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8th September 2017
METAL DISCOVERY: I was looking at your Twitter feed and you recently retweeted about the success of the new ‘Wonder Woman’ movie…
ERIN: Yeah.
(Erin Bennett on the global antagonism in our increasingly agressive society)
"We all live on the fucking earth, together, and people are just picking fights. These people with narrow-minded fucking world views are the ones that are deliberately picking at the most negative, easy to get shit, and throw it out there and watch the fucking fish descend... Frankly, if everybody were fucking and not fighting, the world would be a better place."
Erin Bennett at The Doghouse, Nottingham, UK, 8th September 2017
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Photograph copyright © 2017 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Erin Bennett Website:
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Erin Bennett Twitter:
MD: Have you read the interview with James Cameron about the movie?
ERIN: No, I haven’t.
MD: There was a lot of controversy, where he claimed the character’s represented as nothing more than “an objectified icon” and said it was a “step backwards”. I think that was a comparative reference to ‘The Terminator’, with the Sarah Connor character. It seems it’s Cameron who’s taking a step backwards with those kind of opinions.
ERIN: I’m gonna step on my fucking soapbox, here. Exactly what he said is exactly what feminists are fucking preaching, these days… is that you can’t be someone who does something and changes something and moves a generation in a society or cultural views… and have tits and have a cunt and like to fuck.
MD: And it shouldn’t even be, to a degree, genderised… because men can be very feminine and whatever… and feminism should be inclusive of all people. Gender is just a social construct. Biological sex is different to gender, and even that’s not always a hundred per cent clear-cut. But gender is just a surface construct… but people like to think about things in binary terms, so there’s black or white, rich or poor, feminine or masculine… but there’s everything in-between.
ERIN: And why can’t a woman be really fucking kickass in a mini skirt? You know, why can’t a woman take on the whole German army with just her bracelets or whatever? What the fuck kind of world do we live in, where everybody is set against everybody else? You ‘ve got people who, “You don’t understand, I’m trans,” and, “You don’t understand, I’m lesbian,” and, “Why you hating on me?” and “Don’t say ‘gay’, that’s our word.” You know, it’s like, fuck off…
FINN: Says the lesbian!
ERIN: Yeah, exactly! We all live on the fucking earth, together, and people are just picking fights. These people with narrow-minded fucking world views are the ones that are deliberately picking at the most negative, easy to get shit, and throw it out there and watch the fucking fish descend. Do you know what I mean? Nobody is doing anything to further peace; to further something fucking positive. Frankly, if everybody were fucking and not fighting, the world would be a better place.
MD: Exactly. If people could redirect all that negative energy into something positive, it’d be all for the better.
ERIN: At this point, Erin steps off the soapbox!
MD: It’s like this celebrity culture and these gossip magazines where people get obsessed with finding out about so and so’s sexuality… I mean, who gives a fuck?!
ERIN: Do you know what, the funniest thing is, with the ‘ReFlowered’ tour, of course, all of the songs on the album… I mean, when I write a song, if I’m writing a song about loving someone, it’s always pointed at a woman. I love women. I mean, I love guys. I love Finn very much, he’s my mate, but I could never look at him and go, “Darling, I love you”…
FINN: Well, apart from that one time!
ERIN: I classify myself as being lesbian. I don’t, these days, feel like I need to wave my fucking flag about it. But I tried, and we played a lot of Prides and we found that a lot of the LGBT communities, throughout the UK particularly, weren’t that ready to get behind us because we didn’t fit into the little like, “I’m supposed to look like a short-haired baby dyke”… or something… I don’t know what the fuck. We’ve had a lot of support from LGBT press but it goes so far and then it stops. At that point I thought, do you know what, I’m not gonna try to jump on this… “Well, hey, I’m out, let’s wave the flag together.”
MD: We’re all people. Gender shouldn’t come into it.
FINN: Amen.
MD: Gender and genre, in fact. Genre, people get too hung up on, too. There should be only two genres of music – music you like and music you don’t. I think genre labels can be so delimiting and can destroy an artist or band’s popularity. It annoys the fuck out of me…
MD: …says the journalist!
MD: You had a rather successful crowdfunding campaign in 2016, to raise funds for your tour earlier this year. Were you surprised by that level of interest?
ERIN: Yeah, well, we did a quick tour earlier this year, but it was to go towards funding a second UK-wide tour… which it is going into now, and dates are currently being confirmed and stuff like that. What we’ve done, and the reason it’s taken so long, is because we didn’t just want to do what we did with the ‘ReFlowered’ tour. We went out for a couple of weeks and we gigged pretty constantly… almost every day. We wanted to spread it out and go to different areas of the UK, and use the fans’ money - their very kindly donated money - to stretch things out and give them more for their money, if that makes sense. So, there will be more dates, spread out over a wider radius, and it will be a little bit better than the quick shot tour we did with ‘ReFlowered’. It’ll give people more chance to see us.
MD: Were you surprised by that level of interest, by exceeding the goal?
ERIN: You know what, yeah. It was interesting, it was cute, because I’d seen other people do successful crowdfunding campaigns…
MD: None more successful than Amanda Palmer who raised over a million dollars.
ERIN: Yeah, but I wasn’t gonna aim for that much!
ERIN: But, I thought, ah, fuck it, let’s set a low goal. And I think it was two grand or something like that. And, very quickly, people in America were sending money over. People from Shetland were sending money over.
FINN: I didn’t know about this… where’s my fucking money?!
ERIN: So it was really quick and really great. But I’ve not addressed it yet because, at the moment, apart from saying to everybody, “Yeah, great, thanks a lot guys, we are working on it,” I wanna give somebody something as soon as the tour is actually set.
MD: You don’t want to phone it in.
ERIN: Yeah, exactly.
MD: You’ve been booked to play at Planet Rock's Winter's End Festival early next year, so that must be pretty exciting, looking at some of the other names that’ve been booked to play?
ERIN: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to seeing JOANovARC. And there’s a band called The Amorettes that are playing and they’re from Linlithgow, near us, and they’re kind of like classic metal/rock. That’s not a great description but they’re really, really good - three girls who just rock the fuck out.
MD: The genre of "music you like"!
ERIN: Precisely!
MD: I guess festivals are important for any artist to get their music out there to a bigger fanbase… so what would be your dream festival to play… Download… Glastonbury… Beautiful Days?
ERIN: I don’t know, it depends because there’s not a lot you can do simply by playing a festival. You know, there’s a venue up in Glasgow called King Tut’s and everybody goes fucking mental, like, “Oh, I’ve played King Tut’s, don’t you know who I am?” Well, no, because fucking hundreds of bands play fucking King Tut’s. I’d love to play lots of festivals but, if I’m being strategic about what it does for my career then, god, I haven’t got a clue. But, to answer your question, Download would be great!
MD: The music’s heavying up, so maybe that’s the place to be. Will you be looking to tour the new record further afield, outside of the UK? Mainland Europe? The States?
FINN: Holland, for sure.
MD: You had quite a big following with Syren in the Netherlands, didn’t you?
ERIN: Yeah, very much so. And we’ve had a lot of people banging at the door, asking us to come back. We went back in 2013, and we did a couple of radio shows and a few gigs, and it was great; it was absolutely great. But, at the end of the day, it’s the old thing of money. You know, it costs a lot of money to fund a six-piece band and crew to go over to Europe. So, we’re starting in the UK, we’re gonna cut our teeth as this new unit, and then head over that way. We’ve had a great response from the States, as well, so that’s not off the table.
MD: You need another crowdfunding campaign, maybe!
ERIN: Maybe, yeah!
MD: With former Rockbitch and MT-TV members in the EB Band, have you been tempted to throw one or two Rockbitch or MT-TV songs into the live sets? Has that ever been a consideration?
ERIN: Actually, that is a pretty damn good idea!
MD: I would love to hear ‘Lucifer’ live. Your voice could handle that.
FINN: You could pull that off.
MD: You have the range.
ERIN: I’d give it a damn good go!
FINN: Nikki could do the solo on the keyboard.
ERIN: Or, I could just learn it, thank you, I could do that!
MD: So, maybe in the future.
ERIN: That’s something to think of, yeah.
FINN: It was a silly thing for me to say… of course she can fucking play it!
MD: Have the EB Band brought your songs to life in ways that have surprised you from when you originally composed the songs?
ERIN: Yeah, hugely. When I was playing as a kid, I thought I was gonna be some angsty little teenager, screaming away on my guitar forever. Syren was something that I learned how to be professional but, of course, it ended too soon, so I don’t think I ever reached my peak. But, with the EB Band, we’re just a family, you know. And we’ve seen each other at our worst and we’ve seen each other at our best, and we’ve shared some pretty intimate moments, and I love everybody so much that I think this is definitely a sort of life thing.
MD: So that emotional bond shines through the music?
ERIN: Yeah, it’s true.
MD: Going back to the post-truth thing, have you read any “facts” about yourself that are actually post-truths?
FINN: Silicon tits!
ERIN: Yeah.
FINN: Someone said you’ve got silicon tits!
ERIN: Somebody said I’ve got silicon tits.
MD: Seriously?!
ERIN: Somebody said that the only reason I get the attention that I do is because I get on stage and waggle my tits… and I’m the only woman in the history of music who’s ever done that. So, my reply to them was a picture of Courtney Love with her tits out. So, I was like, “There you go, man.”
ANNA: They waggle on their own!
ERIN: I can’t help it!
MD: My favourite one, going back to Amanda Palmer again, but when she had a bit of a costume malfunction at Glastonbury…
FINN: She gets ‘em out onstage all the time!
MD: And then she wrote a song about it and performed it topless at a gig.
ERIN: Good on her.
MD: It was a great song, scathingly criticising the idiots, the media, who criticised her for something that was totally innocuous. My final question then - what question do you never get asked in interviews that you always wish you were asked?
MD: That’s a very lame final question, isn’t it!
ANNA: It’s like, what other question should I ask you?
MD: Caught out, thanks!
ERIN: Have you met my sister? That’s a good one.
FINN: [Laughs] She’s a predator!