Eilis Frawley’s musical journey had been vast and varied, graduating from the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide, Australia before studying under Eugene Ughetti, leading percussionist in Australian contemporary music and founder of SPEAK percussion. In 2012 she relocated to South Korea, and took to playing the drum kit performing with Baekma (including the recording and release of an EP and two albums released via Loose Union Records) among others.
2018 saw the beginning of Frawley’s solo project, releasing her first solo video ‘Intellectual Men’, and in 2019 Frawley worked on a longer set of similar, focused on telling personal stories and daily observations through spoken word; the project became a collage of direct spoken word, moody synths and challenging drum parts. Eilis Frawley signed to Reckless Yes in autumn 2019 ahead of her debut EP ‘Never Too Emotional’ released in February 2020.
1: I can float vertically.
2: Nine-banded Armadillos always give birth to identical quadruplets.
3: I grew up in Gumeracha, a town in South Australia that has the world’s biggest rocking horse.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
To tell stories, and to get things out of my head, that’s already huge for me. I also like challenging social norms and breaking down stereotypes.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing drums at 16 and went on to study classical percussion at university. Turns out the classical music world wasn’t for me. After Uni I moved to Seoul, South Korea and it was there that I really started to play drum kit, I had a tiny studio where I hid out for hours and hours – from there I started playing in the local band circuit.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Tune Yards – nikki nack
Personal Best – What You At
Battles – Gloss Drop
Olympia – Self Talk
Camp Cope – How to Socialise & Make Friends
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Other than great summers and painful winters? A freedom to do whatever I feel like, a never ending list of possibilities, and community.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Adelaide has some spectacular beaches, Port Willunga is probably my favorite, and it’s right by some of the best South Australian wineries.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I’d probably be a builder or a gardener! In the peak Corona times I got soooo into building things around my WG, it was so extremely satisfying!
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Girl by Girl Ray.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’m in a strong Courtney Barnett phase, I think she’d be amazing to collaborate with. Her story telling ability is so special.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
So crazy thinking about this in times of so few gigs. I’ll never take a gig for granted again! I loved seeing Tune-yards and also Scrounge from London who played Bang On fest last year – they were mind-blowingly good!
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I need a reliable but simple set up – a midi keyboard and a laptop.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a sister and a brother, they’re both absolute legends. My brother and I played in band together way back when! I can also rely on them to always buy band t-shirts – they’re good like that.
Following on from brilliantly received singles ‘illusions’ and ‘strangers’ Berlin-based Eilis Frawley (I Drew Blank) is returning with her first single after her debut EP ‘Never Too Emotional’. ‘Stats’ continues to highlight Frawley’s mix of rhythm, samples, and spoken word.
Describing ‘Stats’ Frawley said, “Stats tells the story of the everyday hardship women encounter. It’s tiring walking with keys between your knuckles, or pretending to talk on the phone on the train station platform late at night. We’ve developed thick skin for public life, but I’m still dreaming of a world where we don’t have to change who we are to walk out the door.”
A solo drummer and percussionist Frawley layers her Krautrock-precision rhythms with spoken word vocals for a release which is at once avante-garde yet resonates deeply with experiences of modern life. ‘Stats’ is the first single following her debut EP and was released via Reckless Yes in August 2020.
Photo © Janina Gallert