“We became a riot girl band. That is our sound.”
I had the pleasure of catching up with the riot girl band Fea at the Demo in St. Louis. Two of the members are also part of the band Girl in a Coma. Fea stars Letty Fea (vocals), Jenn Fea (bass), Aaron Fea (guitar), and Phanie Fea (drums).
How did you folks get together? How would you describe your music?
Phanie: Jenn and I decided to start the band we have always wanted to: a riot girl band. We grew up in the 90s listening to bands like Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, and Huggy Bear, and have always loved the sound and message. To make a long story short, we originally wanted it to be all girls, but the singer didn’t work out and the guitarist didn’t work out. Aaron (guitarist) was supposed to be temporary but became permanent, and Letty and Jenn found each other on Craigslist. Jenn posted about looking for a singer and Letty posted about looking for a band. It just all fell into place. Then we became a riot girl band. That is our sound.
What are the some of the themes of your songs?
Phanie: Our songs talk about growing up in a generation that can’t speak Spanish because our parents were taught that in America being Hispanic is looked down upon. We also discuss things like drug addiction and Mexican folklore.
What is your songwriting process like? What about your recording process?
Phanie: In the beginning, Jenn and I were writing music and lyrics. I wrote one of our songs “No Hablo Espanol” and the music to “Mujer Moderna” and “Dead End.” Now it’s turning into Jenn, myself, and Aaron jamming out some music and sending it to Letty, then Letty writes the lyrics and melodies. However, she can also play guitar and has written the music to one of our tunes called “Tragedias.”
This question is for Phanie and Jenn. I’d be negligent if I didn’t ask how is recording and touring with Fea different than Girl in a Coma?
Phanie and Jenn: We both agree that it’s completely different. Not only is the music rawer and harder, we have complete control. There is no management and rules. We are all also pretty close in age. We all have our responsibilities and duties. We are also ready to be busy. Jenn and I have that experience of working with a mid-level band and are teaching Letty and Aaron how to balance when a band becomes a living.
I heard a rumor that your singer/lyricist is a ringer for punk rock trivia nights? Tell me about that.
Phanie: Yes she totally is. We played punk rock Bingo in Denver before our set this past tour, and Letty was just ruling the school in that place. She’s got some great taste in music.
I know Phanie and Jenn enjoy amateur ghost hunting. So my question is, if it was allowed would you hang out on Zombie Road after midnight?
Phanie: Yes we would. I think as long as we are all together we would totally check it out. However, if a demon or ghost begun to chase us, Aaron would throw Jenn and I out first and save Letty. Then Jenn and I would come back as demons, rip open Aarons stomach and hang him by his intestines to teach him a lesson. Sorry, Letty.
Fea has roots in traditional punk but polishes it with ‘take no prisoner’ technical skills. If you see Fea live, they make it look easy. Check them out on August 27th at the Firebird, and check out their band page. | DL Hegel