Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on July 2014
Hether Fortune is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, rock star, dominatrix, journalist, and twitter provocateur. A veteran of the California rock scene, she’s been a member of numerous bands including Bare Wires, Blasted Canyons and Wax Idols. Fortune played every instrument on Wax Idols’ 2013 release Discipline and Desire. Late last year she joined up with her good friend Mish Way to play bass in the Vancouver, BC punk outfit White Lung.
White Lung’s latest effort Deep Fantasy has earned rave reviews from Pitchfork and Spin. Their current world tour has spans three continents and they will add a fourth to that list when they play Fuji Rock Festival on July 26—the first time any of the band members have been to Japan.
Fortune spoke with Metropolis about the ups and downs of touring, her next album and karaoke.
Why do you make music?
I can’t remember what it’s like to not make music. I’ve never really wanted to do anything else. I have no backup plan, no college degree waiting patiently for me as if this is a phase that will pass. There is really nothing else for me but music.
What’s been your favorite and least favorite things about touring with White Lung?
My favorite thing is remembering what it’s like to play in a band just for fun because White Lung is not my personal source of creative output. It’s just a touring thing with my friends, and I have little to no responsibility. It’s a lot different than Wax Idols, which is very much my band and my responsibility.
My least favorite thing would be that sometimes I just miss playing guitar—as opposed to bass—and playing my own songs. It’s been a great experience overall, though!
Besides the concert, what are you most looking forward to doing or seeing while in Japan?
Being immersed in a completely foreign culture is really exciting to me. I’m really, really excited to see Japanese street and youth fashion in person. I love it.
Discipline and Desire has been cited as one of last year’s best punk albums. How are you going to top it?
I’m not really concerned with “topping” anything I’ve done before. My focus is on creative growth. I don’t want to repeat myself. I’ve been through a lot of pretty painful experiences since the making of Discipline & Desire, so believe it or not the next album will probably be a lot sadder.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?
It’s fairly common for people to assume that I am mean or cold because I am honest and strong. Unfortunately, that is something that happens to a lot of women. I’m a very sensitive person and I have a huge, open heart. Too open, perhaps.
You’ve said that, “In indie [rock], the less you say the more people like you.” Is that still the case given that the more you say, the more people will follow you on Twitter?
I have no idea. The world can be a very fickle place. People want to be able to put you in a box that is easy for them to understand and/or control. Even the most successfully outspoken artists are usually playing into a role or stereotype that has been deemed acceptable by the media, by society.
I don’t think that’s necessarily true about Twitter, though. There are accounts with thousands, millions of followers that are run by someone’s PR person and don’t really say anything. Who knows? Humanity never ceases to perplex me.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Proud Mary” by Ike & Tina Turner or “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” by Soft Cell.
If you wrote a book about your life up to this point, what would be the title?
The (Sad)istic Clown Diaries. That is actually the name of my existing sex/love/domme column for Slutist.com.