Graffiti Vibe Introduces 'Feline & Strange'
„Like nothing you’ve heard before... the band have created their own patch of real estate within the musical world. How many artists can claim this?“ (Hear me Raw, UK)
Extremely ill-tempered opera singer, pianist and producer Feline Lang, metal cellist Christoph “Chief” Klemke, and punk drummer Rah Hell are back on the road in Europe and the US with their mesmerising Wave Cabaret Show, presenting the upcoming album: TRIGGER WARNING . A scaringly forceful shift between piano-driven Cabaret Punk and harsh electronic Wave. A message from another realm right behind you.
„Feline & Strange wowed most of the crowd from their very first note... along the rim of pure experimental as Lang pours passionate plea into dark lyrical lines... stands miles apart… supernatural cello work... some of the most interesting music I’ve heard in the States in quite a while“ (The Aquarian, US)
Bio - Feline & Strange
When opera singer and directress Feline Lang decided to write her own songs back in 2010 she gathered creative musicians from different musical backgrounds - from punk to jazz - around her and The Chief (Christoph Klemke), and the first incarnation of Feline & Strange was born. With piano, cello, brass, bass, percussion, and her own powerful voice, she orchestrated the songs of the band’s first records, BEHAVIOUR and SCIENCE FICTION, which filled the national media with enthusiasm. Feline’s ironic but also deeply desperate style defined the band’s spirit from here on.
2013: SCIENCE FICTION
The 2nd album SCIENCE FICTION opened the doors to the international steampunk scene. To this day Feline & Strange are regularly called upon stages in the steampunk goth and alternative scene throughout Europe, the UK and the USA, offering the opportunity to play with the extensive backstory established on the records and artwork, and create theatrical shows around the deep and epic songs. (Never mind that the concept album actually tells the story of a mentally ill person building a bomb in their basement in the belief that they had the extraterrestrial mission to destroy the planet.)
In 2014, the band was discovered by US producer Jason Rubal ( Garbage, Birdeatsbaby, Bitter Ruin, Amanda Palmer, Robert Smith ...) who invited Feline & Strange to record their third album in his studio ‘Seventh Wave’ in Pennsylvania. Together with Dresden Dolls drummer Brian Viglione they produced LIES, which also marked the beginning of a new musical era of Feline & Strange, from now a duo consisting of just Captain Feline and The Chief: piano, cello, percussion and synth. Their shows became even more theatrical and evolved into a full-on music-theatre-show: more sinister, more misanthropical. The two aliens reveal their true faces and showed no mercy exposing the weaknesses and mistakes of humanity.
„There are concept records and there are concept bands. …Feline & Strange definitely fall in the latter category as every tiny detail of their mythos is carefully curated.“ ( Speak into my good eye, USA)
LIES catapulted Feline & Strange into the centre of international and national media and alleviated them onto international stages, especially in the UK. After such long period of intense work and touring together, Feline and the Chief were ready to record their fifth studio album, TRUTHS, just one year later in 2015 - working again with Jason Rubal as producer and Brian Viglione on drums in the US. The recording session was followed up by a US tour funded by Initiative Musik des Deutschen Bundestages, a vast number of shows in the UK and Europe, and opening for international acts like Aurelio Voltaire.
After Feline was honoured with an artist residency in La Friche Marseille by Berlin Music Board in 2015 where she composed and arranged new songs, the band’s fifth album OUT was ready to be recorded in 2016. This album marked a new, darker, era. In contrast to the previous records OUT did not beat around the bush. Uncomfortable themes like fear, rage, despair, hate, and death were directly addressed.
Feline sings about gentrification in the song ‘Little Boxes’, about feminism in ‘Lilith’, death in ‘And if the World’, and depression in ‘How Much’. The song ‘City By The Sea’ addresses the refugee crisis that started during her residency in 2015. ‘Modern Conversation’ deals with the misuse of and on social media.
These songs make OUT a concept album that - playfully - forces the listener into putting themselves into refugees’ place, by giving them the feeling of being stripped from their permit to stay on this planet. Angry, unstoppable, dramatic and punk is the new path Feline, The Chief, and Brian Viglione choose to get the message across.
„Berlin has a fascinating underground and Feline Lang is one of its most inventive musicians. Out is an art project in and of itself“ (Berlin loves you, D)
This album might not be steampunk any longer - but the scene doesn’t want to miss Feline & Strange, and so the band is still to be seen on steampunk events all around regularly. Their new tactic instead of corsets, hoop skirts, goggles and tales about alien life: Feline shouts at the audience until everybody wakes up.
