Sword fighting and screaming: here’s how Grimes prepares for a session in the studio

(Image credit: PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

When we spoke to Grimes in 2015, it appeared that she liked to keep things simple. She’d managed to create a critically acclaimed album using just GarageBand and a Roland Juno-G synth, after all.

Times change, though, and the artist also known as Claire Elise Boucher now has a much more complicated life. 

In a recent Instagram post, she discussed her “360 approach to training”, which involves maximising the function of her mitochondria and spending two to four hours at a time in a deprivation tank. Her afternoons are often taken up with a couple of hours of sword fighting, and then there’s some core strength work and a hike.

ADIDAS: Tell us about ur training regimen ? GRIMES: My training is a 360 approach. I first maintain a healthy cellular routine where I maximize the function of my mitochondria with supplements such as NAD+, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Magnesium, etc. This helps promote ATP and it’s incredibly visceral. From that point I spend 2-4 hours in my deprivation tank, this allows me to “astro-glide” to other dimensions - past, present, and future. In the afternoons I do a 1-2 hour sword fighting session with my trainer, James Lew, we go over the fundamentals that work the obliques, core stabilizes, and triceps as well as a few tricks. To wind down from this I spend 30-45 minutes on an inclined hike at roughly 4-4.5 miles per hour, arguably the most efficient workout. I then spend 45 minutes stretching before heading into the studio where my mind and body are functioning at peak level, with a neuroplastic goal between 57.5 and 71.5 AphC’s (which is my preferred range for my blood type). I’ve outfitted my studio with the highest grade of red light. It is pretty much 1000 sqf IR Sauna. Hana then comes over and we do a screaming session for 20-25 minutes while I slow boil the honey tea that maximizes vocal proficiency. I have also eliminated all blue light from my vision through an experimental surgery that removes the top film of my eyeball and replaces it with an orange ultra-flex polymer that my friend and I made in the lab this past winter as a means to cure seasonal depression. I go to bed with a humidifier on. #asmc #adidasparley #createdwithadidas #gentrifymordor MISS ANTHROPOCENE

A photo posted by @grimes on Jul 15, 2019 at 4:33pm PDT

This means that, by the time she hits the studio, Grimes’ mind and body are “functioning at peak level” - we’d just be exhausted - with a “neuroplastic goal between 57.5 and 71.5 AphC’s”. Nope, us neither.

Grimes also says that her creative space is illuminated with “the highest grade of red light”, and that she’ll enjoy a 20 to 25 minute ‘screaming session’ while she boils honey tea in order to maximise vocal proficiency.

All of which is in stark contrast to our studio prep regime, which consists of little more than rolling out of bed and pouring a bowl of Cheerios.

And that’s probably why Grimes is preparing to release her fifth album, Miss Anthropocene, and we still haven’t finished our first.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more. image
All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more.
Get the latest issue now!