W*llstonekraft describe themselves as ‘a vindication of the rights of undead women’ – the perfect booking for LOUD WOMEN’s halloween witchfest show, no? The band is a supergroup containing some of our very favourite loud women, and we can’t wait to see them play live (undead?) this Friday at The Unicorn in Camden, alongside Art Trip and the Static Sound, Winnie and the Rockettes, and The Creeping Terrors. We asked them 10 probing questions.
Who would you most like to cover your songs?
Q: Can we invent a super-group for this? Can it be Liars fronted by Janelle Monáe?
Kitty: I don’t think I would ever listen to another band if this happened.
Emm: I’d love to hear Queen Adreena’s interpretation.
Charley: No one, they are not allowed.
Choose: Madonna or Beyonce?
Emm: Anna Calvi. Suzanne Vega. Peaches. Lots of other artists I’d pick first.
Charley: This is not relevant to our interests.
Q: “Crazy in love” is better than “Crazy for you” but “Material Girl” is better than “Naughty Girl”.
Walking on leaves or walking on water?
Kitty: Leaves, because I’d rather be IN the water. Except in London you can never be confident about what’s under the leaves… so maybe not.
Emm: Leaves. But only if crunchy ones.
Charley: Leaves for the same reason Kitty says.
Choose one of your songs to be on a movie soundtrack. What kind of film is it?
Kitty: Most of the songs I write I’m imagining they are for a film soundtrack – either The Lost Boys or The Craft. It helps me get past songwriting anxiety.
Charley: They all belong in an intense b&w film about fear/desire, set in woods, basement nightclubs and wild remote desolate landscapes.
Kitty: Ok, so maybe we’re also soundtracking The Hunger and The Hound of The Baskervilles.
Choose: the 80s or the 90s?
Kitty: 90s. You get to enjoy all the stuff from the 80s, but without living under Thatcher. Berlin Wall down, Cold War over, the world full of the sense that things really can get better. Three excellent Star Treks and Buffy on the telly. Hole, Placebo, Elastica, Bikini Kill, NIN, Manics … so much great stuff.
Q: Really? I don’t recall there being much enjoying of stuff from the 80s during the 90s … the enjoying of stuff from the 80s all happened in the noughties didn’t it?
Kitty: I’m just saying it would be an option.
Charley: The 90s felt like a very positive time to be alive, if we can ignore most of Britpop and the “lads” culture.
What would your roller derby name be?
Kitty: I’ve given this a lot of thought, and the best I’ve come up with is ‘Princess Rubblebum’, because Princess Bubblegum is my queer femme icon.
Emm: ‘Carpe D Emm’
Q: As a team … ‘The Fields of the NoFeelingInMyLimbs’
Recommend a book that you think our readers might not have heard of
Kitty: You might have heard of The Fifth Season by NK Jesimin; it has received a lot of attention after winning the Hugo. But if you aren’t into sci fi (I’m a huge fan of feminist science fiction) it may have passed you by. I have rarely been so excited by a book, and I can’t stop recommending it to people.
Emm: I read a lot of non-fiction. A book I recommend regularly is Unspeak by Steven Poole. Great book about language and the hidden agenda and opinions in political language. Or anything by Malcolm Gladwell. Blink is excellent. For music, I am currently deeply enjoying Jamie Issac’s album ‘Couch Baby’.
Q: I just heard Tithi Bhattacharya speak at a conference and am super-excited to read her book on social reproduction but I can’t actually recommend it because I haven’t read it yet.
Charley: I really love The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman, it has the best queer femme hero and is full of so much stuff that I cannot bear to talk about it, sorry.
One for the guitarists … bore us with the details of your kit – what’s your amp, etc.
Q: I have this amazing effects pedal switch thingy which was custom-made by Bright Onion Pedals in Brighton – look them up, my dudes, because they make very useful stuff for very reasonable amounts of cash.
Charley: No one shall know my secrets.
What’s the best thing about being in your band?
Kitty: These guys. I love these guys.
Emm: I’m enjoying playing something different. This is the first time I’ve played this kind of music and it’s fun coming at it with different influences. Also, these are hands down the loveliest group of people I’ve ever played music with.
Q: Finally having something to do with these infuriatingly catchy bass lines I keep coming up with that will make you hit the dance floor like a pneumatic drill that just got its A-level results.
Charley: One of my favourite things about it is that we have band snacks at rehearsals.
What are your band goals?
Q: This question would have been easier for me to answer while John Peel was alive.
Kitty: This is only our second ever gig. I would love to play further gigs. And maybe record something. Then make a video. Then open the portals to the Nether Realm to do a Peel session.
Charley: I think we should play in Germany. And Sweden. Also that film that we should be the soundtrack to really ought to get made.
What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now?
Emm: We are playing a gig on 3 November. It will be good.
Give your top 5 contemporary bands
Q: The Potentials, because … I just love them. Also, Wharves.
Kitty: Nova Twins are amazing. And Shopping, because you get the combined genius of Billy Easter and Rachel Aggs. Individually they have been in two of my favourite bands of the last decade (Wetdog and Trash Kit) and it’s the best thing to have their great guitar/bass playing styles in one band, with the added bonus of Andrew Milk. Also a massive shout for MX Tyrants because they are a great, epic, synthy band. And Charley Stone plays in them and Charley is my favourite guitarist ever.
Kitty: Oh and also Desperate Journalist. They are pretty stunning, and starting to get the acclaim they deserve. But last time I went to one of their gigs the audience was full of middle-aged men. Let’s change that. Go listen to them now and then come join me down the front next gig!
Catch W*llstonekraft on Friday 3 November at the Unicorn, Camden
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