Having just finished a successful European tour, Montreal’s sonic luminaries Lesbians on Ecstasy are in the midst of prepping their first hometown show in just over two years. A Lesbians on Ecstasy performance is one finely-tuned, kinetic, pulsing, sweaty party. Xtra sat down with members Bernie Bankrupt and Fruity Frankie to discuss the band’s musical changes.
XTRA: How are you feeling about playing your first Montreal show in two years?
BB: We have a new player, so we’re five now. Both Hands, she’s playing keyboards. Musically, we changed some stuff around and wrote some different arrangements. I’m excited to play Montreal. I feel like it’s going to be a fun combination of a hometown crowd, and us having a bit of a new sound.
XTRA: What inspired the five-person line up?
BB: We’ve always joked that we wanted to take an ad out in the newspaper saying that we were looking for a two-handed lesbian keyboard player. I play keyboards, but I play the sampler and do other stuff. We don’t really have a melodic instrument in our band, and we’ve been longing to have a more melody driven aspect for the music.
XTRA: Any future recording plans?
BB: Well, the album thing feels a bit archaic, but it’s also how you release things.
FF: Not anymore… People aren’t necessarily accessing music through albums as much.
XTRA: Does that change the way you write?
BB: I think it takes the pressure off a little bit. With an album, everything has to be done at the same time, and the expense is a lot more because of the studio. What we’re looking at maybe doing now is just chipping away at it. If it all ends up being an album at the end of it, then that’s great, but we’re not going to set out with that intention.
XTRA: Your first two albums have a defined concept behind the music. Is that pressure gone now?
BB: The pressure isn’t there. I feel like we can do whatever we want. It’s not like we’re going to go to jail! I certainly don’t feel any obligation to continue with the concept. That being said, I feel a renewed commitment to the concept. I’ve had time to think about it, and the idea of sampling women’s music from the past, and making it into contemporary electronic dance music still stands. Lots of women’s work gets erased from the past, and this is one form of archiving.
One of the things that reaffirmed this for me was Will Munro, and his passing. A big part of his work was bringing old queer culture into new queer culture, and making references between those two things. He was interested in classic ’70s gay porn culture, and that whole scene would show up in his work, in his parties, and in the artists he would invite. Thinking about that, it’s such a worthwhile thing to do. It’s a challenge to keep finding creations from older artists that aren’t necessarily on the internet. You have to dig deeper through vinyls. It’s a way of paying homage to people who have gone before.
Big Freedia and Lesbians on Ecstasy, with DJs Rusty Lazer and A-Rock
June 17, 9pm
Club Lambi, 4465 St. Laurent
$10 in advance, $12 at the door
Details and advance ticket info on Facebook.
Sled Island Festival
June 30, 12:30am
The Marquee Room, 612 8 Avenue SW
July 4, 9:30pm
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen St W
$10 at the door.
Benefits the Will Munro Memorial Fund for Queer People Living With Cancer
WATCH: “Both Hands – Lesbians on Ecstasy prep Euro Tour 2010”: