I caught up with Krow to discuss her latest EP, ‘Demon, I’. Where does the name for the EP, ‘Demon, I’, come from?
In my life I believe in individual freedom: I have chosen not to breed, I will not conform to societal values, I am anti-establishment, I am always pushing against a male framework. I am a 47-year-old peri-menopausal woman and I have trodden this musical path all my life. The only difference this time round is I am no longer afraid of anything. I am just very angry. Because of my age, I am undefinable and I seem to have entered the epoch of ‘dangerous women’. What’s worse is I have no handler! I am a Fundamentalist Christian’s nightmare. I am an angry female demon in a cauldron of seething hormones. I give you Demon, I.
What draws you to the genre of dark electronica? Who are your influences? Your early stuff was a lot more heavy rock, what prompted this move into a more electronic direction?
I moved into dark electronica/Punk EDM about four years ago. Jo, our drummer, died in 2012 from an aggressive breast cancer and I pretty much stopped doing any music after that. I found going over the older material really fucking painful. I realised I needed to save my musical soul and decided just to do something completely different. The soundtrack of life has become so safe and tame. We’re supposed to be good little consumers and feel the same thing: respectful of any old shit and above all nice. NOT ME! I really love who I am. Outspoken, true to myself and honest. My concerts are not good for sensitive people. I am not a ‘Safe’ person to be around. My concerts are loud, fast moving and aggressive.
Among my influences are: Prodigy; Knife Party; Dave Angel and Underworld. I go raving a lot and love the vibe, but I’ve no time for intense, genre hugging rubbish. I love the trance-inducing, all-consuming loops and beats. I also wanted to make music I would dance to late at night when I’m off my gourd.
Is ‘Headmonsters’ about a lived experience of mental illness or is it more of a metaphor?
I wrote ‘Headmonsters’ as a metaphor for the ‘period hell’ many women go through every month. It can be a debilitating, life crippling, chaotic hormone hell. The problem is you can never get out of it – you have to go through it every fucking time. It also reflects the lack of empathy society has for a woman on her period. People know you’re going through hell and yet they torture you on top of it. Some days we still live in the dark ages. I blame religious people who say we’re Unclean, Dangerous and Dirty at that time of month. Fuck ‘em.
Playing it live though, I’ve had quite a few people come up to me afterwards to talk about their mental illness or abuse they suffered in childhood and they often mention the song helps them not to feel so terribly alone in this world.
How has your time as the frontwoman of bands like Rockbitch and MT-TV informed your work as Krow?
Being in Rockbitch and MT-TV has really enabled me to hone my performance. I started started singing 33-years-ago and it’s been a long journey. Hard in some places but overall fun and I won’t be giving it up any time soon. With the new band, KROW and the Electric Temple, it’s definitely more fun and I am really loving being on stage again. One of the main things that has changed is I am a woman now and I see everything so differently compared to when I was a girl in the other bands. I’m way more focused – If I did RB now, I’d be more nuanced and smart in countering the police and their bullying shenanigans. Also, we all know music is a culture dominated by men and the music industry is a very challenging environment – I’d meet those challenges better. The pressure on women to conform to an image of being beautiful and sexy is always there, of course. Women across all of the industry are being compared to one another, getting scolded for being plain and unglamorous or showing too much skin. It’s harsh. It’s the nature of the beast.
Here’s the thing though, I’m too old… Not thin enough… Peri-menopausal… My hair is thinning… I have spluttering hormones… Too much cellulite on my, still there, ‘FAT ASS’ and to most, not worth another look at.
That’s fucking fantastic news for me! Because of my age I am now seen by society as definitely being out of the breeding game. Whoopee!
I can now officially put on my DM’s and rip the world a new arsehole!
Would you describe the songs on your new EP as feminist? Some, like ´Sexmenco’ seem very sex-positive, but others, for instance ‘X no Y’ seem a little… anti-men… with lines like: “I’ll fuck your sister because I can / I’ll fuck you over because you’re a man”. How would you describe the sort of feminist philosophy expressed in the EP?
Anger flows through me. I think I feed from it. I’ve got to the point where I don’t bother talking to guys any more because they are just so disappointing. I have to get my thoughts and feelings about this stuff out and I choose to do it through the medium of music. I find it just so cathartic to sing that shit out. Sometimes you don’t want to cuddle and understand your way out of a situation. Sometimes the right thing to do is shout “Why don’t you just fuck off!” So, really the EP for me is more of a fun form of anger therapy. I don’t know if it’s feminist? Is everything ever done by a woman now put under the umbrella of feminism?
I would say spiritually I am feminist but I am in no way affiliated with any movements that come under that umbrella. Some of that shit is just nonsensical word play. And anyway, outside of physical violence, who the hell needs a ‘Safe Space’? Grow up. For me, until the feminist movement grows a heart and supports prostitutes – they can all fuck off.
I am a woman won’t be told what to do, what to think, what to feel or what to say; especially when it comes down to my sexuality. I will fuck whom I choose and fuck them how I choose with no censorship angel in my bedroom. Or van… Or back alley behind a club… Some man or woman staring at my tits doesn’t hurt me. They’re nice tits. I stare at nice tits. But stand in my way, grab me without my permission, that is my definition of treating me with actual disrespect, then I’m going to fuck you up.
That leads me nicely onto ‘Sexmenco’ which is a very sex positive track written about ‘rough lesbian sex’. The best kind! I love it! I love having my hair pulled and getting slapped about when I’m having sex. Not everyone’s cup of tea but it works for me. But ‘X No Y’ is not anti-male. Men are not the enemy: they are as fucked up as we are. ‘X No Y’ is written about a specific type of man in our society. That shit-head who doesn’t treat you as a person, puts you down, keeps you operating just under the glass ceiling in the ‘silly old dicks’ male framework. At the end of the day they are stupid, frightened little boys. The misogynist with power. Everyone has had enough of these wankers.
What advice would you give to young female musicians starting out in the scene?
The advice I would give to young female musicians is make sure it’s something you really want to do before getting into it. It’s a tough climb and not for the faint hearted. The first thing to work on is being comfortable in yourself – you will absolutely will be dragged over the coals and being at one with yourself will really help you at that point.
If you’re going to form a band, get rid of the shit negative people who kill the band spirit. They can take years off your life getting in the way of an otherwise fun time. Get involved with true like minds. Happy but driven people, with enthusiasm and a good work ethic. Lastly! Have fun doing it all!
Ana Hine - Artificial Womb