Interview: Elena Tonra of Daughter

People would think that being a musician is about glitz and glamor. What’s the most difficult thing about touring for you?
I guess it’s just about getting a good amount of sleep while moving. It’s about missing family too. I’m the only girl with a lot of guys. We’ve got a great crew of guys; they’re wonderful, wonderful people, but sometimes I feel quite lonely as the only girl.

You seem like the sentimental type. What’s the longest you’ve been away?
We’ve been away for months straight. Sometimes you’re feeling really down and you kind of want to see a family or friend, so we connect with Skype.

Talking about sadness, the lyrics that you write are very cerebral. Do you contemplate a lot about life and existence?
I do think about life and death and what happens after. I’m not really a very religious person, but I’m interested in the spiritual. There are plenty of things I find interesting, especially the afterlife. You could write about it forever—it’s what inspires me. I also write a lot of things about my personal feelings.

What is the most profound song in your latest album and what is it all about?
“Shallows” talks about hoping that when I die, people that I love the most would find me in some kind of way after I’m gone. It’s about myself and wanting to be with people after I’ve gone. I’ve spoken to my grandparents, family and friends, and I want to know if I can still find them. It talks about an unknown world beyond life.

What do you love or hate about social media?
I don’t really have my own personal account; we have our band account. It’s a great way to connect with people—very exciting to have that many people following what you’re working on. People are listening to us and our music, it’s beautiful actually that people around the world can listen to your music and connect with you. But I find the whole celebrity Twitter thing kind of strange—why would you want to know what someone is having for breakfast?

Did you read the article written by Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry regarding online misogyny? What are your thoughts?
I read the article she wrote and I feel proud of her—I think it’s very brave and honorable of her. This is something that’s happening in our age of technology. I admire her a lot; I’ve never experienced anything like that. It’s very sad that people find themselves in such situations.

Do you miss being less famous?
I don’t think we are famous. Yes, it’s growing and getting to a wider audience. But I can’t say that we are famous; we could walk down a street and no one could know who we are. We’re still very much living our lives normally. Playing music itself is just crazy.

Looking forward to coming down to Singapore?
We’ve had a lot of tweets for quite a while now asking us to come to Singapore; nice to see that there are people who’d like to see us in Singapore. The food is apparently really amazing?

If you woke up the next day in a body of the opposite sex, how would you spend that day?
(Laughs) I don’t know, I have no idea. What could I do as a boy that I can’t do now? Maybe I’ll have a few really big beers and go to a barbershop.

Daughter performs at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2014 on January 25, 11am. The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay. Tickets at $150 from Sistic.