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'Loud, Heavy and Strange' - Bitch Falcon

Indie | Tuesday 7th March 2017 | Rachel

With four reckless and riotous singles already under their belts, some more exciting music in the pipeline, and tours sprouting from Canada to the US all over this year; we couldn't wait to peer into the minds of the lovely trio: Lizzie Fitzpatrick (vocalist), Naomi Mcleod (Bassist) and Nigel Kenny (Drummer). 
 
Hello, how are you?

NM: Hello! Good!

NK: Good day. Slightly askew after a nights mild imbibement. 

LF: bleedin wrecked

What have you been up to lately?

NM: We’ve been on tour most weekends over the past month, so it’s been all go. Most recently we had our Dublin gig in The Workmans Club, which only went and sold out! We were excited for the gig either way, but to have it sell out and have a great night with an amazing crowd of people was just brilliant.

If you had to choose three words to describe Bitch Falcon or your music in general, which words would you pick?

NM: Loud. Heavy. Weird.

NK: Loud. Chaotic.Obnoxious

LF: heavy, melodic , strange

 

 
Tell us a bit about your latest single Clutch?

NM: We wrote Clutch early last year. Lyric wise, the description is definitely best left to Lizzie, but as for the instrumental aspect, I suppose we had a meeting of minds on this one. Lizzie had the chorus chords for a good while and would jam them occasionally at practice, until eventually we built the rest of the song around that idea.

NK: We have a studio in Dublin city centre and at the time we wrote Clutch, we we're in a different place in the heart of Dublin 2 (very close to Temple Bar) with all it's myriad of distractions.
 
We were fed up with the slow progress of writing and having to share with 5 other bands which limited our rehearsal time so we headed off to the border of Limerick and Tipperary for a weekend. It was a pub in the process of being converted in to a residential recording studio and the owners invited us down to get busy so it felt like the right thing to do.
 
They kindly filled it with a backline, I brought an electronic kit, purchased some drum sample software called Superior Drummer 2 and we filled Naomi's Micro with gear and food and spent two days inside writing at a more considered volume.
 
It was only when we packed up and left on Sunday that we realised we hadn't seen the sun in 48 hours but Clutch had been written pretty much start to finish and a couple of other ideas had some structure on it. It felt like we had something special and we hadn't written a whole song like that before. We responded well to the challenge of completing something we were happy with within a given time frame and I think it'll be something we'll do again this summer but perhaps for longer.

LF: I had that chorus riff for too long, it was driving me crazy. At a writing session, Nigel had an electric drum set and his drums sounded like PJ Harvey's Long Snake Moan. From there we slowed everything down and the rest of the song flowed out.
 
Do you usually write songs as a band or as individuals?

NM: We usually come up with individual parts, which then get an airing at practice or as a demo that we post to each other online. A lot of parts don’t work initially, and some sit untended for a long time until we finally (often spontaneously) find parts that fit around an initial idea. Other times we’ll jam something at practice and find whole-band parts on the spot, and into the “part library” they go!
 
 
How and when did you decide to form a band?

LF: I was approached by Fia Kavanagh (previous guitarist) a few years back. We started playing Hole covers in our kitchen in nostalgia. From there we started to write actual songs and Bitch Falcon was born.
 
What song or band influenced your music?

NM: I certainly feel largely influenced by heavier music, the likes of Mastodon, Nine Inch Nails and Deftones to name a few. In recent years I’ve gotten into bassists like Thundercat and Joe Dart (Vulfpeck), so those neo-soul and funk sounds have quite possibly influenced how I write with the band now.

NK: I'd be along the same lines as Naomi. I'm into loads of 90's and modern heft. Jimi Hendrix was a big one for me growing up but these days, Neo-Soul and Jazz is very popular in Dublin so becoming very influenced by that kind of thing (Snarky Puppy, Takuya Kuroda,, Mark Guiliana etc) as time goes by.
 
Some newer stuff that we have in the set currently has a nod to that, it's not obvious in any way but the rhythm section would definitely be doing things that probably have no place in a heavy song but somehow, it works.
 
My taste has certainly broadened lately with Naomi and Lizzie playing the likes of Metronomy in the car on the way to gigs so i'm trying to pay more attention to bands like that with the hope that it will help us create a freaky blend of hefty-hardcore-rock-pop.

LF: I have a holy Trinity of sorts: Bjork, St Vincent and Karin dreijer Anderson. I definitely enjoy a strong powerful female voice and all three of those have influenced me greatly on singing and composition.
 


So what singers or bands would you like to perform with in the future?

NK: Outside of Ireland however unlikely and ill-fitting it may be for a line up: Deftones, Three Trapped Tigers, Baroness and any band you would think of when you think of them probably.
 
