Planningtorock is Janine Rostron, a Bolton-native who now lives in Berlin. Making experimental electronic music, she uses distorted vocals to create an androgynous sound. Sophie Wilkinson caught up with her to discuss music, the queer scene, what feminism looks like these days and why she probably won’t be playing Daft Punk’s Get Lucky in her set.
What do you like about the Twat parties?
When I DJed at Twat last year, it was mind-blowing and raucous. I just love the vibe, the crowd were amazing. That night Trust played and during his set a girl mounted the stage, stole the mic and started to rant. I don’t know what she was saying but it was exciting and fun.
After the critically acclaimed album ‘W’, where would you say your new material is going at the moment, what can we expect?
With two singles that have been very obviously direct and political, I thought, “Does this mean that the whole album has to be this way?” And of course no, not at all. It’ll be more political but also extremely playful. It’s going to be really direct but happier. Not that W was negative, but it was quite heavy. On a musical level, it’s definitely going to be more dancey. I want to dance on stage when I tour the next album.
How has DJing shaped the music you’re making? Is that why it’s dancier?
DJing was a product of Planningtorock and I love it. It definitely has an affect and it’s a healthy thing to do. When you’re DJing, you have the immediate reaction to the music right there in front of you. It’s a great thing to share.
What do you think of Daft Punk’s new single, as they’ve seemed to create an ode to disco with this album, but from the sleevenotes, they’ve not collaborated with a woman?
I’m astounded that everyone’s saying that Daft Punk are going in a new musical direction. For me it’s something very familiar and it just doesn’t connect with me at all. I read somewhere that someone was saying “This is a new musical direction” and I was quite flabbergasted. I had a chuckle to myself then I didn’t think more about it.
You’ve got a massive queer fanbase, what does that mean to you and your music?
It’s massive to me because of lot of the issues that I’m dealing with and the community has to deal with. We need our supportive comfort zone because you’re completely under attack for even mentioning some of these topics.
Do you think the queer scene is changing and getting more of a voice?
When I started out in 2006, feminism was the bad word and there was an animosity when you talked about some of these things. I found it scary when I just started to perform. That doesn’t happen so much now. I’m very good friends with Peaches and it was so important for me to be around female performers who were strong and had the guts to be unpopular.
Do you think feminism’s going somewhere good and it’s in an alright state? It seems as if anyone who tries to make moves somewhere with it gets taken down for not doing it right.
Feminism is and should be an ongoing transforming entity, and it’s depressing and almost frightening how capitalism and politics have changed it and uses it. I think a lot of inter-gender politics have evolved and they’ve changed and it’s our responsibility to inform ourselves. I find it exciting that people seem to be talking about it a lot more in the past five years.
It’ll be interesting to see what change is brought about through this feminism.
The gender politics in Germany are different to England. They’re not amazing but they are definitely better, because 1970s feminism had an effect on German culture, and laws. And the impact wasn’t as strong in England. It’s a goal that feminism manages to change laws and improve things on a day-to-day basis. That’s what I try to do with Patriarchy Over And Out. I just sat there and thought “Patriarchy is such a stupid, dumbass concept, I can’t believe that it still exists. It was never a good idea so let’s get rid of it. It should just go away because it makes the world suck.” And it’s the same for misogyny. It should be in everybody’s will to get rid of it. But how to actually make that translate in real terms is a goal, I guess.
Living It Out from planningtorock on Vimeo.
Join Planningtorock tonight, Thursday 2nd May at Dalston Superstore for Twat Boutique
from 9pm – 4:30am.