Hi there Lynette and welcome to our lovely little website. You've got a lot on your plate right now with your upcoming tour alongside the release of the (Still) Heartless EP and the music video “Worn Skin”. Do you ever feel overwhelmed or do you handle things pretty well?
Lynette: Maybe I should just send you a photo of the scabs on my head from my compulsive head scratching when stressed for this answer, haha! But hello and thank you for noticing all I do and am doing! I tend to be a hyper workaholic type person; those around me are always trying to teach me the meaning of the word chill. But at times I do take on too much and it can come crashing down as I tend to already have a bit of anxiety, then mixed with my ADD, and dyslexia kicking in can spin into a panic attack break down mode. But life is movement so that's how I live it. I like challenges and to push past fears. I am also working on some vocal collaborations at the moment as well...Speaking of I need to get recording.
Your current line-up consists of yourself, Brant Showers, and Eddie O. Considering you've had a couple of different band members in the past, do you think your current set-up is your strongest so far?
Lynette: That's a really hard one to answer because the truth is at the moment in every line up I have been happy and pleased. I love the dynamic of working with different people and what they add to it. I believe in growth, change and evolution, I like to express this in my music as well. I never set out in music to create what I feel has been done before so therefore I would not want to keep creating the exact same songs I am very excited and honored to be working with both Eddie O. and Brant Showers. They bring a lot to Bestial Mouths talent and music wise plus personality wise, too. Touring with them is lovely.
I've spoken with Brant Showers on the website before on the topic of his own project SØLVE in the past. How did you meet Showers and why did you want him as a part of the band?
Lynette: I first met Brant and Nancy of ∆AIMON the first time we played SXSW, I think back in 2012. From that moment we always stayed in touch with them, as they were great people. It's always the best when you met someone so talented who is down to earth and real. I never forget that. After that we were lucky to play some shows together, at one of them chatting with Brant mentioned he was a drummer and would love to play with Bestial if ever needed. Our drummer Jessica had just quit so we had been looking for a new one. So of course that never left my head. So when I did of course he was my first wish. I think the question is how could I NOT want him as part of the band.
Throughout Bestial Mouths run there have been a million different genre influences in the album. Where do your main inspirations come from? Do the other members in the band contribute to the sound of Bestial Mouths?
Lynette: The goal Bestial was formed on was never to recreate a sound or genre completely. It was more to take what we have liked, like and what has and does influence us. It was not necessarily to say we are creating this whole new genre or thing. We created what came out of us, what we liked and what pleased us. Like I grew up listening to punk, hardcore, to death rock, goth, industrial stuff. I even went through a early shoegaze phase, too. Later I got into synth punk, experimental and noise, post punk stuff. Then more into minimal synth and electronic music and especially harsh electronics. With every song we write we keep this in mind. Like this is our "EBM" type song, let's say, and I like to vary my vocal delivery accordingly as well. And yes every member has an influence on the sound. How can they not? They write their own parts which their past and present musical preferences will inevitably shine through. That's the beauty of collaborations. It can lead to something your brain never could have expected or fathomed.
I read that in the past you've had your hand in political activism as well as had a career in fashion design. Do your past experiences ever contribute to the sound, lyrics, or aesthetic of Bestial Mouths?
Lynette: Another yes, of course; how can it not?! I do have a fashion design degree and art history background. I worked in the fashion industry for a long time. I have wore many of my own creations (clothes, jewelry, makeup) on stage, for videos, etc. But I grew disenfranchised with it all; the sallowness, cruelness and degradation of something as frivolous as what is supposed to be fun adornment, to make people feel good. I wanted to have a point to my existence (or that was my thought) so I focused more my attention on animal rights, women's rights, and political activism. I attended many demonstrations and protests such as helping women into clinics safely from anti abortion radicals, who would hurt a living soul but call “the women” a murder. I really felt this need for awhile to give it all up and save something such as animals (I have worked as a rescuer for years and a vegetarian) or go to the middle east and help women escape the patriarchal society or try to give them some self love and worth. Then I found music suddenly and at a late time in my life compared to most.
I guess I view Bestial as art, visually and sonically. It's my way to use my voice to reach others. I used to struggle and feel I was very egoistical as just a singer, and because I loved performing - I grew up as a ballerina for 10 years. Then I realized it was my giving to others and trying to evoke feelings and make them feel something, my way of using and doing what I can. I try to use it to show women you can be liberated and totally free, and say fuck the world. My lyrics are very personal; they speak of my struggles in life and what I have had to endure being a woman, breaking from traditional roles, but feeling societies pressure because of that - also from past abuse. They speak of life, which is truly unfair and painful, and everyone deals with these and doubts. It's to reach this in people and offer solace to release it and they are not alone. My lyrics are more vague. I was a writer for years and still use cut up techniques because I believe it forms from stream of consciousness and gets in touch with emotions and I want to leave it to the listener to have them pass through their experience filter and interpret it to how it fits them.
Your vocals are arguably one of the most outstanding aspects of Bestial Mouths. Did you take lessons to master your voice or are you self-taught?
Lynette: Wow, what a compliment, thank you so much! But I can not take all the credit for Bestial; without the incredible musicians it would not be what it is. My story is like this: I had always loved music but never sang, played an instrument or anything in my life. My life had been art and fashion. But I left it and was looking for a new path suddenly in my late twenties. My boyfriend at the time (the other founding member Christopher Myrick) had a solo project and was asked to perform. He needed help so he asked me. The first show I had never even sang in a mic (oh my God, it must have been god awful). We tried me on various instruments, I used to play one note bass lines with my back to the audience even. Till finally he said I'll put you in the front. I was relieved because try as I might, I was not great at playing instruments or synths.
But once I was left to just sing and perform, I felt something. I just taught myself I guess, focusing on experimentation and trying things. I have no idea how to read music or even really write a song. I just hear music and hear the lyrics and the structure in my head. I just hear it and it has to be. I have been told I place things oddly and I tend to sing in a unique way. Along the journey I met with others I admired greatly, who gave me the confidence to sing what I heard and let go. They treated me as a real vocalist, and that's how I found my strength; I guess you could say I found my voice.
You've shared the stage with many, many big names such as Psychic TV, Suicide Commando, and Youth Code. When you first found out you were going to be on the same bill as one of these acts, were you astonished? And do you still get floored whenever you hear of the bands or producers you'll be working with?
Lynette: Oh my God, yes of course! I am always nervous, excited, and honored. I remember thinking, So how do I met Gen? Then suddenly Gen came up to me and started chatting so normal about flight drama. It was actually Gen's birthday too! Funny story is we got added to this show and we're on tour so we had not had internet and such to research. The show was going on and we were like, "Hey is this someone covering suicide commando?" And then we realized it was, and she had been so kindly talking with me in the green room and I was too stupid to realize yet!
I remember being so excited to hear Katie from Austra live, to hear the voice, see how she sound checks, etc. And when we played with Light Asylum, to hear Shannon’s voice! I remember technical issues and watched and admired how well she handled it live and made it part of the show without freaking out. Working with new producers always makes me so nervous as recording is the scariest part for me. I remember being like “He thinks I am a real vocalist,” when we got the honor to work with David Psutka of EGYPTRIXX.
HEARTLESS is your latest LP which was released back in March of 2016 and I'd like to discuss that. Your music isn't the type of generic shit that goes without meaning; you seem to put powerful yet encouraging themes into your albums. What is HEARTLESS about? Does it pertain to any one subject or multiple ones?
Lynette: Yes, that is totally true on all Bestial work. It feels great to hear you say and notice. And we do, I do not know how to do it any other way As for HEARTLESS it does deal with multiple subjects in a way as some of the songs are older ones that we re-recorded from how we had been performing them live for a while. The newer material was all very personal, referencing what I had been experiencing in my life. Empty and void, out of love, confused which direction to take, baffled at the loss and how it got here and why, stuck and trapped, failure and disbelief; I could no longer feel anything and grew into a great depression
I have not really openly, I guess I mean socially, spoke much about it without vaguely referencing it, but it's time. I needed the time for myself first- ground myself. This was the loss (separation) of my marriage and musical partner of ten years, the other lead member and founder of bestial mouths, Christopher Myrick. I had to accept and finally open my eyes that like my philosophy on life we both had changed and grown in different ways, and that we must part and inflict no more suffering and pain and emptiness. What followed was the hardest part of my life. Many changes with this whirlwind; I never could have dreamed could get so dark, but iI had a silver cloud in my pocket, and I feel reborn. Most did not even realize Chris and I were married as we wanted to be seen as musicians and wanted to not be seen as a couple band, which I realize now was pretty judgmental of us, because why the hell not.
It seems as if Bestial Mouths does tackle some tough subjects. Do you ever find it emotionally draining to write out or even sing the lyrics to the songs?
Lynette: I have shed tears while singing, even live, but thanks to my shroud of hair it covers it so I am not sure if anyone has noticed. It is draining but it is a catharsis for me, a release from the stored up pain that plagues my dreams. I have awful nightmares of so much pain, I scream and cry often in my sleep…I feel for those who have to sleep next to me because it can be quite disturbing. It's how I get out, to realize it and I connect to it, the subjects and others. It's strange because “Happy” music makes me feel insane and more demented to be honest.
So far I've seen nothing but positive reviews for HEARTLESS. Have you seen any negative remarks about the album? And do negative remarks ever really get to your head or do you blow them off?
Lynette: Hm, I don't think I have seen any negative ones, but I am definitely not going to go searching, haha. I am only human so of course negative remarks hurt in any form whether it's about music or just about personally who you are. It can be very hard to shake off. Especially on tour when you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and have to day after day meet new people, and always be “on”. Always be super confident. I actually have a lot of social anxiety and was a very shy kid. To stay confident I think can be an artist-hardest struggle. The comments people will say will never, actually they probably still will, surprise me after you play a show; it's unreal. As if we are not human beings; we just poured our souls out and are left vulnerable right now. I try my best to not show it but I do have moments I need time alone to process and try to not left self doubt inflict upon me and take me out and put me down. To have to believe in yourself this strongly takes an amor, and one which you do not want to get evil or jaded and jealous and strike back at others.
I have for most of my career had to be very tough. Our music is not easy and we suffered tons of criticism from strangers and friends even, and many trying to change our sound to what they wanted because they thought we did not get it and were helping, I guess. I have been told over and over how to sing, why do I sing like this, I should sing like a girl. Or because we used to have to play with noise and mostly dudes in the beginning (I am so thrilled the scene is growing) and they would prejudge me as just some diva girl singer who will probably just try to be cute and sexy. I would hear many negative comments, "Oh, we get to play with lady gaga.” I used to even dress down and never really show my face in photos, then I realized I was being held back, and was not being true to feminism and embraced what I wanted to do and wear on stage.
But I will say this: there have been times I have just wanted to quit and give up, even on tour. Like, why the hell am I doing this and being treated like this? Who am I to think I should have a life making music, expect people to care, watch, and listen to me? Then you get a message like some girl that's a teenager who says I am her idol and her brother helped her write to us. Or a gift from a fan that traveled far and knows your name.
This might be a tough question because it's like picking a favorite child, but do you have a favorite track from HEARTLESS? If so, which one is it and why?
Lynette: It is like that, haha! But mine is 'HEARTLESS'. One because it is beyond personal and because that song was such a struggle. Some songs come together like no problem at all; others challenge and drive you mad. I remember when I first heard the synth line of 'HEARTLESS' I wanted it. We had originally called it 'Disappear' and did a demo of it, but I knew it was not done. I had to push for us to continue to work and work on it because I knew it could be so much more. Others thought me mad, or probably annoying, but I heard things together and I knew we could get it there.
Now, I've already mentioned the tour before, but have any details for it been finalized? Do you know when it's going to start and where fans can buy tickets?
Lynette: I do not have the concrete dates yet but its starts on the east coast around march 17th and ends April 15th in Vancouver, BC for Verboden Festival. We will have the confirmed dates beginning of February, be announcing them, tour poster, event pages and all soon!
This is a question that I like asking from time to time as it exposes me to new music. But, what bands or musicians have you currently been digging into? Anyone new or fun that you think deserve more exposure?
Lynette: Wow, soooo many to name. I have had the honor to do many mixes lately with lots of bands I feel people should check out. If I started naming everyone I would never end, then wake in the middle of the night, remembering more, and sending you more, then be plagued realizing I forgot some, but at some time it has to stop. Most of our mixes are on our Soundcloud where you can learn of new upcoming amazing artists.
Lastly I'd like to thank you for your time and I also look forward to hearing the new EP and seeing the new video. Cheers!
Lynette: Cheers! And thank you for the support and wanting to learn more and hear (well read) my rants!
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
Share this interview