Tag Archives: timothy forster

interview: IDestroy

idestory

IDestroy: L-R Jenn Haneef, Bec Jevons and Becky Baldwin. Tim interviewed Bec via email.

Could you give us an overview of IDestroy? Had you been in other bands before? 
We met whilst studying in Bristol and formed the band about a year and a half ago. Since then we have been playing shows all over the UK and into Spain. We’ve all been playing in various other bands since we were in school. I currently also play with The Blue Aeroplanes and Becky plays with Triaxis and Dorja. We’re the kind of people who love playing and collaborating with new people.

How did you decide on the name? 
One of the first songs I wrote to be played in the band was a track called I Destroy. We were really excited about this song and we felt it summed up the direction of the band, so we decided to make it one word and name the band after it.

Did you have a clear idea od the sound you were aiming for from the start?
Yes, I had a pretty good idea when we were forming the band what I wanted it to sound like. It has come together in a really natural way, particularly our live show.

You release the 4-track EP ‘Vanity Loves Me’ earlier this year. What’s it about?
The subject matter ranges from feeling the need to destroy everything, to enjoying getting drunk with your friends … so I think there are a lot of relatable themes in the lyrics! The theme of the whole EP is an observation of human feelings and behaviours.

How do you write songs?
I usually start with getting some lyric ideas down and then I’ll write the song around them. I’ll get a rough demo recorded with all the riffs, chords and vocal melodies to a basic beat. We’ll then all go into a rehearsal room and work more parts of the arrangement and getting a solid structure down.

What’s been your experience like so far of sexism in the music industry?
Luckily, I think we have avoided sexism at most of our shows. This is possibly because we often play with other female and mixed gendered bands, so most audiences and other bands on the bill are good to us. When we are the only female band on the line up we get comments made about us which just reflects people’s assumptions about female musicians. Sometimes we are approached after our set by people who seem so surprised that we are good at what we do. Sound engineers don’t expect us to play ‘properly’ or to know about our own gear…

  • People often think that someone else is booking for us and managing us when we’ve always done it ourselves.

Sometimes we enjoy proving people wrong!

What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and into 2017?
We are currently on tour, playing dates all across the UK. In between the shows we will be recording the next release ready to put out early next year.

What music have you been enjoying lately?
I’m currently checking out Jamie T’s new album, which is sounding pretty good so far. SlotfaceMartyrials and a band we met in Spain called The Strangers all get shout outs for featuring on my current playlist!

Check out IDestroy on Facebook and Soundcloud 
Tim Forster’s full interview can be found here

review: Petrol Girls – Talk of Violence

by timothy forster

This is a band fuelled by feminist convictions, leftist politics, compassion, and righteous anger with an integrity backing up their words.

I’ve seen the band a few times and they seem to keep getting better so I was interested to see if they had managed to transfer the intensity and energy of ‘live’ on to album, and I’m glad to say they have!

Of the ten tracks on ‘Talk of Violence’ only one has been previously released physically so basically you’ve got an album of new material, though fans will recognise some of the tracks from gigs. For instance, ‘Touch Me Again’ … They’ve turned a good song into something amazing. Complete ferocious anger at the experience of sexual harassment and assault that women experience in a misogynistic culture. The repeated line “Touch me again and I will fucking kill you” is delivered with all the indignation and anger it deserves. This track has gone up another level in recording.

The album kicks off with the sounds of a protest and the declaration “We want to stop the false peace”, and ‘Clay’ and ‘Fang’ keep up the energy level, with ‘Fang’ living up to my hopes after hearing it live.

Another track fans will recognise is ‘Treading Water’ which has been online as a taster for a few months, it seems to confront the violence of Fortress Europe and its response to refugees before going on to list various forms of insidious and structural violences that are often ignored or justified.

‘Phallocentric’ critiques men’s preoccupations with themselves and their dicks in both public and private life, “Erect shaft-like monuments for your wars’…’Phallocentric we’re not done when you are, Phallocentric I’m bored of your art, I want to play not perform a routine, I want pleasure not just here to please”.

Over the 10 tracks Petrol Girls are focussed, intelligent and intent on highlighting inequality, oppression and injustice wherever and however they are expressed- if you’re offended by this band you might want to have a think why.

All in all ‘Talk of Violence’ actually exceeds my expectations in so much as it does the Petrol Girls I know from gigs complete justice. Live they are ferocious, articulate, angry and confrontational- somehow they’ve managed to translate that into this album. Faultless.

 

interview: Kamikaze Girls

by tim forster

Kamikaze Girls: Lucinda Livingstone (vox/guitar) and Conor Dawson (drums): riot grrrl two-piece based in Leeds and London. Tim interviewed Lucinda by email.

