"All I can really ask for as a musician is to bring some sort of understanding, or healing or something positive into someone's life."
Onstage, it's clear that without stage banter or rock theatrics, Chelsea Wolfe holds the attention of audiences like a zealot priestess. It's this inherent strength and enigmatic charisma that has charmed critics, landed her on the cover of LA Weekly, won over legions of black metal fans, and will accompany her on a spring tour with desert rockers Queens of the Stone Age. Despite her heavy metal fans and past typically male-centric music tour support - including cinematic rockers and Sargent House label-mates, Russian Circles -- Wolfe is the antithesis to the ubiquitous hard rock posturing. She is an introvert from Northern California, a singer/songwriter with folk and country roots, and a strong connection to the elements and nature. Touring with heavy acts and strong personalities like mercurial QOTSA frontman Josh Homme, demands courage and bearing the intense audiences attuned to frenetic rock presents a challenge too. Wolfe has that strength, but performing has been a life-long process for her; an evolution not easily attained.
"I've always loved writing and playing music, but I've always hated being the center of attention or standing up in front of people," confesses Wolfe. "I never imagined that I would be onstage and touring. At first, I just couldn't handle it. I would do two or three songs and my skin would just start crawling and I would leave the stage. So I started wearing a veil and tried different ways of being invisible up there, but still being able to perform." On her acclaimed, breakthrough third album Pain Is Beauty, Wolfe literally, and figuratively, lifts the veil, bravely exploring a spacious, electro-folk sound while tackling themes of empowerment and battling those persistent demons of crippling self-consciousness. "The themes of the album are about trying to fight to be brave and to be a better performer because music is my job. I love writing songs, and I love making albums, but sometimes getting onstage can be like pulling teeth."