Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Blixie Perestroika

Photo courtesy of Blixie Perestroika Instagram page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Blixie Perestroika dons creative hats galore as a director, songwriter, artist and singer, but that’s the only way she knows; to go all in with her work and be seen and heard, regardless if it connects with people or not; to do it to just do it.

Her debut album ‘Ambition Is Low’ adopted this mantra and dropped last year to widespread acclaim across many outlets, whom praised her and the band for its complexity, a culmination of several years of hard work.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Prestroika about what challenges she faced while she put ‘Ambition Is Low’ together, what she hopes would happen less in the music industry and much more, which you can check out below.

Music Bugle – Which song from the ‘Ambition Is Low” were you most excited for people to hear?

Blixie Perestroika – Probably “Better Kingdom.” It is everything distilled into one song.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?

Blixie Perestroika – Outside, to do intense and repetitive manual labour like building or gardening! Building stone walls when I get a chance is very meditative.

Music Bugle – Following ‘Ambition is Low,’ what do you see as the next step for your career?

Blixie Perestroika – I’m not sure any of us see a next step in career terms. We just really want to make more music and get the ideas out.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Blixie Perestroika – Jack and Morgan would have their own lists, but mine would be… Perfume Genius, Simple Minds, Paul Barker’s Flowering Blight, Amyl and the Sniffers – and thus, the Sleaford Mods – and exploring the entire back catalogue of Indochine. Also, there’s always room for Noel Coward.

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?

Blixie Perestroika – From Primo Levi, “…the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know… how important it is in life… to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head…”

Music Bugle – What were some challenges you faced while putting ‘Ambition Is Low’ together?

Blixie Perestroika – Cutting down the amount of songs we recorded and choosing what should go on the album. I think we have some less confronting songs, but they didn’t belong in the world of ‘Ambition is Low.’ We were trying to stay within the constraints of a particular vision, sonically and thematically… it’s quite raw. I really wanted to expunge a lot of the darker elements so we could be free on the next album, see where it takes us. 

Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?

Blixie Perestroika – Ha, interesting question because I’m a bit wary of the idea of pride and my childhood was sort of displaced. I was born in London, but spent a lot of my childhood in Scotland and then Australia. I’m grateful to have lived in places steeped in cultures of art, literature, theatre and invention – and especially in Australia, a culture that is underpinned by an idea of egalitarianism and kindness.

Music Bugle – What’s something that you wish happened less in today’s music industry?

Blixie Perestroika – This is to wish impossible things, but there’s a lot of serving up schlock to funnel “consumers” into buying into a brand. Everything is monetized, everything is potential merch. Music doesn’t move the culture or particularly even respond to it now, which is fine – every movement and medium comes and goes. There are still plenty of artists creating meaningful, incredible music, but they’re getting harder to find. It’s demoralizing to accept that it’s not film/music that drives culture now, it’s tech. The industry’s capitulation to it, I think, fuels this desperation to elevate and cash in on performers with the broadest possible appeal, trawlers capable of sucking in the lowest common denominator. I know that’s happened forever, but it feels disingenuous now because mediocre performers are unilaterally feted with really extreme and uncritical veneration. It’s like we’re caught up in a real world version of the “Emperor’s New Clothes,” or else I just am totally outside of society, which is also a distinct possibility! I “wish” that there was just a bit more honesty. It’s totally fine to be a performer who plays to that audience – there’s a real need for it – but let’s not pretend they’re somehow equivalent to The Beatles. Let’s not have it go totally unchallenged or we’re debasing and dementing our own reality.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?

Blixie Perestroika – I’m not exactly sure what our style of music is, but maybe the hope that someone somewhere out there might connect with it? Misanthropes of the world unite.

Music Bugle – How would you sum up things lately?

Blixie Perestroika – Constant watching…and as the year progresses, a bit of a sense of relief. It’s been a year of cautiously watching the state of politics and evolution of the war; now, life is a bit more normal post-pandemic. I feel inertia waning a bit and hope sparking for the first time in years. Feel like we’re in the middle of massive change and I’m just trying to keep my eyes open.


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