Dance singer Kerli brought her “Army of Love” to Chicago this past summer to perform at Roscoe’s Tavern and Lollapalooza. This Estonian chanteuse packed Borderline Music on Broadway and took a stroll around the block afterwards for a quick chat.
Jerry Nunn: Alright the record signing is over.
Kerli: It is so nice outside, let’s walk a bit.
JN: How do you think everything went? You had a great crowd.
K: How do you think it went? (laughs)
JN: Seems like lots of people love your music.
K: I created Moon Children five years ago. It wasn’t the popular thing to do back then, along with social media and the things I did. I started this community. It is an organic part of who I am and it always has been. They really inspire me, too. It is not really like I am the artist and they are the fans. It is more like I am the art piece and they are helping me design it.
JN: Where did Moon Children come from?
K: I love magic. My ancestors were pagan so I love to know about planets and herbs. The moon stands for emotion so at first I was thinking the Emotion Children. The moon is always there but you can’t see it when the sun is out. It is actually there in the sky.
JN: The three dots signify things?
K: The three dots are moon marks. They stand for integrity, love and unity.
JN: So it is a positive thing.
JN: You are from Estonia. How did you learn English?
K: In school, everybody has to learn it.
JN: I had a friend in Peace Corps in Estonian and she spoke Russian. Do you speak that there?
K: We are supposed to but the younger generation don’t so much anymore…
JN: Was your song “Tea Party” just played recently on America’s Got Talent?
K: I think so.
JN: I heard it last night on there with bicycle stunts in the background.
K: I know. The kids were tweeting about it!
JN: That’s a national show.
K: That’s fun.
JN: Your new album comes out this fall?
K: Yes. I don’t have an exact date yet but I have worked on it very intensely. I am very excited to see what the Moon Children will think of it and the rest of the world as well.
JN: How do you feel when the Moon Children dress like you?
K: I think it is incredible. We are developing this stuff well together called “BubbleGoth.” We are completely a part of it. The teddy bear with the gas mask was put together for it. I make stock outfits and props for my “Army of Love” music video. I just happened to make that teddy bear and it was in the video. The kids wanted it to be their mascot. We named the bear and got it a birth certificate. It really is an interactive community. It is not Kerli and her fans. You don’t have to be a Kerli fan to be a Moon Child.
JN: Talk about your LGBT fans because I saw many at the signing.
K: Actually my whole team is gay. Many people I work with are gay. I don’t like to differentiate because who is sleeping with who is really not a topic in itself. Let everybody be happy. To me it doesn’t make sense when someone goes and votes against gay marriage. Who are you to vote on somebody being happy or not being happy? It is about human rights. Once I got this weird letter and somebody asked me, “Do you think we can be friends even if my political views are different?” Political views? It is a matter of human fucking rights and no I don’t I can be friends with anyone who has it in them to be that way. It just shows that person doesn’t have the depth of understanding about anything, love particularly.
JN: I heard you are a big Bjork fan.
K: Love her!
JN: And Sigur Ros too. I have interviewed the lead singer Jonsi before.
K: Oh my gosh. I have a Sigur Ros drumstick that my ex boyfriend got a from a show in Estonia. Even though he is a big fan he gave it to me because he knew I wanted it more than he did.
JN: So you have seen him perform. It is almost a religious experience.
K: Yes it is. Now they are doing the new stuff, which is even bigger.
JN: Jonsi is learning English through his boyfriend so he has songs in Icelandic and English now.
K: I haven’t listened to his solo stuff but the first albums tapped into something that is inhuman.
JN: This is a busy time for you doing appearances at Roscoe’s and Lollapalooza.
K: I have been to Chicago and few times and I love it. It is almost like a cleaner New York City. People have always been very friendly.
(Someone shouts from a car) I love you, Kerli!
K: I love you more!
Join the “Army of Love” today at http://www.kerlimusic.com/armyoflove.