‘How many tattoos do I have? Ballpark? Maybe 100’
In conversation: Julie Chance and Jane Arnison from the band Evvol
Julie Chance (left) and Jane Arnison
When did you last cry?
Jane: Last night, after I had a fight with one of my best friends.
Julie: Me too.
What artist do you feel particularly connected to right now?
Julie: I’m a bit obsessed with Eileen Myles.
Jane: Roisin Murphy.
Julie: Love Roisin Murphy!
Jane: She’s fearless. Her voice is independent, her sound is her own. There’s no one else like her.
Julie: Gillian Anderson is a ride as well. Her new fashion line is pretty cool.
What book do you keep returning to?
Jane: Jack Kornfield’s A Path With Heart is my ultimate. If I’m not reading it, I listen to it when I can’t sleep.
Julie: I’m reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas again because I love it.
Jane: Anything by Jeanette Winterson. I love her. Sexing the Cherry is one of my favourite books, Written on the Body is another favourite.
When were you closest to death?
Jane: When I flew home to Australia when my dad was in intensive care with cancer in February of this year. I haven’t had anything personal. You’ve had a few close calls.
Julie: Old stuff yeah, I’ve nearly died loads of times.
Jane: So casual!
Julie: Are we getting into that? Back in the day when I was a bit mad, I overdosed loads of times. When I had septicaemia I actually nearly died.
What is your favourite place to visit?
Julie: Love the people, love the food, love the way of life.
What was your favourite item of clothing when you were a teenager?
Jane: My Oakland A’s cap.
Julie: Nike Air Jordans.
What is your go-to dessert?
Jane: Creme brûlée.
Julie: Creme brûlée.
Jane: I mean, creme brûlée is the standard for everyone, right? The world over.
Julie: I’m into anything creamy. Not bread-y like cake.
What do you think is the best building in the world?
Jane: Sydney Opera House. I used to sing there all the time as a kid. The internal architecture is amazing. I used to go running on the harbour and it’s just beautiful. For many reasons, it’s my favourite building, so I stand by that.
Julie: I haven’t lived in Ireland for 15 years, but it always warms my heart when you’re going into town in Dublin and as you’re coming up the street you see the archway at Christchurch Cathedral. I love Christchurch, beautiful, beautiful building.
What’s your favourite painting?
Jane: Maybe Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.
Julie: I’m a fan of the Irish greats, paintings that are quintessentially Irish; Paul Henry Launching the Currach, Jack B. Yeats The Liffey Swim.
Jane: I’m a big Richter fan, big Rothko fan, Basquiat.
Julie: Everyone says Basquiat.
Jane: Yeah, but Basquiat is a really big influence on us.
Julie: That’s true, fair.
To what do you owe your parents?
Julie: Compassion and generosity. Both of my parents are very generous. Compassion probably more from my Dad, my mum can be a little short, but I’ve probably inherited that as well.
Jane: This is why we understand each other, we have similar families emotionally. Unconditional love and support, and annoyingly never letting you off, but that reminds you that they love you.
Julie: Pain in the arse though!
What was the last gift that you bought?
Jane: You bought me a trip to Greece.
Jane: I bought a drum kit for my nephew.
Do you have any tattoos and what do they mean?
Jane: I have tattoos and generally they’re related to experiences that I’ve had, spiritual and emotional stuff I want to remember, touchstones.
Julie: I have portrait of my father on my left arm that says ‘Mein Vater der Held’, which means ‘my father the hero.’ My dad’s favourite poet is Patrick Kavanagh, so I have the last line from Memory of My Father, ‘I was once your father’. I’ve got some Smiths lyrics even though I hate Morrissey now, “pin and mount me like a butterfly”, come on! He can write some great lines.
Jane: You probably have about 200 tattoos.
Julie: Nah. Ballpark? Maybe a hundred.
What would be your epitaph?
Julie: Party on Wayne, party on Garth.
Julie: You know, there’s too much emphasis on life and not enough on death. Death comes just as life does. They’re equal, yet there’s all this emphasis on “living”, and when death comes it’s somehow a surprise. We’re shocked and saddened by it. We shouldn’t be sad. We should celebrate death. I’m telling everyone that if I die, we should have a party, not the sadness thing.