Live Concert Photography: Mother Feather with Mutant Scum at The Knitting Factory 12/6/18
Comprised of Ann Courtney (vocals), Elizabeth Carena (vocals, keys), Chris Foley (guitar), Gunnar Olsen (drums), and the band’s newest member Seth Ondracek (bass), the Brooklyn-based rock/heavy metal act Mother Feather quickly emerged into the national spotlight with their 2016 self-titled, full-length debut. The Brooklyn-based metal quartet played 41 dates of that year’s Warped Tour, went on a series of sold-out UK dates, which featured a live session for BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, played sets at Rock On The Range and Carolina Rebellion — and they opened for The B52s.
Building upon a growing national and international profile, the Brooklyn-based metal quintet’s sophomore album Constellation Baby was released earlier this month through Metal Blade Records and Black Light Media. Constellation Baby finds the band expanding upon their high-energy “pop cock rock” in an ambitious fashion while retaining the raw, playful and feminine energy that won them attention. Of course, upping the ante isn’t a small feat. As the band’s Ann Courtney says of the album and its writing sessions “All I knew was that I needed the new album to be awesome. Mother Feather is such an empowered album, and when I began working on the new material, I was really struggling to feel that way. I knew this album needed to be even better than the first, and to capitalize on its momentum it had to happen quickly. It was a tremendous amount of pressure to put myself under, and it was a dragon I knew I wanted to slay alone – at least at the beginning.” So Courtney locked herself away to write, to face her depression and stare down some deeply uncomfortable feelings. “Truthfully, I went to some very dark and lonely places. But once I let myself go there, that’s when the album started to take shape. There’s a lot of fever and intimacy in those songs. I laid myself bare.”
With her bandmates assisting Courtney to fully-flesh out and realize the album’s material, the end result is reportedly a collection that’s cathartic and exuberant. We are diving way deeper into the question, ‘Who is Mother Feather?’” Courtney says, “and I think that the answer is extremely emotional. It’s eclectic, but it all sounds like Mother Feather. This album will definitely expand what that means.” Adds Courtney, “It definitely wasn’t a given that things would come together though. It was hard won, even back to the writing. Everyone in the band went way out of their way to make it happen because we wanted it to happen. Everyone had something to say. Ideas were pushed to the limit and the result is the collective combination of those forces of energy. We were extremely vigilant about working through ideas. Stuff got worked, and it got worked again. In spite of the challenges — personal, financial, artistic — we fall tried really hard to work together and create the thing that everyone meant, collectively.”
The Brooklyn-based metal band played a headlining, album release show at The Knitting Factory earlier this month that featured local acts Mutant Scum and Vaureen. Unfortunately, I missed Vaureen’s set, thanks to the MTA — lately, the Q59 has been running extremely late and painfully slow. But in any case, Mother Feather’s set was a career spanning set that was centered primarily around their rousingly anthemic new album. Check out photos from the show below.
According to the band’s Facebook page, “Mutant Scum” is a viscous, radioactive substance that’s reportedly unknown to science. Discovered by the Society of Estuary Waste Education and Research (S.E.W.E.R.) in the vicinity of Brooklyn’s polluted Newtown Creek in early 2015, the substance and the subterranean dwelling, horribly deformed creatures, who are also referred to as Mutant Scum were discovered while tracking the substance to its source. Along with a local human volunteer and drummer known as James, the creatures have developed a reputation locally for making a raucous, power chord-based metal noise.