It’s hard to believe that Los Angeles, California’s Fangs on Fur have existed almost 6 years to the day, having formed in 2006. The band plays an aggressive, old school type of deathrock with female vocals, recalling early California deathrock groups like Red Scare, the Superheroines, and punk bands like Action Pact or Rubella Ballet. They just released a new, 2-song 7″ called “Artifice Shank” and are gearing up for a Texas mini-tour in late Summer. Fangs on Fur’s Texas dates will culminate with them headlining the SAN LA MUERTE SOUTH TEXAS GOTH FEST in San Antonio on September 1 (which I will be DJing with others, it’s worth mentioning!).
I originally conducted this interview with them for No Doves Fly Here while they were recording their new single. Fangs on Fur’s self-titled debut LP is available here; they have a Myspace page here and a Facebook page here. San la Muerte tickets are available here.
The interview and more info on their Texas dates are after the jump!
Oliver: I’ll go ahead and ask a standard question first: Who came up with the name “Fangs on Fur,” and what does it mean?
F-Boy: I did. I misheard what a friend was saying and I said, “FANGS ON FUR, THAT’S PERFECT!” My friend tried to correct me and before he could tell me what he meant to say. I told him never to tell me. I still don’t know what he actually said.
F-Girl: At the time we were in another band. F-Boy said “Fangs on Fur,” and I flipped out. I said, “This is going to be the name of our first album.” That band broke up and F-boy and I started Fangs on Fur ten minutes later! As to what it means? It could mean anything. It could be violent when it needs to be, it could be sexual if it wants to be, and it could be defiant when it has to be.
Oliver: When did Fangs on Fur start, and who is currently in the band?
F-Boy: FOF started in the dark, on a balcony, in June 2006. We played our first show in September of that year.
F-Girl: Our Drummer is J. Smith, who we love. We had an instant connection with him and I couldn’t imagine FOF without him. He’s the heart that brings the band to life.
F-Boy: We have Steven James from Christ vs. Warhol on bass. There’s a similar frame of reference and he’s as good on bass as he is on guitar.
Oliver: Recently you all played some shows that, from over here in Texas, look pretty exciting: shows with bands like Alaric from Oakland, and you had Steven James of Christ vs Warhol playing guitar for you. Is there a resurgence in California Deathrock going on, do you think? Or is it just getting more noticed? Seems like a lot of good new bands are coming from the state.
F-Girl: They’re not all good!
F-Boy: Steven’s playing bass. It’s a funny thing about Steven….
F-Girl: Um… how should we start this off…..
F-Boy: The first time I met Steven was the first time we played Release The Bats. He and F-Girl where in the midst of a fist fight-
F-Girl: Hahahahhahaha bwauahhhh!
F-Boy: ………with F-Girl! I was trying to keep it from escalating between her and Marzia (Rangel, also of Christ vs. Warhol). Uh, one thing led to another and now we are all good friends.
Oliver: Do you ever have anyone call your sound “old school” or “purist”? Do you think it fits? I get sort of frustrated when, when DJing, I play completely contemporary bands like you guys, or Ciril, or Lost Tribe, or Christ vs Warhol, and it gets called an “old school” type of set, when I always make it point to try to play as many new bands as possible.
F-Boy: Purist? No not really. I’m sure there’s people out there who think that.
F-Girl: A lot of the “new ” bands go for that classic sound. It’s so easy to criticize. Either a band sounds too much like the old school, or not enough. We just write the music that comes out. Sometimes it sounds like THIS and sometimes it sounds like THAT. People can put us in any category they want. That’s not our concern. You need to know your identity before someone chooses it for you.
F-Boy: We want to push the envelope. Our new album sounds completely different from the first but it’s still Fangs on Fur.
F-Girl: Is the blues “the blues” if it’s green?!
Oliver: Who would you say some of the artistic influences on the band are? Musically, lyrically, or otherwise? Any favorites of band members that listeners might be surprised to hear about? People might think bands like Action Pact or Lost Cherrees, Rubella Ballet, maybe Penetration — but is that necessarily the case?
F-Girl: Obviously The Clash, The Slits, and Lurves Stevie Nicks! ooh ooh ooh Syd Barrett!
F-Boy: Obviously?… She’s obsessed with The Clash!
F-Girl: Looooooooove you Joe!
F-Boy: Stevie Nicks is RAD!!
F-Girl: I know :0p
F-Girl: Lyrically, Darby Crash is amazing and under rated. Geoffrey Lee Pierce from The Gun Club.
F-Boy: Peter Green! Love and Rockets, John McGeoch, Eno, Bowie, Fripp. The Damned!
F-Girl: Of course, I thought we weren’t going to state the obvious. There’s so many! :0p
F-Boy & F-Girl: We Love The Deviants and Twink! We’re also influenced by movies and Mexican witch hats!. Ken Russell! Eugenio Recuenco!
F-Girl: To answer the last question…. No.
F-Boy: Yeah, no.
Oliver: A song like “Dead or Alive,” which is one of my favorites, seems to be about an unhealthy, self-destructive love obsession, but others are more socio-political. Is there a primary lyrics-writer, and if so, what are the topics that tend to fascinate you the most, or consume your thinking the most?
F-Girl: Primary Lyricist…. That depends on the song. F-boy and I both write the songs based on an idea that I had or something he came up with. We tend to write songs about personal experience. Sometimes we write about things that need to be said.
F-Boy: To right a wrong or to call attention to something we think is important.
F-Girl: Some songs are like spells.
Oliver: Any plans to tour the US? Texas would love to have you! And also, what releases are up and coming, if any?
F-Boy: Actually, we have a new 7″ single coming out in about a month.
F-Girl: “Artifice Shank” and “Lay Me Down”!
F-Boy: We’ve been recording a new album and it should be out before summer.
F-Girl: We’ve been trying to get out to Texas for a while now.
F-Boy: We’d like to get out there this year, possibly around the Fall.
Francis Barbi: FOF is going on tour in 2012. Where they go, nobody knows. How they get there — well that remains to be seen….
FANGS ON FUR TEXAS 2012 Tour (so far)
August 30 — Houston at the White Swan
August 31 — Dallas at the Crown and Harp
September 1 — San Antonio/San La Muerte South Texas Gothic Festival at Korova
Fang on Fur’s official web store is here.