The Glass Child sounds like something hidden between the pages of a fairy tale…a story of a fragile youth fearing the world. In some ways it’s the truth. Charlotte Eriksson is tucked away in the depths of London riddled with insecurities, with her music and ingenuity helping and guiding her towards a stable world. The Glass Child is also the name of her EP; a handful of songs that show many sides of one girl’s story.
Right off the bat “Play Pretend” takes you by surprise. You expect a soft sung song about a playful back and forth between lovers, not the case. Rebellious lyrics backed by a fit of passion is much different the gypsy ways of “Creepy Little Story.” For anyone who’s seen Wristcutters: A Love Story, they’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that “Creepy Little Story” would’ve fit in oh too well on that soundtrack amidst Gogol Bordello. From that gypsy rock to the soft coffee shop ways of “I’ll Never Tell” that Angel Taylor fans will enjoy, Charlotte Eriksson has a little something for everyone on The Glass Child.
Giving an array in just an EP isn’t all Charlotte’s about, keep on reading to see what she had to say about constructing homes with music, naysayers and having her own label.
Kendra: How did you come into starting your own label at such a young age?
Charlotte: I started Broken Glass Records to be able to do this exactly the way that I want to. In my way, without people who “know the business” telling me what’s good enough and what’s not, how to be and what to do. This way I don’t have to compromise my music, or myself, and I have full control over everything that’s happening.
Kendra: Do you represent other artists?
Charlotte: Not now, I’m spending all my time and heart trying to get my own music out. And since I’m doing this all on my own, everything is a learning experience for me. I kind of have to “figure” out the whole business-part of it while doing it, which sounds really boring, but it’s actually really fun! Like, I think it’s amazing when you start to realize what really connects with people and what not. I’m kind of obsessed with Twitter and Tumblr and all those things, and it’s amazing to see how you can actually connect and reach out to people on the other side of the world. In a couple of years I want to have other bands on my label too though. No specific genre, just music that gives me that “forgetting-about-the-world- moment.”
Kendra: Can you tell me a little bit more about your EP, The Glass Child, like the writing and recording aspects and everything in between?
Charlotte: Yes, I’m so happy that this EP is finally out there! It was harder than I ever thought it would be to do all that on my own, but now that I have I’m really glad I did because I learned so much from it. I’m writing all the time and I have so many songs, so it was quite hard to decide just five songs that would be the first thing people would here. You know, it’s like, you only get one chance, both in the music industry and in real life. People are not patient, and you rarely get a second chance. So I felt like I had to show my whole personality and my whole world in just five songs. But at the end of the day, these five songs were the obvious choices and I really feel that this was everything I wanted to tell people. I recorded everything myself, with help from my friends and my live-band, and I also mixed and produced everything myself, with some tips and help from friends. All the acoustic guitar and all the vocals were actually recorded in my small little bedroom. I could have left the songs to a producer or anyone else, but I’m really scared of letting other people “touch” my music before it’s finished. It’s my whole life and it’s really creepy to let someone else be a part of that, you know.
The hardest part, and the part that made me doubt this and myself both too many times, was the fact that I learned that everyone is gonna have opinions about everything. Not only the music, but who you are, how you appear and how they want you to be. I’ve always been really scared of being misunderstood through my music, and I realized really fast that, if you don’t make the decision to never compromise yourself, and to do the music that YOU want and the music that YOU love, and that IS you, then everyone’s gonna try to change you into their ideals, and then you will lose yourself before you even had a chance to show them you really are. I guess that’s why I want to do this on my own, on my own label, because I’m scared of all these people who wants to turn me into something I’m not.
Kendra: Well put…Now a song that stuck out to me was “Creepy Little Story,” can you let us in on the origin of this one?
Charlotte: “Creepy Little Story” was one of those songs that just “happened”. I was in that mood and I just started to strum the guitar and the words just kind of came. I had been thinking about this girl Sophie for a while, and it’s actually about a story my grandfather used to read to me when I was younger. It was about this little dancer, who kind of lived in her own world because she couldn’t figure out the real world, and my grand-dad always said that the little girl was exactly like me. I didn’t understand it then, ‘cause I wasn’t anything like her, but the more I grew up the more I turned into this girl. It was really creepy how my grandfather knew who I was, and who I was gonna become, before I even knew it myself.
Kendra: You’ve mentioned you’ve had trouble accepting yourself, was music the one thing that brought you closer to acceptance?
Charlotte: Absolutely, yes. I mean, I’m still learning how to deal with and accept who I am and my limitations, but music helps me to deal with those thoughts, and at the same time I’m kind of trying to prove to “the people back home” that I’m not useless. A lot of my friends and family just laughed at me when I said that I wanted to move to London to live the life I want to live and play music. I’ve always had ridiculously huge dreams, and they just kind of laughed at how naive I was. They’re still asking from time to time when I’m gonna come home and get a job and get my life together. I think that some people can’t really understand what it’s like to love something so much that you actually can’t imagine yourself doing anything else.
Kendra: Not a lot of women in music we constantly hear have your tone, or rather, demeanor. You definitely have a bit of angst in your passion. Is that in the back of your mind when writing, to kind of stray from the norm?
Charlotte: I love when people say that, ‘cause I’ve never ever thought of my music as something very different, but I love when people think so. When I write, I write as if no one will ever hear it. That’s the only way for me to be 100% honest and to not censor thoughts or words. And I guess maybe that’s why it turns out to be a bit different from other female songwriters. I think that there are so many bands and artists today that are just trying to write that “hit-song,” and they kind of forget why they write and listen to music in the first place.
Kendra: Let’s continue to avoid the norm and play pretend really quickly. If you could marry your celeb crush right now, who would it be?
Charlotte: Hanson, all three of them…
Kendra: Nice choice, I mean choices! Now getting away from pretend and looking to reality, when you finally hit the US, where are the places you yearn to play?
Charlotte: Yes! I can’t wait to get to the US! I’ve never been there so I’m not that familiar with any places and venues, but I just want to throw my guitar in a crappy van, bring my band and drive from town to town and play and meet new people every night.
Kendra: You’ve not only got a stand out sound but list of influences. While most people list countless artists, you don’t, why is that?
Charlotte: Well, I’m not really getting influenced by sounds or genres from other bands. When I write, I never ever think of what “kind” of song it’s gonna be, what genre or what sound. It just happens naturally from the things I feel and the emotions I’m trying to express. Like on my EP, it starts with kind of aggressive pop-punk on “Play Pretend,” because that was how I felt when I wrote that song. Those were the sounds and noises I needed to have to express myself. And then there’s “I’ll Never Tell,” which is almost completely acoustic, because that’s what came naturally when I wrote that one. It doesn’t mean that I don’t listen to music or get inspired by it though. I love finding new bands, going to live-shows and I listen to everything from acoustic music to hardcore punk-rock and even hip hop, but I take more influences from how they use words and melodies to tell their story, and how they structure their songs etc. I also get a lot of inspiration from other art, like photography, books, poetry, dance and choreographies.
Kendra: You however do note 90’s pop, which is my ultimate love. So were our US groups the big ones over in your neck o the woods, or did you have your own Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears?
Charlotte: Haha, yes, I love all those bands! When I moved from Sweden to London a couple of months ago, I found myself really lost and rootless, and I started to listen to all this music I listened to while growing up, and I kind of felt more like home with it. I was obsessed with Hanson, Aaron Carter and all those bands.
Kendra: Last but not least it’s time for you to make me a mixtape. You build your house with music, so if you could, please construct me a mixtape with 5 songs you think could do the job…
“Insomnia”- Electric President
“Round Here” (acoustic live-version) – Counting Crows
“I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say” – The Subways
‘Manhole” – Ani Difranco
“The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” – Brand New
I could seriously live in that house.