Carrboro-based post-punk outfit Fitness Womxn are just getting started, and you won’t want to miss them this weekend. I’m happy to say they agreed to answer a few questions about their music and influences, opening their hearts to art at all skill sets and ranges of ability, and the essential need of a festival like Manifest.
Where are you from? Where are you now?
Fitness Womxn is a post-punk trio out of Carrboro, NC, made up of Dirt Diva, Ditch Witch, and Trash Bag. Two thirds of FW are born-and-bred North Carolinian, plus we got a Midwestern transplant.
Tell me about the music you make.
We’re a 3-piece punk band drawing on the influence of the post-punk and no wave movements in the 1980s (ESG, the Slits, Gang of Four, etc.) Nothing too flashy on instrumentation – just a bass, guitar, and drums. Since all of us are learning our instruments at varying levels of skill, we really try to be deliberate with our song structuring and how the vibe works with the subject content of the song.
How did you hear about Manifest?
It’s right in our neck of the woods at some of our favorite venues!
Why is this festival important?
The contributions of black, brown, queer, and non-binary artists (esp. folx with intersecting marginalized identities) to the creation and sustenance of every art form are ceaselessly erased, distorted, and silenced in the US within a larger system of white supremacy. We need to decenter whiteness and confront the racism, cisheteropatriarchy and ableism in our local punk scene, a scene that we engender through our choices and have a responsibility to decolonize continually as white womxn.
Manifest is an important festival because it is committed to putting Southern womxn, trans, non-binary, and queer musicians in a collaborative space and on stage to make art. Fitness Womxn is grateful and excited to be invited to this space, to witness and connect with other performers, and to continue to grow this local effort.
What are your hopes for your music?
This is all of our first band, so it’s a constant learning experience. But no matter our skill level, all of us want to make music that is deliberate and intentional, whether it’s goofy dance beats or dissonant, hard-to-digest subject material. As for performance, we love leaving an unsettled audience with a whole lot of layers to peel back. Make ‘em laugh, make ‘em cry!
Who inspires you? Why?
Back when we started this band in Summer of 2016, we all made mixes for each other of some of our influences. The mixes consistent of artists like ESG, As Mercenarias, Los Microwaves, Olimpia Splendid, Au Pairs, Pink Section, just to name a few. But all of us have a lot of music and creative interests outside of the type of music we play so, damn! This question is super hard to answer!! A lot of what we write about is day-to-day interactions, things we notice in our lives, things that we battle with personally, etc. We all participate in the local music and art community so it feels like we are constantly surrounded by inspiring artists which leads up to the next Q…
Any Southern women or non-binary artists we should already be listening to?
We are so fortunate to be in a part of the country that is overflowing with so many great artists. It’s truly impossible to keep up with all of the great acts, but that’s a problem we enjoy having ;]. Here are some artists that we’ve been getting down with recently: