Reverse cheerleading dance-punk band Charismatic Megafauna are closely interrogated by Trifle wielding synth pop artists Natalie Sharp, aka Lone Taxidermist
LT: What other projects / formations are you all doing?
CM: Jenny is an artist and music is an increasingly significant part of her work. She runs a feminist choir on Monday nights, plays in various formations with a bunch of other musicians and bands, and is now finishing a record of songs for voice and drums under her own name. She co-runs a sex re-education project called Bedfellows with two other artists, leading workshops in schools, and events in museums that promote alternative, queer, feminist perspectives on sex education.
Georgia is an occupational therapist and care-coordinator for the NHS, working in mental health and psychosis. She is also contributing to an urban studies class at a university in Bethlehem, looking at mental health and the built environment.
Susannah is a writer and editor. She works part-time as a digital editor in research at a big art museum and combines that with freelance editing work, writing, and other projects that explore her interest in food and radical hospitality.
It’s hard to fit it all in but we try our best and support each other as much as we can.
LT: What was the Glasgow CCA show?
CM: We make stuff in art contexts a lot, maybe because we went to art school and had artist friends, so we started playing in galleries, which has carried on. In Glasgow, we played at the CCA as part of Edge Effects, an event put on by Scottish Sculpture Workshop “that explored the complex co-dependencies between ecological, social, economic, and political phenomena”.
To prepare, we read the Xenofeminist Manifesto together and wanted to create a total environment that approached some of those (huge!) subjects. This resulted in a 3-screen video installation, with projections throughout the venue showing underwater life on Earth, interstellar clouds, and a nauseating virtual reality journey around Google Earth (thanks to Ben Tandy for that). Our friend, artist Alexis Dirks – with whom we’re currently sharing a year-long collaboration which will result in an exhibition in Canada and a new record – made us costumes, as did as our friend and knitwear guru Craig Lawrence, and we made some for ourselves.
We love a costume change.
The gig started with a screening of the incredible Lady Neptune and the Helping Hands videos (by Moe Meade who plays in other bands Dog Legs, Sacred Paws, Bamboo, As Ondas – check them all out). We also filled the air before the gig with some tracks by other friends and bands we know and love. Making and supporting friends, circles, networks and worlds is really important to how we function as a band.
LT: What are you planning on doing for future is female show?
CM: Something spectacular. A live recording of us with 6 additional female drummers (new friends). A new video. And a new song.
LT: Do you change your show much dependent on what space it’s in?
CM: Yes. We always try to think generously and create something new and specific. It’s been a while since we wrote new songs but we’re working on that at the moment (the general election was the last, which birthed our tune Theresa May Not). But in terms of the show, there are so many different elements – set-up, costumes, projections, other visuals like flags and banners, etc. – which change due to necessity and opportunity. Friends approach us and ask to make things for us and it’s always good to find out how to make that work with what we’re doing.
Because we play in very different spaces, from galleries to pubs, we try to get an idea of the audience we’ll be playing to. Then we decide how much we want to make something either for, or to challenge the audience we’re meeting.
And how much we want to challenge ourselves.
We love a challenge.