Finding background info on a new band (especially one from another timezone), can be a frustrating affair, but we feel this excerpt from an essay by Forget Cassettes main driving force Beth Cameron is as good a starting point as any. "If art is a radical seed born out of self- indulgence, then I am from the loins of Narcissus. No respectable musician writes about their catalogue expecting a gasp of awe to wash over his or her fans: "She's finally done it - let us in on her Great Secret." I agreed to write this essay on my ideas/ intentions behind my writing process on the premise that it would be a chance to wallow in my own self-gratification - a chance to laugh at myself. So, know this before you read on:
I VERY WELL MAY TAKE MYSELF WAY TOO SERIOUSLY."
And indeed she does, but so does Morrissey and any number of other musicians who feature on our pages, more importantly she has created and released a walloping great squall of an album (Salt), which we love, so we sent her some questions to ponder, these were her answers...
Did you come from a musical family?
"None of my immediate family are musicians, but I was definitely exposed to a lot of music as a child. It was always around and encouraged."
Who are your primary musical influences?
"Early on: Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy, Mary Timony, PJ Harvey, Liz Phair, Babes in Toyland
Now-a-days: early Meredith Monk, the Roches, mid-period Kate Bush, Nina Simone, Brian Enoís ambient works, sounds of the rainforest
You seem to be inextricably linked with ÖAnd You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead how did this happen?
"Weíre friends. We share things like producers, musicians, and tour buses"
Obviously itís difficult for critics to explain new music without including reference points but are the comparisons with PJ Harvey getting irritating yet?
"Sure, but I stay oblivious to it now. The saddest part of using comparisons to reference new music is the degree of the lack of creativity and time that the reviewer puts into actually listening or researching that piece of new music. I think highly of Polly Harvey and definitely view her music as interesting and innovative but have no desire to use her path as my blueprint."
Do you think itís got any easier for women to be taken seriously as Ďproperí musicians?
"Itís is hard for me to simplify an answer to a question like this. There are so many layers to it and honestly the only reason for me to answer something like this would be to bestow some sort of wisdom on other women in music - and the fact is that I myself am still learning and figuring it out every single day. What makes me a proper musician is that I create music - sans gender."
Which comes most naturally/is most enjoyable, music or words?
"I think both of them are pretty natural for me. I will go through music phases or lyric phases where Iím writing a multitude of either, but usually not at the same time. Thatís why it is so important for me to catalogue ideas."
Are you still working as a two piece? Is this by choice or circumstance?
"Yes, I think we will always maintain the duo on the side of initially creating the music, but will always look for others to help us get it out whether in a recording or live setting."
Salt is out now on Tangled Up! and more details of Beth and Co's current activities can be found at www.forgetcassettes.com