Catching Up with Mother Feather from the Warped Road

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez
Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

A whole summer on Warped Tour. It sounds unbearable for a person like me who is a hermit who loves sunshine only when inside. For bands like Mother Feather, it’s a blessing because it means getting out there and doing what they do best for a variety of crowds on a daily basis. Yup, Mother Feather have been on since the start in late June and they will not be done until the very end when things wrap up in Portland in mid-August.

Appearing as rock n’ roll as could be, their look is as stunning as their stage show and their own Ann Courtney was nice enough to take some time, while on tour, to talk about everything from fashion to passion this summer on Warped Tour.

Kendra: First, how’s Warped going for you guys so far? Any bumps in the road so far, or has it been smooth sailing?

Ann Courtney: It’s been extremely exciting – it took us a couple days to get the hang of things, but it feels like we’re oriented now! This is our first real tour as a band, so it’s been new for us.

Kendra: Now with the insane heat that comes with Warped, do you think twice about your usual glamorous outfits and stunning makeup, or say – fuck it – and just go out and do you?

Ann: The one thing we always wear but had to pass on for this tour is high heels. I always rock stiletto boots onstage but it seemed like a necessary adjustment to make with the wildly variable terrain. I’m glad to be sporting the solid neon high top Vans this summer, which are perfect with with all of our costumes—in fact, we built our wardrobe color palette around the shoes!

We worked with a couple different designers for this tour with the intention of having a lot of strong, interchangeable pieces in a similar palette that we could mix and match and would allow us to do what Lizzie and I do best when it comes to costuming—which is style. We worked primarily with a designer and rock and roll tailor based in New York City named King Sarah, who really went above and beyond and made us a lot of stunning, versatile pieces. We also collaborated with an amazing designer Vieve White at Vulpinic Vestements, who uses 3D printed silicone to make these bold, spectacular bodysuits and silicone “drip necklaces” that are fabulously cheeky and felt perfect for Mother Feather on Warped Tour. We also got some killer pieces from NYC artist and nightlife bastion Muffinhead and New York City based jewelry designer Laura Wass at WXYZ jewelry.

A big part of Mother Feather being included in this tour is that people are expecting Mother Feather—which means outfits and makeup. Everything about this band is intentional, deeply cared for, and cultivated, and the costumes and makeup are just part of our rig. I wouldn’t dream of giving fans anything less simply because it’s hot out. I would never ever just say “fuck it.”

Kendra: You two seem to be the kind of women who’ve always done their own thing and didn’t care what others thought. Did that stem from living in Brooklyn? I mean, it’s a city that’s known for its brutal honesty, but also it’s artistry.

Ann: I think it’s a direct result of caring about what others thought for too long and then rejecting it. I started Mother Feather solely to please and impress myself and discovered that it had immediate and overwhelming results. Now I care about what our fans think and what the rest of my band thinks, but at the end of the day, I’m still in it to make myself proud. Whether Brooklyn has anything to do with it—I’m not sure, but I definitely feel happiest and most like myself in New York City.

Kendra: You’re one of the few bands on Warped that have two women in the group. Do you feel better knowing you have your girl by your side all summer?

Ann: Absolutely. That’s part of why I wanted Lizzie to be in Mother Feather in the first place, because I always feel better with my girl by my side.

Kendra: Have you gotten to know other women of Warped so far?

Ann: I have! I learned pretty quick that the shower line is the best place to meet women who work on all parts of the tour, from other performers to production to sponsors to drivers. The Ladies’ Room is a great, no-brainer good girl hang.

Kendra: Let’s talk about your influences – You have quite the list but I want to know about your love of Salt-n-Pepa. What have you taken from their music, style or career and placed in the essence of Mother Feather?

Ann: Thank you SO much for asking me about Salt-n-Pepa. I loved Salt-n-Pepa as a kid, and then right around the time I started Mother Feather I started passionately rediscovering their music because it was perfect for jumping on the trampoline to.

Kendra: Do you have any plans after Warped other than rest?

Ann: Hell yes! It’s a long way to the top…and we’re just getting started. Planning for some west coast shows, working on some moves to get back to the UK, some irons in the fire for a new music video, and definitely more New York City shows are in the works.

Kendra: Just a short while ago I got to see Manhattan for the first time and I’m dying to go back to experience Brooklyn. To get me pumped for that – what five songs would you put on a Brooklyn-based mixtape?

Ann:
Wolvves – “It Speaks (Gemini Mix)
Breastfist – “Think it Up
PWR BTTM – “Ugly Cherries
Fat Joe – “All the Way Up
The Dig – “Hole in My Heart

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