Birdeatsbaby - Interviews - Soundblab


by Emily Bielby Rating: Release Date:

Hailing from Brighton, Birdeatsbaby an unusually talented four-piece who, not fitting into any of today's music genres, discovered their own sound by mixing classical with punk and rock. They take violins, piano, drums and bass and wrap it all up in to one package which once opened explodes into a catchy chorus.

The bands infamous video to single 'The Trouble' got them recognised as a dark cabaret group and since then they've gained a ever-growing fanbase all over the world. With two releases already under their belts theyre set for number three: 'Feast of Hammers', due for release in February. Soundblab caught up with pianist and singer Mishkin Fitzgerald for a chat.

OK, so first off; how did the band gets its name?

We always get asked this question (laughs). To be honest, no one really knows where or how it came to be but we had like three or four songs and we kind of thought "What do we sound like?" A really bizarre kind of sound. We wanted to go with something that was a bit bizarre and morbid sounding as a band name, so we plucked three words and put them together and it seemed to fit the music.

You're labelled 'unusual' - would you agree?


What makes you unusually different from other bands?

I think because all of us have a completely different influence and we try to combine all of them, and do whatever we feel sounds good; we're not trying to be inside one particular genre. We didn't start the band and think "Right were going to be this band". We just got together and were like, I like this music, and I like this music. It was a bit of an accident but I think a good one so...

The video for 'The Trouble' has had over 100,000 YouTube hits since it was aired. How does this make you feel?

Pretty good. (laughs)

Was it what you expected?

No, not at all; when we put it together we just had a laugh making the music video and we put this album out and we just kind of thought "Oh, no one is going to hear it but we'll just go for it and put it out" and suddenly it just became like the massive video. We discovered the whole genre of dark cabaret because of that video. Everyone was like "This is dark cabaret blah blah blah," so then we labelled it as that and now if you type that in it's the first video that comes up, so I think anyone looking for that kind of music finds us.

When you first started out as a group or band, did you think that you'd get as far as you have now?

Erm, no but now we kind of want more, if you know what I mean? At first when we started out as a band we got better at it and enjoyed it more. We were kind of like "Actually we really want to do this professionally", so I think we're at a stage now where we're really happy where we are but we really want to go another 10 steps.

What's your ultimate aim as a band?

Ooooh, I don't know. Erm, put out a good few more albums, just have a good solid fan base. I don't really care about being signed or, you know, touring or playing at Wembley or anything like that. I'd just like other people to hear our music, and kind of identify with it and have a really solid fan base, which we kind of already got, so just more of that.

So you've got an album coming out in February, is that any different to your previous ones?

It definitely sounds like our band, it sounds, like, very samey. We've got that unusual kind of quality but it's a lot more progressive, heavier, it's more defined, I think. It's slightly less crazy than the first album but just as fun but probably a little bit more of something for everyone rather than the few freaks out there (laughs).

You've toured all over the UK, Europe and US so where would be the next place you'd love to tour?

Mexico actually, we've got so many fans out there in South America, especially Mexico and Columbia. Randomly, we've got like almost the highest percentage of fans in Mexico. We always, you know, sell records and they always go over to Mexico first so I kind of think we would like to go there because obviously we have got a huge fan base there which is random but really cool and I love Mexico.

I've never been.

No, neither have I; I can't wait to go though. (laughs)

Who are your biggest influences?

Definitely Muse, that was kind of the band that really got me into piano music in such a heavy way. I thought it would always be a classical thing, that was a massive influence on my music, and then obviously Nick Cave, Queen, everything really.

What's been your best touring experience?

Oh, my God. Erm, I think America was probably the best experience so far, just because it was the most fun and we just met so many various random, crazy people which was really, really fun but also our first European tour was pretty much a high for us because it was the first time we realised we had fans in other countries that had come a long way to see us, so that was a big ego boost as we didn't think anyone would come out and then suddenly all these people turned up.

What bands have you toured with?

First of all, we toured with Joe Black; he's a solo cabaret performer and then we randomly toured with him again in America and then another band called This Way to the Egress. We usually play with local acts anyway when we tour so, I mean, it can always change but Lou Hickey in Scotland she's amazing and Marcella Puppinni and the Forget Me Nots as well, she's really good. We've only played the one show but we're hoping to do a lot more stuff with her because she's fantastic.

Is there anyone you haven't yet toured with but would like to?

Well, obviously Muse but, like, (laughs) I don't know. Erm, I really like My Brightest Diamond so I'd like to tour with Shara from that because she's worked with loads of different artists and I think she's pretty incredible and I just would like to tour with someone like that who's done so many different things but is kind of genre-less as well.

So when you write, is it all you or do you all collaborate towards the writing process?

I pretty much write everything, but then I'll have the idea and generally i'll have a sort of finished song and I'll take it to the band and go "This is the idea, what shall we do with it?" and then everyone sort of has their bit. Like, Keely will write her violin part and then Gary will write his bass part and then the drummer Charlie will write his drum part and it sort of becomes a completely different song than what I started with usually, which is quite exciting.

But that's a good thing because then it's an unexpected outcome...

Completely, yeah. I mean, when we first started, I would write everything and I would, like, record the string parts and I'd know exactly what it was in my head but after a while, I just kind of decided that's a bit unfair and also you can get so many more different sounds if you give it to someone else and go do what you want with it and suddenly you get a completely different sound, which is why the second album is so different from the first one.

OK, have you played any festivals?

Yeah, we played, erm, The Secret Garden Party Festival and the local Brighton one, Meadowlands, and we played some pretty small ones but I can't remember. We played LimeTree in our first year as well which is now getting bigger and that's it.

Are there any that you would like to play if given the chance to?

We'd love to do the introducing stuff at Glastonbury, obviously.

It's not happening this year...

No, I know, it's a shame but no, erm, Bestival again would be amazing. That was really really good and we'd love to do Latitude and I think there's another one but I can't remember but, yeah, mostly the big ones. I'd like to actually do some of the European ones. There are loads that go on in like Germany and East Europe. They're actually massive but no one really knows about them.

So, after your album's been released, what's next for Birdeatsbaby?

We've got a launch party on the 18th.

Is that for your new release?

Yes, that's for the album on February 18 in London at the Underbelly and then the Brighton one, we're having like a mini one at the huge free gig up the road on February 15 and then after that we have a couple of little shows in London and then were waiting until June before we go on a massive tour again.

Is that going to be a European one?

America. We'll probably do some dates in Europe as well after America but mostly we just want to go back to America and avoid the UK as much as possible (laughs).

You don't like the UK?

Touring the UK is so bad. It's just so totally pointless at the moment, especially for a band like us so, we've got all of our fans like in Europe and America, but yeah, we'll probably do London and maybe Ireland again that was good fun. So probably just do London, Ireland and Scotland and just avoid the Midlands.

You don't like the Midlands?

No, I like the Midlands; I just don't think the Midlands like us.

Single 'Incitatus' out 6th February
Album 'Feast of Hammers' out 20th February

Album launches:
15/02/12 Brighton The Ranelagh, United Kingdom.
Time: 7:30pm. Admission: FREE. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 2-3 High St, BN2 1RP . Brighton Launch party for 'Feast of Hammers'. Support from Annaca

18/02/12 London The Underbelly, Hoxton, United Kingdom.
Time: 7:30pm. Admission: £6. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 11 Hoxton Square. Venue phone: +44 207 613 1988. The official 'Feast of Hammers' launch party. With support from She Makes War.

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