Could you give us an overview of Kamikaze Girls? Had either of you been in other bands before? 
Myself and Conor were both in a band called Hearts and Souls with our friends Andy and Justin. I was also in the pop punk band called This City Sleeps for quite a while.

How did you decide on the name? 
Kamikaze Girls is a novel and a film. We knew about the film first. We were on our way to our friend’s sister’s wedding and Conor told me the name and said he was surprised there wasn’t a band called that. We liked it so much and thought it suited our sound so we decided to change the band name from Hearts and Souls then and there. It’s nice to have a band name you actually like!

What bands and musicians have inspired you?
I was a huge Michael Jackson fan growing up, I was obsessed. I was brought up on pop music and then found punk rock in my early teens with bands I found on Scuzz, through Kerrang and in P-Rock. As I got a little older and realised you didn’t just have to like one genre of music I started listening to a lot of indie, electronic, shoe-gaze, experimental and atmospheric music. Artists that have really inspired me over the last 10 years have been Alabama ShakesThe Julie RuinJulien BakerThe Album Leaf and Explosions In The Sky.

You formed in 2009 and have released a series of tracks since 2014 (1, 2), with the SAD EP coming out September. How has your sound developed in that time?
The sound has developed quite a lot from where we started in 2009. We were atmospheric pop-rock that played to a backing track. A very large rich sound with synths and strings. We’re now a very noisy two-piece with [fewer] members, no backing tracks and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our live show went from being meticulously planned out to being chaotic, fun and unpredictable. My vocal style has changed hugely as well. I never used to shout and scream, so that’s been a more recent thing as of the past few years.

How does the creative process work in Kamikaze Girls? Is there one main songwriter or is very collaborative?
I will write all the lyrics and melodies but the music is both Conor and myself. I write riffs, Conor writes riffs, and then we’ll get in a room and jam. I will rarely write a full song myself without Conor’s input, and nothing feels fully finished until we’ve both been in a room together playing it.

You say on your Facebook page that you want to use your music ‘as a means to challenge attitudes and taboos surrounding mental health’. Was there anything you feel able to talk about that led to that commitment?
Yeah totally. I’ve had some real problems in my lifetime dealing and living with mental health issues. I’ve not really felt comfortable talking about it until more recently. I feel like it’s important to talk about these things because people consider them ‘awkward’ topics. I used writing music as a means to channel it and I felt a lot better for writing music and going to shows and being able to put my time and energy into something I loved so much really helped me. That’s not to say that’s the answer for everyone but I feel like the more educated people are about mental health issues and where to go to get help or how to talk to someone with those issues the better it can be for people in the long run.

  • “People shouldn’t feel alienated because of something that affects millions. We’re all in it together.”

How has the DIY/punk scene responded? I guess quite a number of people must have been encouraged?
People have been super positive, and most shows we play I’ll have conversations about it when we come off stage. People perhaps saying they relate to certain lyrics, or they’ve taken the same meds as me and they know how I feel, or how they want to pursue something creative to help themselves. Again this isn’t something that works for everyone, but I think having a safe space where you feel okay to talk about these things is important, whether you want to speak out or not.

Can you tell us more about the ‘SAD’ EP, is it the first EP you’ve had out?
Sure! SAD was written about a specific period of time over about 2-3 years when I was experiencing severe depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. I had issues with depression in previous points in my life but it was at it’s very worse at the point where I wrote the EP. I was attacked, held and gunpoint and robbed one day in Leeds and it ruined my life for two years and everything spiralled out of control. I couldn’t leave the house, my relationships suffered, my mental health pretty much didn’t exist and I didn’t feel like a real person. It was like that particular event triggered a lot of issues I didn’t know I had and although the EP is short each track is about dealing with an aspect of that.

Are you happy that it ‘captures’ where Kamikaze Girls are now? Often musicians feel their releases document where they were.
Definitely. It documents that period of time and it kind of gives me closure on it in a way I didn’t think it could. I’m excited to get started on our next release knowing I’ve put what I felt at the time when I was writing the EP to rest.

What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
We’re on tour for the rest of the year. We’ve been on tour since August and we’re leaving for Canada and America tomorrow. We have two months over there and then we’re coming back for some UK dates to end the year on.

What bands and writers have you been enjoying lately? 
At the moment I’m really enjoying the new Touché Amore album and the new Doe album too. Bookwise, I have the Travis Barker biography to read when we’re on touch as I’ve been recommended it so many times I feel like I need to check it out for myself. I’m also re-reading at the moment a book called ‘Junk’ by Melvin Burgess. It was the book that inspired me alot when I was about 19/20 and it sort of lit a fire in me for writing honest lyrics so it’s been nice to get my head back in that and discover new parts off it.

Check out Kamikaze Girls at www.facebook.com/kamikazegirlsuk

Tim Forster’s full interview can be found here