In the lead-up to our first concert of the year, the Figure8 team spoke to both La Femme and TOMGIRL to understand more about what underpins their brand and music, how they view their successes and to learn more about their experiences in exploring their passions. Two bands around the same age, yet who both live on opposite sides of the world and are at different stages of their career. Read on here to find out more about what they are like.
- Tell us more about your journey to where you are today?
La Femme: It has been amazing, we have always loved the idea of travelling around the world, not just to see the world as it is and to meet and emerse ourselves in the different cultures around but also to allow others to get to know us and to be able to share our music with them. It has been a huge source of inspiration to visit such far away places we’ve never dreamed of and to meet with all the wonderful people around who continue to motivate us and inspire our musical journey.
TOMGIRL: (Cherie) Personally, I have been working in music for the last 10 years, and I’ve experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows with TOMGIRL. It’s been such a tumultuous ride, though it’s been equally satisfying as well. I’ve spent the last decade sifting through different personas and alter egos, before finally arriving at TOMGIRL.
(Ted) It’s been such an enriching and eye-opening experience for me. I feel tremendously privileged to work with such a talented musician like Cherie and as I look back at the series of events that lead to the creation of TOMGIRL I can say that hindsight truly is 20/20. It hasn’t been an easy journey but it has definitely been character building and I’ve learnt a lot about myself and our voice in the process.
- What has been most memorable about this experience?
LF: When we met Pamela Anderson and we put our heads in her boobs.
TG: (Cherie) This entire experience with TOMGIRL has been incredibly memorable. (Ted) For me it was really the music creation process. I feel like we really brought the best out of each other musically and we also managed to empower each other on a personal level in the process.
- How are you planning to grow in your countries? What about your plans for expansion to other regions? Possibly world domination? (haha)
LF: The aim is to play in every country of the world and experience the different cultures around!
TG: (Cherie) There’s very limited space for growth in Singapore, because let’s face it – we statistically have a really small market. I hope we’ll be able to play more shows around the region. Specifically Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and Korea. World domination is definitely next.
(Ted) To really break in Australia, you need to have an incendiary live show and although our music does have a presence in the Australia (we’ve had some TV and radio play), a live tour is really what will help us spread the TOMGIRL gospel. Good news is that we are working to make this happen. I’d also like to see us take the show to places more off the beaten rock n’ roll path.
- Both La Femme and TOMGIRL, have a certain mise en scene for your music. Could you tell us more about your music strategy?
LF: We compose our music like a soundrack for a movie. We like to create music full of images and put you in a particuliar atmosphere, like one big trip.
TG: (Cherie) We’re heavily inspired by the atmosphere and mise en scene in our favorite cult movies and we try to replicate that in our music. Music is a transportative tool, and we want to create an all-encompassing world to draw our listeners in. The devil is in the details. It’s amazing what a subtle synth patch can do to elevate a song and create a smoky atmosphere.
(Ted) We totally dig the weird campy performance art aspect thing that La Femme have going on. TOMGIRL on the other hand draws its vibe from Outlaw Americana, film noir and b-movies and it’s more implied rather than explicitly performed when it comes to a live setting. We’re also a mood-over-narrative kind of band. I’m sure we’ll continue to explore new themes as we progress.
- What do you think makes you different from other bands out there today?
LF: We stay free to do what we want. We have no limits and we strive not to put any boundaries on our music style and exploration. That really opens up the realm for us to take it anywhere we want to. It ensures that La Femme can stay fluid and grow organically as its members grow as well. Constantly changing and inspired by our experiences.
TG: (Cherie) In all honesty, music takes on all sorts of derivative forms. You may be able to find similarities between us and other bands, but there will only ever be one TOMGIRL. Everyone experiences things differently. You might perceive TOMGIRL quite differently than the person next to you, based on your personal journey with life and music. I would love to think that our music goes for your heart. It’s all very instinctive from the get-go. If our music gives you all the right feels, than we are on the right track!
(Ted) I guess what makes us different goes back to the inspiration we draw from cinema. It’s more integral to our creative process than music by other artists is. And while we’ve been compared to a number of different bands, I think Cherie’s voice is still one of the most unique things I’ve ever heard.
- Finally, what advice would you give to each other about trying to get your music recognized around the globe?
LF: Work hard, have solidarity between each other, and stay cool
TG: (Cherie) There’s always so much to learn about every band. It’ll be great to hear what LA FEMME thinks. As a young band, we’re still trying to find our footing in the world. We’ll take any good advice we can get!
(Ted) We’re still learning as we go along, but you should know your industry, make the right connections, develop your social media presence, connect with your fans and most important of all, have fun.
Catch La Femme at their Asian debut in Singapore together with special guest TOMGIRL this 7th March at *SCAPE Ground Theatre. Tickets are still available at https://ticketbox.sg/la-femme-live-in-singapore until Tuesday 7 march, 5pm, then available at the door at 85 SGD.