Erika Spring, a member of the Brooklyn pop trio Au Revoir Simone just released a single from her first solo record, which can be purchased here. We met at her Greenpoint apartment to chat about and document her style, influences, where she’s been and where she’s going.
Bek Andersen: After being on tour for most of the last five years, how do you feel about living and working in New York?
Erika Spring: I am so in love with my friends here; they are unpredictable. I feel very lucky to be living in a village. There’s always a friend to bike with to the after-party or to council me on anything from drum machines to spray glue to raw foods, bad TV, perfume, crock-pots and daytrips!
Bek: Your apartment is lovely. You have a few very precious pieces of art and vintage records peppered around the house. Where did the David Bowie collage come from?
Erika: That is from eBay. I have spent equal time looking on eBay for vintage keyboards as I have looking for posters of David Bowie. In both cases I have to ask myself: “How much is too much?” But you can’t put a price on happiness, right?
Bek: I love the photograph of the couple passed out in Central Park. Who took the picture and how did you acquire it?
Erika: That was a gift from my mom. Her photographer friend Jerry Downs took it in 1976. They look like total hipsters but you can tell it’s old because of the packaging design on the pack of Marlboros.
Bek: Also, the Debbie Harry seven-inch that you have on your wall stands out. Is she a style icon for you? Does her look have anything to do with stylistic changes you have made over the last year, like going platinum blonde?
Erika: Yes, I love Debbie Harry. Her look and essence are extremely cool. And she probably helps motivate every girl who decides to experiment with bleach… I actually saw her recently in the audience at a show at PS1. She was with a friend and they brought their own beach chairs and sat in the back of the gallery. My other favorite blonde is Olivia Newton-John. She had an impressive array of hairstyles through the years.
Bek: You have such a feminine and timeless sense of style. Where do you like to shop?
Erika: I am a collector so I’m always picking things up here and there. Last year a friend took me to a wonderful second-hand shop in Copenhagen that sells clothes by the kilo. I grabbed an armful of silk—men’s short sleeved shirts in solids, faded washes and geometric prints, and silk négligés—so my pile weighed practically nothing. I got so much good use out of it all, tying the tops off to crop them or wearing them as jackets. This summer I got a beautiful long silk skirt from Madewell. I love the flow, the easiness of wearing all silk, plus the forbidden quality like, ‘Oh, I should really save that for a special day, sometime that I wont be in danger of ruining it,’ which never happens.
Bek: I know that you like to really chill out and also like to party. How to do you maintain a balance?
Erika: I started meditating regularly and practicing Reiki in February. Those two things really require me to stay connected as much as possible.
Bek: When did you decide to make a solo record?
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Erika: Au Revoir Simone was on an “Annie’s pregnancy/Heather’s school” hiatus and I had been working on some new songs. I wanted to do something with producer Jorge Elbrecht of the band Violens for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. I really enjoy working with him. He is amazing at translating my song ideas, helping create an environment for them and bringing them into the outer world.
Bek: What’s next for you?
Erika: I had a lot of fun with this project and learned so much. I’m hoping to keep recording solo, and I’m also excited to bring my new sensibility to the next Au Revoir Simone album.
Bek: Are you going to tour this record?
Erika: Yes! I’m playing shows with my rad new band that includes Jorge on drums and Will Berman on bass.
Bek: When do we get to see you play?
Erika: It’s all very spontaneous right now but there will definitely be some shows in the coming months.