Interview: Le Butcherettes – 'I feel that anything can happen. The beauty of it is that it will adapt'
Teri Gender Bender talks discovering music, women's right and overcoming obstacles
Teri Gender Bender is a dust devil in a red dress, notorious for her intense, confrontational presence. And she has the tunes to back up her rep. Driven by squelchy barbed wire bass and a righteous wail, Le Butcherettes' third album, A Raw Youth, is full of smart, savage poetry and fearsome garage-punk/goth-tinged pop – from 'Shave the Pride's anti-macho tirade to creepy one-woman duet 'The Hitch-Hiker'. And early indications are that Crystal Fairy, an upcoming riff-heavy collaboration with members of Melvins and The Mars Volta, will be at least as compelling.
How did you first get interested in music?
My father was an alcoholic. He liked to listen to his music loud and curse at the ceiling. Seeing him fall into complete euphoria to the sound of music brought us closer together. Because of him I discovered The Beatles and classical music. My mother shared with me the joy of Arabic music from all over the Middle East and Latin storytelling.
Your work has a strong feminist slant – in terms of women's rights, are we moving forwards or sliding backwards?
There is progress being made on the whole. But it's all a matter of perspective. A hundred years down the line, people are going to be judging our ways of living, just like we judge people's ways of living 100 years in the past. Time changes everything. People adapt – or fall off the grid.
What does the future hold for Le Butcherettes?
I feel that anything can happen. The beauty of it is that it will adapt. The universe keeps putting obstacles in front of me and the band that are really humbling, keeping me strong. If it weren't for my inner philosophical debates regarding Le Butcherettes' principles and symbolism, I would have quit long ago. To start a band, you need to find its soul first.
What's the purpose of music?
It makes life a little easier to cope with. The vibrations go through you and make the mind feel a little at ease, while opening up a door that hasn't been opened before.
Le Butcherettes are on tour until Sat 22 Oct.