Jean Farraige from Bornwithhair: An Interview

Jean Farraige wrote the story around which Bornwithhair’s new album is based.

Today we’ve got a quick chat with Jean Farraige, one half of Bornwithhair. In addition to a bit of background on the story underlying the new album, she talks a bit about belief, fantasy, reality, and the dangers we are all facing.

Weirding: The theme of the new album started with an idea you had.

JF: I was toying with the idea of how someone grows to believe something contrary to reality so fervently that they would be willing to die for it.

Weirding: Yes, and if I recall, the outline of this story was about a magic box. It was sort of a fantasy about this magic box. The box was like a childhood friend that eventually goes missing. But then the box — when it reappears much later in life — seems to overwhelm and come to control whoever held it.

JF: When you are a child, it is easy to tap into the wonder of a fantasy and get lost in it. But as you get older, the world sort of takes over and you can't get consumed by your imagination in the same way.

Weirding: But then you come across that magic box again.

JF: Sure, sometimes something comes along that allows you to tap into that magic again.

Weirding: But the reality is that it’s not the same as when you were a child.

JF: Well, it may be exciting or just feel better than the world around you.

Weirding: And then you are in this situation where you have a choice between reality or fantasy.

JF: At a certain point do some people just give into the fantasy?

Weirding: And what does it mean to cross over that line?

JF: Sure, what happens if it comes to the point where the world around you stops conforming to your fantasy? How would you make sense of anything anymore?   

Weirding: It becomes dangerous. And I think that palpable sense of danger is something that runs through the album. So, in terms of reality, what do you think is the biggest danger facing all of us right now? Is there something that we should all be scared of?

JF: The biggest danger facing humans is climate change. We can't stop it but we have to make sacrifices to minimize the impacts.

Weirding: What does that mean at a personal level? How do we handle that on a personal level?

JF: I'm not saying I'm handling it right. There are a lot of changes I need to make. 

Weirding: Fair enough.

JF: Each of us need to actively make decisions that reduce our impact on the environment. 

Weirding: I just read that the bad stuff is actually happening considerably sooner than the predictions had forecast. It’s not like we’re at the starting line waiting for the race to start. Well, we might be at the starting line — in terms of our response — but the starting gun went off some time ago.

JF: It's a tough thing. The rules keep changing. But given the magnitude of what's happening we have to accept that we must continue adapting.

Weirding: And do you think the pandemic will have had an effect on that? Like what are the two or three things you'd like to see as an outcome on the other side of the pandemic?

JF: I'd really like to see human activity become more intensely local. 

Weirding: The benefit being...

JF: So that we can have stronger communities and reduce dependency on fossil fuel. I'm not optimistic though.

Weirding: So a lot of this straddles the space between the personal and the political. As a musician, what are your thoughts on music — which is so often rooted in the personal — and politics? Should music be political?

JF: Music should reflect the human experience. So sometimes music will be political.


Bornwithhair is an Arthouse Metal band hailing from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Their new album — When the Witches Fall — comes out on Trepanation Recordings on 08 October 2021.


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Twitter: @bornwithhair

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