Femme Equation is psychedelic pop with melodies taken from the dreams of Lina Westin, the creative mind behind the project.
The Berlin-based Swede previously fronted psych-rock band, Caviare Days but has now found her new home in the complex world of FE, surrounded by her band collaborators which have roots in Tross and Mando Diao.
01- Which colours do you associate visually with the recording and listening of the song?
“’I’m like a rainbow and I am black and I am white’ is one of the sentences in the lyrics, and I guess that is the perfect answer to the question. The whole spectrum!”
02- Which records or songs or remixes were on your playlist on repeat, before, during, and after the making of ‘Spin Around’?
“The ‘riff’ was inspired by a song by Phillippe Debarge called ‘It’ll Never Be Me’. He was a French playboy who made an album in 1969 together with The Pretty Things – a treasure in my vinyl collection. Find it here too, on the Spotify playlist I put together, with the songs that had the most impact on me while I made my first album. Unfortunately, some of my favourites aren’t on Spotify yet.”
03- What was the inspiration and the concept for this new single?
“’Spin Around’ is a mind-bending number about embracing my Gemini personality and being satisfied with my vagabond ways. It’s about finding balance between the black and the white, the night and the day, the up and the down. About being free on the borderline.”
04- How much do fashion and trends influence your outfit, this project, and your stage-persona overall?
“Fashion is my favourite hobby (and ironically also my full-time job when I’m not on maternity leave). I hardly ever buy new clothes. I adore vintage and handmade pieces, because they tell a story, and as a bonus are more original and sustainable. The more surrealistic garments, the better! I can spend hours in books or on Pinterest finding inspiration in old photos of bands, fashion models, actors behind the scenes, etc. but above all just snapshots of everyday people on the streets.”
05- Please guide us on your creative process or simply explain to us the thoughts behind the name ‘Femme Equation’ as a vehicle to make and release your music?
“The birth of Femme Equation was very inspirational. I had the pleasure of – literally speaking – dreaming up the songs. I woke up with melodies, and sometimes even lyrics, in my head; hummed it into my iPhone, tried it out on my guitar and later created the songs together with Mats Björke in the lab259 studio. They sound as they sound simply because they have to sound that way. It’s like painting a poem picture. Some colours need to be in there.
The name Femme Equation refers to the complexity of being a woman today, yesterday and tomorrow.”
06- Who were your idols when you were a teenager that made you decide to start singing and conquer the world?
“The most influential artists in my teens were Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix. Madonna too. And Judy Garland and Glenn Miller of course. The list is long. I’ve always been singing and writing music. It’s my only outlet. Honestly, the reason why I started bands and this project is not to become a star, but because I need music-making in my life. I loved Jagger and Madonna, but I never wanted their fame, only their brains.”
07- What’s your take on the online streaming concerts during the Covid-19 pandemic and are you planning to stream one or two from your music studio or apartment?
“Why not use the tools that are handed to us? In one way I strongly dislike social media, but it has its advantages. And this streaming trend is fun during pandemic times. It’s part of the future too, with or without Covid-19. Many live venues were closing down in Sweden, even before this virus outbreak, so perhaps concerts online are the (boring) way to go? We just need to find a way to finance it. Music is freedom, but it really isn’t free! I have been planning to do a live stream too, but with a baby on my arms it’s difficult to find time. But if I really want something, I make it happen ;)”
08- Memes/Habits: Describe to us your daily routine in the studio, and some funny situations, that remind you of the ‘process’ of the creation of the single?
“The making of ‘Spin Around’ was very futuristic. To write the lyrics and the idea took me a few hours. The production was longer, to say the least: Me and Mats started out in Stockholm with keys. We sent it to CJ, Mats old band member (Mando Diao) who added bass in Halmstad. Then we had Boris and Timmy (from my old band Caviare Days) adding guitar and drums in Stockholm. After that we recorded keys and other effects in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, added some reverbs in Long Beach, CA and later vocals in Borlänge. We mixed it in Berlin and mastered it in Hamburg. The video we shot in Barcelona. Too much! But the song is too much too, so it’s a good match, haha!”
09- What can we expect from FE’s next release, in terms of sound, song structure, and when?
“I have already started on my sophomore album and have all demos ready and a third of them recorded. Next album will be less loco. I decided to limit myself to only 5-6 instruments. We use vintage microphones and do live-takes without ‘click’, like back in the days. I can’t waste my time when I’m a mother. Every second counts. Whatever happens, happens and that’s the beauty of it. I’m impressed by myself and the guys who are playing with me. It sounds amazing and I can’t wait to share it. I believe it will be out this coming winter.”
‘Spin Around’ is out now via Lab259.