On their latest single ‘Prime Number,’ Irish trio Bitch Falcon deliver a sucker punch of dark, moody rock worthy of their feisty name. Hypnotic vocals soar above the scream of heavy riffs that channel the chaos of hardcore and the shimmer of electro-pop. Heralded as an essential component within the vibrant Dublin music scene, the band […]
On their latest single ‘Prime Number,’ Irish trio Bitch Falcon deliver a sucker punch of dark, moody rock worthy of their feisty name. Hypnotic vocals soar above the scream of heavy riffs that channel the chaos of hardcore and the shimmer of electro-pop. Heralded as an essential component within the vibrant Dublin music scene, the band have brought their ethereal live show to venues and festivals across the US and UK. As a new wave of garage-rock talent blossoms in Ireland, Bitch Falcon continue to climb their way to the top of the pile with ferocious melodic bite.
We caught up with singer Lizzie Fitzpatrick and drummer Nigel Kenny to chat about overcoming self doubt, mental health and fitness on tour, and Nigel’s new-found love of jazz.
What are you working on at the moment?
LF: We’re writing a whole load of songs, which is lots of fun. Being in a room together and expressing ourselves is very satisfying.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
NK: When I’m presented with a new challenge or opportunity that might be a bit of a reach (or perceived reach) for me, I have to really talk myself into it. The whole preparation process is then littered with self doubt and an internal monologue that sounds like Woody Allen’s neurosis. Thankfully, in the past I would have told myself I wasn’t the right person for the job or the gig and said no to it. As I have altered this thinking over the last 10 years or so, my life has changed positively by saying, “Yes” and then preparing properly in advance. It’s how I got my current job and joined this band. I still struggle with it when it comes to delivering a new project or something but every time I pull it off well, the next one gets a little easier.
What have you learned about yourself over the past five or so years?
LF: I’ve learned that I’m a very ambitious person, and my judgement of myself is far more harsh than what other think of me. With that ambition comes negatives; jealousy can take over and self esteem can plummet.
NK: I’m very self-critical, privately anxious and I have a lot of work to do on that.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
LF: Producing a body of work that succinctly expresses what I’m feeling in the morning, good food by the afternoon, and an embrace of a loved one by the evening?
NK: Being surrounded by various animals, my partner, and Mexican food.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
LF: Being born in a place of a temperate climate – politically and in terms of the weather.
NK: My health.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
LF: Barry [O’Sullivan, bassist] introduced me to LORN, an American producer. Really nice dark music to get in the writing mood with. I’m not reading anything and I’m watching American Horror Story.
NK: I’m really getting more and more in to jazz every day. I always thought jazz isn’t for me but that’s like saying you don’t like vegetables. Maybe you don’t like carrots but you love tomatoes and like jazz, you just need to find what you like because there’s so many types. In terms of reading, I haven’t read a book in a long time but have a lot of subscriptions to editorial sites like The Washington Post and the New York Times which takes up a lot of my head space. Looking forward to catching the latest season of House of Cards.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
LF: Chilled confidence.
NK: Total peace of mind.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
LF: Eat vegetables!
NK: Lots of beans and veg. I stopped eating meat two or three years ago and have been reducing my dairy intake as much as possible.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
LF: God no. I cycle around and that’s really it.
NK: I walk or cycle to work everyday which is a six kilometre round trip and generally spend 8-16 hours a week hammering drums. Working full time and maintaining our rehearsal schedule in the evenings and weekends means I’m generally always very tired and I have found it difficult to motivate myself to spend time in a gym or go running. If the most recent tour demonstrated anything to me though, it is that exercise will have to be a very important part of future touring. Most of your day is spent sitting in a van and setting up or playing in a venue, so I think I’ll have to take up running at least because you can do that anywhere.
You’re about to head out on tour. How do you look after your mental health when you leave your home and a familiar routine in order to play shows?
LF: I guess we have a lot of fun on tour, really just being careful not to drink too much.
NK: This is something that is going to evolve as it’s our longest stretch so far. Limiting alcohol intake and getting good sleep is absolutely essential. Luckily, we all care about each other so that makes it easier because we can lean on each other if anyone is feeling low for whatever reason. Everyone is also aware of each other’s mental health challenges so there is an openness there that is extremely valuable when away from your partner for a long time.
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
NK: I can’t remember very much of my childhood.
What three songs lift your spirits?
LF: Kiasmos – Blurred
NK: Louis Cole – It’s So Easy
Jurassic 5 – In The Flesh
Childish Gambino – Boogieman
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
LF: ‘Awareness’ by Paolo Coello is a no bullshit motivational book. Helped me get out of thinking that anyone owes me anything.
NK: I’ve never read a self-help book.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
LF: If its something to do with their work, I try and help them do things in a different way. If it’s a general feeling of overwhelming anxiety, I would advise to identify the things that are hurting them and to take those things away in their life.
NK: Do not listen to your irrational mind! Stop, analyse, and tick all your problems off one by one. If you have too much on, then ask for help.