Introducing Persona

Raquel Vogl and Claire Williams (aka Myrtle) - Persona

Sheffield duo Persona will be joining us on 22nd October to share the brand new live session that we recorded at Theatre Deli earlier in the month (socially distanced and all that!). I spoke to guitarist Raquel Vogl to find out more about their background and influences.

Tell us about how Persona got started – have you been playing together long?

Claire and I been playing together for a few years. Persona is a quieter offshoot of our other band People Here that we started a year or two ago. I love Persona because I think of it as a freer space for us to explore music and words and generally just make weird little songs that comment on some subject that has been grinding at my brain.

For me Persona is very much a project of words and music. A lot of what influences me both lyrically and sonically is language-based, so in that spirit, here is a short story I had published way back at the start of lockdown.

We know it’s a weird time to be making and playing music right now but what do the next few months look like for Persona?

Right now we are mainly focused on getting this recording mixed and writing new material. We’re hoping to put out a 7” on the wonderful Sheffield-based label Sonido Polifonico sometime soon. 

What are your go-to sources for discovering new music?

I discover new music mainly through word of mouth and random Youtube binges. My friend Ethan (who put out records by one of my previous bands in Washington DC, Meltdown) recently introduced me to David Wojnarowicz’s record ITSOFOMO (which Ethan’s label Jabs also put out).

 

Wojnarowicz was an artist/writer and AIDS activist from New York. The record is a mix of spoken word, sounds, trumpets, percussion where Wojnarowicz in part documents the horrendous way the American government and society handled the AIDS epidemic. It has a special resonance now with the current pandemic raging and how badly the US (and UK) government have dealt with this one. A difficult but powerful and artful record to listen to on a long walk.

Also Beyonce’s Lemonade for general inspiration and pleasure. You have to watch the videos for full enjoyment.

Which artist do you consider to be an underappreciated genius?

Annette Peacock! She’s inspired me for years. Her voice and songs, particularly on X-Dreams, especially the first two tracks: My Mama Never Taught Me How to Cook and Real and Defined Androgens.

Are there any other bits of arts and culture that have made a big impact on you lately?

I recommend two books that have helped me understand this crazy moment we’re living in.

Elisa Gabbert’s The Unreality of Memory, a book of essays dealing with disaster, the nature of fear, climate change, zoonotic pandemics among other topics. Eerily prescient and an oddly comforting read when the world feels like it’s about to tumble off into the abyss.

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric an artful and revealing book of poems about the experience of racism in America.

 

Raquel Vogl from Persona joins us on our first live stream show on Thursday 22nd October, along with Chlöe Herington from VÄLVĒ. We’ll be premiering the exclusive live session they recorded with us along with live chat and opportunity to ask your burning questions!

Tickets range from FREE (for low / no waged) to £10 (50% of these tickets to be donated to the Music Venue Trust‘s #saveourvenues campaign) but you will need to register for a ticket at budsspawn.nutickets.com in order to receive the live stream URL.