Artist Name: Birdeatsbaby
Song Title: Better Man
Release Date: 7th Sept 2018
Birdeatsbaby – Better Man
Nearly two years after the release of the explosive album TANTA FURIA, Brighton-based musical oddity Birdeatsbaby are releasing a new 5 track EP – “Better Man”.
The band have never been one to rest on their laurels, so this release is an acoustic prequel to their upcoming album The World Conspires which is due for release in 2019.
The title track is a heavily classical, piano and violin heavy ballad, with a huge chorus and poignant lyrics that will imprint in the listener’s mind. Bass, drums, and guitar support the intricate arrangements of this beautifully put-together song, topped off with punchy and acrobatic vocals from lead singer and songwriter Mishkin Fitzgerald.
‘Better Man’ is a feminist anthem about the roles that women play in a world where they are sometimes forced to adopt more than a traditionally feminine gender role to achieve equality. A woman is constantly under pressure from society to be feminine, but also strong’, ‘assertive, but not a bitch’, ‘sexual, but not a slut’.
The media is constantly telling us to ‘love your body,’ but the traditionally feminine images it portrays reflect an unattainable ideal, and associated advertising is expressly designed to make us feel inadequate as people. It seems that women often have to balance many different personas and responsibilities in order to succeed, sometimes to their own detriment.
This song originates from various experiences in which Mishkin and Hana (the two female members of the band) have had to overcome obstacles and fight to be heard, or to stand up against the misogyny and prejudice that most women experience at some point during their lifetime. Although the song comes from our personal experiences as women, it speaks to everyone. We all (be we male, female or indeterminate) experience discrimination and exclusion.
This song is not meant to be a dig at men, but a strike at the patriarchal system which discriminates against all but a select few and marginalizes the rest of us where it can. This song is a call for change and empowerment. The accompanying “Peaky Blinders” themed music video is due for release, where the band (all dressed as men) fight back against a male bully (played by one of the band’s superfans!). The song and video together are intended to highlight the issues surrounding domestic violence and the problems that traditional gender roles can create. Following ‘Better Man’ are three other tracks: ‘Desert of Nevada’, ‘Subtract’ and ‘Box of Razorblades’. The EP was produced by Paul Reeve (Muse, Beta Band) and the band’s own singer Mishkin Fitzgerald.
Discuss the relevance of social networking to music.
Social media is just another platform for musicians to express themselves. Before we only had the stage and real engagements with fans at live shows. Websites like YouTube and Instagram are an extension of the art form, enabling artists to reach bigger audiences through the use of music videos, webcasts, and blogging.
Go into detail on why you decided to choose music as a career.
For me, music is an addiction. Ever since I started song-writing at aged 11 it was all I ever wanted to do. There’s nothing else that gives you such a buzz, as connecting with random strangers at a show, by pouring your heart out on stage. From the moment I played my first gig and realized what an experience it was going to be, I knew I could never have a normal job. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as when I am on the road with my fellow band-mates. It’s really, really hard work but the experiences I’ve had and stories I can tell because of it is worth it. It’s not the best-paid job in the world… yet, but I’d happily do this the rest of my life. People need music; it’s good for the soul and brings us together. Best job in the world.
Brief us the feedback you are getting from fans on your music.
We’ve had a lot of feedback from our “Flock” where people have told us our music has gotten them through a really tough time. Our singer and violinist suffer a lot from depression and music is an outlet for that. I think a lot of people can relate to it. Musically speaking, people have commented that it’s nice to hear a band stepping away from the obvious and trying to do something a bit cleverer. Our fans are metalheads, steampunks, goths, and rockers – it’s clear we’re appealing to a variety of genres and that’s always a good thing.
Tell us how you record your song.
We record our songs in layers, drums underneath to start usually pianos/guitars followed by strings and vocals. We record parts of it in a studio and parts at our homes. It’s a long process and the mixing takes a long time too. By the time you’re finished, you’re a bit sick of listening to the new song!
Tell us the story behind the song.
‘Better Man’ is a feminist anthem. It’s about needing to step up and take on both genders in order to be taken seriously. It’s also about domestic abuse – real men aren’t violent. There’s a lot of talk about gender equality these days and we think it’s important to keep pushing the discussion, raising awareness, and speaking up.
