Exposure: Suicidal Birds
Suicidal Birds: Me Animal
Suicidal Birds are Chay and Jessie – two girls from northern Holland. With a name like that though, and with album titles like Spend Your Life in Serious Misery, it's clear this duo didn't have much time for their europop compatriots like the Venga Boys and 2Unlimited in their youth. Instead, this is Kim Deal teaming up with Kim Gordon in some dirty Dutch basement with cheap electric guitars, second-hand amps and some fierce vocal chords to create a decadent distortion fit for any kid into the underground. The girls came to the surface though to answer some questions from The List.
It's a hard task to pin down how you sound. How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?
It is the punk version of blues, the punk version of rock and roll, the punk version of whatever - a bit lo-fi, but as loud as possible. But it isn’t punk.
You're from a northern region of The Netherlands. What sort of music did you grow up with and hear in the local area?
Jessie grew up with they old records of her dad, like The Who, Grand Funk Railroad and local area bands like Golden Earring and Que 65, then later on the Pixies and Sonic Youth. But most of her class mates where into other music. Chay grew up with jazz, and later on the underground music from the USA like the Velvet Underground, The Fallen Spikes and The Gun Club and things like Throbbing Gristle and also Sonic Youth.
How healthy a state is Dutch rock and roll in?
Well, it’s healthy in the underground scene, but in most of the regular venues – it is very unhealthy. It's dying because there are only big commercial bands playing for far too much money or they have these stupid band contest things going on.
What motivates you to sit down and write a song?
Nothing, we just feel like doing it, though a rainy day helps to finish a song.
What's the most interesting record that's influenced Suicidal Birds?
We are influenced through the most beautiful records and the most terrible records and learned to create our own thing all along the way. Beauties are Surfer Rosa by The Pixies and Fire of Love by The Gun Club.
How did you decide upon Suicidal Birds as your name?
From time to time we have birds flying against our windows and some die, some survive. They looked like kamikaze birds so we called them Suicidal Birds and we thought that’s a nice name for a band like ours.
Are you looking forward to playing Scotland on this tour?
Yes, we’ve never been in Scotland so we will go sightseeing and all. And we are very happy to come to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
What's the plan for the rest of 2009?
Well we are going to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and more countries. We will end the year with an new album (we hope) and a lot of gigs in The Netherlands as well. Now this is a nice thing we have in front of us.
Why should people listen to Suicidal Birds in five words?
Come to a live gig.
Suicidal Birds play Captain's Rest, Glasgow on 23 June.