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Life & Work with Romy Hoffman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Romy Hoffman.

Romy, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve been making music since I was 14. I come from a punk rock world and mentality. Everything I’ve made has always had an immediate, urgent, DIY, coarseness to it. I got to tour in a band when I was 15, which made things more 3-Dimensional and opened my eyes to the world of performance. Performance is an extension of self. I love it. It’s an outlet that I need in order to feel calibrated. I’ve always made records that are a product of me existing in my current environment in response to what’s happening in the world on a cultural and political level. In that sense, my work is situationist and therefore more contextual than conceptual. Also, I do believe that I’m simply delivering a message from some higher, bigger force. Music is almost a supernatural entity for me. I have friends who are psychics and mediums and healers and work in that realm, and my relationship to music is equivalent to that. I’m tapping into a sonic specter space and am simply translating that information in the form of music, sound or song. That’s what it feels like.

But, back to my story! I’ve had the chance to release records on some of my favourite labels, such as Kill Rock Stars and 100% Silk, and have got to play shows and tour with some of my favourite bands. These days I primarily make dark, electronic industrial pop with techno tinges (under my name Romy) and post-punk music (with my band Agender). I also sometimes make multi-layered guitar compositions under the name Duke Misérables. And I’m an illustrator! I draw daily- these silly, funny, wordplay, philosophical, poetic musings. They keep me entertained. Oh, and I DJ too. I’ve been running queer dance parties since 2008! I moved to LA in 2014. Prior to that, I was living in Melbourne, Australia. I ran the biggest queer party there, called Grouse Party. Since moving to L.A, I have been running a monthly party called HOMOCCULT and in 2017, I started a quarterly party with some fellows, called LEZ CROIX. It’s very important to me to create, and keep alive, safe queer spaces. Our parties are wild and wonderful and I miss the club so much!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Is anything ever a smooth road? It definitely hasn’t been super smooth. Music has been both my poison and my medicine. It’s helped me work through some of my inherent emotional obscurities. If I’m going through a struggle, my art will reflect that. In my 20’s, I definitely chased and milked the live fast die young jingle of rock & roll, which became somewhat problematic, for sure. But eventually I calmed down. I’ve also seen the industry change dramatically. I remember what things were like before the internet and streaming. Not to say that those things are necessarily bad because they do democratize things to an extent, but I remember when people didn’t just assume music should be free. I remember when it wasn’t just publishing that you could make money off of as a musician. So, yeah, it can be a struggle trying to solely make a living off of music. Obviously, I haven’t been able to run club nights in the age of Covid. But you adapt. I’m hoping that there will be a new renaissance when things resume to some kind of normalcy. That people will be extra hungry to go out and see music and attend parties and that there’ll be interesting new venues popping up. Honestly, with a punk rock mentality, you know that things come and go and that you can create something from nothing. So out of the struggle/sphinx comes the phoenix.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’d say I’m a modern renaissance woman?! A multi-disciplinary artist. I make art out of the everyday. I’m proud that I’m at a place where I can just make art and not be attached to an outcome or a result. I don’t think I’m bound to any one genre, which feels liberating. I just make what feels immediate and necessary. And I make things because if I didn’t, I’d go mad. Music, writing, drawing, ideas- they are my everything. They’re truly all I need. Oh, and tea. Which is another art form of mine. Hmmm, what sets me apart from others? Probably my acid brain. The way I think. My sensitivity. My harsh dichotomies. My art is satirical, political, existential. It’s how I make meaning out of the absurdity. It’s the needle. The world is the thread. My art is really an interpolated interplay between the beautiful and the brutal and the banal.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?,

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Rick Castro Brica Wilcox Chris Mastro Romy Hoffman

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