We caught up with local dream pop outfit Fauvely before they hit the road on a mini tour to gear up for their EP Release at this Monday’s Free Empty Bottle show. Check out what they think of people who say there are too many female fronted bands and how they didn’t choose to play dream pop/shoegaze, it chose them.
SB: Sophie Brochu
DPr: Dale Price
DPi: Dave Piscotti
SC: Scott Cortez
CCS: ACCORDING TO YOUR WEBSITE BIO, YOU SWITCHED FROM FICTION TO SONGWRITING. WHAT DROVE THIS CHANGE, AND WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THE TWO ART FORMS ARE SIMILAR AND/OR DISTINCT?
SB: I was in the process of sending out a manuscript and getting rejected by literary agents. This was over the course of a year-plus of revising, rejection, more rejection, and it started to take a toll on my mental health. I started writing music- more so to take a break. I’m back to writing fiction, and it feels good to be writing again, but for me personally, there are emotions I can access in music that I can’t quite put into words, and that's kind of the beauty of music.
YOUR NEW EP, THIS IS WHAT THE LIVING DO, COMES OUT THIS WEEK ON DIVERSION RECORDS. THIS IS YOUR FIRST RELEASE WITH THE LOCAL LABEL. HOW DID THAT SIGNING DEVELOP?
SB: Scott Simon of Diversion approached me a few times after shows. One of the first things he said to me was that he didn’t like to work with assholes. Good, I thought, neither do I. I think I wrote everyone on his roster, and everyone said nice things. Scott works extremely hard. He cares a lot. We disagree sometimes, but I’m okay with that. I did release a couple of tapes with Midwest Action, though. They’re great, too.
THERE ARE A GOOD MANY GENRES OUT THERE TO CHOOSE FROM. WHAT DRAWS YOU TO DREAM-POP TO EXPRESS YOURSELF?
SB: I would say it’s not really much of a choice; it’s just introspective and genuine. I didn’t start writing my own music until I was, I don’t know, maybe 26, but I previously played in bands that were both in the dream/shoegaze realm.
DPr: It’s really just a reflection of what I listen to the most. I love bands that work equally well in headphones as they do a large theatre - like Beach House.
DPi: This is the first dream-pop band I've played in. I was immersed in the Americana scene in Chicago for a while... I love the challenge and space to create different sounds and explore my instrument in a more diverse fashion than I've been able to in the past.
SC: Fauvely has some nice dream-pop smatterings but isn’t full-on; it has a unique sound, something I like to call ’dreamericana’ for lack of a better word.
What appeals to me most about dream-pop is how it works within the constraints of pop song conventions, yet pushes against those boundaries, marrying the experimental to the mundane within that framework.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO CHICAGO FROM YOUR HOMETOWN OF SAVANNAH?
SB: I studied philosophy at DePaul, then met my husband, who happens to be from Lawrenceville, Georgia. We want to eventually move back home, but for now, we’re committed to staying in Chicago.
SOME FEMALE MUSICIANS HAVE EXPERIENCED PUSH-BACK DUE TO THE WAVE OF FEMALE LEAD PROJECTS THE LAST DECADE- A RIDICULOUS OPINION TO HAVE- BUT IT'S OUT THERE ACROSS THE INDUSTRY, AND WE SEE EXAMPLES OF IT ALL THE TIME. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO THE DOUBTERS AND MISOGYNISTS THAT THINK THAT FEMALE ACTS ARE INFERIOR?
SB: Like people saying the industry is oversaturated with women? Ha. I think that comes from a really gross place of insecurity. When I was growing up, I knew zero women guitar players. Not one. I never thought I was capable of playing or writing my own music until I virtually could not keep it in anymore. I can’t wait to see what the next generations will bring.
DPr: Get new ears. I dunno, I’m equally annoyed by people who dismiss creators based on gender and people who lump everyone together based on it to appear progressive. Female-fronted is not a genre!
DPi: I personally can't remember the last time I did not play for a female-fronted band. For whatever reason, that's just the way it worked out. I've never sought out any band in particular based on gender or orientation because it is totally irrelevant to the songwriting and musicianship. Does it sound good? Is it fun to play? Do you enjoy the music? Those are the only questions anyone in the industry should be asking. There has always been a wave of female-fronted bands, but I think the difference now is collective strength women are drawing from each other in the industry to have a bigger voice and not be shut down by a male-dominated industry. Women in music have a louder voice now, which is long overdue. If you're too ignorant to get past gender in music or in any facet of life, by all means- stay behind with everyone else, while we move forward...
SC: Females in general are feeling pushback ‘cuz our society is quickly moving backwards, so of course it’s going to pervade music. The pushback is madness, and anyone that thinks female musicians are inferior are useless. I guess I didn’t get that memo, cause my fave bands have women in them, and my favorite artists of all time are all women. Bjork is at the top of the list.
My girlfriend and I are in a band together, and she plays bass and guitar better than I do, so yeah- it’s not a thing. I’m happy for this wave to wash all the pedestrian bro bands away in a tsunami of sound.
CHICAGO HAS A HUGE MUSIC SCENE WITH PLENTY OF ACTS THAT DON'T GET A LOT OF ATTENTION. ARE THERE ACTS THAT YOU THINK ARE BEING OVERLOOKED THAT DESERVE TO BE HEARD?
SB: Soft Violent, Public Disco Porch, Thee Casual Hex, The Just Luckies, Born Days, Superknova, Baby Money & the Down Payments, Star Tropics, Uma Bloo, Kodachrome, Ribbonhead, Gone Valley, Laverne, Mia Joy.
THERE ARE ALSO QUITE A FEW VENUES TO CHOOSE FROM. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VENUE TO CATCH A SHOW AND/OR PLAY?
SB: Sleeping Village and Schubas. I really hope to be able to play Thalia Hall and Lincoln Hall in the future. (I’m going to go ahead and manifest that right now.)
DPr: Hands down, my favorite rooms in Chicago right now are The Hideout and Sleeping Village. The Hideout sounds fantastic, and it’s so pretty with the twinkling lights overhead.
SC: Thalia Hall, Constellation, Empty Bottle, Schubas, Hideout, Sleeping Village, Chop Shop, Metro.