Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wax Idols: Interview!

Stoked to bring you the latest interview for Gilded Gutter from Wax Idols' Hether Fortune, who tells us about her band's new record 'NO FUTURE' (HoZac), her zine 'ORGAZM ADDICT' and her other project BLASTED CANYONS...

How are you?! What's it like over in Oakland right right now?

I'm chillin. It's typical bay area shit right now; warm during the day (in some parts of SF/oakland), overcast and shitty in others, cold at night. Stoners wandering around, people doing band/art shit, MUNI police shooting people for no reason, yuppies driving those miniature
cars, etc.

It's a bit unreal in London at the moment with riots everywhere, it started about a shooting between the police and a black kid. The boy was shot and killed and it's yet to be established whether the police shot first or the kid. LA has seen pretty horrific riots too in the past. In a country where guns are legal do you think people should be able to carry them?

Aye. I'm no politician, but I personally think that everyone should have the right to defend themselves, their family, their homes, etc. I certainly don't trust police officers to do it for me, nor should anyone else. In my opinion, guns are not the problem. PEOPLE are the problem. I am very sorry about what's happening in's a damn shame. I understand why people are upset about the shooting, we've had several similar incidents in San Francisco recently. I just don't see how smashing up buildings and looting small businesses is doing any justice to that poor man or his family. If a group of activists had decided to blow up an (empty) police station in protest, well, I would probably applaud that. Random acts of childish violence accomplishes nothing.

I read that you've started writing a zine 'Orgasm Addict' (is that a
Buzzcocks reference?), how's it going? What's the focus of it?

'ORGAZM ADDICT'. Yep, it's a BUZZCOCKS reference! It's going pretty well, I think? The first issue is supposed to be "done" at the end of August, but that all depends on me. There is no real focus. It's just a shitty DIY zine about nothing/everything/anything featuring artists and writers that are friends of mine. People that I think are interesting, intelligent, funny. I'll send you a copy when it's done!

When did you have that 'I can do that moment' and pick up an instrument?

Several members of my family are musicians and/or singers. I've been fooling around with music since I was a baby. I've always been a writer. I think the first official "poem" I wrote was for my great-grandfather's funeral when I was 8 or 9. I honestly can't remember what instrument I learned how to play first...there was the recorder (naturally), oboe, piano, flute, drums. I started REALLY playing drums and guitar around age 13 I think.

Do you remember the first song you wrote?

NO I don't and it really bothers me that I can't remember! :(

You've played in some other bands what prompted you to start your own?

I kept getting kicked out of other people's bands! I have a very dominant personality, and I think a lot of people have a really hard time working with me. I figured I may as well just start my own band(s), so about a year and a half ago I started two within a few months of each other (WAX IDOLS and my other band BLASTED CANYONS). Apparently I'm not THAT hard to work with, because both bands are still going strong. Though Wax Idols has had a few lineup changes...hahaha.

You co-design the cover of the new record, do you make any other visual work?

Not really. I fool around with collages, take shitty point and shoot photos. That's about it. I know what I like, but I lack the technical experience and know-how to execute my ideas (visually). Luckily I have some fucking BRILLIANT friends to collaborate with that are able to transform my messy ideas into reality.

Does visual art work influence the music you write and visa versa at all?

Every now and then the visual aspects of a film will inspire me to write something. I wrote a song once while I was on my friend's roof high as a kite watching the sun rise. But usually my music is directly related to life experience, emotional anguish, relationships, etc. Love, loss, blah blah blah. Though I have written a few songs based on books I've read.... I don't know. I think I could write a song about pretty much anything, if I wanted to.

I read on average most major Modern Art galleries only have 4% of female artists on show, and it certainly feels that way in music sometimes too,
what do you think of that statistic?

Where did you read that?! That's outrageous, though not entirely shocking. Unfortunately it is still very much a MAN'S world. Or rather, a straight white man's world. BOOOOOORRRRIIIINNNNGGGGGGGG.

Was there any sort of art of music around in your formative years that made an impression on you?

Definitely. Everything from top 40 pop to middle eastern music. My uncle (and pretty much my favorite family member) was/is way into Nirvana - so that left a mark. I got really obsessed with Joy Division when I was about 15. My stepdad is a huge fan of THE CLASH and subsequently turned me into one.

Can you tell us a little about the song 'All Too Human', I CAN'T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD!! Who made the video?

Man I wrote that song SO long ago! It's about an ex-boyfriend. I wrote it during the earlier stages of our relationship, when things were very back and forth and confusing. Not that much ever really changed...haha. It was an insanely tumultuous relationship. I made that video in collaboration with my good friend Hayden Shiebler. She did most of the work!

What can we expect from the new record?

Well for starters it is NOT "low-fi", at all. I never intended for WAX IDOLS to be lumped into that category. My first recordings were just shitty demos I recorded onto garageband in my bedroom, because I didn't have anything else available to me. The ALL TOO HUMAN 7" was recorded in a studio, but so many people have referred to it as "low-fi" and I really don't get it! It's a totally clean, high-fi recording!! I think music writers regularly get fidelity confused with effects pedals. But I digress. NO FUTURE is a pop record. Most of the songs were written shortly after the death of Jay Reatard, who I loved very much. I think that his influence, in life and death, is pretty obvious. It's not all doom and gloom, but the songs are all deeply personal and special to me. I don't know what else to say, you'll just have to wait and hear! :)

Do you prefer playing or recording?

Recording. I'm a control freak, there are too many variables at work in a live setting. Most people don't realize that I am incredibly sensitive and neurotic... I get really uncomfortable in most social situations. I've gotten pretty good at playing it off - but inside the alarms are going OFF! Once I'm actually ON STAGE, the people disappear and I'm in a world of my own. I love performing, but if I had to pick one or the other...yeah it would be recording.

What's the most memorable show you've ever played or attended?

Opening for THE ZEROS last year at JJRADFEST in San Diego was AMAZING. Every show is memorable in its own way. Seeing WIRE was probably the highlight of my life as far as shows go.

What's in the future for Wax Idols? Do you have any other projects on the go we should look out for?

Records, records, records. Tour, tour, tour. My other band BLASTED CANYONS is tight. Check us out at

"I'm full of dust and guitars" - Syd Barrett if you were cracked open what would be inside?

Venom and tears. Too cheesy? hahahaha.

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