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March Madness: Sweet 16 runs

Q&A: Kim Petras discusses influence of horror movies on music, upcoming spooky concert

German singer Kim Petras will continue her “The Clarity Tour” at Shrine Expo Hall on Wednesday Night. She said in honor of Halloween, she will perform a spookier version of her show. (Courtesy of Clare Gillen and Alexandre Moors)

"The Clarity Tour"


Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall

Prices vary

By Kristin Snyder

Oct. 28, 2019 9:56 p.m.

Kim Petras will be everyone’s bloody valentine the night before Halloween.

Continuing her “The Clarity Tour” on Wednesday night at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, the German singer will perform a spookier version of her set list in honor of the upcoming holiday. Despite not celebrating Halloween as a kid, her most recent album, “Turn Off the Light,” brings fans a variety of horror-themed songs, such as “Bloody Valentine” and “<demons>.” And her most recent music video, “Icy,” solidifies her horror sensibilities, utilizing flashing lights and dark colors to create a grim vibe.

Petras spoke with the Daily Bruin’s Kristin Snyder about her horror movie influences, her many tour outfits and how she builds her aesthetic.

[Related: Q&A: dodie discusses recent music, how her online presence has changed over the years]

Daily Bruin: How has tour been so far?

Kim Petras: Tour’s been pretty amazing. It’s much more ambitious than all my previous shows and it feels more like an actual show rather than a club. … It’s definitely been challenging, and there’s been times when we’ve barely made the outfit changes because there are five outfit changes, so it’s a lot. We’re hustling hard, but it’s been really fun. It’s my first time being on a tour bus, so it’s really cool.

DB: What made you more ambitious for this tour?

KP: I always wanted to do that, but before that my tour just wasn’t big enough. This is my third tour this year. The first tour was just a couple lights, and the second one had a few outfit changes. This time, I can really do it. I’ve always wanted to do this, but the first times I just couldn’t get to that point.

DB: Of your five outfits, do you have a favorite?

KP: I think the red one. It’s part of the Halloween section, and I have this spinning platform that’s really cool to go with it. I love all of them, but this one is just special. I just think it’s a perfect moment with the platform and the song and the lights. … It’s my favorite part of the show.

DB: Do you have any standout memories from tour so far?

KP: My fans are pretty amazing, and they’re all dressing up for my shows this time around because of my Halloween record, which is really sick. … This is the first time I’m doing an acoustic song in the middle of my set, so it’s just me and my guitar and my DJ and my producer friend on stage. We used to always play and write songs all the time wherever we could. … This is the first time I’m bringing that back with no effects or anything. It’s just raw singing, and I think that’s really emotional with my fans together. It’s all a dream come true.

DB: Your Los Angeles show is the day before Halloween. Do you have any fun plans?

KP: It’s definitely going to be a scary version of the show. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s definitely going to be a standout, once-only show. It’s more Halloween-y than the other shows. I’ll be dead-looking. I’ll turn up the artwork and the lights, and it won’t look much like a pop show.

[Related: Album review: ‘FANDOM’ creates diverse sounds to show true nature of rising fame]

DB: You have your Halloween EP and then your full album. What draws you to that spooky aesthetic?

KP: I’ve always been in love with horror movies, and I love Halloween. I’m from Germany, so there isn’t really a Halloween. Once I got to America, I was just obsessed. Me and my friends love all horror things, so we were like, “Why are there so many more Christmas records than Halloween ones?” So we set out to make a Halloween record just because we wanted to. It got a cult following in a year’s time.

DB: How much did you pull from your favorite horror movies while making the album?

KP: We were looking into a bunch of horror movie soundtracks. I feel like I do that anyways – I love to listen to the “It Follows” soundtrack. I feel like sonically, that just was really influential and really inspiring.

DB: Your music has a very specific aesthetic. How do you plan for this?

KP: I make songs with a bigger picture in mind. “Clarity” has a very specific sound and mood, and I kind of like to create a little world. I think some of my favorite artists take you to a universe that has an overall feel to it. I’m obsessed with cleaning things and making things flow together.

DB: What’s next for you careerwise?

KP: I want to go further. I don’t think I’m anywhere near where I want to be. It’s a great start, but I’m an independent artist, so I’m just working really hard, doing a bunch of tours and making music. My goal is to play Madison Square Garden. I just want to keep writing, keep growing, become a better songwriter. For me, it’s all about that. I drop music, and I’m like, “What’s next?” immediately. … I feel like when I was dropping “Clarity,” everyone was like, “Whoa.” And I don’t like repeating myself, and I want to have a new inspiration and a new sound.

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Kristin Snyder | Alumna
Snyder was previously the 2019-2020 Arts editor as well as the 2018-2019 Theater | Film | Television editor.
Snyder was previously the 2019-2020 Arts editor as well as the 2018-2019 Theater | Film | Television editor.
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