|Photo: Hayden Shiebler|
from NO FUTURE (buy)
Hether Fortune is the person who runs the show we fondly know as Wax Idols. Her and her band have just finished recording Wax Idols' second, as yet untitled to the general public, LP. It seemed a fitting time to try to catch up with her about what we can expect from the follow up to the much loved NO FUTURE, and hear about what types of shit she loved in the past, what types of shit she loves at the moment, but not necessarily anything about love in general. And, she was gracious enough to take part and enlighten us a bit more about the person you probably think you already know, but really don't.
Hether also curated a captivating YouTube playlist that she's called RIGOR & RELEVANCE and it's sprinkled through the interview below. You can get yourself an audio copy of the playlist right here.
Interview and videos after the jump.
Interview and videos after the jump.
CWR: What's your sentiment about living in Oakland? How long have you been in the bay area? There's no questioning the vitality of the music scene there, but have you ever contemplated leaving for another part of the country?
HF: I've been living in the Bay Area for almost 5 years now. I lived in SF for 2 & then I went to the other side. I love Oakland. It reminds me of Detroit in a lot of ways, which is where I spent most of my time as a teenager. I grew up in the Midwest & have seen almost everything there is to see in the states. The only other place in the U.S. I've considered moving to is New Orleans but if I did it wouldn't be until I was much older & wanted to just drink myself to death and write a book or something. Actually If I left Oakland, I'd probably just leave the country all together. Things are looking bleak around here.
CWR: What other local artists (any medium) are really piquing your interest these days?
HF: I've a growing admiration for Greer McGettrick & her cohorts in The Mallard. She's an extremely ambitious, hardworking weirdo & I feel a real sense of camaraderie with her. Kristin "Dylan" from The Mallard is an incredible musician as well, she tracked viola for one of the new Wax Idols songs. I have a friend named 'Tooth' that does visual artwork (film/photography, mostly, as well as live performances pieces) under the name 'Black Hole' & his work blows my mind regularly. The WEEKEND guys are always pushing themselves further & beyond - the singer Shaun Durkan also happens to be a brilliant graphic designer & we've worked together many times. I'm always inspired by the people I encounter in the BDSM community...there is a lot of artistry in what we do & everybody has their own special touch.
CWR: What other artists in general?
HF: This is such a broad question so I'll just go off of the "these days" prompt from the previous question & list the first bunch that pop into my head: Man Ray, Rozz Williams, Barbara Nitke, Marcel Duchamp, Rowland S. Howard, Kenneth Anger, Nico, Edna St. Vincent Millay... ok brain freeze.
Adam & The Ants - (You're So) Physical [live]
HF: "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin
CWR: You chose to not give Pitchfork a copy of No Future, which I thought was an amazing position to take. The site is definitely not what it used to be and has aged into a watered down, corporate publication that appears destined to follow the path of Rolling Stone, however, do you still feel the same about the decision to withhold the record from them?
HF: I do what I do because its the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I do it for myself & for people like me whose lives have been shaped or even saved by music. I don't make records to score points & I don't support the monopolization of an industry that thrives on judging & grading music/art. It makes me sick. I know that this intense opposition to the behemoth that is Pitchfork is probably career suicide, but what if its not? At the end of the road less traveled - it must feel good to know that you've made your own way. My only hope for whoever knows about what I do is that they come to their own conclusions - whether they love it, hate it, or are completely indifferent to it makes no difference to me. I still believe that human beings are capable of forming their own opinions & seeing through the bullshit. We'll see.
I don't think I've actually WITHHELD anything from Pitchfork. Lets just say I've actively avoided them. At the end of the day, if they really wanted to write about Wax Idols I couldn't stop them. Perhaps we have a mutual distaste for one another.
Colin Newman - I Can Hear Your Heartbeat
HF: My only goal for NO FUTURE was to make a record that I would want to listen to & that I would be proud of. So yes, I accomplished that. I wouldn't change a single thing about it. LP 2 was recorded in the same studio with the same producer using a lot of the same gear. However, a LOT of things have changed since I wrote the songs for NO FUTURE - personally, creatively & otherwise. I had all of those songs written & fully rehearsed with a live band long before they were recorded. Though I had much of the new record mapped out in my head or in shitty demos for months before we started tracking, it was written more or less in the studio in collaboration with my bandmates & my producer Monte Vallier. Who was it that said that the only thing constant in life is change? Having another brain freeze. I'm always changing, everything is changing.
