Interview with The Courtesans
The Courtesans describe themselves as “sexually charged, rebellious and dangerously entertaining. The foursome is a new band, based in the UK, who are sure to make some eyes open. Vocals are provided by Monique Wild and Sinead LaBella. Blazing guitar by Saffire Sanchez, Bass by Agnes Jones and drums by the aptly named Stix.
They have released their first single, a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs”. Brilliantly directed by Aaron Kyle, the video takes the viewer on a sexually charged gothic visual romp backed by powerful vocals and a driving beat.
Music that comes alive in the halflight of the bedroom… feeding on scents that you know and you long for… undresses you without you knowing it, creeps slowly under your skin when you’re asleep, in your office, on the train… skirts and suits fall off and it’s just your bare instinct without the armour of labels, forced smiles and formalities that you put on every day… let yourself go and if you want more – look for The Courtesans.
What is our point of difference? We’re live, we’re all girls and we’re not just another chick rock band trying to be men. We are dark, underground pop, with cupcakes and girly things. So what if we can’t park cars properly and get periods, we can cook a darn good roast and make some slick music. If you’re all up for some wicked entertainment, poor driving, awesome roasts and untamed, sultry music then check out The Courtesans.
Now fuck off x
Thank you for the opportunity. It is a pleasure to meet all of you. Can we start off, since you are a relatively new band, with brief introductions for each of you?
I’m Sinead Labella (Vocals) many say I have the face of an angel but eyes of the devil… I say come into my playground and find out.
I’m Jones (Bass) – known to the local authorities as the Flasher from Barnet and to the residents simply as the “one that walks the dog in the bikini” For everyone – I’m a girl with a cryptic past and love for music and film so passionate that is bordering on insanity/madness…
Saffire Sanchez reporting – guitar department. I am hyperactive, excitable and intense, rich and aromatic… lol that sounds like a coffee ad… Actually not the rich bit.
I am Wild, Monique Wild (Vocals) – The Tease PHD
I’m Stix (Drums) and I am the one responsible for beating
How did the concept for the band first materialize and how did you all meet?
It started with Monique who was known for her flirtatious and rather steamy relationship with burlesque. What burlesque didn’t know was Monique’s secret love affair with rock’n roll… Mons was on a crossroads and she just couldn’t choose… One morning, Monique woke up from a very strange and intoxicatin dream filled with debauchery and thought – why not to have them both?!
The idea of a perfect threesome was born!
Then Monique met Jones – mysterious no-where girl who after few double vodkas told about her unfulfilled love for music, Mons knew it was a sign… Shortly after that they ended up in the recording studio plotting the downfall of homogenised sound. They had one voice and a rhythm, what they needed to succeed was a complete assemblage…After days and nights of combing through the darkest, most hidden and dangerous corners of Da-Big-L-City they found a soprano of the revolution, Sinead LaBella – a fallen angel with the Barbie face and a massive tattoo covering her back and thigh. Stronger now by one, they kept searching and searching and just when they were about to give up all hope a ghost from Jones’ Christmas past appeared… Saffire, razor-sharp and a highly unstable chemical substance… the element of unpredictability! The only missing ingredient was a backbone, someone who can hit the skin really hard while preaching peace and love… Stix must have found one of the encoded messages left around town and got it straight away. Our tiny Valkyrie with the fiery hair was the one…
Had you all been in bands before?
Sinead: I was in a few metal bands as a teenager some, where I just growled and didn’t sing a single note, other than that I have been in an emo rock band and performed in musical theatre shows for the past few years.
Jones: I was singing in a church choir… (Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see)
Monique: My previous band was called Cherry Brakewells. Naughty girls…
Saffire: I was entertaining King Henry the VIII.
Stix: Oh Yes, I was involved in multiple projects none of them as rude as The Courtesans though hahaha…
Does the name “The Courtesans” have a specific meaning to you as a group? Does it convey a sense of style or an attitude you are trying to promote? How did you come up with the name?
Definitely! Courtesans were the ultimate entertainers throughout the centuries… Nowadays, meaning of the word (courtesan) for most people is a mere prostitute or even better – the whore… But trust us we are so much more hahaha. Every artist is a prostitute in a way. Some are cheaper, some – more expensive and some are free lol
By appearance you all have wildly different personalities. Even if you have your differences from each other are you in agreement with the direction you want to take your music?
Five strong minded women together is potentially hazardous game but what holds us as a unit is that we enjoy a risk of explosion that us five together might create, we have an unusual bond with each other… It must be something to do with our sexuality… We can laugh, cry, kiss, scream, shout, bitch and fight but always have respect and love for each other which allow our direction to take us to exciting places.
How would you best describe your style of music?
We are quite a wild mix of musical influences, we all have different backgrounds and stories but the best thing about us as a group is that we all have one thing is common – we are all hopelessly in love with the music.
Our style has built into a heavy, sleazy and intoxicating pop but we shall leave labelling for the critics lol. We’d like to think that our music will undress you without you knowing it and before you blink you will be making love to a person standing next to you…
Your first release was a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs”. How did you pick this song?
In a hat…. But to be less cryptic about it – it is an ultimate courtesan anthem, the song that clearly says what we are about and people know it, so what’s the better way to introduce an act?
Your video is visually arresting. What was it like to produce it? How closely did you work with the Director Aaron Kyle on the concept and look?
Haa! How close did we work with Aaron… He’s probably seen more than our GP’s lol. It was a pure pleasure to do this video. Before Aaron came on board we met several directors (mainly drooling blokes desperate for a flash of free tits) but only Aaron got our vibe straight away. Our costumes and look came together in the most spontaneous and chaotic way you can imagine few days before filming… But it worked.
The look of the video blurs the lines between gothic and Victorian. It has a dark feel about it. How closely integrated and how important will be the look of the band as far as sets and costumes are concerned for live performances?
The thing about us which people are getting confused is that we’re not just a band that’s going to be five girls in hot clothes playing a set and stripping, we’re a performance band we wish to entertain, the costumes, dance, visualisations on screen and few other surprises as well as music will work together to create our performance.
How did the video do since it was released? Were you surprised at the positive response?
We definitely expected a fair amount of slagging off… But the majority response was surprisingly positive and encouraging and now when we quietened down for a bit to write the rest of the set, people have actually been showing impatience to hear more from us. We aimed for feathers and ruffled some trouble.
Since you are all, obviously attractive women, do you think that your fan base will consist of mainly men? At the same time, since you are all fiercely independent, strong-willed women, you also can appeal to women too. How do you see the mix of your fans as it builds?
Some are positive some aren’t and this happens with both sexes, personally we’re cool with anyone with an open mind, people that don’t get us are usually repressed in one way or another, that’s their loss, if they don’t want to join our journey, more fool them for missing the ride.
You are about to begin your live performances. What is it that audiences can expect?
Adrenaline fuelled hyperactive bipolar sex madness, or an arrangement of said words.
In the long term what areas do you hope to take The Courtesans into?
Film, fashion, science, sex equipment, space travel or cooking roast for the hubby and seven kids… Who knows, after all we are WOMEN and we know no boundaries!
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
At the moment, the best place is on our website www.thecourtesans.org
Photo Credit: Images by Bread and Shutter. http://www.breadandshutter.