Congratulations on clicking through to this article.
You’re about to learn about one of the coolest Catholic bands who refuse to admit publicly that they’re Catholic . . . I’m not sure how many bands there are out there that fit that description, but you can be sure this one’s cooler!
Probably. Almost certainly.
Here’s how their band is described on their site:
Australian/English ‘Dynamic Dream Pop’ duo Interior Castle met in Canada in 2013. Then and there the two became best friends and discovered their complimentary writing styles. They began creating and owning their signature sound of rich harmonies on a bed of intricate guitar work and careful, deliberate poetry.
Oh, and that crazy one on the right over there? The one with the gigantic Mary tattoo on her right arm? . . . That’s my sister.
What follows is an interview between me and them. Interspersed throughout is a few of their music video’s.
Matt: If you had to pick, who would you say is your favorite brother? Tom or me?
Emma: . . . Isn’t it interesting how people in England spell Favourite* different?
Matt: I’ll take that as a refusal to answer then, shall I?
Emma: . . .
Matt: Good. Okay, well tell me your top 3 musical influences.
Warpaint (the band, not the method of painting ones face)
Matt: Why did you name your band Interior Castle? Was it named after St. Faustina’s work, “Dark Night of the Soul?” . . . But seriously. Why?
Joanna: One day Emma sent me this quote from St Teresa of Avila:
“I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.
She also showed me this incredible image to go with it:
The beauty of this pierced through my own heart, so I became more interested in this mystic and read St Teresa of Avila’s book—Interior Castle.
Emma: It’s cool because a lot of Catholics recognize the name, but to secular people; it just sounds like an incredible band name. Not sure if Joanna mentioned this already, but we are actually spies.
Matt: For a band with such a religious name you don’t sing about religious stuff much, at least explicitly. Is that right? If so, why?
Emma: You are right. We want to reach everyone with our music, including those who don’t know God.
Joanna: We feel that the best way to reach these people is to be in the world but not of it. If we were more explicit about the true meaning of our songs, the message that we are trying to convey might not be as welcomed.
Growing up, we were both super into bands, but not just the music. The music introduced us to the people who wrote those songs, their beliefs, their political views, what interested them. As people we admired, they had a big influence on our own views and this is our aim: for people to be intrigued by our lyrics and dig a little deeper.
Matt: Have you had any cool encounters with the non-believers at bars or something where you’ve played?
Emma: It’s been a good avenue for us to enter into dialogue. We actually usually find christians who ask us if we are christian. We then lead them into a dark room where make them sign a legal document, swearing them to secrecy.
On the odd occasion we are able to chat with agnostics, atheists or people of other religions, they have been quite open to hearing the message behind our songs.
Matt: Out of all of your songs, which is your favourite?
Emma: We’re loving Blurs right now. We love the way the recording turned out. Playing it live is sounding great as well, we are using two different samplers. One for the drums and another for ambient sounds throughout the song. We don’t have a great video for that one online (which is why all the awesome people reading should buy it online) . . . but here’s a live version:
Matt: Tell us about that song. How you wrote it, lyrics, etc.
Emma: Joanna wrote the verse and sent me this little video of her playing it really softly. Her chords were amay-zing, and sounded so dark and different. Then I popped out a chorus taking the line from St Faustina’s diary: “Here is my love with whom I will rest in my grave.” So beautiful. We try to remind ourselves of that every time we go to Mass, enter a church, or meet someone annoying.
Joanna: This song is really about the grace to recognize our weakness before God and is really a prayer for help. Blurring eyes was a reference to death, but death to the selfishness of me. ‘Fill my mouth with your blood, make it run to my heart’ obviously a eucharistic reference, but also a way to reach out to our vampire fanbase.
Emma: To give the song a different feel completely, we wanted to add electronic drums and ambient sounds, so I had a lot of fun creating those bits. There is one sound in particular that is my favourite sound in the world, but it’s really hard to hear unless someone points it out to you, it’s like an alarm drone that sounds like it’s been recorded on a tape machine. Underneath Verse 2. Have a listen.
Matt: What’s another song you like. One that’s on Youtube would be awesome because that way I can stream it for the peeps.
Emma: Get Me Free?
Matt: Sweet. Where can people learn more about you?
Matt: Why is it that I’m so good looking?
Emma: Well none of your features are too big or too small. You’ve got a good head of hair, you have a lovely smile and straight white teeth.