After seeing Zola Jesus perform at SXSW in 2012 I walked away thinking frontwoman and creative force Rosa Danilova was an indie Gaga. I couldn’t take my eyes off her as she exploded into dance the moment the band broke into its dreamy, spiritual, post-ambient rock drenched in synths, guitar and drums.
Her music has been compared to Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, though it bears an even darker tone on her latest album, Okovi, released last month on Sacred Bones Records.
“While writing Okovi, I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to,” Danilova said. “This album is a deeply personal snapshot of loss, reconciliation, and a sympathy for the chains that keep us all grounded to the unforgiving laws of nature.”
We caught up with Danilova and asked her to take the Ten Questions survey:
What is your favorite album?
Zola Jesus’ Rosa Danilova: It changes. Right now it’s the Stalker OST.
2. What is your least favorite song?
Hmm… I don’t know that I have one.
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Being able to insidiously connect with people I’ve never met.
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
The pressure it makes me put on myself.
5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?
Sap, from trees.
6. In what city or town do you love to perform?
I like to play cities that remind me of home…
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
Well, I once cried on stage at Silencio in Paris. Not my best moment.
8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?
Thankfully, I am, though it takes a lot of work and sacrifice. I tour a lot and live in the middle of Wisconsin, which is cheap. It helps make it possible to focus on doing what I love.
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
Sometimes I wish I would be an architect, but I would build very bad buildings. I’m sure they would collapse. I’ve worked many jobs in the past and was fired from most of them. I’m not a very good employee!
10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
I’m not sure I’ve heard many stories, but I sort of glorify Omaha in my mind. Being a midwesterner from Wisconsin, I feel companionship with Nebraska. Which is why I’m excited to finally play there.
Zola Jesus plays with John Wiese and Ivan Zoloto Wednesday, Oct. 11, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $15. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.