by Emma Balfour

23 Feb 2023 |

Story Contributors

Photographer: DAVID MANNAH @davidmannah / Model & Stylist: LUCILLE CROFT @lucillecroft / Makeup: SARAH LAIDLAW @sarahlaidlaw / Interviewer: EMMA BALFOUR @emmabal4 / Bodysuit: LEONARD CONDEMINE @leonardcondemine

Lucille Croft is an Australian DJ and producer that has broken free from the shackles she once felt trapped in. Lucille has set on a journey of regaining her power with her new highly anticipated EP Patient X.

Through the album imagery and storytelling of Patient X, Lucille uses the challenges and prejudices she faces being a female in a male-dominated music industry as ammo to create an explosive EP full of fight and attitude. Serving as the Lara Croft for the Electronic music world, Lucille has created five badass tracks with experimental and cyberpunk- inspired sounds, pulling influences from the worlds of science-fiction and FPS (first-person shooter) games.

From Lucille’s very own impressive sword collection to the importance of dressing to empower yourself, put on your warpaint and bring your weapons, you are about to enter the universe of Patient X.

EMMA BALFOUR: Hey Lucille! Where are you speaking to us from today?

LUCILLE CROFT: I’m currently in Melbourne, however, I’m kind of packing up my life as I move to LA next week.

EB: A huge congratulations on the drop of your EP Patient X, let’s talk about your main inspiration for it. What does Patient X stand for?

LC: Patient X is an embodiment of me wanting to explore my love for science fiction, fantasy and games. I am a huge gamer and I love to just have my head in an alternate reality, I love watching science fiction movies and things like that. A lot of inspiration from the storyline of Patient X is fictional of course, but it was actually inspired by my experience as a woman in music, however, it isn’t limited to just that. I used to model a lot and I found similar things in that industry too. In my early career when I was working with teams, predominantly male, I found I was being told to play a certain type of music, dress a certain way, talk a certain way online, not get tattoos, etc. It was kind of like working with multiple teams across time who were trying to shape me into their version of what they thought the perfect Lucille Croft should be. It was extremely frustrating, and I felt very unlike myself when I was being told this stuff. I felt like I was drowning, I felt trapped. One day I basically turned around and told them all to fuck off. Their response to that was that If I don’t follow their formula, then I’m going to ruin my career. From then on, I started doing my own thing, I started becoming exactly who I wanted to be and then my career started skyrocketing.

EB: Your EP tells the story of a human who breaks free from its controllers and sets out on a path of revenge. Is that how you feel now in how you navigate the music industry?

LC: Oh 100%. I do everything in my projects now. I make the music; I do all of the creative and everything else in between. I was always told that my ideas were too crazy, even my Patient X concept. Finally, I’m able to express myself in the ways that I want to. Now I feel like I’m being authentic to myself and I’m just having fun. I wouldn’t have cared if anybody loved me but myself. I’m so proud of my body of work and I feel that I have multiple personalities as all creatives do, and Patient X enables me to explore one of the personalities that I have felt in a really fun fictional way. It has been received extremely well which is great because it was a little bit risky.

EB: Patient X consists of five powerful tracks; how do you describe your current sound?

LC: I feel like my music is quite industrial and experimental, it’s heavy with a darker mood but it’s not super underground. My music to me is something that they would play in Club Hell in The Matrix or in the Blood Rave in Blade.

EB: Your track Post Human simulates the feeling of being in an FPS (first-person shooter) video game where your environment is a battlefield, and it hypes the listener up. Was this the intention?

LC: That was exactly it. You know, if I would have had like one hundred grand, I would have made this a movie, but sadly that wasn’t the case. This would have been the opening scene in a game or movie, where you’re Patient X and you have just broken out of the lab with alarms going off, red lights flashing, and all of the security guards are running after you. I envisioned Patient X to have a giant sword and she would be fighting with it to escape. That’s kind of like the feeling of post-human, it simulates being at the beginning of a mission.

EB: On your “Kill The Machine” track you collaborate with Bad/Love and TMRRW. How did you find that collaboration process and how did you ensure that your vision for Patient X and the whole ethos for the project was maintained when working with others?

