Photo by Viktor Richardsson
It’s only been a year since the riot-grrrl cello duo of Ambika Thompson (photo, right) and Jane Flett (left) emerged from Berlin’s queer scene.
Subbing in on short notice for Thompson’s ex-band The Anna Thompsons in December 2014, the two longtime expats (from the US and UK, respectively) took on a challenge and prepared a set within two weeks. Since then, they’ve released an album, Chickmeat, via Bandcamp. They play the Køpi Queer Gala on February 25.
Do you see yourself as a political band?
JANE FLETT: We align ourselves politically, doing Soli parties, queer events and Lady*fest. These things can be important – but we also sing ridiculous songs about tampons.
AMBIKA THOMPSON: Some people think so because of our name. Whenever I hear that people are offended by it, it’s mostly men. Apparently men are afraid of having their penises cut off.
Are you sensitive towards your audience?
JF: In left-scene, queer and feminist spaces, I feel much more confident playing all our songs. People are not looking at us going, “What the fuck are they talking about?” We have a song about how hard it is being a white man making music today, and I shout about my penis a lot. There are certain audiences that doesn’t go down well with.
AT: We sure get a lot of men who come up to us and tell us what we should be doing.
JF: Yeah, that’s fascinating. Things that the Razor Cunts should do as said by men: “You should get a drummer!” It’s bizarrely entitled.
Do you still see progress for women in music?
AT: Yeah, but then they started telling people there was no third wave of feminism, that everything had been achieved. I had a political science professor tell me this my first year at university.
JF: Because he’d never noticed any sexism.
AT: I don’t know how you can go through life not noticing any sexism or discrimination. Now there’s the big thing again with everyone going on about PC. The right wing and the media as well come up with this argument, “Oh no, PC is bad!” You start going forward and then backwards.
Any plans to release another album?
AT: We’re recording an album this month. We’ve recorded one song so far, our epic song. It’s our Led Zeppelin tribute. We sent it to a compilation in Spain, but they haven’t gotten back to us, so maybe they hate it. But it’s so good, it doesn’t matter. [Laughs]
Do you want to send it to labels?
AT: We’re gonna try, but we haven’t really thought about it that much.
JF: It would be nice if people were buying loads of our tapes, because then we’d be making lots of money.
AT: They did buy loads of our tapes when we made them. And then we ran out of tapes.
JF: That’s true. Because we only had 10. [laughs] The thing about doing it yourself, you have to keep buying tapes and copying them and sticking the labels on.
KØPI QUEER GALA W/RAZOR CUNTS Thu, Feb 25, 22:00 | Köpenicker Str. 137, Mitte, S-Bhf Ostbahnhof
Originally published in issue #146, February 2016.