Daucus Karota - Love Lies
HF: There has always been a dark side to the songs that I write, going back to the very first Wax Idols 7". The B-side for that single was pretty telling, I think. Siouxsie & The Banshees are a band that I love but there is no specific sound that I am singling out & going for. You should see some of the horrific & depressing poetry I was writing as a kid! I can't help it, I am what I am.
The new LP is an intense, aggressive & ambitious record. I am an intense, aggressive & ambitious person. And yeah, it is pretty dark. I'm confident that listeners will have a clear picture of where I am at at this point in my life & where Wax Idols is at as a band. To me, there is a laser-like focus & drive throughout the entire record that is palpable. It excites me & hopefully it will excite some other people as well.
Boys Next Door - Shivers
HF: We'll be touring big time once the record comes out!
CWR: I'm always interested in the reading habits of artists I enjoy. That being said, what are the last few books you have read and if you had to choose one book to personify what would it be?
HF: I'm currently reading 'The Immoralist' by Andre Gide. If I HAD to choose a book to personify it'd be something I haven't read yet. What is the point of living if you already know how everything ends? Haha
Josef K - Sense Of Guilt
CWR: You're frank and very vocal in your music, twitter, tumblr, etc. You'll prop yourself up on the highest pedestal just as easily as you'll kick yourself into the gutter. It's an admirable quality, but is there ANY part of your life that you consider private? Where does your professional life and and your personal life begin?
HF: My personal life IS my professional life. My work is me. But this is an interesting question with a complicated answer so I'll elaborate. I don't speak much of my family or my personal 'spiritual' beliefs & practices. I try to keep a tight lid on a lot of the more personal details of my love life & the relationships I have with my friends - though I don't always succeed obviously! When I'm really happy or excited about something I can't help but gush & when I'm really sad or angry it helps me to vent. I tend to publicly discuss things that are directly related to ME - my feelings, my opinions, etc. When the happenings in my life involve other people...I try to use more discretion. You'll notice that though its clear from my internet action that something has gone awry in my love life recently - I have not said anything specific nor do I intend to. I go with my gut in regards to what I choose to share on the internet & believe me - it isn't even close to everything. You could classify me as an introverted extrovert. I'll tell you everything if I feel like telling you but most of my time is spent alone & I enjoy my privacy. Tricky stuff. Walking anomaly.
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - Hold Yourself Down
HF: I only chose a stage name because I was tired of people pronouncing my maiden name incorrectly (its FEE-DUH-WAH, fyi) & I thought it looked better when written out without the 'a' in 'Heather'. At no point did I sit down & decide "Ok, this is who I am going to be now." My life is a work in progress & again, I am always growing & changing but my personality just is the way that it is. Sure, I like to stir the pot sometimes but the things I say & do are never completely detached from reality.
CWR: You and I have had previous exchanges about 80's music. From that, your music, and your various posts, I assume you carry a significant interest in that era of music while a large majority of your generation seems to identify more with (and questionably idolize) the over-hyped grunge movement of the 90's. To what do you credit this?
HF: Probably to my mother. She had me at a very young age & was a teenager in the 80s. I was born in 1987. I grew up with her as my only real support system & so a lot of her tastes became mine. Her favorite bands were (and still are) U2, Adam & The Ants, The Police, INXS, etc. The soundtracks to movies like 'Pretty in Pink' probably served as a jumping point for a lot of my taste in music...New Order & OMD leading me back to Joy Division & The Cure and then other melancholy pop/post-punk bands from that era, more rooted in the late 70s than in the super pop of the later 80s. When my mother's 2nd & current husband came into the picture he brought his record collection with him. He is the same age as her but was more of an outsider as a teen, more into The Clash & shit. That era gelled with me because as a teenager, I was admittedly into the "emo" side of hardcore & punk which drew heavily on cold sounds & melancholy lyrics. On & on, yknow. I think a lot of people my age had parents who were a lot older than mine & probably listened to a lot of 60s/70s music which resurfaced in the grunge era, post-80s, as a reaction to the 80s & its sonic coldness. I had my reaction to it as well, during the period of my life when I wanted to be NOTHING like my parents (typical teenage rebel shit). But as I've gotten older that era of music feels like home & serves as my primary reference point.
Nico - Evening Of Light
HF: Its looking like February 2013.
CWR: Spielberg or Scorsese?
HF: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Blixa Bargeld - Der Tod Ist Ein Dandy
RIYL: Patti Smith, Radar Eyes, White Lung
Band - [Official | Facebook | Twitter]
CHROMEWAVES RADIO - [Home | Facebook | Twitter | 8tracks | exfm | Last.fm | Spotify]