Thursday, October 13, 2005

Interview: Lesbians on Ecstasy

(Link) A Montreal grrl band takes lesbian folk/pop classics and adds electrofunk beats you can dance to. Tracy Chapman's fast car just got a lot faster.

1 comment:

LNewsEditor said...

JIC Post:
By Denise Benson

When Montreal band Lesbians on Ecstasy -- vocalist Lynne T (a.k.a. Fruity Frankie), keyboard/computer whiz Bernie Bankrupt, drummer Jackie Jackhammer and bassist VĂ©ronique Mystique -- burst onto the queer scene in early 2003, word spread like wildfire. LOE pay tribute to classics by long time dykons such as k.d. lang, Tracy Chapman, Rough Trade and Fifth Column, and do it with electro-rock swagger. They've toured constantly (often with Le Tigre), and recently completed an 11-country tour of Europe. LOE return to Toronto to play the Pride South Stage (Church & Wood) Saturday (June 25) at 7pm. I spoke with Lynne T, who also guests at Andy Poolhall (489 College) on Friday (June 24), spinning "electro booty-hop" alongside me at Synchro.

Lesbians On Ecstasy is often referred to as a dyke covers band. Would you describe the concept so simply?

LOE stands for "Lesbian Dance Party." We basically revisit or reinterpret some lesbian folk and pop classics, take elements and then revamp them for the dance floor. Part of what we're doing is putting these songs into a contemporary context, crossing over between generations and bringing lesbian culture into the new millennium. And actually, a lot of the music has little to nothing to do with the originals.

Have you considered stepping beyond lesbian classics and nodding to queer men -- Rob Halford perhaps?

I think we're influenced musically by Judas Priest, and I'm definitely influenced by Rob Halford as a performer. I think it's especially the live element of Judas Priest that comes through in an LOE show, even though we can't afford pyro yet.

After playing numerous dates with Le Tigre and touring much of Europe, can you answer true or false to the following stereotype: dykes don't dig underground electronic sounds?

[Laughs] True to a certain extent, false in -- well, false in France. Dance-music culture is just more widespread with European audiences. London is a capital of dance music, and in France people really love electro and the harder stuff. We actually found that a lot of our songs that aren't necessarily super dancey, but that are a bit harder, were really appreciated there, where the more poppy tunes are favourites in North America.

Is feeling part of a community, whether locally or more globally, important to you?

Definitely. The squat scene in Europe, for example, is so inspiring. We played a squat that's been open for 25 years in a small town in Germany, and it's mainly a community centre. They have a show space, a kitchen, artist workshops and people don't even live there. I think it's really amazing to be a part of that, and in those worlds it's not just queer scenes. It's simply a community of alternative people getting together and working and living together. That's pretty special.

How are you feeling about playing Toronto Pride with Rough Trade?

We heard that Carole Pope requested us. She got a CD and wrote us a couple of emails, and said that she really liked it. That was exciting! We're all really nervous about the gig, like, "What are we going to say?"