Harriet Hyde from the Leeds-based psych-rock outfit chats ahead of a tour promoting forthcoming album Anatomical Venus. They visit Rebellion, Manchester, 9 Feb and Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 16 Feb
What informs your music and songwriting?
I guess a combination of all the music we have exposed ourselves to, combined with our collective experiences engaging with the world as humans each day! Lyrically I take influence from literature and life – particularly since beginning my psychotherapy training. The people around me are always my greatest inspiration. This particular album was inspired by a variety of sources: Anatomical Venus by Joanna Ebenstein, Til We Have Faces by CS Lewis, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Dianic Goddess Worship and of course the moon herself!
How have you evolved as a band evolved over the years?
Our songwriting has evolved enormously as we have grown as people. Our lyrical subject matter has become somewhat more serious and less of the black humour. Also we had quite literally evolved into different amalgamations as we had different members on each album. Nico Carew played on album two (Condemned to Hope) and Federica Gialanze took his place on Anatomical Venus.
What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I have been messing around with analogue pedals on a lap steel recently and playing bass guitar to help with my songwriting over and above vocal melodies. I also read a LOT for my psychotherapy training, which is an art form in itself – the art of relationship with people. My new year’s resolution was to get back into drawing as that’s something I never make time for.
What’s on your rider?
We don’t like to be too cheeky but our bass player’s red wine requirements seem to change by the hour… Sometimes in Europe we ask for sweets and in Germany they gave us an enormous pyramid of Haribo Gold bears!
Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Meeting Noddy Holder at the Classic Rock Awards was pretty surreal but he was absolutely lovely! He said there weren’t enough “sisters” on that stage (winning awards) and I should just march up there and claim one for myself! I’ll love him forever for that!
What song do you wish you’d written?
The songs I really love are very much the songs they are because of the people who wrote them so it’s difficult to imagine ever claiming them! However, seeing as we’re fantasizing I will go with Moonage Daydream by David Bowie simply because it is perfect.
What’s your worst lyric?
I put this question out to my friends on Facebook and the thread went completely out of hand! Turns out there are so many hilariously bad lyrics out there I was in tears reading some of them! Some profoundly stupid, some downright offensive and some just so clichéd it hurts. I’m not sure if it’s the worst as it has actually brought me so much joy, but I’m going with Shakira’s “Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, So you don’t confuse them with mountains.” I have thought about and visualised this situation so much and it still makes me howl with laughter ever time. It might be genius.
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