“I am not about these tiny cups of tea, I need like a proper mug. I keep having to just have loads of really strong but tiny cups of tea.” We sat down with Lindsey from Deap Vally to talk about the new album Femijism, festivals and strange fan requests.
What have been the main inspirations for the new album? (Obviously a lot has changed for the band since your last record with a baby entering the Deap Vally family.)
We take our inspiration from all sorts of places. Lyrically we like to tackle all kinds of subjects and ones that don’t get tackled very often. We’re definitely not a band that just writes love songs.
Musically we’ve been exposed to so much new stuff, my main way of finding out about new music is playing festivals. What better way is there to find new bands than to see them live, just killing it. We did so many festivals during our first album cycle and there were just so many great artists and bands I discovered and I think it’s just natural take inspiration from everything. Black Angels, Black Lips, FJM, Parquet Courts and Beach House to name a few.
On the new album you sound more pissed off then before, do you think the music s a reflection of what’s happening around you?
I do think my overall mentality on the second record is slightly more cynical. Like on the first record we were a new band, we wrote all these songs before we’d ever played them out in the world. I was very optimistic and was writing to conquer the world and we did that but also theres everything else that comes with that. Like label politics, shitty annoying critics, we had such an overwhelmingly positive response but it’s still hard when some douchebag says something that isn’t true. So I think I was just more cynical this time round. I also found myself in a position were I was still struggling finically which was hard, we had just come off touring for several and so to still be in that position was frustrating. I think it’s a learning curve with the music industry, it takes a while. We switched from a major label to an indie one so the business model changed. This time around we’re doing things a lot more slimmed down, out touring and everything because we need to support ourselves.
Is feminism being at the core of your music a conscious decision?
Honestly, it’s annoying to be asked about feminism every time we do an interview. I understand why people do it but it’s frustrating because guys that are singing about the same issues wouldn’t be asked that.
We just sing from our own experience, if there’s song that is inspiring or empowering, people are like “oh yeah, are you a feminist?” and I’m just like “well yeah, who isn’t?” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t believe in gender equality and I wouldn’t hang around with people who didn’t. We still live in a world where that word is needed because unfortunately it is still unequal. It feels like its one more way to marginalise or pigeon hole a girl band. Which is irritating, we’re just a rock band, we’re empowered and we sing about stuff that rock bands sing about, like defiance or whatever.
The title ‘Femijism’ has so much meaning, it’s why we like it. It’s a response to all of that.
What does it mean?
What do you think?
To me it means, being a women and doing what you want. Fuck being told to not sleep around or any shit like that. Just doing what you want?
That’s definitely one of the interpretations. I’ve heard so many and I think they’re all accurate. One of them is like fem and then jism, a juxtaposition of a male and female thing. It’s also like taking the piss out of the fact that everyone wants to talk to us about feminism. It’s also just fun creating a new word.
Are songs like smile more based on a certain event or more a reflection on general stuff?
That song started as a reaction to something in my personal life, it wasn’t even gender specific at all. It was just my venting about being bossed around and then once I started digging deeper all these specific instances started coming out. People can call it a ‘feminist anthem’ but I think it’s a very universal song. Men can really relate to it to. It’s that sentiment about being annoyed about people and society telling you what to do.
What was your favourite apart about making the new album?
Just writing the songs and being in the studio with Julie and Mick, it was a really really special experience. It went on for quite a while; we were doing them in batches. Do a couple of songs and then go on tour and then come back and do a couple more. So it was cool that it got be this prolonged album making process. The creative process is magical. Now I can’t wait to get back in the studio and make the third record!
How has Julie becoming a mother impacted the band?
We are definitely more maternal. It’s just a bigger touring family now, there are lots of ladies now, and it’s good. It brings out everyone’s soft side and it’s cool to see how guys act around the baby, they all get all soft and gooey.
What’s is the weirdest thing a fan has ever said to you?
There was a fan heckling us in Scotland one time and he said to us he “wanted to dip his Doritos in our period juice” I thought that was really creative. I thought it was funny, his heckling was very objectifying of himself and I liked that.