Social Repose a solo project got started in 2011. But did not take off until 2014 through 2015. But before that, he would release a number of EP's "Paradise", "More of the Same", "The Modern Age", "The Machine That Learned How To Love". To other newer releases "Reckless Closure", "Crazy Manic Love", as well as a covers release. All that would change once "Yalta" and "Empress" had made their rounds, causing his fan base to grow ever so further, that no regrets would be given. Social Repose himself goes on to disclose his time with creating music, before YouTube came about, down to the YouTube success, down what plans are ahead for him.
1. First off, who are you and what is it that you do in Social Repose?
My name is Richie Giese, and I actually do everything, mostly known for singing but I compose and record the songs as well.
2. Would you say that Social Repose is a solo project or a band or a bit of both?
It's a solo project. I mean, the next couple of months I will be touring with a drummer for the first time. But normally I would play alone. It's a singer/songwriting nothing acoustic about it. Definitely do everything by myself here.
3. Why go with naming this as Social Repose as opposed to your YouTube personality name Richie Giese?
Like I started this back in 2011, so it's been a while. I'd always see other acts like Owl City and The Ready Set, who would always have monikers. So it kind of gives a little more mystery with this veil to it. It removes me, from the project, doing whatever you want with it if you're going under a name.
4. Will we ever see Richie Giese used in any form of Social Repose's creation, like a hidden Easter egg of sorts, to those who may not know the Richie Giese name and where it comes from since everyone knows you as Social Repose.
For this project, it kind of more transferred into the YouTube videos, where the fans do know who I am. It all depends with how much information you want to be out there. But the fans know me, my name, my outfits, what I look like without my outfits, it's a transparent thing. Originally it was more about Social Repose but now it has gotten on a personal level.
5. In one of your videos, you went ahead shaving off your hair completely, was this really done or was it all edited to appear that way? If it was legit, did you miss your hair once it was gone for the time being?
I don't hold back with a lot of the videos I do. The original videos I take pride in when thinking up ideas. That one was a year or so ago. One of the more popular videos, that was shocking. Since then though I put everything into the videos these days.
6. When it comes to your appearance, you are most known for your Indian Headdress, where did this idea come from, and how many of those do you own? Are they all the same or is each one slightly different in appearance? Do you make them yourself or are they specialty made and you order them online or have someone do it for you?
It started in 2011 but it did not take off until 2014-2015. The headdress era which we are still in, is what I would call it, is where I would paint my body black, wearing this outfit, so moving myself forward with Social Repose, people became more interested. It was fun to dress up, pushing this persona Social Repose. It has nothing to do with culture cooperation, that's what people assume to think, because of the Indian headdress. I have done many videos how it is not the case. It has changed colors but I have settled down on purple because it is my thing. I became actually influenced by Dead Mouth, the producer and creator of music, that wears the giant mouse head. People were drawn more to the music than him. It removes him and focus on the music, so I could do something like that. So a few months ago, I updated it with a crown, lights, it is the same headdress but updated to a point. It is always an evolving outfit and head piece for me, as years progress.
7. Do you enjoy wearing the get up that you do with your Indian headdress and the whole attire or do you prefer just casual attire t-shirt and jeans etc.
It's about the situation, shows and tours, I always dress up. The show is about me, being as the artist, presenting the crowd and audience with what you do. This is the music and what I do, outfit included. The videos, do sometimes showcase the outfit, while others do out, because they are more serious based or dealing with different circumstances. Sometimes without my outfit it becomes more fitting, it all varies depending on the context of the situation.
8. Which came first the music or the YouTube personality?
The music came way before YouTube did. So I just developed a following with YouTube, then Facebook followed that had gone viral. The audience built up from there and went onto YouTube where I am now an official YouTuber, gaining more and more recognition and fans with my creativity.
9. Do you regret doing the YouTube thing and then getting so well known that you have reached this level of fame or is it what you wanted out of it?
I think for any artist, you want people to know, who you are as a person. The past couple of years, working on this stuff, becoming proud of it. It's interesting for those to see what you have done. Your goal being the fans and having those notice you, telling me it is good work and that it exists. It is nice to have a following because to me YouTube is new and it is interesting to be able to do so many things, that I would not just want to do, being in a band, getting to play shows and tours. That's not it, not having the same mold with YouTube, you can do all sorts of things, even as I hang in my bedroom creating videos. I don't regret focusing on YouTube.
10. How does the artwork and title connect to one another on the "Empress" EP?
What I started doing at the end of the last record "Yalta", I started creating a universal and outside of the headdress person like my outfit, I started creating different universes around the songs and videos. Where mainly it was all showcased within the music videos, like this one song that was originally a single off Empress which was originally a single not on the record called "Filthy Pride", that I released a while ago. That release had me dressed all in black paint and my girlfriend all painted white, this conceptual video. I built a world around that, the Empress is one of those characters. Around these songs the videos gives the back story, I treat the videos like a short film. This being one of them.
11. Would you say that "Empress" varies from previous work you have done or does it stick to the same formula?
The last record, it was always dark imaginary. It's never been happy pop songs. It's always definitely dark if not darker source material. I started using graphics and effects, more dramatic, being an overall darker feeling. A bit more elemental, it gives off a darker, atmospheric vibe.
12. What do you have planned for the rest of this year?
It will be touring and playing shows, first up the U.S. in October then over to the U.K. in November, first time out there for me. Then return home for the holidays, then head back out to do it all again in January come the New Year! That's all I have planned for now, still not use to touring as much, it is amazing to get the ability to tour, and is exciting. I have to also stay on top of doing the YouTube videos as well as write new songs.
13. Which form would be better to get an idea of who you are as an artist, listening to your music or listening and seeing you in one of your videos?
The visual would be the best option. I just released one recently, with a couple of more coming. If anyone was interested, go check out "Filthy Pride" it captures who I am all about. But the videos themselves really feed into the songs, as it all makes sense but the videos are the way to go!