LC: Good question. I’m actually very cautious about who I collaborate with as I have had a few bad experiences. TMRRW is an Australian producer who is a real-life friend of mine and so we have made a song previously in the past. The idea of us collaborating again was a natural feeling and it was very seamless. He was really happy for it to be on the EP as he loves the concept. With Bad/Love, it’s kind of a funny story. I actually met them through them booking me to model for their album cover. They just messaged me on Instagram out of the blue and were like, “Hey, we’re huge fans, we’re making our first album cover and are shooting with this amazing photographer that knows you. Would you be down to model as a headless topless Venus statue?” I was like, “Okay I’m down [Lucille laughs]”. I knew the photographer so I knew it would be high-quality work. When the day came, I was thinking to myself, oh god, what if this band sucks? Like I probably shouldn’t be on their album cover if so, therefore I started listening to their music on the drive there, but they ended up being super cool. I was so surprised that they were just like this small upcoming band from Melbourne. I ended up playing some of my demos at the shoot whilst I was posing as a headless Venus statue. A week later we finished one of my songs together.

EB: Speaking of album covers, your cover for Patient X has some striking imagery. What was your main inspiration behind the styling for the cover shoot? It gives off very badass energy.

LC: Thank you! I’m a massive fan of games like Resident Evil and ironically my name has Croft in it. I’m a huge fan of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and I used to love watching Angelina Jolie in that role. I love feeling empowered and wearing stuff that is sexy but I’m wearing it for me. I’m not wearing it, so people look at it and think that I’m sexy, I’m wearing it because I want to feel good. I wanted to wear something like they would wear in the Blood Rave in Blade, I wanted it to look futuristic and super badass. I’m also personally a huge lover of weapons. I collect knives, I think they are fascinating, so I wanted to have huge swords in the shot to further add to the empowering persona I created for Patient X. In a lot of ways, that cover was for me more than anyone else. I was the least fit I’ve ever been. I’ve been modelling for so long and so I get quite self-conscious sometimes. However, I put on the bodysuit, and I was like fuck it, I feel good in this thing.

EB: In your music video for “Seduce/Destroy,” there are multiple swords and blades on a large steel table, does that mean that some of those are yours?

LC: They’re all mine [Lucille laughs]. I just think there is something really beautiful about blades and swords. They are designed to be this deadly thing but the craftsmanship that goes into swords in particular is just really interesting. Crafting swords is this detailed art that people train for years to make, especially the more traditional ones. My dream house is going to have an entire room that is filled with all these beautiful swords from all over the world on the walls.

EB: I just can’t believe the parallel of your name being Lucille Croft and the links with Lara Croft. Patient X emulates that total main character energy, your name was just meant to be!

LC: Yea I really wanted the imagery for Patient X too look like this fearless character in a video game. I style other artists and I’m a fashion designer myself and so I was able to shoot with a high fashion team in Australia who luckily were down to collaborate and bring my project to life. I wanted to make it high fashion and the quality that comes with that. I tied in all of my passions into this project.

EB: Did you study design or how did you get into fashion?

LC: I studied at an awesome school called Whitehouse Institute of Design in Australia. Very ironic, when I was studying, all I was interested in was creating wearable technology. So, I would make lights in the garments that reacted to sound and things like that and so was very much heading down that path. Then when I got out of university, I started pursuing music much more heavily and I had this weird dream one night that I had a lingerie label. I then woke up the next morning and started designing my lingerie label This Is Bad Wolf. The second range is super delayed because of Covid and since I’m moving to the US, the logistics have been complicated but I’m going to be continuing it which I’m excited about.

EB: I noticed that ‘Bad Wolf ’ is also used a lot in your Patient X project in the form of Bad Wolf HQ, can you tell us what is this in reference to?

LC: I wanted my project to have an HQ because I think that as I explore music more and with this being my first EP, I wanted to explore storylines and characters, kind of like bringing my love for gaming into the way I structure my music projects. For Patient X I wanted to create some kind of evil incorporation and I thought it would be fun to have something that is part of my brand, ‘Bad Wolf ’ being that. I self-released my last six or so songs including the EP and I have called the label This Is Bad Wolf. I think it could be really fun, for now, it’s an evil incorporation but maybe for my next EP the storyline will switch. Anything is possible with my brand and my storyline, and I love that about my projects, I make them so far into the world of fiction and fantasy which means that nothing is ruled out. I love having limitless possibilities.

EB: You have spoken to us today a lot about doing what you want and feeling empowered, at OffTheRails we truly celebrate being unapologetically authentic and going against the norms. Something we always ask is what is the most OffTheRails thing that you have done?

LC: Oh god. I mean, I just got my American Visa approved and don’t want to get it revoked [Lucille laughs] …