I interviewed the super beautiful, super talented Chrysta Bell for Dazed & Confused's March issue — as recommended by David Lynch!!! I also did a short email interview for Dazed Digital.
Hollywood enigma David Lynch: “Chrysta Bell looks like a dream and Chrysta Bell sings like a dream. And the dream is coming true.”
It’s not surprising that soulful Texan chanteuse Chrysta Bell looks like the ultimate Lynchian femme fatale – the smouldering red haired songstress has been working with the legendary director for almost fourteen years on her debut album, This Train.
“Looking back, I’m glad that the recording process took so long, even though it was frustrating at times,” she muses. “David fancies people that have life experience, and I think he knew that I needed to grow up so that I was able to really emote and give myself to the music.”
Lucky for Lynch then that Chrysta Bell’s lived such a colorful life. Following a three year stint in Austin-based nineties “continental gypsy cabaret” band 8 ½ Souvenirs, Chrysta Bell has married, divorced, experienced step-motherhood, and travelled the world with a genre-spanning plethora of bands. She even inherited a “natural burial cemetery” from her eccentric, entrepreneurial, hot air balloon-flying father, whose premature passing saw him become her first ‘customer’.
Since meeting, Lynch and Chrysta Bell have come together every couple of years for intensely concentrated recording sessions, where the director would play backing tracks and present the singer with lyrics he’d pulled from the “treasure trove of notes” in his home office.
“That was pretty much the formula for all the music on the record,” she explains. “He had a vision for every piece before I got there, and he was able to massage whatever it was that I was going through that day into what he envisioned. We eventually developed this kind of telepathic…” She trails off.
Understandably, Lynch’s Texan muse can barely contain her excitement about the long-awaited release of This Train — to the point where she often mouths words between bouts of giggles during our interview, physically unable to speak. So when does the transformation to her lusty Jessica Rabbit-meets-Julee Cruise stage persona take place? “The night time is the right time,” she purrs. Bring on the darkness.