The girls debuted live on our last night (the not so far away 20th July at Power Lunches) and we liked them so much we thought we’d send them some questions that they have kindly replied to.
Feature: how did it start? Can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Liv: Through Rich (from Sauna Youth). We had stalls next to each other at a zine fair in Brighton, and I traded a zine for his band’s tape. It was a good trade! We got talking about writing, and he suggested I get in touch with Jen to contribute. This led to various awkward chats on the shop floors of both of our respective places of work, we were both in retail at the time, and we struck up a friendship. I then went to London, but we’d bump into each other at gigs and would share beery promises of one day starting up a band together.
Jen: We started talking for the first time in person at a Fair Ohs show at Hector’s House in Brighton and I was surprised at how we immediately gone on so easily. Liv seemed like the upgraded version of me. We had so much in common and shared the same opinions about so many things about music and writing and just about everything. That doesn’t happen very often. I think I instantly thought about us starting a band.
Liv: I secretly feared it would never happen, but after Jen moved to London she stayed true to her word, and we formed Feature.
How many songs have you got so far?
6 songs, 1 cover. We got a five-song set together and the set is now a tape called ‘Memory’ that’s being released on Cazenove Tapes either the end of this month or in September. Now we’re getting another 5 together to hopefully make another tape with Tye Die Tapes.
How do you approach the writing process? How is a Feature song born?
Jen: It’s way too boring to put you through. It’s simply magical.
Jen, you also play in Sauna Youth. Liv, you also run Shebang. How do you combine these activities with the band?
Jen: I’m now completely used to having two loud hot-sauna sessions a week. My hearing is shot to pieces and my throat’s always sore. Everyone in Sauna Youth, as of this week, also plays in another band too. Rich, Lindsay and Murphy aren’t separate to Feature which is nice, they come to our shows, Lindsay’s putting out the first tape, Rich recorded and mixed the tape…the two bands are very different but most people we know are in bands and a lot of time is spent making, watching and listening to music.
Liv: Unfortunately, for the past year or so I’ve had to put Shebang zine on the back burner as I’ve now got a fulltime (and very busy) job. But as I now work with other people’s bands all day, it’s nice to trade places for a bit in the evenings!
Are there any influences for you, whether they’re other bands, films, art,..?
Jen: I think we’re a bit of an amalgamation of a lot of the bands we see regularly live and admire, or at least we like to think so. There were probably more bands that we didn’t want to sound like than what we set out to sound like. All the lyrics for the first tape are inspired by the books ‘The Body’ and ‘Mass Hysteria’ by Dr. Lisa Blackman, and the words for the second tape will be on the themes in Hillel Schwarz’s book ‘The Culture of the Copy’.
Liv: I’m slowly getting into the more technical side of equipment, so I’ve been spending time observing other people’s set-ups more than anything! Watching Pond recently gave me a kick to become less inhibited on stage, but as I’m naturally a bit shy I think it’ll take a bit of practise. I’ve also been feeling very inspired by Pussy Riot. The outcry that it has caused is incredibly moving; it’s a call to arms, and probably the closest thing to the Riot Grrrl movement that my generation has experienced. It’s exciting to be reminded that people still care about the ethics and politics surrounding music. They are so brave – they are an incredibly important band.
Have you got any other plans for releasing your music?
Jen: Apart from the tapes we’d love to get a 7” out, I love recording.
Liv: Recording at Jen’s is the best. I get to play with the cat, read books and drink tea.
And where do you see Feature in the future?
Jen: UK Tour, European Tour, American Tour.
Liv: The future is Feature.