An interview with Gothic Tropic: Finger-clicky and funky 80s power pop

Born out of the vibrant LA scene, guitarist and pop iconoclast Cecilia Della Peruti is Gothic Tropic. Cecilia’s self-assured vocals drift above the bass and dissonant, shredding guitars, Gothic Tropic’s music truly thrilling and exciting.

“I’ve been a raging post punk and goth rock fan as long as I’ve been a West African and South American music fan, so when I started this project (for fun) I wanted to fuse my loves. Since then, everything I seem to do has that spirit of duality. I set myself up to feel free to follow the unlimited moods that inspire my music,” says Cecilia.

Being a one-person band, Cecilia seeks other ways of collaborating and working with different people to widen the creative process. Known best for his work as Electric Guest and playing on Devendra Banhart’s records, Cecilia collaborated with Todd Dahlhoff on the production for ‘Fast or Feast’. Teaming up with more established musicians such as Børns and Charli XCX has proved to be incredibly helpful too when she went on tour with them respectively as a guitarist in their live bands. “Session work has taught me so many valuable lessons, some not even relating to music,” explains Cecilia. “Learning their songs and building sounds to match their recordings gave me a peek into their writing process, so that was really cool.” She continues, “As a player, I’m listening carefully, and working in my parts and vocals to blend perfectly with the artist, even match their timbre, and play as faithfully to the music as possible. You want to be professional, helpful, and easy to tour with, so now being the artist hiring players of my own, I have a clear idea of what it needs to feel like. Now that I know what it’s like to perform at that level, I’m even more eager to share my own music.”

Previous experiences and collaborations considered, other music that has inspired Gothic Tropic is well worth checking out. “I think Nina Simone is the best storyteller. I’m incredibly inspired by her as a person, and as a fearless songwriter, artist, singer and technical player,” Cecilia shares.

When it comes to her own music, Gothic Tropic has released an alluring selection of songs, all of which can be discovered soon on her new album ‘Fast or Feast’. When listening you find the psychedelic pop tendencies are easy to pick out, and when combined with a perfect mix of punk and garage rock, the result is energetic and brimming with confidence.

“I like ‘Don’t Give Me Up’ because I wrote that on a long drive in the back of a van underneath a blanket. I love to play bass, so instead of handing it over to Todd (who’s an incredible bassist) I played it myself,” she tells me. “Being able to track a funky bass line is so satisfying.”

Looking forward to The Great Escape, this whipsmart Italian American can’t wait for what is to come this summer. “I’m excited to play my first festival abroad! This will be the first event that will feel like a Børns set, except it will be Gothic Tropic,” Cecilia exclaims. “I’m excited to meet and hang with other bands, see some great sets and just enjoy myself after the show.”

“Another bucket list event will be our first headline show in London. We’re playing The Victoria May 17th, and releasing the debut LP ‘Fast or Feast’ May 19th.”

Gothic Tropic plays The Great Escape 2017. Tickets are on sale here.

Words by Lauren McDermott and The Great Escape