- CLAIRE butterfield-
1. Did you grow up on the island? (If no, when did you make the island your home?
I did! I was born in Toronto, but I moved out here at 18 months when my dad got a job in the music department at UVic. I moved to Vancouver for my first year of university, but returned to the island to complete my degree. I travel as much as I can, but there is nothing like stepping off a plane and smelling the island air... Victoria is very much my home.
2. What influenced you to start writing and creating music?
Music has been an undeniable extension of my being since I was a toddler. I remember creating melodies on the piano at the age of four, becoming obsessed with various female artists throughout my early teens, and writing songs from 13 onwards. Growing up in a family of professional musicians (mostly of the classical kind), and having a contemporary composer as a father, I was supported and encouraged to create which I am very grateful for.
3. What is your favorite part about performing?
Performing is an emotional outlet for me. I often get lost when I'm on stage, sometimes to a point of what I would describe as meditation. I love being able to share that energy with people. I believe that every performance is a little journey, and it is my goal to bring every audience member along with me.
4. What goals do you have for the immediate and distant future?
My biggest immediate goal for the band is to finish and release Fox Glove's first full length album in 2018. I am really excited about this album as we have been talking about it for years, and the songs are so close to our hearts. Distant (but also immediate) goals include striking a deal with a label, and spending more time on the road.... as well as playing the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver and one day Massey Hall in Toronto. A girl can dream!
5. Have you ever found being a female artist can be challenging? Have there been times that you weren't taken seriously because of your gender?
Absolutely. 'Mansplaining' is ever-present, however I consider myself lucky to be part of a music industry such as Victoria's, where overt sexism appears to be less present than in other urban centres. But even still... we are constantly referred to as "the ladies of Fox Glove", or an "all girl band". We are just humans, doing our thing... why must our gender be a descriptor?
6. Do you remember the first gig/show you've played? Where/when?
Our first gig was at the Well on Fort St (which no longer exists). It was a fundraising event for a UVic student project, and there was one microphone, which we chose to amplify the guitar with. It was pretty hilarious!!
7. What advice would you give to young girls wanting to start out a music career?
Don't listen to ANYONE who doesn't support you, or tells you 'No'. Just keep working. Female creative energy is a deeply powerful thing, and the world is constantly in need of it. Embrace yourself, and learn to love your creativity. This won't always be easy, but ultimately, that love will be your fuel. Make a point of learning about the business as well. Ask questions. Attend conferences. NETWORK. Talent is valuable, but knowledge of the industry will act like the Star power-up in Mario Kart, propelling you forward in a quicker manner!
8. As a photographer involved in the music scene, I love the idea of shining light on the other female artists in the Victoria music scene. What are your thoughts about the idea of this project?
There are so many incredible female musicians in this town and I think it is so cool that you are doing this! I am constantly in awe of the badass women around me in the music scene, so I feel honoured to be included in this list.