deux furieuses; a female duo made up of Ros and Vas, creating music full of powerful messages, rocking riffs and intense punk/rock beats. The ladies from Glasgow and London bring us their first single, ‘Kill Us’, from their debut album, Tracks of Wire, and it’s not one to disappoint. Musically, deux furieuses style is similar to that of Korn mixed in with a touch of the likes of Deftones. With their heavy rock riffs and a fairly aggressive vocal sound, the ladies produce empowering vocals through their music, reflecting on what they stand for through their lyrics.
How did you get together as deux furieuses?
We were soul mates growing up in Scotland and England just waiting to connect. Each of us felt there was no one else on our wavelength. When Ros moved to London and placed an advert Vas answered. We formed a trio and played in UK and Europe. Then Ros got ill and we took time out. She was recuperating during the Arab Spring and started writing new songs using tweets from musicians who were dying. We decided to form a new band to put across what we really stood for.
‘Kill Us’ is off your debut album. An emotive title… Can you tell us what the song is about?
“They’re fighting with machine guns, we’re fighting with our hands” is from a rant by Vas one night about the odds stacked against us. It is an empowering band anthem about still being on our fucked up mission although it does acknowledge the possible futility of our dreams. The barriers in our way are maybe too great but it’s not going to stop us trying! This song resonated even more strongly with us after the killing of rock music fans at the Bataclan in Paris. People don’t go to concerts to idolise rock stars, they go to connect with something bigger than themselves. Live music, especially rock music, charges people’s spirit, like plugging into the socket. What are you gonna do, kill us all?
The song holds a heavy tone, with similar sounds to the likes of Korn, and aspects of Deftones. Is this the sort of sound that initially inspired you musically? Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
On ‘Kill Us’ we just pushed the guitars hard when we were mixing the chorus with Mark Freegard as it felt like that’s where this song needed to go. We were thinking early JAMC. We used a lot of contrasting dynamics and colour on the album and within songs themselves so that the limited instrumentation of a guitar/ drums duo doesn’t get boring and we are just as likely to use finger picked clean guitar tones. We don’t feel restricted at all by genre and push ourselves to be inventive.
We have never heard any Korn or Deftones so we checked them out and really liked some Deftones. Growing up we loved Pixies, early PJ Harvey, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Beatles, Japan, Thowing Muses, Kate Bush (listen to the rhythms and the vocals on Sat On Your Lap and weep!)
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You’re part of a music scene that is predominantly male-orientated, but the number of female singers and musicians in the rock scene is continuously growing. As an all-female rock duo, do you feel that your music in some way brings something different to the table alongside all-male rock bands? Perhaps regarding the subject matter within your songs?
We don’t feel part of any music scene. We haven’t found the male rock scene in London responsive to us when we have asked for help. People in the London music business that could help us maybe don’t have the vision we have. So we rely on ourselves and our friends trying to do the same and just get on with it to show people what we can do. The Zine has put us in their current issue front cover with the words “The Music Force Awakens” which is great.
Do male bands ever get asked if their gender brings something different to the table? It is incredible our gender as musicians is still an issue in 2016. But the question is valid because there is indisputable inequality of opportunity for female bands and sexism from agents, promoters and both A&R men and women. It is great there are lots of female bands coming through but how far are they getting? Are they headlining festivals? We would book Siouxsie and the Banshees to headline Glastonbury rather than Beyoncé! Also what kind of females in bands are we allowed to be? Charming indie, sexy pop, folk influenced, cartoon punk rock seem to be accepted ways to be a female musician.
There needs to be change in the music business in London. Established rock bands of either gender possibly just want to get in the van and gig and not think about that too much. Bands at a certain level should really ask themselves what they are actively doing to challenge the status quo. If the answer is nothing then they are maintaining the status quo and part of the problem.
From the beginning of 2013 we were looking around at the world and asking what it meant to be alive at this point in time and how to respond as songwriters. Ros couldn’t work or pay her rent which led to an acute awareness of how easy it is to fall between the cracks in society. This increasing politicisation and anger over the morality of our times was the backdrop to the songs on this album but it is ultimately positive music which shares energy with people.
All our lives we have just tried to do what we love without being told “someone like you should not be doing this”. This is what gives strength to our music.
Tracks of Wire was produced by Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey). What made you choose to work with him on the album? How did this collaboration happen?
We are both huge PJ Harvey fans, loving all her work but especially her early trio work with Rob Ellis’s drumming, screamed backing vocals, string arrangements. He is a brilliant musician and we thought he would get our range. We wanted someone who could be punk as fuck but still really know his music and get mood and atmosphere. We loved beautiful piano he did for Marianne Faithful. So we just wrote to him and sent a demo. He thought we were French, liked the demo, came to one of our first gigs at the Water Rats in London. He and his manager met us to talk through how we could make it happen and we set about raising the money.
What has 2016 got in store for Deux Furieuses? Can we expect any tour news or other interesting collaborations?
We are self-releasing Tracks of Wire on May 20th and will be getting in Vas’s car with a box of CDs and t shirts and gigging everywhere we can so check our website deuxfurieuses.com. We do have a special collaboration happening on 3rd April at our Amersham Arms gig as part of Art Beat Weekender Festival. Thanks for having us in GIGsoup!
deux furieuses’ debut album, Tracks of Wire is to be released on 20th May 2016. View the album teaser video above and listen to ‘Kill Us’ below.