by Verena Spilker

Lesbians on Ecstasy came into existence at a party many years ago when the would-be members had the idea of turning lesbian folk tunes into dance. The band’s first and self-titled album was published on Alien8 Recordings in 2004, followed by a remix album in 2005 and their last record “We Know You Know” in 2007.  Now, two years after their last European tour, they decided to tour again with two new members, Annagram and Both Hands, and I got the chance to meet them for an interview before their show in Berlin on the 15th of May 2010.

How important was music for you when you were growing up?

Bernie Bankrupt: Well, we were just talking about that in the van, maybe more about music videos… But for me and Fruity Frankie and Veronique Mystique, there was this one video show, that was the first show that played music videos and repeated them on an eight hour cycle, and so we would time what time the video was on that we liked, and then if we forgot to record it we would wake up in the middle of the night and go and record it again, so we would have it on cassette. So we were very committed. Very important.

Do you use your music as a way to communicate with people?

Bernie Bankrupt: All music is going to speak to people differently. So I think that it’s most important that people have some kind of connection with it, whether it’s what you mean or not. It sometimes doesn’t come across the way that you intended, but still people can connect to it somehow. Even if they hate it I think that’s something.

Why did you start making music?

Bernie Bankrupt: On the last album, when we referred back to all those artists from the 70s, I thought what was interesting is that there was a big independent music culture for women, with labels and bookers and venues. At that time in history the style of music was all folk, but there was this big network of women making music. I kind of liked that idea and I wanted to refer back to that, because I think there is a big opportunity for women to make a living with making music and I think that there are fewer women who realize that, than during the 70s.

How important was the Riot Grrrl scene for you?

Bernie Bankrupt: It was very important. Do you want to say something about that Anna?
Annagram: I think I got into it when I was a bit older, but I think it was definitely inspiring to just see other women… It wasn’t what inspired me from the start, but it kept me inspired basically.

I just recently read a lot about Queercore and how the JDs magazine created a fictional scene, more than representing  an existing queer subculture…

Bernie Bankrupt: You mean the JDs fanzine? Not JD Samson… Well there was that fanzine, the Yo-Yo Gang [a film by GB Jones] and the Riot Grrrl scene in Olympia. And I think that is also what Kathleen Hanna talks about. That when they were first doing stuff with Bikini Kill, they would lie all the time in interviews and say that there is all these people doing all this stuff, and it would self-perpetuate. The more that people think that other people are doing things, the more they do it themselves. I think that it is a good way of encouraging people. And sometimes I’m surprised by how many bands are there doing stuff now so it kind of becomes true.

Is there a flourishing queer music scene in Canada today?

Bernie Bankrupt: In Montreal we are very lucky. There is lots of music in Montreal, lots of people doing stuff, in Toronto and Vancouver too. So we have a big community across the country… but Canada is so big that when people are in Vancouver, you don’t necessarily see them that often.
Fruity Frankie: There are actually lots of queer people in bands that aren’t necessarily identified as such – very successful musicians who are out there and representing in another fashion.

leo_pic KopieYour last album came out in 2007. What have you all been doing since then?

Fruity Frankie: Well, we have all been taking a bit of a break. I do sound for film and have been working quite a bit there, and I do sound design as well and I DJ. Actually I started working on some tunes with Both Hands, who is joining us for this new tour. We did a remix for a local band recently. They play here tomorrow: Think About Life.
Annagram: I play in a metal band, I played in a country band last year, I play in a new all-girl rock band. What else do I play? I feel like I’m forgetting something. Many other things I can’t remember right now. Pretty busy.
Fruity Frankie: Veronique has been tweeting.
Veronique Mystique: I’m a professional tweeter now. I tweet under two accounts. My own and the band’s. But I’ve also been working a lot. I did a remix for a band that I actually can’t remember right now. What’s the name of that band? They are a Swedish band. No not Sweden, they are from Zurich. We played with them. Mosh Mosh! So I did a remix for Mosh Mosh, and other than that, taking a break from music, for myself personally.
Both Hands: What have I been doing? Well, like Annagram I’m new. We are the new elements on the LOE 2010 tour, and other than that, I’ve been doing some music production. A few remixes and working on a film a little bit too, doing sound stuff. And getting better at everything I can.
Bernie Bankrupt: These guys just did a film with Chilly Gonzales.
Fruity Frankie: Well, his last record was based on the game of chess, and he wrote a fictional film to go along with it, about two chess-playing brothers. And Tiga, who is a DJ from Montreal is in it [as his brother]. And Peaches plays a performance artist and Both Hands and I did the sound recording for it. Part of it was shot in Berlin, but most of it in Toronto.
Both Hands: It is supposed to be released with Gonzales’ record, which was produced by Boys Noize.
Fruity Frankie: It’s part musical, part drama. Chess drama. In chess we trust!

And what is coming for the future?

Bernie Bankrupt: We are hoping to have new songs. We don’t know if it’s going to be a full album or just tracks. We are not sure about that yet. But we have some new stuff you will hear tonight and I think by autumn it will be recorded. Then it will be available on the internet in addition to other places…


Interview by Verena Spilker