Dance-punk drum heavy London art band Charismatic Megafauna interview Carmarthenshire band Adwaith.
CMF: How did you meet and why did you create Adwaith?
A: We consist of Hollie (guitar, vocals), Gwenllian (bass, keys) and Heledd (drums). Myself [Hollie] and Gwenllian have known each other since we were around 4 years old. We formed the band around 2 years ago and came across a drunk Heledd at our first gig where she asked us if we needed a drummer. The three of us have been jamming and making tunes ever since. We’ve always been fans of Welsh language music but we formed the band after attending Maes B in Meifod. We saw basically no girls involved in the scene and we thought, “we could do this!”
CMF: How do you write songs?
A: It’s a combined effort between the three of us. Every song is different. Some we come up with the lyrics first and then add music to it, but sometimes one of us will just start playing like a cool riff or a drum beat or something in practise and we just build from there.
CMF: As three young women, how do you approach the question of your image and the messages you broadcast visually?
A: The fact that we’re three young women in a band is unfortunately still quite rare, so image is really important to us because of that. We think it’s really important to show other young women/girls that you can get up on stage with a guitar and still be as cool (if not better) than the guys you have a crush on, hahaha!
CMF: The lyrics of FEMME explain your feminist position in brilliantly direct and straightforward language. How do you carry those values through to your activities and work as a band?
A: We’re all feminists and we believe in equal rights so it’s very natural for us to write/perform in activities that represent this. For example we’ve organised our own ‘FEMME’ gigs, which is us basically putting on gigs with an all-female line-up. Our first night was in The Parrot in Carmarthen and we’re organising more around Wales and hopefully in England so keep your eyes peeled! We hope to inspire young girls by doing this. We want to see more girls with guitars!
CMF: We read somewhere that you’ve been advised to “never change your sound for anyone, keep your originality and not lose your quirkiness or naivety”. How do you feel about that word ‘naivety’: have you followed that advice, or tried to? We ask this in part because a significant element of our own band has been about learning and growing on-stage and in public.
A: I feel like we’ve kept our originality and quirkiness as we have always made music for ourselves and not to impress anyone. In my opinion every band has to go through a stage of naivety, experimenting and finding your sound and most importantly being yourselves on stage. I’d like to think that our stage presence has grown with every gig we’ve done. And with this new found confidence our sound has changed. We’ve gone from three shy girls playing folk music to playing post punk music with confidence.
CMF: On the same theme, what are some of the most important things you’ve learned since playing in a band together? What do you value most about being in a band?
A: The band has made us all better musicians. We’ve learned to not be precious with our work and to get everyone’s ideas involved. The best thing about being in a band is having close mates to jam with whenever you want. We spend so much time together and we haven’t going sick of each other! (yet) (fingers crossed)
CMF: What needs to change in the music industry?
A: A lot of things need to change. We need more women behind the scenes; music producers, engineers etc, these roles are so dominated by men.
CMF: What are you looking forward to? What are you scared of?
A: We’re looking forward for the release of our album, a mini tour hopefully and seeing where the next year can take us. Being fearless has got us this far so we’re trying not to be scared of anything. Bring it.