mine. I played in numerous bands before this, playing lead guitar but I was terrified of singing. It’s only in the last couple of years that I got enough encouragement to do so.

DD: And what was the first instrument you played?
Lissy Trullie: The xylophone!

DD: Did the music you were listening to as a kid filter into what you do now?
Lissy Trullie: A lot! I was really lucky, my father was a record collector and he’d been collecting since he was an early teen so I became completely obsessed with his collection. He was like an encyclopaedia! And he really sparked and encouraged my obsession.

DD: What’s the album sounding like?
Lissy Trullie: It’s a hip hop album! (laughs) I really love hip hop. I love Biggy and I got to see Ol Dirty Bastard before he died which was a huge treat. I try not to listen to rock music when I’m writing. I’ve actually been listening to a lot of hip hop and getting inspired by the rhythms and drums, the beats and the bassline. But generally I think it’s gonna sound like our EP but now we have access to lots of other things we can use.

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