A Few Words With: Kathryn of Fresh
Myself and Lerryn recently had the pleasure of attending the Ladyfuzz Fest and among the gender diverse line-up was the infectiously energetic band Fresh. We were lucky enough to be able to interview Kathryn, singer and guitarist of the band.
Balancing part-time work in a studio, studying for a BA in French, and a member of two bands (Fresh and cheerbleederz), Kathryn is certainly busy when she’s not onstage.
Kathryn recounts some of the highlights of the band saying ‘we were once flown out to play a beautiful festival in Italy, it was all outdoors in the middle of nowhere. We sound checked and it was great but then it rained and the festival was cancelled so we didn’t play!’ This unpredictability within the industry leads me onto some of the challenges the band has faced.
Misogyny is still rife within the music industry, and we wanted to get an inside opinion on how to deal with such issues. ’I wish that I could say that this is a quick fix, but I still find it really hard to stand up for myself at a show… don’t be afraid to ask your bandmates for support and don’t accept small guarantees for big corporate shows that have an all cis-male line-up.’
Unfortunately, even at a gender diverse festival like Ladyfuzz, you will still find selfish misogynists. ‘There was a drunk guy who became really aggressive and refused to leave during Dream Nails’ set but he was kicked out and they continued to play like the badass punks that they are. It sucks that even at events for queer women and non-binary people, you have to stay vigilant and deal with men who want to make everything about themselves. But we didn’t let it affect us.’ However, Kathryn notes that ‘It was a great time! I’m a huge fan of Ladyfuzz and everything Lucinda does, Brighton has always been a really welcoming place for us. The crowd was really fun.’ Highlights of the festival were ‘seeing Witching Waves for the first time, as well as Currls. And I got to see Petrol Girls again which is always wonderful. ‘
Working within performance requires a certain level of energy, which Fresh never fail to supply. I wanted to know if there were times when the band were not feeling up to it, and how they dealt with this. However, Kathryn explained that no matter how difficult or even just boring being on tour can be at points their ‘set isn’t touched by that… if a drive has been particularly long or the mood is off, we can use our time onstage as a bubble to blow off steam.’ She also highlights the release that music can be for her, explaining that it’s her number one way to cope with depression and anxiety… ‘performing and being part of such a supportive community is really validating’.
One of the things we love about the band’s music here at Girl Crush is their unapologetic attitude to not fitting in. We asked if this was something they also encountered within the industry to which Kathryn explained ‘I’ve been really lucky with Fresh in that we kind of fell into the community that we operate in now almost straight away, one of our first shows was with Shit Present and we played Power Lunches in London a lot at first (RIP). But it’s true that even music scenes that call themselves inclusive treat women very differently to how they treat cis men. It can be really tiring to always have to prove yourself to male bands, promoters, sound guys, random audience members. I think it’s changing but not fast enough.’
Personally one of my highlights of seeing Fresh live was the buzz when the band started ‘New Girl’ which is definitely one of my favourites of the new album. The lyrics definitely hit home a bit but it still manages to be such a fun poppy song. Myself and Lerryn also have a weak spot for a cowbell. So this is genuinely a fond memory I constantly look back on.
To hear this jam and more make sure to check out their new album ‘Withdraw’. Described by Kathryn as ‘an angry and resilient record… I tend to just write what first comes into my brain, and how I feel on stage and what it means to be a woman playing music came into the songs a lot. In that way, it speaks a lot about our touring experiences and finding support from other people and from within yourself! ‘
We are so delighted to have had the opportunity to ask the band some questions, and more so to have seen them live. Definitely check them out at their upcoming events and absorb the sheer amount of energy the band exude through their catchy riffs and insightful lyrics.