Resin is the pseudonym of Prague-born Niko Antonucci, who fronts an L.A. based musical project making post-rock music you would expect to be entirely instrumental; the smart, avant-garde lyrics are thus a delightful surprise. (Listen to the song “Hoarse” from her EP Fidget, to be released August 25, for which Resin has written and produced every track.)
Resin started her musical journey on piano at the age of six, and then, after stealing her dad’s guitar as a teen, she cut a demo at 15 and sang in several bands before deciding to produce her own music.
Resin recently took the time to answer our questions about her background, her creative perspective, and the new EP.
What were your early years like?
Pretty good. My early years were my happy years?years I spent playing with my sister. I used to be close with my father; he and I were both born on June 7th, so we had a connection, but we pretty much stopped talking after my parents got divorced. I, my mom, and my sister have been through a lot, and even though I battled different types of anxiety, growing up in Prague was great, especially as a teenager; you could literally do anything you could think of, experiment as much as you wanted?total liberty. And That’s what I did—sometimes way too much.
What role did music play in your childhood?
Huge. I used to have this tiny little keyboard that I played all the time. When I was six I took some piano classes but got kicked out because I only wanted to play the theme from Titanic. I played flute and some guitar. I always loved piano and guitar, both so essential yet so different. I can barely play an instrument though. I never liked the idea of taking classes or spending too much time studying.
What or who in your musical training had the most?and best?influence on you, as a musician, a composer, and a human being?
I grew up camping, where we used to spend nights sitting around the bonfire, singing, playing guitars. Folky stuff. Deep, beautiful songs. That had a huge impact. And then Kurt. Kurt Cobain.
If you had to give your music a genre, what would you call it?
I always wanted to call it grunge but now I understand that it just doesn’t fit the genre, even though it might actually fit the description. I would say cinematic ambient or cinematic electronica? These days, labeling music with genres is as uncool as labeling people with genders, but I personally don’t mind.
What initially drew you to this genre?
I never meant to end up here, doing this type of music; I always looked for intensity though, and this is just a natural result of my influences having complete control of my music. I just let it through.
What was the most mesmerizing musical experience of your life (this could be writing, recording, listening, or performing)?
There was a bunch, but when I was 13 I heard “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana for the first time; that moment defined my personality. For the first time I felt like I could relate to the emotion of a song 100%. The pain I felt?he named it.
What’s the story behind the song “Lie?”
You know I rarely write my songs with guitar. I used to do that all the time but not anymore. This track is one of the rare ones that I actually started with my old acoustic guitar.
Sometimes I feel very overwhelmed and the original lyrics I hummed on the demo I recorded on my phone were about me. I hate that kind of exposed selfishness though, constantly talking in first person, openly crying, especially in songs. And then I started playing with the thought of replacing the word me with trees and I got this story, these very sarcastic lyrics that I really enjoyed.
Do you have any advice for adolescent girls that you wish had been given to you?
How about, “Stay true to what or who you believe in, even though it might not be you.”
What do you like best about Fidget?
Fidget represents the evolution of my sound. I started playing with music that is more cinematic, music where I escaped the pressure of me singing on every track. On Fidget I understood and accepted the complexity of my inspiration and started opening doors to a new sound That’s heavier, more experimental, yet intimate. I started to see myself more as a composer than as a singer or songwriter. For the first time in my life I’m okay with what I’ve created, considering that I stand behind every little thing on this record. And also Marilyn Monroe’s voice.
What conditions do you require in your life to go on creating?
I can’t be sleepy. And my music makes me sleepy, so it can get tough sometimes. It’s hard for me to create when my husband is home, because I just want to be with him. The more I struggle mentally, the easier it gets.
What do you feed your muse? Are there any books, films, or albums that have deeply influenced your development as an artist?
I listen to classical radio all the time, but, if not, then I listen to high-tech minimal: artists like Boris Brejcha and aggressive producers like Rezz or Gesaffelstein. Then I get mad at myself for listening to electronic music and I switch to folk and rock?n?roll.
The muse gets fed on struggle.
Are you happy with your life so far?
These days I am, but that only means that I’ll feel guilty about it tomorrow. I’m afraid how being happy is gonna affect my music. I need my family to be happy, not myself.
Do you feel any desire to straighten out the world a little with your music?
No, but to make it more vulnerable, yes.
If you had an artistic mission statement, what would it be?
I wrote a whole utopian theory on what should change. Narcissistically, that is the goal: bring the awareness to that theory, to that topic.
Tell us about your current and upcoming projects.
My EP Fidget is coming out August 15. I know that by that time I’ll have a bunch of new songs ready, so I’m planning on releasing a full-length record in spring, 2018. I can’t plan past a certain date in 2018 for personal reasons.
Wanda also writes the blog The Mindful Bard:The Care and Feeding of the Creative Self.