by tim forster

Cheltenham-based Fight Rosa Fight! formed in April 2014 and describe themselves as ‘messy Riot Grrrl/DIY punk’. Within six months of forming, Lindsay, Cassie and Emily had released their first EP Step One: Start A Band following it a year later with a second EP Rotten. Their songs deal with a variety of subjects including inequality, class and mental health.

why did you get together?
Cassie and Linz met through a feminist group Cassie had started. Linz and Emily had played in bands together whilst at school and afterwards. Cassie and Linz were at a meeting and just generally chatting about music, when they decided to try putting a riot grrrl band together. After their first rehearsal, Linz suggested asking Emily to join and Fight Rosa Fight! was born. From the beginning the music and the message went hand in hand. We knew we wanted to make music that had a direct, strong, intersectional feminist message.

your name … rosa parks, rosa luxemburg, or another rosa … ?
Both of the Rosa’s of course! We wanted the name to be bold and empowering, directly referencing feminist action.

is there a particular scene that you feel part of?
The Queer and DIY Punk scenes have been incredibly welcoming to us. NANA DIY at Althorpe Studios in Leamington Spa were especially welcoming to us very early on in our journey when Linz and Cassie were still learning to play their instruments – giving us a support slot for their Martha gig. Sheffield LaDIYFest gave us a chance when we were still a new band, and from playing there we met Petrol Girls who have been supportive and inspirational. Surprise AttacksDIY Punk night in Worcester was a turning point for us – the organisers and audience were really supportive and helped us to grow in confidence as a band. Jenn Hart of Cookie Cut [and Viva Zapata!] in Bristol gave us our first headline show, which developed our confidence further. Playing Nottingham Queer Fest in 2015 was a very special and emotional gig for us, with one of the best and loveliest crowds we have ever seen.

  • “We would like to give big thanks to all the musicians who were especially helpful and supportive, not just by letting us use their gear, but also offering us advice and showing us how to use amps in our early days.”

your lyrics explore some really interesting politcal subjects; other songs seem more personal. do your songs deliberately reflect those two sides of concept and experience?
Arguably all the personal things we write about are political and reflect both concepts of feminism and identity, as well as our own experiences. Our experiences are often politicised whether we choose them to be or not. For example, ‘Do What You Want’ at first listen may seem more of a ‘fun’ song but it is just as overtly political as ‘Everyday is Political’. Both songs call out to all those whose lives are political whether they want them to be or not, both songs reflect that some identities are politicised just by being ‘othered’ by society, by being pushed out of the mainstream and being treated oppressively.
  • “Mental health has long been ignored, vilified and underfunded by our government and society.”

‘We Scream in Silence’ is based on personal mental health experiences but is a love song to anyone who is hurting; it is a song both of support and kinship.

what bands and writers have you been inspired/excited by lately?
Everybody should check out Amygdala from Texas. We played with them at JT Soar in Nottingham and are quite frankly still reeling. Bianca Monique (singer/songwriter) is beautiful, strong and wonderful in so many ways; we were utterly moved and compelled by their presence and performance. Articles by journalist and editor Stephanie Phillips (also of Big Joanie) on race, gender, punk and politics are important and vital. Stephanie’s recent article ‘Are all bands who use female names alienating women in music?’ is available here. ‘Treading Water’ by Petrol Girls could not be more apt, important and necessary in light of recent events in the UK. We also love The Ethical Debating SocietySpook School and DirtyGirl. Cassie put together a zine called ‘Intersectional Politics for Punx’, the first issue dealing specifically with race in the UK DIY Punk scene; Linz and Emily would like to very strongly recommend this zine! Finally, we are very, very excited to be releasing a split 7” record with the awesome Little Fists. We are over the moon to be touring with them throughout the UK in August. Their tracks sound amazing!

Fight Rosa Fight!
 are playing at LOUD WOMEN Fest on 3 Sept.

Thanks to Tim Forster for letting us use this abridged version of his interview. You can read the full version on his blog here.