INTERVIEW: Emma Ruth Rundle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Emma Wondra

There’s a tenacious creative streak that cuts across Emma Ruth Rundle’s versatile and eclectic career, with her releases varying from bombastic, expressionistic, improvisational pieces, to twinkling and spacious ambient records, or even her sludgy doom metal collaboration with Thou. In every project, there are shards of Rundle, twinkling. 

With each release and each direction, there is a new layer of understanding and growth added to her outlook. “Everything I do as a musician is done in the lens of self exploration. I can’t separate myself from the art.” She explains. “Themes of addiction and struggles are prevalent, I guess it’s a way of understanding and processing. It’s dealing with those weighty issues that is probably the reason I’m welcomed into the metal community, not so much the sound or delivery.”

Rundle’s solo tour, which visits Gosforth Civic Theatre on Saturday 13th August, comes straight off the heels of her supporting role for Gothic heroine Chelsea Wolfe, yet Rundle’s latest projects are a far cry from what most may anticipate. EG2: Dowsing Voice is an artistic romp through experimentation, improvisation and liberation, however it is 2021’s Engine Of Hell that takes the focus on the latest tour. Engine of Hell is a phenomenal release, both as a stand alone record, and as a rebuttal from Rundle’s previous output. Referring to it as a natural next step after the intensity of both the Thou collaboration and subsequent tour, the album tears away all the theatrics and provides a very skeletal and honest dissection of self-identity.

It’s very human to block things out that damage us, but this was made as a way of addressing those I’ve tried to hide from

When touring, you have to build up this psychological armour to deal with the constant movement and change. You can desensitise and become numb pretty quickly. Engine Of Hell was a very deliberate way of addressing trauma, reattaching to emotions. It’s very human to block things out that damage us, but this was made as a way of addressing those I’ve tried to hide from.”

Born out of a retreat to Wales, Engine Of Hell is every piece as affecting for a listener as it feels cathartic for the writer. Meditated and earnest, there’s slithers of acceptance and growth that manifest in the space between chords. With often nothing more than a vocal and a piano, the songs are each streamlined into very direct, word-centric confessionals that refuse to hide away from the demons and obstacles facing the artist. “With Engine Of Hell, it was a very deliberate choice to focus everything very head on, no distractions, just sincere and unabashed lyrically-driven pieces. I wanted it to be human.”

This hunt for humanity is palpable across the record and even more so live. “I had to take a long time away from touring to really understand what I wanted from music. When I see someone emoting genuinely and honestly, it still brings me to tears. I realised what I’m drawn to in a concert is flaw, mistakes and nuance.” With this in mind, the concert at Gosforth Civic Theatre will see Engine Of Hell performed in order, in its entirety, providing a night of transparency and connection. “I realise now that I don’t ever want my performances to be static and routine, I want to be experiencing each song each night. It’s about real connection and resonating with the audience, that way, by the end, we’re all free.”

Emma Ruth Rundle plays Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle on Saturday 13th August, with support from Joanne Quail.


Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout