Interview by Julia Downes.
1.Tell me your names, where you come from, where you are now, what you have been involved in before and why/how did you wind up here?
Rob: Live in/from Leeds. I was in a silly fast pop punk called Gorgon Brown. Now I am in Etai which conveniently includes by best friends.
Kayleigh: From Nottinghamshire, live in Leeds with Rob and our dog, involved in some bands as a teen but they didn't last past a couple of practices. I do vocals and some electronic noise box. I don't really know why I ended up here but I'm pleased about it.
Daria: I'm from Slough but I've lived in Leeds most of my life. Before Etai I was squatting and playing in palpably worse bands. Me and Rob started jamming in summer 08 and gradually recruited our most trusted buddies. Conveniently we all play different instruments, like most of the same music and live with each other. It's the best thing I have ever done.
Tony: From Leeds, currently residing at Hypno HQ. Idle Decay and general noise forging with Daria since teenhood, and last few years with Rob. No other bands that managed to actually play together. How did I wind up here? Outsider genetics? A passion for gnar!
2. What was the most important thing or moment that got you interested in making music?
R: Probably getting to play an actual drum kit in a GCSE music lesson, after playing pencil drumsticks on pencil cases along to “pretty fly for a white guy” for a while. Rubbish song but I guess it opened some doors.
K: Belonging to a group of supportive, non-judgmental people while you figure out what the fuck it is you're supposed to be doing. Also....overriding the feeling that you look or sound stupid while performing with boozin'.
D:Personally it was Nirvana that made me want to play, and Sonic Youth that showed me how. Something that seemed important was seeing a house show that Warboys and The Afternoon Gentlemen were playing. Seeing my friends playing mental grindcore and putting out tapes and 7”s made me want to make some really harsh music. I also remember a crucial early conversation after watching Chaps at Clean Hands ! When we decided to play FAST.
T: Thing – My sister's bass guitar. RIP Sandra (that's the guitar, not my sister). Moment – back of a Mclusky show with D, agreeing that we should team up to make righteous noise jams!
3. What has the process of making and performing music been like so far? (how long did it take, who/what was important, any weird moments, has anything surprising happened, what support have you had/not had etc…)
K: Interesting. We've all changed quite a lot since we started doing it, and as our politics and understanding of the world has changed so has the style. The Leeds music people have been supportive, oh yes. Everyone pulled together and chucked a bunch of borrowed gear our way when we had gear nicked from D and T's house. Will Barker lent us both his childhood bass and childhood guitar, the lovely man that he is.
R: A constant struggle. But a good constant struggle.
D: I find writing songs really easy and a lot of fun. The difficult things are practical things, recording, touring etc. We don't really fit in anywhere so we've had to learn to do a lot of things ourselves. This has been a blessing and a curse in equal measure.
T: Often frightening, and sometimes bewildering, but mostly fun and inspiring! It's been surprisingly easy. Making music is the best and anyone can do it. Get together! Start a band!
4. What kind of reaction have you had to your music so far? (the bad, sad and ecstatic? Superfans?)
R: So far a mix between enthusiasm and polite indifference. Our set once cured a friend of a bout of vomiting before she had to play a gig. I like when people seem pleasantly surprised after we have played.
K: I think most people are too polite to be really horrible to our faces. It's quite easy to leave the room if you don't like it after all. Once I was having a smoke after a set and heard some people going off on one about how shit we were, not realising that I was the small ginger girl shouting on stage only 10 minutes previous. Not that bad really. Art Is Subjective etc.
D: Ambivalence bordering on contempt. I tend to feel like most people just ignore us and hope we'll go away. I do feel that we are finally finding some people like us after nearly 4 years of distress signal.
T: Occasionally an older disillusioned music fan says they've found something in us that brings back the excitement of when live music felt new and true. It's great when the music doesn't just sound cool to some one but the fact that it exists genuinely means something as well.
5. Is queerness, feminism and girl gangs related to what you do? How? Why/Why not?
K: Emphatic yes. It's all connected. If it wasn't related there'd be no fucking point in doing it. What are you left with if you don't examine that stuff? Lurrrrve? Bah. It's all well and good being a feminist but once you've started to recognise the many weapons of oppression it becomes such an overbearing part of life trying to fight it. You need a fucking outlet after a while. It's so important to speak to/meet/befriend like minded people so that we don't just get choked out and ground down by all the jerks.
D: All of these things are relevant to me and me everyday life. One of the many reasons we were and still are frustrated by the punk/hardcore/noise scene was a lack of visibility for these ideas. As a trans girl, I often feel uncomfortable in those spaces, so I hope doing an anarchafeminist noise band can create a situation that is queer and girl friendly explicitly while still being punk.
T: I think queerness and feminism should be related to what everyone does as much as it involves the freedom and power to express yrself and support one another, particularly in dispelling personal fears and social inequalities. Make a fuss to wake people up, fuck you to the problems that threaten our enjoyment of life.
R: Yes. A lot of the stuff that doesn't have anything to do with these ideas or is actively working against them tend to be draining/depressing/aggravating/upsetting/boring maybe even dangerous so I try to act as an antidote to that as much as I can. Also gangs are fun. Emily's Sassy Lime say it better.
6. Who do you consider to be your (inter)national peers of rad? What makes them rad?
Blue Sabbath Black Fiji, No Womb, Woolf, Gropetown, Divorce, Ultimate Thrush, Eternal Fags, Le Singe Blanc, Roseanne Barrr, No Babies, Fem Bitch Nation, Phat Trophies, Nu Pogodi, Stab, Future Of The Left, Maxillofacial Death Pyramid,
Rad are the honest visions and the amazing new sounds. And anyone putting their best into doing their OWN thing and helping others do theirs.
7. Who are the prime movers (bands, organisers, artists, activists) in your city? Tell me all about them (give us links and info too...)
Beards, Ashtray Navigations, Executive Legs, Castrato Attack Group, Afternoon Gentlemen, Harry Callahan, Shallows, Pifco, Nope, Circuit Ben, No Guts, Cowtown, Endless Rope, Sloth Hammer, and Bilge Pump are the current bands gleaming our cube. All playing sick gigs on the regs in Leeds/Bradford and featuring people who put on and contribute to more sick gigs. Wharf Chambers is the best place in Leeds right now for sure, and Cops and Robbers zine is still going strong. Shout out to Big Spaceship keeping it surreal. Also Irena and Active Rebellion (Equal Fest 3 please).
8. What are you going to do next?
K:TAPE TAPE TAPE TAPE TAPE TAAAAAAAAPE
D:Another tape, more shows, hopefully tour, maybe a 7”. Big Leeds shows with Beauty Pageant and Stig Noise, and we're doing another Big Takeover in LDN this summer. Thank you for the interview! Xx
R: Play more
T: Collect an extra life and level up.