State your musical skills.
Mishkin – piano, accordion, vocals, programming, and production
Garry – bass, guitar, double bass, vocals
Hana – violin, cello, harp, vocals
Pablo – Drums, percussion, flute, programming, and production.
Tell us how long it takes to complete a song from the start.
That depends on the song! ‘Better Man’ was birthed in early 2017… I guess it takes anything from 3 months to 3 years. If we’re talking in a matter of hours though, I could probably write, record, and produce an EP in a week – check out our Hymns & Hollows project for example Patreon – LINK
Go into detail on how you develop your lyrics and melody.
I start with a melody hook going round and round my head. I usually go for a walk/run without headphones and that’s when it starts to develop. The minute I have silence in my head is when the song begins to take form. After that, it’s just a case of sitting at the piano to work out the details. Sometimes I feel more like a channel than a creator, it’s just a case of sitting in silence and listening to what you can hear.
State your five favorite genres of music.
Progressive rock – The complex time signatures, harmony, and lyrical themes appeal to the musician in me.
Metal – The intensity of heavy music can be quite euphoric and also cathartic.
Orchestral – Nothing can capture the beauty within music as an orchestra can; we have a strong classical element ranging from the string arrangements in our music to the harmonic structure learned from years of playing Chopin, Mozart, Liszt, etc…
Klezmer – The sound of Klezmer appeals to me; it has a dark element to it due to the harmonic minor and non-diatonic scales melodies. The virtuosity in any genre is something I always admire but in klezmer, it can be stunning.
Alt Rock – I grew up listening to Hole, Nirvana, Placebo so bands of that era will always be special to me.
Describe the chemistry between you and your fans during a live performance.
There’s a very intense connection you have with the audience at a good live show. When you sing about a personal experience, you’re essentially baring your soul to the crowd, and people can feel that. It’s very empowering and at the same time exposing. It makes people feel something – I think it’s a large reason why people still go out to shows. There’s nothing like it, music definitely brings people together.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Birdeatsbaby – this was a name literally dreamt up by our band leader Mishkin after a particularly long bout of insomnia. She had intense, hallucinogenic dreams when sleep-deprived and came up with the name out of one of these dreams. In fact, the whole first record was written about being in a dream-like/nightmare state.
Discuss your rehearsal.
We don’t really rehearse. We might do one big practice before a tour when we’ve new material; otherwise we pretty much just practice on our own and then a quick check during setup for a show. We’re pretty good at getting our parts done separately, to save time. We’re a busy band!
State your favorite musical instruments.
Obviously, the piano is a big feature in Birdeatsbaby – it’s a beautiful instrument that we’ve all dabbled in. Hana and Garry both play it too although it’s not their main thing. We’re also fond of some more unusual things – Hana is a massive fan of hurdy-gurdys… Garry once played the Mandola… and Pablo is a keen flutist.
Discuss your personality in full detail.
My personality is fairly intense. I tend to always need to be creating things or I feel anxious. I think part of the reason the band is so productive is that I’ve been constantly working and pushing relentlessly. I have Bi-Polar disorder which means my creativity comes in varying degrees of high and low. My music is fairly dark because of this; it’s very cathartic to write.
Discuss your music career.
I began writing songs when I was 11, then progressed into performing in my first band when I was 15. As soon as I left home I began playing as much as I could in several bands – I played bass, guitar, keys, and singing, anything I could get my hands on. Eventually, I set up my own band Birdeatsbaby with our guitarist Garry. The rest is history.
List your musical work.
Birdeatsbaby Here She Comes-a-Tumblin’ (album)
Bigger Teeth (EP)
Feast of Hammers (album)
The Bullet Within (album)
No Mirror/Baby Steps (Double A-side)
TANTA FURIA (album)
Better Man (EP)
Share your memorable experiences with us.
Every gig we play is a memorable experience, but one favorite would have to be opening for The Courtesans in Brighton in 2017 – the show was perfect and the crowd were amazing. The other major highlight was the Deathbed Confession music video – we got to ride around in a tank, pretend to fly fighter jets, and generally rock out on an airfield. It was incredible.