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Wednesday 09 January 2019

Warrior: Brighton Bound Air Waves Explore Issues Around Being Queer In The Current Political Climate

Brooklyn-based band Air Waves' new album, Warrior, is about being a Warrior in a queer body in this political climate, lead-singer Nicole Schneit's mother being a Warrior fighting chemotherapy, and being a Warrior in relationships. 

The cover for the band's third full-length album, features an ominous, androgynous figure standing with a bicycle, wearing a gas mask adorned with a daisy.  

The image was taken on April 22nd, 1970 at the inaugural Earth Day celebration in New York City by Nicole's dad, Martin Schneit.  

Forty-seven years later, artist Em Rooney hand-painted Schneit's original black & white photo, resulting in an image that radiates with Warrior's indefatigable spirit, strength, and love

Like many queer women, Nicole Schneit is a warrior by necessity, fighting for basic rights, dignity, and acceptance.  

Such determination in the face of hardship and injustice runs in Nicole's family; her new album was inspired in part by her mom who was diagnosed with fallopian cancer last year.  

As she explains: "The doctor told her she had a fifteen to twenty percent chance, and her response was "I'm going to get this mother fucker." 

"So the title 'Warrior' and the song are about her. After chemotherapy,  surgery, and then more chemotherapy, all the cancer in her body has left and she's currently in remission. 


"I feel like most of the people in my life, including myself, are warriors and have overcome obstacles that seemed impossible to defeat."

The dignified fighter archetype referenced in the album's title is explored on each of Warrior's eleven pieces of bittersweet, empowering indie pop.  

According to Nicole the song Gay Bets, written after the 2016 election is "about being gay and being proud and open. 

"I was thinking about hate crimes spiking and the current state of the world. 

"My friend Jennifer Moore, who sings on the track, was my partner a long time ago, so I felt like I was writing a fuck you to Trump, for trying to take away queer rights, women's rights, people's rights."  

The song Tangerine was inspired by the film of the same name in which two trans women try to make ends meet as prostitutes. 

On the album's closer Blue Fire, (inspired by the Adrienne Rich poem The Will to Change) Nicole equates her post-presidential-election anxiety to a flame that grows and recedes, as she pleads for herself and listeners to remain calm.
 
Nicole declares her mission statement: 

"I want these songs to be heard by people in my queer community, but also by anyone that wants to feels strong, powerful, and included."


Air Waves' new album 'Warrior' is released on 6th April. The band preview the album at the Hope and Ruin, Brighton. on 3rd February 2019. CLICK HERE for tickets. 

by: Mike Cobley




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Photo credit: Sante D'Orazio

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