Grimes Previews New Album, TV Show, Podcast, And Discord: “Gaming Culture Is Less Toxic Than Indie Stan Culture”
Grimes is in the middle of another promo blitz, this time involving her new affiliation with the community-based messaging platform Discord. In a new Billboard interview tied to the launch of a Discord promo video starring Grimes, Danny DeVito, Awkwafina, and J Balvin, she shares details about her new Discord server as well as her upcoming album, TV show, and podcast.
The Discord server, known as Grimes Metaverse Super Beta, launched last month. Grimes has used it to debut unreleased music, something she intends to do again Sunday at 10:30AM ET when she hosts an afterparty for the virtual festival Splendour XR — “a whole set of new music and stuff.” Discord is popular in the gaming community, which is how Grimes discovered the platform. “The more I get into the gaming community, it’s a lot less toxic than the indie music stan community,” she tells Billboard. “Everyone’s going to laugh at me saying that gaming culture is less toxic than indie stan culture, but it’s kind of true, frankly, having lived in both extensively.”
As for the new album — which Grimes has previously described as “a space opera about a lesbian A.I.” — she says it’s “pretty different” from 2020’s Miss Anthropocene. She has a lot to say about how its gestation process has evolved since she signed to Columbia in March, perhaps alluding to her push-and-pull with the label about what should be a single:
We made an album and were like, “Is this a finished album?” And that was before I signed to Columbia. Then I signed to Columbia, and we keep debating on the singles and it keeps changing. It’s sort of a concept album, so it does have a narrative. It’s a space opera, and I’m trying to make it air-tight, really pull it together, hone it in. With my last album, I had a lot of big ideas, but I just let it be more impressionistic. With this album, I think I have a lot more to say. I feel very strongly about the material. Also, we’re continually making songs as we go. But I think we’re going to start dropping singles, which I kind of prefer. I prefer not putting too much pressure on the album, and being able to keep adding stuff, because I also like long albums. So I think we’re going to start dropping singles this summer and then just keep dropping singles and then put the album out four, five, six singles in or something. I am a big album person, but I also like to get music out.
Grimes is also working on a podcast called Homo Techno with astrophysics undergrad-turned-poker pro-turned-A.I. theorist Liv Boeree, about which she explains: “Our thesis for the podcast is that we’re no longer homo sapiens, we are “homo techno” — we’re full cyborgs. It investigates the most aggressively controversial theories about futurism or the people who are most on the edge with either their ideas or practices with regards to ways the world can be.”
Finally, Grimes addresses Alter Ego, the new Fox reality competition show she’s judging alongside Alanis Morisette and will.i.am, which is like The Masked Singer with CGI and which, like the podcast, is “very post-human”:
No one has a body, and no one is bound by their age or gender or anything like that. I’ve been really enjoying that, because we’ve lived in a society for so long where you’re stuck in the shell that you’re in, and you just have to deal with it. We might be about to enter a new reality where we can all live to the potential of our brains. As a woman in the industry, I don’t give a fuck about how I look. I hate thinking about that. I literally don’t care, and it takes so much time, and it’s expensive. We could really democratize things. All of these things give me a lot of optimism about the future.
Here’s Discord – The Movie to play us out: