Q: Where do you go when you want to be inspired?
A: It's hard because I feel like I’m really inspired by winter, it's just the quietest environment. I'm inspired by where I grew up and I really wanna go back there but, I don’t really have time. Usually I have to try to find inspiration where I live.
Q: Your album is being released on the 26th of September, what can we expect?
A: Well I dunno, I can’t really describe it. I think I just evolved in one way or another, yeah I don’t even know! You’ll have to see it. It's just that this new record is a lot more intricate and open, and intimate.
Q: How important is the visual element of your work?
A: The visual aspect is really important to me, as it’s a way to control how people associate with the music. I want people to have their own distinct image and to develop their own relationship with the music [but], this is my interpretation; how I see it, how I feel it, what it looks like.
Jacqueline Castel does all of my music videos. I basically write her a journal just telling her how I’m feeling and she sends it [her visual interpretation] back. She’s really intuitive so I'm a lot more collaborative with her. Yeah but everything else... I make my own design and code my own website, make my own t-shirts! [Laughs.] I’m really into that whole aspect. I do everything myself [smiles.]
Q: Do you get nervous before you perform?
A: Oh yes absolutely! And you can see it on stage! I do whatever makes me feel comfortable and I just need to move around. I have a really hard time standing still. I just feel this surge inside of me and walking or pacing helps it get out.
It’s like I’m a caged animal, and that’s what I feel like when I’m on stage. I have the opportunity to do something that, for me, represents everything that I believe in...I take the music really seriously in different ways.
Q: What are you most looking forward to between now and the end of the year?
A: Well we're touring so I’ll be looking forward to that, but I’m also looking forward to not touring. I feel so over work...which I like! I mean working is nice, but I really love being at home in Los Angeles.
You can find out more about Zola Jesus by visiting www.zolajesus.com
Conducted by Kate Mahony, photography by Angel Ceballos.