Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, has been steadily expanding her artistry since the release of her third album Visions earlier this year. She’s curated an art show — debuting her own drawings and sketches, which are all aesthetic continuations of the artwork that she sketched for Visions — played muse to Yves Saint Laurent’s creative head Hedi Slimane, recorded with Kreayshawn as super trio L$D, opened for Skrillex, lent her vocals to Montreal cohorts Solar Year, and even released a line of vagina-shaped rings in collaboration with Montreal artisan Morgan Black (available IRL at her touring merch stand). Between all of these projects, the Polaris nominee has also found time to work on a new experimental pop outfit, which is currently untitled. Hive recently caught up with the aesthete backstage at Pitchfork Music Festival, and Boucher shared on the sound of her new project, the inspiration behind her pussy rings, and her plans to design a line of chainmail.
Have you started on the follow up to Visions yet?
Yeah [but] I’m thinking about making one that is a bit more experimental that I don’t put out as Grimes, because I want to stick with this pop aesthetic as Grimes. I’ve been working on more percussive noise music and also a lot of straight vocal music. I want to make [both] dark percussive shit and vocal ranging and release an album that’s halfway between ethereal reggaeton and industrial dance music but is still very pop in its song [structures].
You recently introduced a line of pussy rings. Where’d that concept come from?
Morgan Black, the guy who makes them, is my friend from Montreal and he has been making them for a while — he creates them with dental stuff and freeze-dries it in a machine he invented. We ran out of t-shirts [on tour] and needed more merch and I was like, “I really don’t want to make any more stupid t-shirts and we should be supporting our friends in Montreal who are artists. Why don’t we do [the pussy rings]?” Not only are the pussy rings more interesting and cheaper than t-shirts, and support our friends, but it’s also a statement and I feel like we should do something original, in any way that we can.
Do you consider it to be a feminist statement?
Not as much as a feminist statement but I feel like vaginas don’t need to be scary and they don’t need to be a curse word. Every dressing room I’m ever in has penises drawn on the walls and touring is so dick-dominated that I just want to be like, “Here’s a fucking vagina.” It’s also a very sexual object that’s removed from a person so [on the ring] it’s kind of desexualized and emphasizes the beauty of the organism in the biological and abstract and presents it as art.
Do you have any plans to make more jewelry or design clothing?
Yeah, I want to make a line of chainmail. Morgan can do anything. He makes creepy sculptures and has taken some of my press photos; he lives in a meat locker and does all of this crazy stuff. So we’re going to do stuff with chainmail because he’s really good with metal. I want to start bringing dancers along and have them wear crazy shit. I want them to be topless, covered in glitter, wear S&M headmasks that are really big, black pants and black lipstick, and be all guys. Everyone will have bleached white hair. I kind of have a crew but when I go to places I also get locals to dance.
Watch Grimes perform “Vanessa” for Hive’s In My Room performance series: