SOFTCULT talk touring with Incubus, success and creativity

By Dom Smith
By September 26, 2022 Features, Interviews, News

Dom chats to Mercedes Arn-Horn from SOFTCULT ahead of their UK shows with Incubus, to discuss their music, and inspirations!

S] Hey guys, how are you today?

M] we’re doing great! Just landed and playing a show in Hamburg today.

S] How do you define success as artists?

M] For me, success would mean I’ve made an impact with my art. I know that’s a somewhat broad answer, but to know that I’ve left my mark on this world and changed it in some way through our art would be my definition of success. It’s not about money, fame, acclaim, or anything like that. We don’t make art to stroke our egos and seek validation. We make art because that’s what we do, and we can’t do anything else. Our art is who we are. To know that it has empowered the people listening to it and that they will in turn go on to empower others, that would be the legacy I dream of having.

S] Do you think much about the legacy of Softcult, and what you’d like that to be?

M] I think about it a lot, yeah. But I know if I only focus on that, it could hinder us from actually creating honestly and freely. At the end of the day, we’re just going to be who we are and stand for what we stand for, and I hope our legacy will be built on providing representation for those who need it by simply being ourselves unapologetically.

S] How do you look back at the success of ‘Spit It Out’ as a single now?

M] I loved that song since the moment the chorus was written. I never imagined it would be our most popular song. But that’s often how these things happen. I’m so grateful that so many people have connected with it and relate to it.

S] Can you talk me through ‘One Of A Million’, and what that track means to you?

M] The song is another personal one for me. I wrote it late one night alone in my room when we had company over downstairs. For some reason I just felt the need to escape for a while, and sit with my guitar. At the time my friend was going through a rough relationship split, and feeling exploited by an older man. It reminded me of something I’ve been through, and I was frustrated that these situations seem to just keep happening over and over again. That’s where the song began, but as I wrote it, it transformed into a song about realizing how much alike everyone is, and how we have more similarities than differences. I feel like maybe if we could tap into that kind of energy more and remember that, the world would be a much more compassionate place.

S] I love your visuals, how important is the aesthetic side of what the band does?

M] Thank you! I think aesthetics are really important, because visuals are such a huge part of any artistic project. It’s important for the artist to be involved in the aesthetics of their project so that the artistic vision comes across as it was intended by the artist. I really enjoy cinematography and I’m just starting but trying to learn more and more.

I really want everything about Softcult to be authentic to who we are as people and what we like, and that goes for the visuals as well. We don’t have insane video budgets or teams of people working on our videos. While doing things DIY definitely comes with its challenges, I honestly prefer working that way because I feel like my voice and my intention is reflected in the final product, and I feel so much more attached to the visuals.

S] You’re coming to the UK with Incubus, how are you feeling? Is there anything you’d like to see?

M] This is such a crazy cool experience. Ever since we found out we’d been confirmed for the tour it’s been living in the back of my mind, like a clock counting down, and I feel like we’ve been working towards this moment for a long time. We’re so excited to play with this legendary band at these legendary venues. Seeing Royal Albert Hall and being on its stage and a part of its rich history is going to feel so surreal.

S] Do you have a message for UK fans?

M] Thank you so much for accepting us into your scene. The UK has some of the coolest music and the most talented artists of anywhere in the world, and we feel so lucky every time we get to come across the pond. It feels like we’re coming home in a funny way.

S] Any words of wisdom to finish on?

M] If you’re reading this and you want to start a band, or a project, or a zine, or an activism group, or do anything to make a difference in this world, and someone in your life has told you that you CAN’T do it, I want to reassure you that you CAN. You can and you will. Just keep going, no matter what. If you try at anything for long enough, you will make an impact. If there are people telling you to give up, it’s because they’re afraid of what you might accomplish.

S] Anything else you would like to plug that we may have missed?

M] We have a vinyl that we’ve just released and it’s beautiful. We release zines every month for free on our website, and you can subscribe if you want to receive the handmade physical copies. We are putting out new music again very soon.

S] Thanks so much!

M] Thank you!