Fantails

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Fantails
text about the image
Fantails screen print
Background information
Origin Wellington
Genres political pop punk
Years active 2010 - 2015
Associated acts Punchbowl, Shortlived, Natural Glow, Freak Magnet, Rogernomix, Bonecruncher, Sparkle Motion
Website http://fantails.bandcamp.com/
Members Charlie (drums), Na (bass), Sarsha (Gat and vox)

About

Fantails formed in 2010 with Tairawhiti/ Gisborne transplant Sarsha (Rogernomix, Freak Magnet, Bonecruncher, Shortlived) and Charlie (Punchbowl) jamming as a two piece inspired by female-led political pop-punk such as Danish band The Assassinators. The three-piece was completed in 2011 by fellow Gizzy local Anna on bass. Their debut release, Shake Your Tail Feather was recorded at Scumbag College and released in September 2011.

Sarsha’s songwriting is primarily concerned with social and political issues as viewed from an indigenous feminist perspective with the name “Fantails” originating from Maori mythology where the bird is seen as a messenger of death. Shake Your Tail Feather covers colonisation, police violence, capitalist waste and racism.

In 2012 Fantails second release Matariki Mayhem was released as 7” lathe cut on local label Epic Sweep. The EP featured re-recordings of four tracks from “Tail Feather” with three new songs.

Fantails dropped their final release in 2014 with the eponymously titled 7” carrying six new tracks again recorded at Scumbag College. The EP features artwork by Sera Helen that fittingly goes back to the mythology of the bands title with Maori demigod Maui about to be crushed to death in a toothy vajayjay for his efforts in trying to bend nature to his will while three fantails look on and laugh.

Fantails called it a day in 2015 with Charlie Camp going on to play in Tidal Rave and Sarsha continuing to blast the bass for Rogernomix and the gat in new outfit TVX. Sarsha’s zine, Mind Lint and distro blog site, Pantaloon Party are good places to check out some opinionated views on local issues.

Interview with RNZ

Fantails: Interview on Radio New Zealand, 24 September 2011

Audio

Fantails: 1.Rororuaki, 2.Five O, 3.That's How We Do

Releases

Interview with UTP

C=Charlie S=Sarsha A=Anna
C: Sarsha and I kept on running into each other at gigs and we both sort of wanted something different. My other band had ended and I hadn’t played for a couple of years and I was pretty keen to get going again. We had an idea that we wanted to start something a bit more poppier, a bit more fun, and Sarsha had heaps of songs so we just started practicing.

S: It was about a year until we recruited Anna

A: It wasn’t hard, yep!

Matariki Mayhem

S: We’ve down two releases so far. The first was a CD called Shake Your Tail Feather. The second was a tape/ 7” EP called Matariki Mayhem.

C: And we’ll hopefully do some more recording soon.

S: Yep, next couple of months.

Can you describe Fantails music?

S: Pretty poppy and melodic, but real fast and short songs. I guess my lyrics are usually pretty political.

C: Lyrics deal with situations that we’ve been in at gigs, things that have happened along the way.

A: Animal rights

S: Stuff about colonisation and about governments and stuff. Got a new song about mainstream media as well. There’s a bit of feminism in there as well.

C: I think it’s kind of hard not to as well.

A: Yeah we can’t pretend to be boys.

C: I think I’ve definitely had issues with things. I’m pretty aggressive. Like I kind of just get in amongst. I definitely think there’s not enough women involved in the punk scene. There definitely should be more people that feel comfortable getting out there. There’s more women these days than when I first started going to gigs, that are happy to get in the mosh pit and dance and stuff. It doesn’t get too fiesty or too aggressive these days.

S: Most people look out for each other.

C: Most people are kind of respectful. Well you’d hope so. If you fall down people will pick you up.

S: I guess it’s different to other music scenes, people a maybe more egalitarian and community minded.

What bands have been an influence

Carnys

S: I guess there’s been pretty inspirational bands, even in the Wellington scene, like the Carnys and stuff. Well inspirational to me in bringing a more female touch to the punk scene.

C: It’s kind of funny women do get drawn together to play music, and you do see more girls in bands now than from when I was younger, which is really awesome.

All three of you have been in other bands?

A: My first band was called Gusset. It was a three-piece girl band from Gizzy. We played covers and had one original. Then I was in a band called Hurricane Fist with two other boys.

Punchbowl

C: Oh yeah Punchbowl. I miss Punchbowl. It was awesome while it happened. It was a good mix of people and a good scene at the time. Like it comes in waves, like it’s really busy and lots of people are doing things and people are really amped on the community and the scene and you just fall into step with a group of people and things work out really well.

A: And your list of bands Sarsha?

Rogernomix

S: Lots of bands! I guess my current ones are Fantails, Rogernomix, Freak Magnet and Bonecruncher. I was also in Cult of the Cobra, Natural Glow, Shortlived, Sparkle Motion and a couple in Gizzy when I was in high school.

C: I think that’s how Anna came into play, Sarsha knew her from Gizzy.

A: I knew her (Sarsha’s) face and then I met her here.

S: I was like there’s that Gizzy girl, I’m gonna hassle her.

A: It wasn’t hard, I was really pleased.

How do you find the Wellington punk scene?

C: It’s the best

A: Gizzy’s too small so you appreciate every little thing that happens. Auckland’s cool but Wellington’s definitely more my kind of place.

S: Yep

C: I think there’s definitely more people down here that are part of the scene as well. It’s quite busy there’s a lot going on. I’ve got some mates in Auckland and it’s definitely getting a lot better up there, I mean more busy for music. We’ve got a crew who all live together in a DIY oriented space called Future Theft. They’re really cool people to hang out with. I think just because it’s so spread out there and not as condensed as Wellington it makes it harder to get things organised maybe.

What have Fantails got planned for the future?

Fantails ST

S: We’re doing some more recording with Vanya probably in a month or so. And then in November we’re going to Australia to play a few shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Oh and punkfest as well in Christchurch.

C: A few more gigs in Wellington in the next few weeks and trying to organise a show for the new all ages venue in Palmy. It’s been a bit of a quiet start to the year but you kind of get bored playing the same place.

S: Valhalla’s awesome but it would be good to have some other venues.

C: I think venues just need to be open to other music. We played a bar and got told to turn down. That’s all right, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I think bars need to be a bit more accepting of other styles and maybe they will become that way eventually but it’s hard going when you’ve just got a couple of places to chose from.

Can you talk about the Dumpster song?

S: So Dumpster is about dumpster diving and the consumerist culture.

C: I remember running into one night dumpster diving and you were also trying to rangel a mattress as well.

S: That sounds like me.

A: Bloody rungus aye

What’s the dumpster situation like now?

S: Oh it’s pretty hard right now, I mean so many of the dumpsters are locked up now. I know they gotta protect their rubbish from people who need food.

C: They should just gift that shit to homeless shelters.

A: Just anyone who needs it, make it available, come and get it.

Releases

Images

Video