Lester The Fierce is a combination of Anita Lester and her alter ego imagined from a children’s book hero. The prolific singer songwriter manages to touch on everything in her songs from love, sex, death and the weather. Lester has been a silent fixture in the Australian music scene for years and has become known for her haunting and unmistakably unique voice. And she’ll be releasing her new self-titled EP next month!
Hey Anita – can I call you Anita? How are you?
You can call me whatever you would like. Anita works fine though! I’m good.
First burning question. I adore your ongoing chicken posts on http://instagram.com/crybabylester Instagram. How many chickens do you have, and what are their names?
I love that you love the girls! Those chickens make me so happy. There are five- Leghorn, Fluffy, Julianne Moore, Princess and Mama. Fluffy is my doppelgänger.
Could you tell us a little bit about when you first started to create music, and what inspired you to start?
I was around 12 when I started writing. If I remember correctly I was lyrically inspired by the Corrs (insert cringe here) and wrote a pre-teen angst filled song called ‘Walking Fish’. I thought it was pretty clever at the time. I was definitely writing before singing though.
After these run of shows you’re teaming up with Ngaiire for another tour. How did that idea come about?
I’ve just started working with 123 Agency. They had the idea of putting me tour with another strong woman. GIRL POWER!
I caught your recent show at The Toff, but for those who haven’t seen you live before how would you describe the experience?
I’m not sure. It’s up but not fancy. It’s serious but not sad and heavy. I actually think it’s quite a dynamic set at the moment.
I get pretty lost in the show. I sort of black out. It seems to be getting mainly positive reactions. Hard Question!
Looking at the preview clip for your upcoming single ‘Howl’, it’s hard to make any judgements from those short 44 seconds. Can you tell us what we can expect to hear from ‘Howl’ and your new EP as a whole?
Howl is a 90s-esque pop/rock song. It’s pretty in your face, but I don’t think it’s offensively so. It’s influenced by film… but not in the way you would first expect. The whole EP is a little like that.
The EP ebbs and flows. It’s a tasting plate- I’m touching on a few genre directions, but it ties together really well. The sounds my band are making are beautiful.
What kind of inspirations sprung to your mind when putting the EP together?
This particular EP to me is about self awareness. It’s metaphoric and literal. I’ve been writing for years and this is the first time I’ve really grabbed the idea of music by the balls- I guess that same fire can be seen reflected in the music.
How do you think you’ve changed as an artist since you released your debut EP The Summer Deluge in 2011?
A whole lot! I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go when I made TSD. It was actually a break up exercise that turned into something more. Once I had it in my hand, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make something of it. It didn’t do anything really (reception-wise)- which I didn’t take badly, but I was let down.
I’ve come into this process with a large sense of resolve. I have high hopes for the music, but no solid expectations. I was free with the music and felt free when I played and sung it, hopefully that is something that adds to the feel.
As well as a musician you’re also a visual artist, which helps explain your incredible artwork, videos and costumes. Is this visual component just as important as the music?
Thank you! I put more pressure sometimes on the visuals than the music to be honest!
I have been a visual person way longer than a music person. My family always say “well, you always have art to fall back on”. Not the typical Jewish life-plan, so I’ll take it, but music is my number one right now.
I try to incorporate the art with the music. I also feel like without even truing, my lyrics are quite visual. It end up being incidental, because although I think about it, because they are such big parts of my life it’s organic.
What kind of bands and artists have you been listening to recently?
I’ve had a bit of a psychedelic pop/rock renaissance. I’ve been listening to a lot of Brian Jonestown, Dandy Warhols, Beck…that kind of thing. As far as new music- I’m loving AA Bondy, Kurt Vile’s new album, The Kins, Fascinator, Georgia Fair, Father John Misty, Joan as Policewoman, Pond… I could go on forever!
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Have you got a date set on the forthcoming EP?
Yes! The EP is being soft released on Monday and available for buying on Friday next week. Very exciting!
Lester The Fierce – Ngaiire Tour Support Dates
THUR 12 SEP @ OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY NSW
SAT 14 SEP @ REPUBLIC BAR, HOBART, TAS
SUN 15 SEP @ FRESH ON CHARLES, TAS
THU 19 SEP @ TRANSIT BAR, CANBERRA, ACT
FRI 20 SEP @ BAHA TACOS, RYE, VIC
SAT 21 SEP @ NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE, VIC
FRI 27 SEP @ THE SMALL BALLROOM, NEWCASTLE, NSW
SAT 28 SEP @ HERITAGE HOTEL, BULLI, NSW
THUR 3 OCT @ BRISBANE MULTICULTURAL ARTS CENTRE, BRISBANE, QLD
FRI 4 OCT @ SOLBAR, SUNSHINE COAST, QLD
SAT 5 OCT @ THE NORTHERN HOTEL, BYRON BAY, NSW
SAT 12 OCT @ JIVE, ADELAIDE, SA
Watch Howl here: