Photo Credit: Esme Bones

Reflecting on her Download debut, you couldn’t take the smile of Mimi Barks’ face with an angle grinder.

“It was so sick and I’m so glad you got to see it,” she beams under the relentless blaze of the sun, as we catch up after her canvas pulsing, sweat soaked set on the Dogtooth Stage.

She’s full of smiles, happy energy and a much calmer, more toned down version of the performer who didn’t just star on the Dogtooth, she owned it.

“After a set like that you can get on a bit of a downer and those emotions can be more intense than the actual performance, but after you have been touring for 90-days in a row – nothing can be as hard as that so I’m all good,” she smiles.

“I’m used to that now and performing, so I enjoy it and I’m inspired by it and that was a lot of fun.”

Her all action, ferocious power and unlimited potential is a far cry she says to her demeanour pre-show, and it takes little to hype her up and tap into ‘that place’ she needs to go when she hits the stage.

“It’s just fucked up youth,” she shrugs. “At a certain point that just reflects into your performance when I get on stage. It’s all the anger I’ve carried about for years. Before a set I just chill with my whole crew, hype each other up.”

Barks blends genres which others dare to dip a musical toe into, with hip-hop harmonies and beats tag-teaming swimmingly next to electro sounds and rock riffs. It’s a brave mish-mash of sounds which make her so unique.

Late last year she dropped her DEADGIRL mixtape, a collection of songs dripping with raw honesty and vulnerability, but touching on subjects from self-harm and suicide to eventual rebirth. And she explains DEADGIRL, and everything she pens, isn’t based on reality, it is literally her reality and experiences.

“DEADGIRL is me going through an awakening,” she explains openly. “I have tapped into spirituality and I was blindly writing about aggression, anger and self hatred but with suicide, I went through the suicide of my younger self so therefore the awakening.

“It is a constant battle with myself questioning whether I really want to be able to see, be able to rewire my core beliefs, and be able to rewire my thought patterns so far. It is scary real, but then change is never comfortable. I guess with DEADGIRL I made that change. When I write a song I never sit down and think let’s write a song. I have a feeling and I write it down.”

Interview by: Eric Mackinnon

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Eric Mackinnon
Long time journo who sold his soul to newspapers to fund his passion of following rock and metal bands around Europe. A regular gig-goer, tour-traveller and festival scribe who has broken stories of some of the biggest bands in the world and interviewed most. Even had a trifle with Slash once. Lover of bourbon, 80's rock and is a self-confessed tattoo addict.