Cecilia Della Peruti, better known by her stage name Gothic Tropic, has successfully made a name for herself alongside some of music’s most recognizable indie-pop artists. She’s toured with household names such as Beck, Børns, and Charli XCX, as well as packing out her first headlining European tour. Her 2017 release, Fast or Feast, attracted global media attention from the likes of Beats 1, KROQ, and Australia’s Triple J, and has been recognized on Spotify and Apple Music’s major playlists.
We had the opportunity to talk with Peruti about her musical inspirations, upcoming releases, and the time Bono threw her the “rock horns.”
Q & A with Gothic Tropic:
EB: How did you get your start in the music industry?
CDP: I started playing punk shows in high school, and probably made about $5. So technically, that’d be the beginning of my professional career. I started playing solo shows, and then formed my own band.
EB: Who has been your biggest inspiration in music?
CDP: Cocteau Twins, Mariah Carey, Nina Simone, David Byrne, Bad Brains, Enya, The Beatles, Television, and the Descendents.
EB: Whose guitar tones inspire you?
CDP: Annie Clark, Ruban Nielson, Jimi Hendrix, and Prince.
EB: This career isn’t an easy one. What inspires you to wake up every morning to write, record, and perform?
CDP: It’s a compulsion, so I would be doing this anyway for therapeutic purposes.
EB: What is your best memory on stage?
CDP: Playing “Go It Alone” with Beck while opening for U2. I looked over to my right to see Bono side stage, getting blasted by my amp which was angled right at him, and he throws me the rock horns. I was able to throw them back, and then kept on with the set, but all I could think for the next 4 or 5 songs was “Bono just threw me the rock horns”.
EB: What’s the most abnormal thing you can’t do without on tour?
CDP: Communication with friends, whether it’s keeping a meme thread going, or talking to loved ones. But I have to be able to go back and forth with someone I have fun with, because you’re really lonely on tour, despite the optics.
EB: What was that pivotal moment in your career when you realized you knew this is what you wanted to do?
CDP: I was ringing up Diane Warren at a fancy Beverly Hills store I worked at, and she noticed I had long nails on my right hand and short nails on my left, and she asked if I was a guitarist. I said yes, and that I’m also a songwriter, and she told me to never quit or give up my passion. I knew I had to fucking quit that shop. I always knew I wanted to play music, so it’s more like I’m manufacturing a career around it, so I don’t have to do anything else.
EB: How does playing music make you feel? How do you want people to feel when listening to your music?
CDP: It’s helpful to me, and I hope it’s how I can send my secrets, thoughts, background, and messages to other people. If they identify with me, that’s cool. I love when I find artists I identify with.
EB: What is one piece of advice that you would give someone trying to jump start their career in music?
CDP: Have zero existential expectations and just do it for the art. Make sure your art is what you want it to be, and you’re getting what you want from it, that’s your primary focus. Or if you want to write for briefs and sync and so on, your primary focus is what the client wants. There’s all sorts of careers in music.
EB: What’s next for Gothic Tropic?
CDP: I’m releasing an EP, and a six-song album soon.
Gothic Tropic uses Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky Guitar Strings.
Listen to Gothic Tropic
**Header Image c/o Matt Akana.