Known in punk rock circles as the saxophonist of The Black Lips and playing the saw in her other band CRUSH, Zumi Rosow also inspired the name of the House’s new bag Gucci Zumi.
The bag was first spotted on Zumi’s shoulder as she walked the Spring Summer 2019 fashion show in the Théâtre Le Palace in Paris. She speaks to Gucci about that moment on the runway, her stage character and where she’s headed first with the Gucci Zumi bag.
How does walking a fashion show compare to performing on stage with one of your bands? Is it the same level of nerves and excitement?
I constantly day dream about the Gucci show I walked in, wishing it hadn't already happened so I could do it again. I was vibrating with an intense amount of anxiety and nervous excitement, which sort of felt like my heart, was pumping out glitter instead of blood, which was now twinkling through my veins. To be a participating element in this super intense, highly charged illuminated, magical moment! Like an eclipse, happening so fast. The whole thing sort of feels like burning sparklers! They burn super hot, fast, and bright, beautiful, the illuminating everything, giving life! And then boom, it’s over. The energy from the now gone brilliant light still hums in the air. Sometimes I play shows with my bands that can feel like that too, I don’t always get nervous when I play shows, but I like it when I do. If you can harness it, it's a useful energy boost.
You’ve been described as an experimental musician who is equal parts leather daddy and warrior goddess, how do you describe yourself? Is Zumi the person the same as Zumi on stage who plays the saw and the saxophone?
The first thing I ever wrote was ‘Zumi Rosow Poet’ That’s the only time I can recall ever describing myself. I am a creature vibrating at a frequency that is uniquely my own. I am more comfortable being myself than describing myself. I would say it’s Zumi the person and Zumi the performer on stage. I’m not playing a character, necessarily, but I’m performing. The stage allows me the freedom to indulge certain parts of my inner fantasies and take certain cathartic liberties.
You have so many mediums for your creativity, how do you tap into them?
I feel like I am the medium and the universe has tapped into me with all these creative impulses or abilities. Having so many possible creative outlets Is a blessing and a curse! In college I tried to adapt by changing my major from Theatre, to Integrated Arts. Which is blanket term for everything all at once, which turned into a term for ‘you bit off way more than you can chew!’ I always have way too many things on tap at the same time, and this can become overwhelming, and debilitating. I’ve found that collaborating or working with a partner can be very helpful. l am extremely fortunate that I found someone who is totally supportive of me as an artist and can explore and create things with in all the time, and he is my boyfriend, best friend, and band mate Cole Alexander.
Gucci Zumi the bag, where’s the first place you want to take her?
The Huntington Rose Garden tea room, and then Musso and Frank which happens to be the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles. It’s an old haunt that was established back in 1919 it has and still brings out a fascinating regular cliental from the likes of Charlie Chaplin to even today with patrons like Kenneth Anger who is one of my heroes and also a fellow Gucci muse. Supposedly he likes to go on Thursdays for the daily special which is the delicious chicken pot pie. You may find me there then lurking in the shadows amongst the beautiful tufted leather booths and wood paneling hopefully catching a glimpse of Kenneth when he is in his element.
What’s next for you, will we see you on stage any time soon?
Finishing recording a country record with The Black Lips, which we will start touring with, in Europe in October. Will finally be releasing music and music videos for CRUSH, some possible film collaborations, which I’m very excited about because I have missed acting!