February 22, 2013
Scotland’s singer-songwriter ‘Syren’ hopes this will be her year.
We spoke to Erin, an openly out lesbian singer-songwriter performing under the pseudonym “Syren”. Syren is primarily based in Scotland, but Erin is originally from Texas, USA.
Syren’s award-winning successes include releasing a song in aid of Breast Cancer Care, U.K; and winning the Frankie Miller Songwriter of the Year award at the 2012 Scottish new Music Awards. Erin’s passionate nature hasn’t stopped there, she used the attention received from the awards to travel the country talking to LGBT carer groups, and festivals encouraging them to think about long-term practical benefits of coming out.
What does “Syren” mean?
The name “Syren” came from a few talks when we first formed as a band. We wanted a name like “Muse” but that was already taken and we liked the connection between Syren and Greek Mythology. Syrens reach out and draw people in and we hoped to do the same with our music.
What, personally, does the band mean to you?
I’d like to think the music we write is accessible, everyone goes through rough times and we hope with our music we can let people know they’re not alone. I aim to inspire everyone in the LGBT community, the biggest goal being to empower everyone to work towards their ambitions without letting society’s view of our sexual orientations get in their way.
Has this meaning changed throughout your journey with the band? If so, how?
Well the band formed in 2007 and there were three of us, Amanda, my wife Jo and myself. It was going well and we were getting gigs. Then Jo became ill so eventually we had to stop. After Jo passed, Amanda left the band so it was just me really. I toured with a local band and they offered me a gig. I think after the bands breakup and the death of Jo, it reaffirmed that I wanted to write music and to help people, more so than ever.
What have you, and the band learnt from the recent passing of your wife?
When Jo was ill I thought about what I could do instead of music, but it always fell back to this, music is my life and I know this is what she would’ve wanted.
I’m sure your wife is very proud of all that you are doing, so what projects do you have lined up for 2013?
We have some nice things lined up in 2013, it’s going to be our biggest year yet, we hope. We’ve got a number of shows lined up. We’re playing a lesbian festival in Dunfermline, a gay festival on the Scottish borders, talks with carers groups to help people bring out their sexuality. I hope Syren evolves this year into something new.
With the recent parliamentary bill for same-sex marriage, do you think we’ve come a long way or do we still have further to go?
I think some people aren’t too bothered because we already have civil partnerships, but not calling it ‘marriage’ pushes us away from everyone else. Calling it marriage tells everyone there’s no difference between a heterosexual marriage and a homosexual marriage. I do think that society’s view is slowly changing, but I for one want to help push it along.
Who are your musical idols/influences?
I could talk for hours and hours about my musical influences. I find myself listening to a lot of Queen, Kt Tunstall, and Alanis Morissette.
Who are your LGBT idols/influences?
I admire lady gaga and Jessie j for coming out as bisexual when they’re in the public eye so much, it must have been hard for them as it could easily go one way or another, but they’ve paved the way for people to see that there should be equality.
Finally, in terms of music, what would you say to aspiring musicians who just can’t seem to get their foot in the door?
I think most importantly, you should have a clear and realistic view of what you want, work as hard as you can, and never listen to negativity and eventually what you want will come your way.
We’d like to thank Erin for taking her time to talk to lesbilicious and we wish her every success in the coming years.
Her music can be found here:
The Sanctity of Marriage – 5 second film
Brilliant 5 second masterpiece by 5 Second Films: “They want to take our rights away? Well we want to ‘splode their heads!” Went one of the less-successful pro-gay rights protest chants.
September 21, 2012