EMERSON BARRETT, 21, DRUMS
“I started getting into drawing when I moved to LA – I was 15, and I dropped out of school. I’ve got an art exhibition coming up on February 8 at the Pacific Design Center in Hollywood, which features some collaborations with [Italian royal descendant] Prince Lorenzo De’ Medici. He pulled one of his family’s pieces out of a vault at the Vatican, painted on it and then gave it to me and said,‘you can do whatever you want with it.’ That was a huge opportunity for me.
“The beauty of being in this band is that I’ve been able to live in my own world.the philosopher Alan Watts said,‘if the fool were to persist in his folly he would become wise,’ and I didn’t understand that until I existed in my own madness. I isolated myself so much that I created my own universe of art and music. So many kids come up to me and say,‘i wish I had the confidence to dress and talk like you – I don’t know how you do it.’ And I completely understand what they’re saying, because when you’re knocked down by kids in school or your parents, it can get to you and break your character, and you change to be like everyone else. But in the long run, you’ll realise that these weird imperfections are the things that actually make you perfect.
“In my family, my individual thinking was always celebrated and I was encouraged to keep doing it – my brothers were always proud of me. Now, I stand at 21 and I have such confidence. Everyone seems to be so involved in their egos, their drug addictions or just generally being an idiot nowadays, and my immediate reaction to all of that is the exact opposite; to be profound and think about the significant things in life. Every day I’m pushing conversations towards being somewhat existential and philosophical. Most people get weirded-out by it, but there’s so much meaning in life, and I see every conversation with someone new as an opportunity to talk about beautiful things.”