Friday, 20 September 2013

It's My Kind Of Interview - Lester The Fierce

Lester The Fierce, the sonic brainchild of Melbourne's Anita Lester, captured our attention with the sleek and sexy rock track 'Howl' last month. Since then, she's had a dominant run at #1 on our Top 25 and released the brilliant Howl EP that you should be running out to pick up. Or iTunes download or whatever. Anyway, we were very excited to have the enigmatic Lester The Fierce answer some questions about Howl, overseas ambition and, of course, the zombie apocalypse. Enjoy! 

Interview by Matt Bond

Lester The Fierce, you've had a busy couple of weeks! The video for your single 'Howl' is out, you're out on tour with Ngaiire and you've done a live stream on Music Feeds. How's life? What's it like out on the road and how excited are you to have the Howl EP out?

Lester The Fierce: It has been busy! I've always wanted to be busy in this way though, so it's all good things! It's hard letting your music take flight. It will never not be scary. Showing someone your art is like being naked in front of someone for the first time…but lots of people in this case!

If you don't mind me saying so, 'Howl' is a totally badass track. There's a hard rock edge to it and your performance is... totally badass! Can you tell us what the track means to you and the story behind it?

LTF: Thanks, I love that word to describe Howl! The story is simple. I wrote it at a moment of pure frustration - I felt out of place with everyone around me and didn't know how to let it out. I guess the song is about my family and my love. Most of them are!

You've said that 'Howl' is influenced by female-driven 90s outfits like Garbage and Hole. What do you love about these two bands in particular?

LTF: They represent that part of the 90's I love. I think there was an obvious movement of empowered, unapologetic women in music in that time. I kind of see that as being the feminist movement of the 90's. Sonically also, I really like that crunchy, gritty, hard-hitting contrast to the female vocals.

Your lyrics paint some vivid imagery, especially on a darker EP track like 'Volcano'. How easy is the songwriting process for you? Do you draw mostly on your own experiences or do you prefer to create distinct stories and characters for your music?

LTF: I draw mainly from my own experiences - Volcano for instance is about sex. Even if I'm writing a song based on a book, for example, it will always be personal. Songwriting for me isn't something that’s easy or hard…it's just something that I need to do. Sometimes it takes weeks to write a song, but sometimes it takes five minutes.


Another EP number, 'Colours', was received very well at home and overseas. What was your American experience like and will you be heading back to the USA anytime soon to promote the Howl EP?

LTF: I plan on going back. I'm aware of the limitations Australia has. I love it here and the musical landscape is seriously amazing, but we are a different planet and I only really saw that when I was living in New York. Do you know what though, if Australia had the same musical diversity and open arms as the States or UK, it would be harder to walk away from.

You seem like someone that likes to keep busy, so have you started on plans to record your debut album? And are you still planning on recording overseas?

LTF: I've been writing and demoing the album for a month or so now. I plan to record sooner than later, and overseas or not, I have great people I work with! It's going to be a beautiful album I think. I have a really clear vision for it.

Alright, we haven't asked this is in awhile, so... THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE HAS HAPPENED! Don't freak outn too much, you survived. Before you were forced to evacuate to... Tasmania... you had enough time to pick out five CD's that are incredibly important to you (and they'll possibly be the only five CD's remaining in... Tasmania). Which CD's did you grab and why?

LTF: OOOOH! Good question. Hard question! I like a good zombie drama (ps- you need to watch Darren Brown's 'Apocalypse' episode). Firstly, I'm saying 7…even though there are more, but you're getting 7.

I would take:

Feist - Metals. This album breaks my heart. The organic sounds. The words. It's so beautiful and you can tell it's from her soul of souls.

Radiohead - Hail to the Thief. It's hard to choose just one Radiohead album…any fan will argue over the best one…I mean, OK Computer, In Rainbows. Damn Radiohead. You so good.

Leonard Cohen - Songs of Love and Hate. I wish I could throw in Songs of Leonard Cohen and tracks like 'Everybody Knows', but I can't…dammit.

Crosby, Stills and Nash - Self titled. Childhood in an album right here.

The Dandy Warhols - Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia. This, in my eyes is an almost perfect album.

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love. Reminds me of my mother.

Nick Cave - Abattoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus. This music reminds me why I love music and why I want to make it. It's not particularly calming music, but it's such an amazing album.

The Australian music scene is chock full of talent right now. Who do you make time to see live when you can?

LTF: Fascinator, Georgia Fair, The Harlots, Pond, Kins, Chela, Brous, Noah Earp…so much amazing music I can't handle it.

You're also a talented children's book illustrator! What have been your favourite stories to illustrate?

LTF: I hope it's not too self indulgent to say, but I loved painting my most recent exhibition. It was about Spirit Animals. I asked 20 of my friends and family what animal they see themselves in and then I mashed the two faces together.

Thanks for joining us! When they air the Lester The Fierce 'Behind The Music' special in 2068, what are they going to say about you?

LTF: Assuming I'll be long gone, they can say whatever they like. But I'd love to be known as a great songwriter and singer who earned her spot….slow-burn, but for a reason.

I feel like it's going to be sooner rather than later that we're all talking about the incredible music of Anita Lester. Don't forget, you can catch Lester The Fierce performing as support for Ngaiire on her current Lamentations Tour, which includes a stop in Brisbane on October 3! Tour deets on the poster below... 

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