The title of your new single, ‘The w*r,’ involves self-censorship. Can you share more about the decision behind this and its signiﬁcance in today’s world?
On the social media platforms, which are our most important outlet, we ﬁnd we need to use caution in our choice of words. The w*r is censored to avoid being shadow banned. To make it the oﬃcial title outside of the socials is a sign of the times. We wanted to express the despair that comes with the times in which we now live.
How did the Russian invasion in Ukraine inspire the creation of ‘The w*r’? Could you elaborate on the emotions and experiences that inﬂuenced the song?
We had a part of the song laying around for years on end but found it hard to ﬁnish it. In February 2022 we isolated ourselves to write music, we normally work this way so we don’t get distracted by the city. We were in a house in the woods and writing on the new work when Russia invaded Ukraine. We couldn’t believe it, it felt so close by. I think we felt the fear of war for the ﬁrst time. The song is a direct outcome of this happening. We have great respect for the Ukrainian people standing up to this giant and we feel the people are so strong. We wrote the song almost to give them a light to follow. The chorus starts with “I am mine” and ends with “I’ve lost a battle but I’ve won the war”. We wanted to visualize the end of the war, to give hope.
The lyrics of ‘The w*r’ convey both pain and resilience. How do you hope listeners will connect with the message of strength and overcoming diﬃcult times?
I think music has a unique and magical way of helping people go through the motions. If we can give just some people who need it a moment of solace, hope or even strength we have accomplished our goal. The chorus “I am mine, I lost some of my mind but what is left is so much stronger than before” is a description of overcoming trauma and coming out stronger and wiser. We hope our song will reach people who need to hear this. People all over the world who are facing hardships every day and can ﬁnd strength through the music.
The song was originally conceived in the hope that the war in Ukraine would become history. How does it feel to see the relevance persist, especially in light of recent events in Gaza?
It is heartbreaking that now, two years later, we could’ve written the exact same words inspired by current events. We are appalled by what has been happening in Gaza and the hopeless situation there. We hoped so much things would’ve been better by now but instead it all got worse.
The accompanying video for ‘The w*r’ is the fourth installment of a planned eight. Could you explain the concept behind the series and its connection to the themes in your music?
We wanted to write music especially for a live situation. We went for a more danceable sound (The w*r obviously being the ballad of the 8) to make for a wild live show. Every video, like the music, is inspired by club culture. There are elements that we ﬁnd in clubs that we use in each video. Club culture is very important to us because we ﬁnd it’s where people can be themselves, express themselves freely and in safety. The most exciting things that come to surface in society started in clubs and we want to honor that and underline the importance of it.
The video features shots captured by you two and glitch artistry by Cyborg Jungle. How does the visual aspect enhance the overall message of resilience and power in the face of adversity?
The songs are more gritty and raw. It is not about sleekness and the typical way society portrays beauty. The sound is more gritty so the visuals and music go together perfectly. We ﬁnd beauty in imperfection. Like in the art of Kintsugi, in which one treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object. A crack his highlighted with gold, it has become part of the beauty of the object. We use the colors and glitches that arise in the images to highlight the beauty and create an exciting video.
Each video in the series showcases a strong young woman adorned in armor-like attire. What does this symbolism represent, and how does it tie into the broader themes of your music?
The look in the video for ‘The w*r’ is based on queer club wear and also represents a young woman who is ready and strong to endure everything that will come at her. We have always stood for the power of women obviously. We want to implement this message in our work as much as we can.
CUT_ draws inspiration from the liberating spirit of club culture. How does this inﬂuence your approach to creating music, and how do you express these themes in your videos and performances?
We have written the new work especially for the dance ﬂoor. We want to play more during club nights and we found we needed more material to make this happen. We have a great love for the club culture and freedom of expression we ﬁnd there. In each video we make use of elements that we know from this culture.
In ‘The w*r,’ you mention being ready to ﬁght and overcoming trauma. How do you see music as a tool for channeling emotions, healing wounds, and inspiring hope, particularly in times of adversity?
Belle: I have struggled with depression and addiction in the past. Music has given me an outlet to work through these things. When life gets dark, I feel music has the power to channel emotions and work through dark times. I know it has for me. Also, music deters loneliness, I believe. These are hard times with social media so dominant in young people’s lives. I do ﬁnd a silver lining in there that people can connect with each other online and ﬁnd communities where one can ﬁnd likeminded people. Often music is a strong connector in these subcultures. I truly believe music can save lives.
The song speaks to the power of emerging stronger on the other side. How does CUT_ stand as a beacon for listeners, oﬀering a sonic journey through pain and triumph?
As a band, you’ve been experimenting with pop and electronic music since 2014. How has your sound evolved over the years, and what drives your exploration of these genres?
We have always been obsessed with sound. We don’t ﬁnd much satisfaction in sounding like other artists. We truly get excited when we hear something new and unheard of. A lot of artists try to sound like the “it sound” of the moment. We ﬁnd it extremely boring and it feels like a search for commercial success more than making art. In the past we have worked with teams that wanted us to do the same. Needless to say, we are proudly independent and stubbornly keep making what we love at this moment. These 8 songs are a testament to that.
After the success of your debut album in 2019, what can fans expect from CUT_ in terms of future releases and the continuation of your unique musical and visual journey?
The next releases upcoming in 2024 will be in the gritty and raw style we released in 2023, we are ready to do club nights and see how they work in this live setting. After that we truly don’t know yet. Maybe we’ll make an ambient album, maybe we’ll make a techno album, maybe we do an acapella album, who knows what’s next! But rest assure it will be electronic it will be what we want to make and it will be us written all over it.