Interview: Teri Gender Bender takes Le Butcherettes forward into the light as dark, uncertain energy takes hold in the US

The powerful frontwoman of Le Butcherettes, the infamous Teri Gender Bender is a shining force of positivity when we link up via Skype. The band is set to tour in Australia for the Yours & Owls Festival this September and October, a perfect opportunity for the Guadalajara group to bring their music back to the fans they’ve been away from for so long.

It’s also a good excuse for the band to seek new influence.

“Travelling for me, you’re working your mind,” she enthuses. “You’re writing in your mind as you’re experiencing the trip or the journey. You’re accumulating ideas when you’re being influenced by this and that.”

“Of course, it’s going to somehow morph into something different because of the childhood you once had; it always ties into the roots of it all, for me. You remember suddenly an old memory from when you were three, or something. That’s the good thing about travelling all these places; they spark up new ideas but also they take you to the past of your own life. It’s very interesting.”

With new music in the mix and a creative dynamic that is currently firing up, Le Butcherettes are doing some of their best work at the moment.

“It makes me so happy,” Teri says. “Not only are these songs that I have had since I was 17, but the current line up that I have now, we’re all in a good place in our lives, even though we’re not making a buck touring or anything. It’s what it is. We sacrifice to be on the move and it just makes me happy because our hard work is paying off.”

“Sometimes people are like, ‘You guys have been around for ten years now, you’re considered damaged goods,’ but for me, making it is travelling. Being able to do what you love. If you’re good at cooking, say; the act of cooking and doing that, that’s making it. Recently, a person from Mexico said that to me and I was like, ‘What?!’ – that’s a very weird way of perceiving it.”

A self-confessed Internet opposer of the past, Teri comments on the way the world wide web has brought the Le Butcherettes community closer and in touring Australia, has boosted the band’s excitement for heading out to the other side of the globe.

“Right now, there are so many styles of music with the Internet and everything. I used to be very anti-Internet and in a way, I still am, because it’s at fault for a lot of the crumbling of the culture of yesterday. The good thing right now about the Internet is that it connects you to different styles of music and you can get inspired.”

“The Internet helped Le Butcherettes back in 2007 in Mexico; no one really knew our shit, but for example, when we played a show in New York, a kid said to us, ‘Hey I used to listen to your music back in the Myspace time in 2007’. I never would have imagined someone from New Jersey listening to a band from Guadalajara.”

Of course, the social and political climate of the United States currently has a large proportion of citizens understandably on edge. For the Denver-born, Guadalajara-raised musician, Teri comments on how she and Le Butcherettes move forward out of this murky time.

“I love that there is so much creativity happening, especially now in the States because…at least here in El Paso because it’s a border town, there’s an energy of, ‘Oh shit, our future is very uncertain’.” she says. “Especially as a Latina woman or for my mother. She’s not completely from the US – what’s going to happen? Everything felt, for a while, like it was going downwards, but I think that out of evil, good things happen. It’s a constant cycle, so there will be good things happening. Like Kendrick says, ‘It’s gonna be alright’.”

Supporting At The Drive-In

September 28th | Festival Hall, MELBOURNE
September 29th | Hordern Pavilion, SYDNEY
September 30th – October 1st | Yours & Owls Festival, WOLLONGONG
October 2nd | Eatons Hill Hotel, BRISBANE



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