Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wrapping up the Norwich Feature with Fever Fever Interview

I hope you all have enjoyed this feature on Norwich. It's been interesting learning about this city from so far away. I haven't gotten a lot of feedback lately...So, did you people enjoy it?  Someday I hope to visit and catch up with the folks I've corresponded with and written about.  But for now I'm going to wrap up this feature with an interview with Ellie from the fabulous band Fever Fever.  And I'm also going to leave you with a link to the Norwich Music Wiki so you can learn more about some of the bands I've written about if you wanna.

Rosie, Ellie and Smit formed Fever Fever in 2007.  They released their debut single, Keys In The Bowl/Stage Shoes, on Cherryade Records. In 2008 they had a song on the We’re From Norwich 4 compilation on Mummy Where’s The Milkman/Howlback Hum.  To get in the holiday spirit they've also released songs on Cherryade’s annual seasonal compilation, A Very Cherry Christmas Volumes 4 and 5.  And they also have a song on the Screaming Ground Vol. 2 compilation, which you can download for free here!

How did Fever Fever begin?

Fever Fever started about 2 years ago. Rosie (the singer) and Smit (drums) were in a band called The Aprons -- who you should DEFINITELY check out. The Aprons were one of my favourite Norwich bands and probably one of my earliest inspirations within the scene. They disbanded and about a year later wanted to start something new. I had been in a band previously with Smit, so when they were looking for a guitarist they gave me a call, I jumped at it and that was that! Lots and lots of noise followed and we love it.
In your opinion, what's the Norwich scene like and specifically, what is it like for females?  

There is something about Norwich that breeds creativity.  Maybe its because here we are so cut off from everything else - it can be like living in a bubble - that people crave an outlet and a sense of excitement that otherwise might not exist in this part of the country.  As a result the music scene here is immense!  And it seems to have really exploded in the last 4 or 5 years.  Norwich music can be quite diverse and in a sense there's something for everyone. I think that's pretty important, especially if you want something healthy. I'd say because of this its relatively easy for females in bands in Norwich. There doesn't seem to be a divide between male and female musicians like there is in other parts of the country. Everyone just wants to make and hear great music, irrespective of gender. I guess we're pretty lucky.

In your opinion, how was this girl-friendly music culture created and nurtured?

I think the main reason more and more female musicians are coming to the forefront and being recognized within the Norwich scene is largely down to a few bands from late 90's/early part of this century with girls in who made and still make truly amazing music. Hearing bands like Kaito and Bearsuit a few years back really did it for me. It was some of the best stuff coming out of this city and anywhere.  And when you see female musicians up there making this music, you just want to get up and do it yourself. I think in that sense it's become almost like a catalyst. Everyone here seems to be so inspired by everyone else, and there is a lot of respect going round, it just encourages more and more female artists to pick up a guitar, or whatever, and get involved, which is only a good thing.

What role does feminism have in this scene?

For me, feminism as its commonly thought of doesn't really play a huge role in the music we play. Although I guess it varies from band to band. Within the scene as a whole there is definitely a sense of equality that females in bands work hard to achieve. I think it's paying off as well.  Norwich is a pretty gender balanced place when it comes to music... So I suppose that could be considered a product of feminism... Hmmm! you've got me thinking now! I'm sensing an essay needs to be written.

What is your relationship like with these other bands?

Norwich bands all love each other and touch each other. I'd say all of our relationships have a good bill of health. There's a lot of support and respect to be had. Even if the music another band is playing isn't your cup of tea, people generally just seem happy to get out there and show their face and clap their hands like seals. Any element of competition between bands just drives people forward and betters the scene as a whole. Plus there are a lot of hotties in Norwich music!

What advice do you have for girls who want to start bands?

I'd say just get out there and do it. Fuck what people think. If it's what you love doing, regardless of your ability, stand up and play. Push past any prejudice you come across because pretty soon people realize that girls can do it just as well (if not better) than boys. Work hard, cause trouble and PLAY PLAY PLAY.


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