December 14, 2011

Lauren Flax and Lauren Dillard of Brooklyn-based witch house duo, Creep, met on Friendster years ago, with no intention of making a career out of music, but rather to collaborate and write stuff they wanted to listen to. What started as literal house music (songs recorded in their bedrooms) soon commanded crowds flocking to small dive-bar shows, and will next result in their debut album, tentatively set for release this spring. With an abiding love for leather jackets, beat-up Docs, and all things Berlin, meet the Laurens, music’s dark-and-raspy demi-goddesses.

BULLETT: I’ve heard mention that Creep will have a proper debut soon. When’s the release?

LAUREN FLAX: Hopefully by March, fingers crossed.

What’s it going to take to get it finished by then?

LF: We just need to find somebody to mix our record. We have somebody in mind, but we can’t jinx it by saying who. It’s basically a matter of waiting for the vocals to come in. There are songs with Sia and Miike Snow, and Andrew Wyatt is going to do two songs. Tricky is doing something, too.
What are your thoughts on possibly collaborating with Lana Del Rey? Do you know her? 

LAUREN DILLARD: I’ve heard that one song. She’s been signed to that label….she just got signed, right?

LF: But she’s been signed, I thought, to them for a long time. Our friend Mark played it while we were holed up in the Hamptons. Is she British?

No, she’s from Florida.

LD: Really? [Laughter.] It sounds like she has a British accent, especially in that song, “Video Games,“ because she says, “wiff” instead of “with.”

LF: That’s just because she’s gangster. Planningtorock thinks that her mouth is fake.

What music are you guys into at the moment?

LD: Most of the stuff I listen to is just stuff from the ’90s, a lot of the trip-hop stuff.

LF: I’ve been listening to stuff like Kruder and Dorfmeister and Portishead. We’ve especially been into German songwriter Anika. Her record is really good. What else do we listen to?

LDClams Casino is some good shit.

And what most inspires your current work?

LD: We’re blessed to have some really cool friends who are amazingly inspiring. They work hard, they’re creative, and they’re always trying to push the envelope, and that keeps us striving—otherwise we’d get lazy—so it’s nice to be around so many creatives, because it’ll make us work harder. When we were in Berlin all summer, it was just… the creative energy is just flowing there. A lot of Brooklyn bands take trips to Berlin in the summer.

It seems like you’re part of a supportive community of musicians—you’d mentioned Grimes before the interview. 

LF: Yeah, we’re all supporting each other, which is cool because women are now behind the decks and behind the machinery, and doing all the production. And that’s just fuckin’ awesome! It’s an exciting time for music right now, and it’s nice to be a part of it.

It felt like there’d been a creative lull among female musicians for a while—at least those who were getting recognition from the media.

LF: Yeah, they became fabricated, created, invented, and reinvented. Warpaint was the first band that I was like, “Oh, I see each of their personalities!” They each have a different sound, and they’re all important—it’s like with Fleetwood Mac. You can’t take any of those people away and end up with Fleetwood Mac. That’s how I feel about Warpaint.

Where did you two meet?

BOTH: On Friendster.

LF: We had a bunch of mutual friends. But Lauren was in Boston, and I had just moved to New York from Detroit, so when she came up from Boston we met and hung out. It was just instant. We were friends for years and we didn’t even start writing together until 2009. ”Days” was the first song that we wrote together. I had just started to learn how to use [Apple's music engineering program] Logic, and I was writing stuff, but I didn’t know if it was good enough, so I’d pass everything along to Lauren: Can you use this one, or this one? Tell me if you think this is good or not. She was at my house at the time, and she was like, “Yeah, let’s draw from this bass line,” or, “Oh my God, let’s do this.” We ended up writing that song in one night.

LD: We’ve actually reused songs from back in the day. Our newest single is a reworked song that Lauren wrote years ago.

Is there anyone specific that you’d like to collaborate with?

LF: I’m always saying Beth Gibbons [of Portishead], and Elizabeth Fraser [of Cocteau Twins], but also Sinead O’Connor and PJ Harvey.

What’s next for the band?

LD: We’re looking to go more orchestral. We have one cellist who is a member of the band, for sure, but eventually we’re going to build it up with more strings. We’re taking time to rehearse so that by next year we can play an epic show in New York.

Photography by Matin Zad

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