Having been on the Detroit rock scene for a few years and self-releasing music recorded in her bedroom. Two major life events encouraged Stef Chura into the studio, turning several demos and that had been floating around as well as a bunch of new songs into her debut album Messes. We spoke to Stef about touring with The Drums, label politics and the Detroit rock scene.

Is this your first time in playing in Europe?

Yeah, this is my first time playing in Europe. It's also my first time actually being overseas.

How are you finding it so far?

I'm liking it a lot. I haven't seen a lot yet though as I only got here yesterday.

How was your recent tour with the Drums across the States?

Amazing! They're an amazing band. Their new record is great but seeing them play it live was so good. Jonny's just a fantastic front person to watch and a really kind and smart person.

What's the Detroit rock scene like at the moment?

The rock scene is really small. There are some really cool bands, not a lot of touring bands, or bands that you hear of nationally. I feel like it's growing and there's a lot of cool stuff there. My friend Ana Burch just got signed, I'm not going to say who with, but I'm sure you'll be hearing about it soon.

Does Detroit have a strong DIY scene?

I don't know if I consider it very DIY. When I first moved to South East Michigan I lived in a nearby city called Ypsilanti. There were a lot of house shows there and a lot of noise music. The Detroit scene I know is mostly 21 and up venue thing. It's not house shows DIY style.

Your debut studio album came out earlier this year, but you've been involved in music for a long time. Can you tell me about the road to making this record?

Yeah, I've been playing guitar and writing since I was in High School. When I was 19/20 I moved to Ypsilanti and started playing solo, doing shows and making tapes and stuff like that. I was also playing with bands on and off.

I also started playing with the drummer, who I play with now. We decided that we really needed to start recording music, as everything was just demos before this.

What pushed you after all this time to get into the studio?

You know a lot of people are telling me it's because of my Saturn return. But you know I had some things that were colliding at the same time, I was going to college and I was feeling like I was doing it for the wrong reasons and I decided to drop out. At the same time, I also had a friend pass away and I just had this realization that life was meaningless. The question in my mind was, 'What do you have to do before you die?' If you've ever had anyone close to you pass away you have all these thoughts about your existence and I was just like I have to. I'd been so afraid to take that plunge because it is scary.

How does it feel having the debut under your belt?

I've learned so much! I'm really glad to have gotten these songs out. The album is half older songs that I couldn't put down because I thought they needed a really good recording and the other half are new songs. I'm really glad that I feel like I'm turning a page and these songs have been remembered.

Was it important for you to put it out on Urinal Cake records, a Detroit based label?

No, it wasn't. It was more that they were local and it was more of a DIY release. He helped me pay for some stuff, but I put a lot of the work in for the record. I didn't know anyone and I had some writer friends send it to some labels. It's weird because at some of the labels it depends on who sent it to them whether they listen to it or not. No one was really listening to it so I just did it locally.

How would you describe your writing process?

I'm almost redefining that for myself at the moment, I would always say that it was cathartic but I wouldn't say I always needed to write about what I know about. Sometimes you're writing and the freer it is, with fewer constraints that it has to be about something or in a certain arrangement, I feel those are the best times, when I write a whole song all the way through.

What are you working on at the moment?

We've recorded a couple of singles with Will Toledo from Car Seat Headrest. We're working on another album and we've been talking to some labels. I think there might be some news there. We're booking in the studio slots at the moment and I feel like the production quality will be a lot different and the arrangements I'll be working on them with a producer so I think there will be some more solo songs and some bigger sounding songs.

You can visit Stef Chura by heading over to Facebook.