Interview with Fi, Lead singer with DragSTER and Conflict
I’m Fi, from the band dragSTER. I was born in Coventry the home of Two Tone and still live there with Diesel and our 4 rescue dogs.
I’ve been in three bands Clearly Heretic which began as a grunge band with a male singer, I took over and it became more Riot Grrrl influenced. Then Diesel and I created Hypersucker (dodgy name haha) which was influenced more by stoner rock, we were quite popular in the local scene at the time but, nothing more than that.
In 2003 we went back to our more noisy, fast-paced roots that started with Clearly Heretic and dragSTER was born, originally with members of Army of Skanks, Wendy X on bass and Wippet on drums.
Our first demo was recorded in Wippet’s kitchen! I’m currently still with dragSTER and have recently joined Conflict. Unfortunately, due to Covid, I haven’t done a single gig with them yet. Fingers crossed for next year!
1. First Punk Rock band you ever saw Live? Where/when?
I guess the first truly punk rock band I saw live was
The Sex Pistols in 1996 at the Phoenix Festival. I was a bit too young to see them back in the day so, it was a great experience to see the original line-up back together and on great form.
2. First Punk Rock Record you bought? What made you buy it?
The first album I ever bought, punk or otherwise, with my own money was Adam and the Ants, Kings of the Wild Frontier. Do people consider that punk?
It was certainly born out of that movement. I remember watching Adam and the Ants on Top of the Pops and just being mesmerised by the drum beats, Adam’s appearance and the whole theatricality of his performance.
Still a superb album, all killer.
Again, I was too young to be able to catch Adam live at the peak of his career but, since he started touring again I’ve made up for lost time. Still an exceptional performer.
From there I became a fan of Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Damned and all things a little bit goth.
3. Favourite Venue to play shows? UK or abroad
In the UK we always have great shows in Bristol usually at The Fleece and Manchester at The Star and Garter. So, those two places are always great to return to as we have made a lot of friends and it’s always a party. The Rock n Roll Rendezvous gigs
put on by Nina and Phil of the Healthy Junkies with help from Steve Iles at The Unicorn are always a great Christmas tradition too.
There are also some great little venues which are currently struggling with Covid, like Percy’s Café, which is a beautifully unique venue.
On our European tours two venues stick in my mind. Wild at Heart in Berlin is one,Uli and Lea are great people and always make us feel welcome, the venue is beautifully decorated. However, I do NOT recommend the Mexicanas!
The other venue is Bar Mokka in Switzerland. Unfortunately, the owner of Bar Mokka passed away a couple of years ago. MC Anliker was a truly unique human being.
One of life’s eccentrics, sadly missed. It was always a good stop on the tour as we had a really fancy hotel to stay in too!
Adam Ant, Siouxsie Sioux, Lesley Rankine (Silverfish).
5. Any new bands impressed you and worth a shout out?
Unfortunately, due to Covid, I haven’t seen anything new for what seems like a millennia! I guess the newest band I’ve seen is Dead Mob, very young, very talented, very loud and went down really well on the Rebellion Introducing Stage in 2019.
6. What’s the future look like for you and DragSter?
We have one gig booked so far for February 2021, Girls Wanna Rock at The Lounge 666 in London. Hopefully it will go ahead but, who knows? Other than that, we’ll be writing, maybe recording and hopefully performing when we can. Obviously, as soon as bigger gigs are allowed I’ll be busy with Conflict so, it will be a case of catch dragSTER when you can!
7. What is the craziest, most memorable thing you have seen at
a show? Favourite show?
Memorable? Hmm, my memory is pretty terrible and there’s usually alcohol involved during these occasions. I remember there nearly being a riot at a Ministry show, 1992 or 93, at Nottingham Rock City. Al Jourgensen had gone missing and it took about 2 hours to find him and get him on stage. Amazing gig though once they played.
Helmet were the support band and they were great too. I think my favourite show has to be Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in 2019, we arrived pretty late to the venue but still managed to get close to the stage.
Interviewed in November 2020
8. Horror Movies or Science Fiction?
Ouch! Pushed I would have to go with Science Fiction,
I’m a Trekkie and share a birthday with Willian Shatner,
the day not the year!
9. What do you dislike?
Any kind of prejudice, animal cruelty and gherkins.
10. Guilty pleasure?
11. Is Punk Rock Dead?
but it needs to stop being viewed as a specific point in history and a nostalgia trip.
12. Any advice for aspiring young Musicians out there?
Practice every day, keep a notepad/iPad/laptop by your bed to jot down lyrics or ideas. Support other musicians, your local venues and promoters and create your own scene if none exists.