Courtesans are an amazing band with around 90 thousand likes on their social media page. Everything about them is interesting.
WildSpiritz Music was delighted to catch up with the band
Courtesans are an amazing band with around 90 thousand likes on their social media page. Everything about them is interesting. They are interested in veganism, dinosaurs, science booze and causing trouble.
If that’s not enough to whet your appetite then check this. Their influences are cited as, eroticism, narcissism, insanity, humanism, sexuality, media, violence, society, passion, love, equality and much much more.
They are full of attitude and opinion and I was lucky enough to get some time with vocalist Sinead Bales. First up though a brief description from their social media.
“In a world full of bankers, hipsters, fanatics and keyboard warriors Courtesans are the equivalent of suicidal unicorns on smack. They are the jelly babies full of boiled bovine bones that children devour joyfully. They are the duck down you sleep on providing comfort that turns into memories of the last minute its original owner was still alive.
Their songs might make you feel like a diabetic on thirty doughnuts blended with the bittersweet feelings of a prisoner on death row having his favourite last meal.
Their music is pop lying on the train tracks.
Well, gosh people. Once you have managed to take all that in we’ll crack on.
Thank you for letting me interview you guys today, what has the band been up to over the last few months?
“We've been writing, recording and well LIFE! We're sticking our heads into a second album right now, so the process isn't always plan sailing, but part of the journey is battling the ups and downs with everything. People can sometimes get inpatient when artist don’t release new material all the time but the reality is that making that new material takes time. I understand the excitement of hearing new material as I’m the same with artists I follow but behind the scenes it isn’t relaxed and like we’re taking vacation. Writing new material, recording, producing, mixing, mastering all takes time so bear with us. What I can say is the stuff we’re working on now is more raw and stripped back and if you’re coming to any new shows you’ll be sure to hear some new tunes.”
Courtesans are quickly becoming a house hold name, but I’m interested in how music was an influence throughout your childhood?
“We're a bunch of misfits from different backgrounds but dosed with equal amounts of childhood fuckary which lead us all to a point of feeling secluded from everyone and everything growing up. Music is that place to go to when you feel lost, that friend to turn to when you have no one. Without music, what is lives true purpose. I mean, music for us isn’t just expression, it’s everything. Whether you are musically gifted or not it’s an artform that should never be ignored.”
Do you guys remember what the first gig you all went to was?
“I've been going to gigs since I was a little bean. The working man's club on a Saturday night in Tamworth gets lit! I think some of the most inspirational show for us all individually as kids were local shows. Intimate gigs are always something that should be cherished. It’s sad the live music scene isn’t what it used to be anymore but everything comes in swings and roundabouts so I’m sure things will take a turn again soon or at least we hope. All we can say is please support your local music venues and never stop listening to upcoming artists because every big band/artist you follow now started somewhere and most likely just like us it was in your local.”
Over the years, Courtesans have been quickly establishing themselves and growing into the music industry. What do you think has changed between your first live performance as a band compared to one of your more recent performances, such as at Sunflower Festival in July?
“We were sh*t back then and now I guess, we're a little less sh*t... Back then we had no clue what we were doing. We were just young and full of spunk with a million ideas but no real substance. As artists you must work at your craft and build foundations as a band; that's not something you can just snap up in a few months, it takes time. Looking back at some of our old gigs makes us cringe HARD! Fortunately for us that was 7 years ago and putting videos online wasn’t as popular as now however, we have some hardcore fans that were recording on old actual cameras even back then and trust me when I say there are some golden oldies on YouTube of us with our old goth rags and candle wax routines.”
“On our first gig we decided to add in loads of random interludes like belly dancing, Burlesque and wax play, we were really just throwing a million rocks into a very small nappy bag at the time. However, through all the crazy ideas and stage mess-ups we’ve had it’s been fun and we wouldn’t change it for the world. Just know as a band and as artists it’s okay not to know what the hell you are doing and to go through this process, we’re still going through it now and by no means are we experts.”
Are there any tricks of the trade you have learnt when it comes to performing such as how to get the crowd going or pre-show musts?
“Remember why you are doing this and who for... Before every gig we group together for our bear hug ritual. It's in this moment we really push our energies into one another… it’s then, we're ready to take on anything as a band. We've done this since day one and shall continue till the bitter end. We always get nervous, some more than others in the band but it’s about pulling together and just being one. No wo/man left behind!”
What’s the most memorable performance for each of you guys?
“Bloodstock. This was the biggest festival and crowd we've ever played to and the vibe was electric. That day was special to us all and is something we'll hold forever. It was crazy seeing the crowd grow before our eyes just before we came on stage. Honestly, we were expecting no one to turn up other than people to possibly throw some warm dehydrated piss at us. How bloody wrong were we. It was incredible seeing so many people from all walks of life of all ages with our T-Shirts on and even signs for us and floating unicorns. It was crazy amazing. As artists you dream of huge crowds like this so we were all buzzing before we went on as well as being totally terrified. When we started playing it was incredible and if we could relive that again in the near future, we’ll be very happy souls.”
You guys have recently announced you will be performing at Facebarmageddon, how excited are you for this performance?
“It’s been a while since we’ve hit the stage so we’re really looking forward to unleashing ourselves into the show. It’ll also be the last gig of 2018 for us so I hope they're ready for us. Reading was an old stomping ground for Sinead as well so it’s kind of cool when you play a city you used to watch other bands in and now you’re headlining a festival like Facebarmageddon. It’s going to be such a wicked gig there’s so many great bands playing and we’re looking forward to hearing new music too. Let’s go insane people!”
Festivals are what define English summers, but have you got your eye on any festivals abroad?
“We've got our eye on the entire galaxy, no seriously! We want to take the band as far as possible and of course any overseas gigs/festivals are going to a huge part of expanding our music to new ears so bring on 2019.”
I have spent a bit of time watching all your music videos and I must say the unplugged acoustic videos for Walking on Waves and Mesmerised are incredibly powerful videos. What do you think is an important factor when it comes to making music videos?
“We're still trying to figure that one out so if you have the answer please let us know. As you may or may not know we are a DIY band – we always have been so we tend to brainstorm ideas together and then just hire the equipment and shoot everything ourselves and hope for the best when we start editing. As a self-funded band that have no pot to piss in sadly this restricts us when it comes to funds so our ideas though can be very elaborate in the ideas process then it soon gets drilled down to reality and we do our best to show you what we can through a budgeted result.”
“I mean, look money isn’t everything though you can have all the money in the world and still shoot a shit video and then you can have someone with only a £100 budget and it be a banger, it’s all about thinking outside the box with what you got so don’t afraid to be creative and to ask friends to get involved to join in the experience.”
Your 2017 EP Better Safe Than Sober, features the track John Doe, my favourite track from the list. What was the inspiration for this song?
“You, me, them... The life of all of those treading through the mud of life trying to wipe it clean ready for the next step. This is a track we all really feel when we play it live, in fact that’s the best way to hear it as well as visually see and feel it for us and you. There’s a lot of pain, anger and frustration in what the song is all about so when you tell us that it’s your favourite track that really does mean a lot to us because it shows you get it, you get that feeling, you understand the pain and you to go through that frustration too.”
How do you decide what makes the cut for an EP?
“Good question, difficult to answer. It’s a myriad of mind changing until it feels right. We generally change our mind about a million times until it really feels right. Once you know though, you know if you get me. So our advice would be to keep going over this until your gut gives you the feels and tells you which way to go.”
With Christmas just around the corner and to get you in the spirit, does the band have any family Christmas traditions that you guys get involved with?
“As I’m answering this interview Samhain is here. The day to remember your ancestors with Respect, blessed Samhain. Tonight and tomorrow evening will be held with celebrations and rituals to really get into the spirit of this time of year. Honestly, though you can’t beat the chill time of Christmas so eat the extra pie and enjoy the time with your family or friends.”
What’s your favourite thing about this festive month?
“Of course the Sabbats, Samhain is very important. Around Christmas however, for us lot we love the markets and mulled wine in all the old pubs. It’s a great time to enjoy cosy nights in and warm cider.”
Courtesans have nearly 90,000 likes on Facebook, how did it feel when you saw your audience growing to such a large number?
“It’s a weird one for us I guess, we are all from the old school days where getting into bands was going to see them live and buying their tapes from your local music shop. Now everything, is online and being popular is more to do with likes that record sales. It’s not that we don’t appreciate it and we’re living in the dark ages. People coming to your shows, buying you music and appreciating your music is far more important to us.”
How does a band of this size, deal with any negative comments and do you have any advice for other bands who may be struggling with this side of things?
“The only reason someone will be negative to someone is due to three things. 1, they’re jealous 2, they’re unhappy with themselves, 3 they’re a c*nt. Pity these people or better yet ignore them. You know, negativity is never easy for anyone to see or hear no matter how tough you are but honestly, I don’t understand how some people can be so cruel. I mean the keyboard warriors go strong these days but honestly, we haven’t got time to wipe our arse in a rush, so these trolls online really must really have nothing else going on it their lives to have the time and energy to spend being a prick online. These people are not what define you so just remember that. They are bullies and bullies are not your worth.”
What are your plans for over the winter months when it comes to music?
“Get fat, get happy, get warm. Only messing, actually we’re not messing so yes that, but we are also focusing on the music to really finish the new material we’ve been working on to get this out to you as soon as possible which we’re aiming for spring but of course only if it’s right. Then we plan on doing another tour and hopefully hitting some festivals. Keep in touch with us online on Facebook and Instagram for updates and personal rants and you’ll be sure to know what’s going on with us.”
As we draw the interview to a close, is there anything you would like to say to all your fans?
“Don’t walk alone in the shadows.”