Hailing from the same city that brought us Drake and The Weeknd, Fast Romantics are something completely different. The anthem-sized songs found on their records and their cheerful tambourine-infused stage antics have earned them praise from NPR, KEXP, CBC, and more. Often compared to Pulp and Bruce Springsteen, the bands’ feel-good rock has been burning up Spotify playlists across the globe.
We got a chance to chat with Kirty, solo artist, and female guitarist/vocalist in Fast Romantics (as well as active member of Toronto's Women in Music group) about what keeps her creating and inspired! See our quick Q&A below.Fast Romantics are playing the Mercury Lounge on October 20th. They hit the stage at 10pm (enough time for you to catch the WIM social media panel first!) and tickets can be found here: http://ticketf.ly/2dJKrLr
WIM: In your experience, what has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced as a female musician and songwriter?
Kirty: Breaking down stereotypical gender roles has definitely been a challenge.
Just a couple weeks ago I was loading my gear on-stage, and as I carried my keyboard (piled high with tambourines, shakers, and cords) up the stage ramp, a member of the stage crew asked me if he could help. Being pretty protective of my gear (I have a process ☺), I politely declined, and suggested he could carry my trumpet which would really help me out! As he followed me walking up the ramp he said “wow, its’ like reversed roles, eh?”.
I laughed and thought to myself… “how?”. I guess he thought men should carry heavy keyboards and women should carry light trumpets.
Another challenge as a woman in music is sticking to my guns as far as my image.
In this line of work, I feel like people are always trying to push me to dress a certain way, or take certain photos, or project a certain image and I feel like it’s a challenge (but very important) to stick to your guns as far as wearing what makes you feel most like yourself. I care about my image, and I always want it to feel like me.
WIM: What are some pieces of advice you would give a young female musician trying to make her mark in music?
Kirty: Follow your gut – both musically and in business, be assertive and direct about your ideas, and build your musical relationships on mutual respect.
WIM: Are you fueled/inspired more by competition or collaboration?
Kirty: I’m fueled by collaboration. Writing, recording, and performing music with my friends (and new friends), is the most fulfilling feeling there is.
WIM: Who is your favorite artist who died too young?
Kirty: Towns Van Zandt.
WIM: Are you more at-home on stage or in the studio?
Kirty: Definitely on-stage. I only record so that I can continue to play on-stage.
WIM: For you, what emotion or experience motivates you to write songs? Falling in love, falling out of love, grieving, depression, anxiety? How important are emotions to good songwriting?
Kirty: For me, emotions are the only thing that keep me writing. All of the feelings that you listed; falling and/out of love, grieving, depression, anxiety, etc. are equally inspiring if captured in the right moment.
WIM: Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, what helps you feel creative, inspired to write again?
Kirty: I experience writer’s block every once and a while, but I find that (when that happens), it’s just a little reminder to myself that I need to indulge in more creative, and inspiring activities. I find that reading, exercising, going to see shows, and discovering and listening to records helps stir-up creative juices, and often relieves writers block.
WIM: Before you were a member in Fast Romantics, you mostly focused on your solo career. How are you enjoying the change of pace?
Kirty: I’m loving it. Splitting my time between Fast Romantics, and my solo project feels like a perfect musical balance – both projects satisfying different sides of me.
WIM: What can fans expect from a Fast Romantics show?
Kirty: Fans can expect to see six friends rocking out (mistakes and all), and singing their hearts out. Fast Romantics are a very audience-oriented group. We love connecting with an audience, it’s pretty easy for people have a great time at one of our shows.
WIM: Are there some amazing women in music our readers should be following and why?
Kirty: Yes. Always. Here are a couple:
Big Thief – from Brooklyn, NY
I saw Big Thief for the first time this summer in Toronto, and it was absolutely amazing. Beautifully, honest, and raw songs, with heart wrenching vocals, and such a unique on-stage presence. It was truly refreshing and inspirational.
The Weather Station – Toronto, ON
I have a few records by The Weather Station, and have seen her a few times live as well, and both performances (recorded and live) resonate. Poetic lyrics, great guitar playing, and an honest voice, mixed up in alternative folk music. It’s lovely.
Julia Jacklin – Australia
I saw Julia Jacklin at South by Southwest this year, and I stood under a tiny tent in the early afternoon just stunned. Her simple four-piece band played straight forward groovy tunes, as she chugged away on electric guitar, and sang songs that just crushed my heart. It was magical.
The Fast Romantics are playing the Mercury Lounge on October 20th. They hit the stage at 10pm and tickets can be found here: http://ticketf.ly/2dJKrLr
LISTEN TO THE BAND HERE: