Jul 2013 12

Touching on the progression of Ayria’s sound and life on the road, Jennifer Parkin reveals who would win in a death match between her and Caustic.

An InterView with Jennifer Parkin of Ayria

By Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)

Toronto based synthpop project Ayria celebrates its 10 year birthday this year, beginning in 2003 with the release of Debris. Since then, Ayria has performed all over the world with a variety of artists and has released four full-length albums to date. The newest album, Plastic Makes Perfect,, was released at the start of Ayria’s North American tour with Project Pitchfork. Jennifer Parkin sat down with ReGen Magazine in Atlanta to discuss the album, the tour, and the progression of Ayria.


How’s the tour been treating you?

Parkin: It’s going really well. It’s kind of like a déjà vu tour because we toured with Project Pitchfork in 2010, but we thought we’d combine again and go on the road. And we’re noticing the crowds are bigger! It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also very tiring. This is our second stretch of a bunch of shows in a row. We’ve only had about one day off so far, and that’s because we had to drive about nine hours; very tiring, but every time we play the shows, it’s great, and the crowds have been amazing to us.

This is one of your longer spanning tours in some time.

Parkin: Yeah! I haven’t done a tour this long since the 2010 one. I’ve done a couple other short tours and one-off gigs, but it’s been a couple years since I’ve done this type of tour. But then again, I’ve also done the three month tours with the Crüxshadows, so I’m seasoned. I can be gone for a while.

Do you prefer the longer runs or the short bursts?

Parkin: I like the one month. It’s a perfect amount to hit the U.S. The three month was amazing, but that’s a long time to be away from your home. And this one’s tightly packed so you don’t have a whole lot of days off, but you hit all the major cities and you’re done.

Plastic Makes Perfect was announced for release two years ago and just released last month. What caused the delay?

Parkin: I write all the music and I also work with a lot of different people for production like (Sebastian) Komor and Amelia Arsenic (Angelspit). So it was kind of difficult when I wanted to start production – I think Seb was doing something with Icon of Coil and touring. So it’s really hard having someone external that you’re working with; we had to get the timing right. When we did, though, it all came together. And then I had to wait on the art, so there were a lot of different delays. I wish it came out one year ago, but it’s never the perfect time. I think right now, I’m getting good feedback and response.

How does this separate from your previous work?

Parkin: Oh man… this album I approached a lot differently. I was really stressed out having to follow up something like Hearts for Bullets, which I thought was a really strong release. You have that chance where everyone can go, ‘That’s it. That’s the peak, and I can’t imagine she’d do anything as good as that.’ So I had that pressure on me. I approached songwriting a little differently. I wanted to develop myself as a songwriter. I find the programming on this CD has more density. Hearts for Bullets was very simple and in-your-face but really strong songs, whereas this tries more instrumental solos and layering and bridges. In Hearts for Bullets, I love the approach in a song like ‘Analog Trash,’ but it was my first time doing something like that and I wanted to take things a little bit further. That song’s a little repetitive, so let’s try bridges and developing the songwriting more. That’s what I focused on here.

Are you trying to break away from the pop feel, or are you still embracing it?

Parkin: No! I embrace it all. I love that people ask, ‘What kind of music is Ayria?’ and nobody knows how to really describe it. ‘Well, she’s in industrial, she’s got some industrial songs, some EDM, some electro-pop…’ It would bore me to death to be a one genre band, repeating the same style over and over. I want to challenge myself. If there’s a genre I like or elements I like, I’m going to go for it.

What are you looking forward to on the remainder of the tour?

Parkin: Well, tonight‘s going to be great. I realize that I’ve played here six times with different bands and Dragon*Con here, so it’s great to be here. My female keyboardist is from here; it’s her hometown. As for the rest of the tour, I love Texas. I hope to get some good Mexican food (Laughs) but I’m also looking forward to the crowd. They’re great there. I really look forward to the whole rest of it. The West Coast is always really strong for us too. When I started out, I spent a lot of time touring there.

You’ve been thrown into a death match with fellow artist Caustic. What is your weapon of choice and how do you defeat him?

Parkin: Oh, we already went through this. I did defeat him: I used my glitter bombs, they got in his eyes, and he was pretty much rendered totally useless. I am the champion, and if he says otherwise, he’s lying.

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