Ebony Bones is a former British soap star who ditched acting to write, produce, perform and embody tribal punk fierceness straight out of nineteen-eighty something. On stage, she assaults her audiences with a raucous mash-up of old school hip-hop references, full-throttle punk vocals, Dance Hall hysteria, ‘cartoon couture’ style and lots and lots of drumming.
Though she’s tight-lipped on the details of her forthcoming debut album, she’s reportedly been working with mash-up king Richard X, Timbaland and The Damned’s ex-drummer, Rat Scabies. Last month, she tore through Toronto and Brooklyn with a backing band the size of a small African village, and next month she’ll return to New York to perform at the CMJ Music Marathon.
During her stop in Toronto, she told us she was a big fan of omgblog.com, so we simply had to find out more. Check out a Q&A with Ebony after the jump and tune in tomorrow for her pick in the first edition of omgblog.com’s “Movie Memories” series.
Can you tell me a bit about your transition from actor to musician?
I’ve been performing since the womb – but I only got good at it a couple years ago. I was feeling creatively repressed and yearned to express myself through words and sounds that genuinely excited me. I got bored with the rat race and so decided to abandon it in exchange for a life of writing and producing my own tracks and dancing on stage like a five year old to them.
How did you meet Rat Scabies?
It was all quite random. We were just two strangers debating in a West London pub about the Holy Grail, y’know that ol’ chesnut. He heard a demo I’d made in my bedroom called ‘No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs’ and got excited, so we recorded some stuff together, including a track called ‘I’m Ur Future X Wife’. He’s an amazing individual.
How is the recording of your album coming along?
I’m so excited about the album, I’ve been recording with some amazing producers in the States and hopefully it will be ready for a U.S. release early next year (if not sooner). But I’m most excited about the tracks I’ve produced and written myself, like ‘We Know All About U’.
You’ve described your music as born of “frustration” and representative of London’s cultural melting pot. Can you elaborate?
I think people are often scarred to step out of the circumferences of what they’ve been expected to be in life. But I know in my heart it doesn’t serve the world to play small. The UK has always been a magnet and melting pot for all things eccentric, and with all its diversity I guess I just wanted to convey what my world sounded like. At least to me.
The Jay-Z/Oasis Glastonbury controversy has highlighted classist and racial attitudes in the British music industry. What, if anything, do you think people have learned from the controversy?
There is this great Japanese proverb, ‘Only death will cure a fool’ (it might be Jamaican actually). I feel really sorry for people who have such a limited perspective of the world. Those Oasis/Glastonbury comments were just embarrassing. Every true music lover knows that music is truly the only thing that can gravitate all kinds of people into the same room. Jay-Z proved that when he stepped up on that Glastonbury stage.
Who are your contemporary musical heroes?
They keep dying. I’m hoping I can be my own.
What kind of fashions can people expect at your shows?
I’m not really into fashion, most of my clothes cost less than a Happy Meal.
Why did you start designing your own outfits?
I guess from producing and making my own tracks, to making my own clothes, I kinda took that old punk ethic of do it yourself. Why wait for others? Be your own hero.
Peep the video for her song, ‘Don’t Fart On My Heart’ here.