Interview with Fe<Male Fou | Reverse Records UK

Reverse Records UK / May 2014

Interview with Fe<Male Fou

fe male fou

BAND NAME: Fe<Male Fou

BAND MEMBERS: Filomena Rubino


GENRE: Noise Lo -Fi /Drone/Experimental



– “Sucker Mule Dreadful Murder”, (Album) Suitcase Records (autumn 2014)
– “Musica Dispersa , An international Compialation of experimenta Music” with “Esplendor Geometrico”, June 2014
_ “Nylon Crimes” with Macelleria Mobile di Mezzanotte – sshe Retina Stimulants, (a tribute to Italian power electronics) Old Europa Cafè,  September 2014


– Skene  EP , Reissue, Makadam Circus 08, September 2013
– Skene EP ,  June 2013, Custom Body records


– Fe Male Fou vs Tea for One, Split , Silent Novels Record 2014,


– Pornosonico,  Dans le Fou Fleshdistro and Discodistro,2013


OTHER PROJECTS: Geometrical Rape


RRUK: Let’s start with your band name, what made you choose it for this project?

FE<MALE FOU: I have chosen the name “Fe<Male Fou”  because  I liked the sound of this words, it gives me an idea of a kind of “dissonance”. This concerns the man  and the woman. The symbol ” < ” represents  the submission of the woman to the evil. This is a kind of word game because “male” in Italian means “evil” and “pain” , while in English it represents the “male” gender. So this should be seen as a double submission: to the evil and to men. The word “Fou” is French, it represents chaos, fusion, sense of possession, boredom, sickness, disease. Until you come to surrender and acceptance of loneliness and then autoerotism.

RRUK: How would you describe your sound and working process?

FE<MALE FOU: My sound is very difficult to define. It could be seen as a sub-genre or as an independent genre.  It  is very hard to define what is the “style” of my tracks, because they are very different from  each other and I do not have nothing to hide when saying that sometimes I invent the name of the styles.(ahahaah , for example “drone audible”) When I need to generalize, I use the word drone, lo-fi because I record everything alone in my room,  with very cheap tools. I have never recorded in a studio  for financial reason. But “roughness” – this is what it means basically low-fi- it is perfect for the kind of sound I want to achieve. I only use PC for recording and mastering. I never modify the original sound. I prefer working on the “causes” rather than on the effects . In my case, the “cause” is guitar, I change the positions of strings , I combine them in a different way, I use different tunes, and all these things mixed together give the dissonances I need. Of course I work even on the “effects”, like pedals  or tools that arouse some funny vibration on the strings.

RRUK: About the instruments and technology you use to produce the sound, do you constantly update them, or are old synths and the like still good for your purposes?

FE<MALE FOU: Guitars always remain the same, rather I add a guitar on but I never change guitars .  On the other side I like to try different pedals, there are a couple of them I love too much. The other pedals I change them every time, I always try to use old effects.

RRUK: Who or what influences you and your sound?

FE<MALE FOU: Definitely  Sonic Youth (especially “SYR” series), Glenn Branca , Rhys Chatham, Ikue Mori, Jim O’Rourke ,Fred Frith, Swans and Factrix.


RRUK: With regards to electronic/experimental artists, which band did you discover first? How did you come across them?

FE<MALE FOU: The artists that completely changed my approach to music were Sonic Youth, john Zorn and Zos’Kia, then I have discovered that my father had some vinyl of Throbbling Gristle and Coil ( he did not know to have them), and from there everything is born.  I started to search information, and searching deeper and deeper I discover, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Coum Transmission, Psychic Tv,  Woman of SS, Nocturnal Emissions, ecc..

RRUK: A lot of “noise” artists tend to release 30+ albums per year. What are your thoughts regarding this rushed approach?

FE<MALE FOU: I think they do not have nothing important to say. They are worried about quantity, or maybe they are “blinded” by a kind of “anxiety production”. Quantity often is the opposite of quality.

RRUK: Do you have a preferred format for your work, e.g. vinyl, cassette, CD, download. And is there a format for which you would never use?

FE<MALE FOU: Definitely vinyl and cassette tape. The noise of stylus or the old tapes give me emissions. And in my own perspective this kind of audio quality reflects my standards. Cd has a too high audio quality but I do not like it aesthetically.  I try to avoid free digital download . I think it is the death of everything. But I understand that it is the fastest and cheapest way for  buying music and for gaining money . But the object must remain the object. Concrete, tangible.

RRUK: What is your opinion in particular of Power Electronics, Noise, and Japanoise, looking at their main artists like Merzbow, Masonna?

FE<MALE FOU: According to me power electronics is a mental state. There are days in which I would listen to Whitehouse , Sutcliffe Jugend, Genocide Organ etc ..until my ears will be bleeding, because I love their frequencies and their disturbed voices and sounds. But there are other days in which I feel disgust when listening to that music. Merzow, Masonna or Hanatarash represents, for me, something like “destructive work in progress “.  The frequencies  of their music annihilate every perception I have with the outer world. I hear them with prudence.


RRUK: I would like to ask you if you are interested in which kind of people listen to your sound, I mean, how do you imagine him/her to be?

FE<MALE FOU: This is a great question. I never ask me this question before. I know for sure that most of my listeners are male. Insane, mentally unbalanced, boozer. Well sometimes they are quit people, “normal” people or artists of the same kind. They are people that loves my attitude and my way of playing music. They feed me. This makes me happy.

RRUK: “Male. Insane, mentally unbalanced, boozer” (So far, that’s the best response to that question!) Women seem to be a main focus in the noise/PE scene. Humiliation, bondage – in the form of album covers, themes, and track titles. Are you interested in deviated or perverted sexual behaviors? If so, what attracts you so much in sexual violence and language?

FE<MALE FOU: Humiliation, Bondage, fetishism and all these things dominate the “noise” scene, because it makes part of the visual and of the concept of noise “landscape”, as well as annoyance, real or unreal. Woman submission, strong images of violence  – an end to itself or carnal violence- makes part of the most hidden human desires. They are often perversions, hidden craving or a simple desire of provocation. Eroticism, masochism,  sadomasochism and pornographies move a kind of mechanism in the mind that is erogenous , so depraved so perfect. Most of these things fascinated me because the pleasure and pain run on the same rail. They depend each other, they are like two parallel lines. Sexual deviation is also a trial on the body, for the body. Flesh is a kind of refuge from ourselves, where we flow our fears  and obsessions too and where we lose  control.


RRUK: Are you interested in serial killers? Do you think they are a typical product of 20th century society, and what is your opinion about in particular American “serial killer culture” ?

FE<MALE FOU: Yes, if they would be alive and if they were still working and free , they would have had my very interest. Every extreme thing has a disarming appeal. Even a serial killer as well.

RRUK: If you could perform live anywhere in the world… where would it be?

FE<MALE FOU: U.S.A: Desert, Space, Hell. Randomly.

RRUK: With regards to other sound projects the sound projects, is there any country in particular that inspire you more than others?

FE<MALE FOU: Europe and USA. I would prefer don’t tell the names.

RRUK: Do you listen to different types of music? A secret Elvis collection perhaps?!

FE<MALE FOU: Elvis? No, worse. I have a cassette tape  of Blink 82 and some old Italian pop/rock stuff .

RRUK: What first, chicken or the egg?


RRUK: Now that’s the truth. Thanks for your time here, Filomena. All the best with your upcoming releases!


FE<MALE FOU – “She Stole” 

FE<MALE FOU – “Wheeze” 




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