equality factor: unfiltered, unlabeled, apologetic music empresses
last album: F*ck, No Fairytale
our favorite song: Losing Dreams
music heroins: Ariel Bloomer, 070 Shake, M.I.A, Amy Winehouse
based in: Hamburg
Just a few days ago, Clara, Anna, Becks, and Anni fell into the claws of sexism in music, simply through the commentary of a radio host. In an interview, the powerful band from Hamburg was faced with the question: "So, are you a women's band", which led the hosts to discuss, whether or not it is necessary to point out the genders of a band's members. We are coming to the end of the year 2020, and there are still reproducers of discourse that, by omission or by excessive attention, perpetuates women's exceptionality. We still have to endure that gender is a cultural construction of sexual difference. Does it really take that much to change? Music is music, it has no gender, but it seems that we still have to keep rubbing salt into the wound of this theme.
"Music is our valve of repressed feelings. Through it, we express emotions in a way that just plain words fail to do. To us, the magical thing about music is that it connects people, lifts them up, and inspires them in their own way of living. We want to evoke emotions in people's hearts and heads." This is how Baked Cat defines the art of music for them. We talked to the German band in a very charming empowering interview.
"My inspiration is simply the life that we live in"
What inspires each of you?
Clara: What inspires me, is to make the world a better place. I hope that one day we live in a society where no animals are harmed to feed human greed, where everyone protects nature, and people are allowed to live how they want and love who they want.
Becks: I feel inspired by the power of the people. In a world where there is so much variety and isolation, there is something even more spiritual and powerful about crowds.
Anni: I think nature is what inspires me the most and how people engage with it. It’s where everything has its roots.
Anna: My inspiration is simply the life that we live in.
Which musicians have inspired and influenced you the most?
Clara: One musician who has definitely influenced me a lot is singer and guitarist Frank Iero. He has such a powerful and chaotic stage energy and is one of the most kind-hearted and funny people. I got to know about him in my teens, and he had a big impact on my personal development.
Anni: Christina Aguilera and Santana are who inspired and inspire me the most. One of the biggest vocalists of our time, with a lesson in every song and an attitude you cannot copy, and also the guitar played by a god! When I was four, I could not get enough of both, sang along in my own secret language, and my mum became my first fan. I even tried to imitate the sounds of the e-guitar with my voice. And it lasts until today.
Anna: One musician I look up to is definitely Jack White, but I would not say that we sound like him in any way.
Becks: Funnily my first crush was Eric Clapton when I was five years old, who definitely pinched my first passion for blues. Since then I always felt like jazz, RnB, soul, and blues reflected my inner self in the best way.
Who are your musical heroines?
Clara: My musical heroine is Ariel Bloomer, frontwoman of Icon For Hire. On a musical level, the band mixes rock and punk music with pop and electronic influences, while their lyrics deal with topics about mental health or inequality. For me, their music is very relatable and also full of surprises. That is something I aspire to as an artist as well. Overall, Ariel is a truly inspiring person who I admire a lot.
Anni: Definitely 070 Shake and M.I.A! They created their own style, always questioning the world, and building their own. Their music, videos, and performances need to get way more attention.
Becks: Amy Winehouse gets me with every song. She sings all about imperfections which she presents in such a perfect way. The combination of her expressive contralto vocals, her lyrics, and her passion inspired me to express my feelings through music, too.
Anna: To be honest, I do not have one. Do I need one?
"It was the first time for us recording music together as a band and it has been a truly amazing experience to see our work shape into what we always dreamed it to be"
What does a studio day look like for Baked Cat? How did you feel making that new EP?
Before we hit the studio, we usually meet up with our producer in our rehearsal room a few times for him to have a first impression of us playing the song altogether. After discussing general remarks, we record all the instruments separately. Normally starting with the drums, ending with vocals, and additional sounds. If the circumstances allow it, we meet as a group when one song is recorded, to support each other, and be able to make creative decisions which may occur in the process as a group. It was the first time for us recording music together as a band and it has been a truly amazing experience to see our work shape into what we always dreamed it to be. Currently, we are recording two new songs with the same producer.
Why did you decide to make your songs in English? Considering that you were all born in Germany, how important is it for the band to introduce itself to the world in a language that isn’t native?
One important thing for us was to be able to reach as many people as possible. On top of that, all of us prefer listening to English music and we have an easier time expressing our emotions in this language. It just came naturally to us to write our music in English and we never even considered making German music.
"We truly believe that artists and other public figures hold a special responsibility to educate about and demand equal rights, as people look up to them and adapt to their behavior"
What is Equality Empowerment to you?
Equality Empowerment to us is not a concept, but a process with a long-overdue and strong goal. Education, employment, and political participation can contribute to it and should therefore be pushed forward by everybody in the best way they can. Until we reach that goal.
Why is it important to stand up for equal rights? In your opinion, do artists have a special responsibility for this?
Everyone should have the same chances in life no matter their gender, skin color, religion, or sexuality. We truly believe that artists and other public figures hold a special responsibility to educate about and demand equal rights, as people look up to them and adapt to their behavior. Their words and actions influence a whole generation. Normality is a picture that is illustrated by every single person every single day! Public figures paint the biggest strokes. Our music gives us the creative power to make people rethink their norms and, in the long shot, the world we live in. In order to support the process, our single 'Say’ and the associated music video highlight and criticizes the gender roles women were forced into during the last decades. It broadcasts how women are controlled by the stereotypical views society has laid upon them. They conform with the world around them and have learned to live, or rather survive, in it, but will eventually break free. Our single and video will be released at the beginning of 2021.
How equally do you perceive the whole music world at the moment? How would you say that race and gender affect people in the music industry?
The music business as well as many other fields still have a long way to go in order to offer equal chances to everyone. The structures and heteronomy of the music industry sadly still evokes, that special promotions for women, queer people, or POC are needed. It seems to be the most interesting and noteworthy fact about us, that we are four women, as people state the terms 'women-band' or ‘girl-band’ quite often. At times, we get the impression that our gender is more important than the quality of our music. We suppose you would never see a band consisting of four men being called a 'men-band', but rather just a “band”. As if women needed some special genre that points out their gender.
What are the biggest challenges of the band?
As DIY artists it is quite laborious to structure and advance all the aspects of making music. It contains producing videos, organizing photo shoots, booking concerts, rehearsing, interacting with fans, planning social media content, promotion, and more. To work most efficiently, we split the tasks, but nevertheless, it is still a lot to focus on, especially because we are all working and studying. As you can guess, Covid-19 made it even harder for us to spread our music, since we cannot play live shows. At the beginning of 2020, we were dreaming of a release party for our first EP “F*ck, No Fairytale”, which of course was then not possible. Options like live-stream concerts are just not the same, but we take the opportunity to stay active and connected to our fans via social media despite the lack of personal contact.
What are the biggest musical dreams for the band?
We want to empower people with our music and sweep the crowds at a big festival! But for now, we just want to go back on stage and produce tons of music videos. Our ideas for new videos and stage performances are already overflowing. With time, we hope to reach more people to share our music with and to build a strong community.
"It is one of the best feelings in the world to do the thing you love the most with the people you love the most"
What is the best part of working together?
During the last couple of years, the four of us became really close friends and we consider ourselves family. We literally can talk about everything, may it be some deep personal issues or the most random, ridiculous things that cross our minds. Our rehearsals are always the perfect mix of working on our music and just hanging out drinking beer. Despite our diverse tastes in music, every single one fully involves herself in the music we are making. It is amazing to see these different influences come together and form something new. It is one of the best feelings in the world to do the thing you love the most with the people you love the most.
How can you as a band make the best of these times?
We are using this time to write new songs and plan our following releases. When working with our producer on our EP and upcoming single, his special taste in music and talent to dig deep into our music, made the truly best of it. That is why we keep working with him. In fact, we started recording the next two songs just one day after we dropped our EP in mid-November. After focusing on the EP for so long, we now have the headspace to be more creative again and try out new sounds. We really feel like we are launching the next era of Baked Cat.
How can we best support you?
By sharing our music with your community and telling your people about us. Our next big project is the release of the music video accompanying our single called 'Say' at the beginning of next year. So make sure to stay tuned and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube.