Sitting down to interview Amaya (aka Maud the Moth), I looked out the window and saw an appropriately grey sky, and a drizzle of rain. One of the best-conceived and executed albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in the last few months, Orphne tells the tale of an odyssey inwards, uncovering secrets within your own inner cosmos, and dealing with the trauma you take on as a result of living as a woman in this world. Speaking to her was lovely, interesting, and included many feminist-related rants (in which we totally just preached to the choir at each other for ages), and gushing about our favourite ancient female poets. Read on to find out more…
Maud the Moth’s music falls in a long tradition of women creating esoteric, witchy music. In her case, it draws on mythological elements as well – the album title Orphne, “darkness”, was a mythical nymph that dwelled in the underworld of ancient Greek mythology. Drawing on this meaning, and the meaning of the word it shares a root with – “orphan” – Orphne reflects on the rootlessness and nebulous identity of the émigré, fragmented woman.
“It’s not something I’ve ever really thought about,” confesses Amaya (a.k.a. Maud the Moth). “It’s coming from an honest place, linked to my experiences of the world. Most things which have shaken me come directly or indirectly from being a woman. And it’s so tightly tangled that it comes out in the music without me trying. After I started going to therapy with a professional pulling and detangling the threads, I started to realise patterns and where things were coming from – and it was all systematic abuse or trauma. An inheritance of trauma, in my case. I’m Spanish and I come from a very sexist society, so even if we are equal now (which we aren’t), it’s still something which is passed down and doesn’t go away. It’s impossible to unravel the threads of being a woman with your art – if you create personal art – because that is, sadly, how you are going to see the world.
Just as I begin to point out the strength that can be found in using this trauma to create rather than destroy, Amaya beats me to it. “It’s interesting that you mention esoteric because it’s a purging experience to create music. It’s empowering because you are shaping and moulding what you create – so it does have this ritualistic vibe to it.”
Having been born in Madrid and then moved to Edinburgh some years ago, I was eager to ask Amaya how the UK compares to Spain in terms of sexism and feminism. “Spain is unbelievable. I’ve even shut things out of my memory because it was so hard to cope. You’re left there with your rage and are then shamed for being angry so you have your shame on top of that as well. Maybe it is still bad here, and just not as talked about, but I have not suffered here as bad as Spain.” And here is where the conversation devolved into a heated debate about women’s issues – with us both on the same side. I’ll spare you the details, because I’m sure you can fill in the blanks yourself.
So, how about gender representation at festivals in Spain? We spoke about the controversy surrounding the Azkena Rock festival in Spain (which sparked a similar campaign to this one). “I was part of an online festival for womxn-only artists called Apocaladies,” [can we just take a moment to appreciate this pun? Okay, thanks, as you were] “You know the vibe in the ladies toilets on a night out when you’re all drunk? The whole festival was that vibe – even in the comments of the videos! It was just about celebrating the representation of women in the music scene and coming together over how bad it can be. No one was a dick about it.”
And the final question is, of course, who would you pick to headline Download Festival? “Well, okay – from a personal, artistic point of view – Jarboe comes to mind,” Maud the Moth is supporting Jarboe in December, if all goes to plan (so everyone wear your fucking masks), which is incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to be there to watch them both! “Chelsea Wolfe could definitely headline. I really, really do love her. She’s not even that crazy a suggestion – she sells out so many shows, and always has people queuing on the door!”
Chelsea Wolfe is a very good shout. She’s been suggested before, by CLT DRP’s Annie. Who would you want to see headline who isn’t a white man? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/dlgrl2021/) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DLGRL2021)!
Thank you so much for joining us, Amaya! Make sure to check out Maud the Moth’s latest album, Orphne. You can find her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/maudthemoth/ and you can stream her album below. I would recommend!