Would love to play with Torche again, that was a trip when we played with them a couple years ago. One of the best nights of my life! Locally, would love to play with Red Enemy again, had loads of fun with them on a tour in the past. New sauce monsters, Akora. Overhead, The Albatross always blow my mind. There's just too many to list.

Lizzie, are your snarling and captivating vocals something born out of being in the Bitch Falcons, or is this a style you have always had?

LF: I suppose it has been living inside me for quite a while. I was lucky that in my school we had a good music and choir programme so I had started to develop my voice back then. Couldn't really snarl to Ave Maria, but I did do a great rendition of 'Youll never walk alone' in primary school.

You guys have been touring for about 2 years now, how are you so energetic for each performance?

NM: You can turn up to a gig wrecked from work or even just the drive to the gig, but the minute we begin a gig, I guess adrenaline just kicks in. Sometimes it takes a few tunes to get into it, but when you play energetic music it’s very hard not to feed physically and emotionally off that musical energy as you play.

NK: We just love it! It's all about live for us and thankfully when people see us it seems to translate and a barrier is broken between stage and audience. If you're not looking forward to, or buzzing for every gig then you should probably just go and get yourself a nice job somewhere that will make you really happy.

LF: It's all about that energy feedback loop. Once we go out there with good power, people generally respond. Once they have given up their souls to us, it's just breezy really.

 
We know that you are on your first headline tour this year, how has that been so far?

NM: It has been fantastic so far. We’ve played in a few places we hadn’t yet gigged in, and to get a great response everywhere so far has been really exciting and encouraging. We’ve basically been having the absolute craic everywhere - what more could you want from a first headline tour?! Our upcoming gigs in Leap and Castlebar will be two more first-time locations so we’re super excited for those.

NK: Almost overwhelming, in a positive way. I just cannot ever take for granted people parting with money they probably don't have to come see us play, have a chat (for some people, this is probably not easy) and tell us what it means to them for us to visit their town and buying merch.
 
We've been really surprised and impressed by the turn out on all the dates so far and there's so many new faces. It's incredible! We put a lot of work in to this and to be honest, we'd do it anyway even if no one was coming but this just really drives you on to play more, write more and put on a better show.

LF: as the guys have said, ridiculous good. Can't thank everyone for all their support.
 


Are you looking forward to playing more international gigs in the future?

NK: Absolutely! First of all, I love travelling and even getting to cruise around Ireland with your mates for the last couple years is a treat. It's small but I still haven't seen it all yet.
 
Going abroad means new experiences, new people and obviously giving the songs a broader audience. At a very basic level, it means we're playing more and that presents more opportunity for improvement.
 
It's also great to see what other scenes are doing and maybe we see a band we love that we can help bring over to Ireland so other people can enjoy them too. This is a global community. We are all musicians, putting it all on the line with the same dreams and aspirations no matter where we are and if we can twin our cities with others through music, that's pretty fuckin' cool!

Do you have any funny tour moments?

NK: All the time. Going to the gigs is usually a good laugh. The after party in the Roisin Dubh apartment when we supported Torche in Galway was a stand out time! I had a real Dirty Dancing moment with their drummer Rick at about 5am listening to some pretty questionable tunes courtesy of their guitarist at the time, Andrew. He was Patrick Swayze, I was Jennifer Grey straddling him and being spun around in a glorious hetero moment.

LF: That same night I was a little too spinny and needed a disco nap. Rick from torche caught me and lamped me down the stairs. Just so happened that Andrew had Keep Feelin' Fascination by the Human League on and a second wind was born. I felt as though someone had injected me straight into the heart with adrenaline and I was punching the air like it killed my mother.

So what's next for Bitch Falcon (can we expect an album soon)?

NK: We've got a bunch of stuff recorded, mixed and mastered. Some of that will be out soon. Maybe all of it at some point this year but we're heading to London this month, then we're playing with Girl Band in April and then we're heading off to Canada. After that, we'll do a few festivals and mainly concentrate on writing before heading to the US towards the end of the year.

What’s your musical guilty pleasure?

NM: Iron Maiden… I can’t listen to them without feeling really empowered.  

NK: I love good pop shit. Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake etc

LF: I love weird pop, but no guilt attached. If I was to be ashamed it would be Nightwish.

What would you fill a swimming pool with if it could be anything?

NM: A variety of donuts and cake of varying flotational properties, so that if I were to drown in said pool, I’d leave the world gnawing my way through delicious treats. 
 
NK: The filling of a Creme Egg although i'd imagine there are several ways that would kill you if in a swimming pool.
 
LF: Water so I can swim in it, or money coz I'm a basic Bitch.
 

 

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