Zola Jesus on recording in wilderness and reheating musical leftovers

I was warned that Nika Roza Danilova may have an icy demeanor, but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Danilova does take her work very serious, but is a very pleasant interview.

I spoke to her recently, and you can read my story here. Here are three “extras” that didn’t make the story. Catch Zola Jesus Oct. 8 at Bimbo’s 365 Club.

Zola Jesus

On writing Taiga while living on Vashon Island in Washington State:

It’s like Wisconsin in that it’s a very natural world and everything is so epic and majestic there. Definitely with this record I felt a sense of home. I felt the sense of going back to my roots and trying to feel free; trying to feel liberated. I was strained by society and culture, and expectation. To break through, I had to call upon my home.

Tell me about the genesis of “Dangerous Days,” a song that didn’t make your last album as a the first single on this one.

I wrote Dangerous Days a couple of years ago … when I was living in Los Angeles. It never lived past the demo because I didn’t know what to do with it; it wasn’t ready. But it was always in my back pocket. When I was working on this album, I was excited to take some of those songs from my back pocket that I had saved and see if I could fit them in the context of this new record.  They were always right there and I felt like I just needed to adjust them. (With) Dangerous Days, especially was especially because I felt like I had the direction for it that I needed all along.

Why did you switch record labels, to Mute from Sacred Bones?

I just wanted a change. I’d been on Sacred Bones my whole musical life and they are my family and my best friends. But I wanted to try something a little different. Mute I trusted, and I loved their legacy.

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