What is Locate S,1, and who is behind it?
Besides being a bright and extremely fun pop project, Locate S,1 isn't Christina Schneider's first rodeo. Since 2014, Schneider has been making music under various aliases including CE Schneider Topical, Jepeto Solutions, Christina Schneider’s Genius Grant, and now Locate S,1. Some of her previous works had taken inspiration from bedroom-pop, lo-fi tunes, rock, and Syd Barrett-style psychedelia. Before creating Locate S,1, Christina has already had plenty of experience under her belt, due to her previous experimenting with different sounds and genres. With trial and error, Schneider found her true form with Locate S,1. It's bold, crazy, filled with character, and fueled by wit.
With a subtle synthpop inspiration and a high-spirited instrumentation, Personalia starts with Sanctimitus Detrimitus, a super fun starter. The track is named after a phrase she misheard while watching the movie “Made for Each Other”. “I love songs where people completely make up words, like Steve Miller’s ‘pompatus of love’ but I thought it would be even funnier if I just made up some Latin, though ‘Sancitmitus Detrimitus’ does mean something to me now.” Schneider says.
This is not the only point in the album where we get the chance to observe Christina's sharp sense of humor. “After The Final Rose,” is a remarkable song lyric-wise and it wouldn't do justice to the song to classify it as solely being witty. It tells a story based on reality-tv and a fiction-like world. The track is based on her observations of the final two seasons of the reality TV series The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
“At the end of the season they have this episode called “After The Final Rose,” and the Bachelor or Bachelorette meets up with all the other contestants and they yell at each other,” Schneider explains. “I thought that was a very funny and unintentionally self-reflexive title for the episode, so I borrowed it to criticize corporate feminism and its lethal effects on romance. On The Bachelorette women feel like they’re powerful because they have money and can travel all over the world. It seems like that’s replaced any kind of meaningful feminism or romance in the world, currently.”
Throughout Personalia, we get to self-reflect on ourselves and the society at large while hearing her talk about money, power, and corporate feminism. Yes! It's 2020 and no, it's not interesting anymore to only sing about love while the world itself is having a big anxiety attack concerning its existence.
This alone represents the personality of the record. It combines the fun mishaps with the not-so-fun ones. The third and the title track Personalia contrasts heavy lyrics with a lively and dynamic sound. It tells the story of her almost quitting the industry, not having any fucks left to give about people who don't appreciate her hard work and creativity. You would think lyrics such as “Almost killed myself so I went home / I just cannot take these local shows,” “Drive through thunderlight all alone just to play while they’re looking at their phones / curse another crowd that doesn’t get it,” would be accompanied by a heavy and overly-gloomy sound but it's not depressing, it's hopeful. This song in particular and the energy it brings is something that is very relatable for me and so many others I will assume. I can see myself, and the whole generation Z feeling miserable and singing out “I’ve shorted out but if I play long enough I'll become the person that I wanna be again,” while wildly dancing to it, creating a contrast of our kind.
Photo credit: Ebru Yıldız
Personalia was co-produced by her partner Kevin Barnes and it includes a collaboration with of Montreal in the song "Even The Good Boys Are Bad" and it was released on his label Sybaritic Peer. Barnes' influence is very present in the album, especially on the song Whisper 2000 though it takes nothing from the originality of Locate S,1. A very one-sided and mistaken approach would be assuming of Montreal and Locate S,1 being very similar due to their collaboration in one and other's work. The only -and the most important- common thing that they share concerning their music is the fact that both work perfectly together. "We give each other a lot of feedback. That’s really helpful, to have someone whose opinion you trust, and who you can bear to hear criticism from." explains Christina in one of her interviews for Talk House.
Alongside corporate feminism and almost quitting music, Schneider tells us the story of even the good boys being bad. Even The Good Boys Are Bad is one of the singles for the album which is a very inviting one and it catches your ear from the very first few seconds. You can imagine this song playing in Studio 54 if it still existed to this day. It's glittery, shiny, and very danceable indeed.
In the music video, there is a never-ending flux of notifications from "good boys". Someone under the nickname, "goodboyyouknow" sends Schneider an unsolicited pic and another "randomgoodboy" explains how he thinks she can make her music better for an instance. It's filled with men sending-inappropriate-picture kind of appreciation that absolutely no one ever fucking asks for and giving notable opinions about how to make music properly! How could they not have opinions about it when the music industry is reigned by white-old dudes who feel entitled to everything. They might be vocalizing these suggestions from a good-intended place but in the end, even the good boys are bad.
I've had the chance to ask Christina some questions to try to understand what goes inside her head and her music-making process.
1- You’ve had a rough incident in one of your concerts as some people talked through your set, felt misunderstood, and somewhat betrayed by music, the one thing that you loved to create. How did you rediscover your passion for it?
It was very difficult for me to have one bad concert but thankfully I bounced back. Now I play to thousands who scream my name and beg me to adopt them. They beg for me to be their mother and to suckle on my teet of genius. That reignited my passion!
2- Your lyrics are very personal and tells a lot about personal life. Do you find it easier to write about your own experiences and encounters?
I find it much easier to write from the experiences of the rheumatic Druid that I keep shackled to the walls of my writing parlor. I just look at his face, twisted with pain, and write about him. It’s easy for me!
3- Your sound is very dreamy, very psychedelic at times. How did you establish the Locate S,1 sound?
I went into the forest with three stones. The first stone was exhumed from the grave of my ancestral daughter, Melania. The second stone was not a stone, but the calcified brain of the 1946 Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The third and last stone was a small pebble I found in my shoe that day. I assembled them on a mossy patch and they began to vibrate, ringing like bells. I lost consciousness, and when I awoke I could feel that the stones were now inside of me, still singing. I walked home and learned that several years had passed. I didn’t mind. Time was a small price to pay for My Sound™️.
4- Personalia seems to be a self-discovery album where you connect with your feelings and talk about very modern notions like environmentalism, power, and money. In a way, it’s an album that everybody can relate to, an album for the generation. Did you want to be a voice for everybody’s common anxieties while you were writing the lyrics?
I wanted to be the voice of every young boy with a prolifically vile RateYourMusic.com account. They immediately responded to requests for comment, but I did not like what they said.
5- of Montreal is one of the most humorous bands out there that has a very unique and bright sound. Was it their sense of humor and the loud sound that you also share that led to the collaboration on « Even the Good Boys Are Bad » ?
It was the loud sound.
6- Personalia seems to be bolder than your previous album, Healing Contest. Did you experiment with more sounds and concepts while you were producing Personalia?
I told Kevin, my co-producer, that I wanted to make Healing Contest sound like a “pathetic little baby” compared to my new album, Personalia. I told him that if anybody could even listen to Healing Contest without spitting on the ground after the release of Personalia, we had failed.
7- Who are the other female artist that you look up to?
Lady Gaga and 10cc
8- How does music play a part in your self-reflection and self-discovery journey?
I play music so that I can stop thinking about myself for a couple of hours a day. That’s the truth!
9- Last but not least, what do you want to say to Tonitruale readers?
You deserve a universal basic income, single-payer healthcare, and a 4-day work-week. White people shouldn't be allowed on any police force, and prisons shouldn’t exist.
Photo credit: Ebru Yıldız
If you want to hear Locate S,1's sophomore album Personalia click here
If you want to follow Christina on Instagram click here