Fiona Apple’s Album ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’ Is Inspired By Mental Illness And Gillian Anderson

With the exception of the re-recorded track “I Know” with King Princess, it’s been years since Fiona Apple has released new music, but that could all change in a matter of months. In a recent interview, Apple detailed her upcoming album, its theme, her lengthy career as a musician, and her struggle with relationships and mental illness.

In a conversation with the New Yorker, Apple described the influences behind her upcoming album. The record’s title, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, is a nod to the 2013 UK crime series The Fall starring Gillian Anderson. Anderson’s character calls out the phrase after discovering a locked door in a crime scene. “Really, what it’s about is not being afraid to speak,” Apple said about the title. The singer then revealed that she considered using a sketch of Harvey Weinstein with his walker as the album’s cover art.

“It’s very raw and unslick,” bassist Sebastian Steinberg said about the album. “Her agenda has gotten wilder and a lot less concerned with what the outside world thinks—she’s not seventeen, she’s forty, and she’s got no reason not to do exactly what she wants.”

Some of that “raw” sound comes from her focus on rhythm sections, which Apple revealed has connections to the OCD rituals she had developed as a child. Some of these rituals included “crunching leaves and counting breaths, or roller-skating around her dining-room table eighty-eight times — the number of keys on a piano — while singing Bob Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone.'”

While Apple says the record is nearly finished, the date has been continuously pushed back over a fear of public scrutiny. Since rising to fame, Apple has struggled with life in the public eye and has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and anxiety since childhood.

“I look the right way, but I say the wrong thing, so they say something mean about what I said,” Apple said about her aversion to press. “I have a temper. I have lots of rage inside. I have lots of sadness inside of me. And I really, really, really can’t stand assholes. If I’m in front of one, and I happen to be in a public place, and I lose my sh*t — and that’s a possibility — that’s not going to be any good to me, but I won’t be able to help it, because I’ll want to defend myself.”

Some of Apple’s public outcries, like telling an audience to “shut the f*ck up” before walking off stage a few years ago, has lead the public to see her, as she put it, as “the patron saint of mental illness, instead of as someone who creates things.”

But with Fetch The Bolt Cutters, Apple attempts to be true to herself. The singer recorded and mixed the entirety of the upcoming record at home in LA, and listeners can expect frankness as well as a distinct playfulness in her new music.

Read the entirety of Apple’s interview with the New Yorker here.