„The album just gets better every time I listen to it. Over all the songs seem united by a sense of impermanence – of or relationships, our homes, our life on earth, and how our responses seem inadequate. Yet there is still hope amongst it all.“ (comment of a fan on Patreon)
Since the release of OUT Feline & Strange have been playing Goth festivals like the famous Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig and in Punk clubs such as Berlin’s Supamolly. But they still give concerts in theatres and at independent art events, release videos about loss of control, madness, imprisonment, and terror. Feline & Strange make no secret of their opinions: with the new hashtag # howcanartnotbepolitical the band supports environmental protests, feminist festivals, and queer events.
More travel, more new friends - besides touring and recording new works for their Patreons, Feline starts collaborations with several international artists, among them Valentine Wolfe (US, resulting in a song on the upcoming album) and British Prog Rock/Cabaret Punk act birdeatsbaby . Having heard of each other from their mutual producer Jason Rubal, lead singer Mishkin Fitzgerald and Feline become immediately best friends when they meet at a festival in Edinburgh, and decide to work with each other. Only six months later their first duet and video, both written and arranged by Feline, is released: Cassandra’s Twin (2018). Two more songs follow on Patreon, an EP is planned for 2020. They tour with each other frequently; Feline did lead vocals on the recent birdeatsbaby record ( The World Conspires , 2019); and Mishkin plays on TRIGGER WARNING.
2019: TRIGGER WARNING
One thing was still missing to get these dark and serious messages across: live drums.
Working with Brian Viglione was incredibly creative and innovative, but with Feline & Strange being based in Berlin and him being based in the USA it is impossible for him to be a regular member of the band. In November 2018, only three days into the search for a Berlin based drummer, Feline & Strange meet drummess Rah Hell. And after just playing a couple of songs together it quickly became obvious: this is a match made in hell and meant to be.
The new lineup works so well that the three band members decide to start working on yet another new album after just two months of playing together.
In a phase of creative ecstasy they not only rearrange six songs already released as solo works through Patreon (the band’s main source of income), but Feline writes seven new songs in the course of the next six months (well, actually twelve songs but not all of them made the final cut!).
After an intensive summer of touring all over Germany and the UK Feline & Strange make their way to Seventh Wave studio in Pennsylvania once again in September 2019. With Taylor KouqJ Bull - Seventh Wave’s new head and former assistant of Jason Rubal - as their producer and bassist for some songs the band records TRIGGER WARNING.
“We have created a monster“
TRIGGER WARNING is Feline & Strange’s most political album so far. It is heart-wrenching. Furious, tragic, sometimes sarcastically silly. It is feminist. No. Humanist. It is depressing, and disturbing. Just as the world is these days.
“You are not alone with all these emotions. We are here, and we hear you. We see you and we lend you our voices.”
The album is called Trigger Warning for a reason. The songs show no mercy to any human abyss. Feline is addressing war, despair, abuse, rape, hate, discrimination, depression, madness, and suicide, as directly as ever. The work is also deeply connected to Taylor´s coming out as a trans woman. After a nearly lethal fight against society, expectations, and work related prejudice, she opened up to Feline as literally the first person on the world besides her partner, less than two months before preproduction in Berlin was scheduled. She kept saying: “I must remember this album is not about me.” And Feline kept responding: “It is. It´s about everyone.”
TRIGGER WARNING was funded entirely by crowdfunding and the work will be accessible as download in its entirety to all supporters of the album on indiegogo.com/projects/feline-strange-trigger-warning and startnext.de and of course to all patrons of the band on patreon.com/feline , as well as on felineandstrange.bandcamp.com . On Spotify and all other common streaming platforms a condensed version of the new album will be available - trimmed-down to the songs, without the audio theatre part of TRIGGER WARNING.
Wait. What? Audio Theatre?
“The album will be closer to our live shows than any of the records before. When listening there will be theatre happening between your headphones. With interludes, micro audio dramas, leitmotifs, dialogues, and soundscapes, that prepare you for every single track.”
With this record Feline & Strange prove that the future of the music industry lies within the art itself. Through the help of the internet no one has to depend on major labels any more - neither artists nor fans. Content that really matters can be brought to those who really want it in a more direct way.
Especially Patreon’s pay-per-work concept and its possibility of intense communication between artist and fans sets the course for honest and unintermediate work.
TRIGGER WARNING’s songs are pure in-your-face reactions to world news or to first hand accounts of experiences of Feline’s immediate social environment. The rough drafts of the songs were published on Patreon right after being written. This way art can be what i wants to and has to be: a mirror of our society.