What’s In A Name For Eliot Sumner
Eliot Sumner’s identity is ever-changing. She went from being known as the daughter of legendary singer Sting and actress Trudie Styler to an artist in her own right, starting a musical project called “I Blame Coco” at the age of seventeen.
More recently, she began using her birth name for the project, as well as refusing to subscribe to a gender label while dating model Lucie von Alten.
Notwithstanding, there’s remained a certain consistency throughout the years. Sumner carries a prodigal musical talent and seamless air of cool that’s made her an underrated performer thus far — an oversight that she hopes to change with her new album Information. Often times a tough egg to crack, Eliot Sumner spoke to Galore about the new album, her love of True Detective, and driving under the Milky Way while touring in America.
Why did you start going by your name real name as opposed to “I Blame Coco”?
There’s not really a lot to it. I mean I was doing something I wasn’t really very happy with, so I just wanted to distance myself from the old project and just start making stuff that I liked. I think I was in a position where I was very young and I didn’t really know what it was like to be in a record deal, and I think I just needed the time to grow really, and to find my sound. I think that I’ve succeeded in that which I feel really good about.
Can you talk about your musical evolution in Information?
This is the album I was always supposed to make and always wanted to make. And then I got the chance to do it, so it feels really good. I think with the I Blame Coco stuff, I tried to make it go this direction but it was quite difficult. It’s stuff that I actually like doing, and there’s not really much to it really. But where I am now is exciting.
You’ve toured in North America and you’ve toured in Europe. What’s the difference between the two for you?
When we were in North America, I mean collectively as a band, it was our dream to tour there. I think that’s a lot of musicians’ dream, to tour in North America. So every day was just really exciting and just an amazing experience. I’ve been touring Europe and the UK for like the last six or seven years, and it kind of…it’s great but I’m now kind of immune to it.
What are some of the essential items you want to have with you while on the road?
I’ve got lots of those. [Medicine] is vital, because if one person gets sick there’s a domino effect. Plenty of socks because—well actually no, in every state I get new socks so I have a new souvenir. Socks are handy. Oh yeah, plenty of films to watch in the van. I went through a lot of TV shows while we were in America. I love True Detective. But we didn’t need so much distraction. It was amazing in itself. All of the landscapes you could see…we actually got to see the Milky Way for the first time, which was amazing.
What are some of the concepts you were playing with on this album?
I mean some of the songs I wrote like five years ago. I remember writing the songs and I wasn’t very happy at the time. I was quite lost. And that’s always a good emotion to write a song about. There’s so much you can do with that. I mean, I don’t think the album is necessarily depressing. I think it’s got a lot of energy that kind of counterbalances with the emotional part of it.
Is gender an important theme in your music?
Not really. I guess I’ve just kind of created a world for myself where that doesn’t ever have to really bother me.
With this album, what defines success?
For me, I’m really happy with the album and I really love it. And that’s enough for me. Once it’s done, it’s going to be interesting what the next stages will be, but I’m happy. My work is done.
What’s coming up next?
There’s the album release, which will be quite exciting. And I’m looking forward to just having some time to write my next album