Life’s a Bitch and Then You Fly!: “I have to ask, right off the bat,” this writer says to L.A. via New York artist Bitch. “What should I call you in conversation?”

It’s the only way to go. For a man, to go stomping into an interview throwing that word around would seem insensitive, offensive and essentially assholish, regardless of what the musician calls herself. A little courtesy is the least we can offer. So we ask, and she answers, “Pleeaase, call me Bitch.” It’s her call. 

Previously part of a duo called Bitch & Animal, she says that the names stem from a feminist take-back of words used to drag women down.

“‘Bitch’ is definitely that,” she says. “‘Animal’ is more embodying this wildness that we wanted to encourage women to have – a freedom of expression, etc. Then it just stuck. I went solo and stayed Bitch.”

Incidentally, we ask Bitch if she’s aware that there’s a metal band from the ‘80s with the same name. She very much is.

“Since I went solo, it’s definitely been something that we’re constantly dealing with,” she says. “People will look up my music and think, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize you had a heavy metal background.’ So yes, it’s been an issue between us. We’ve tried to sort it out. I think they changed my Wikipedia to be like, I’m Bitch the performer, they’re Bitch the band. The internet made everything messy.”

The artist says that she comes from a musical family, with a mother who was a musical theater tap dancer. Born Karen Mould, she remembers a lot of singing while growing up.

“I studied classical violin my whole life,” she says. “I went to college and met Animal, and we kind of formed our band, Bitch & Animal, more thinking that we were making theater even though we were playing instruments. It was just so second nature to me to just play violin no matter what I was doing. So we moved to New York and launched this project which we thought was theater. We moved up to Provincetown for a summer and started playing a free weekly show there. Ani DiFranco, her people saw us play and she invited us to tour. That summer, we quit our dumb waitressing jobs and we hit the road, and never looked back.”

Bitch lived in New York for many years but is now based in L.A., specifically Highland Park.

“I think after 15 years in New York, I was ready for some good weather,” she says. “I feel so inspired in L.A. I spent a lot of time there through the years, visiting friends, etc. To me, it’s like old New York. The creative energy. I feel like there are a lot of people who are willing to try things. There’s an open-hearted, collaborative energy there that I was very drawn to. I had been appropriately jaded by New York. I need to see some birds, I need a washing machine. Make life a little easier.”

That said, there’s plenty that she does miss about NYC.

“The way you can walk outside and it’s like an escapist’s city,” she says. “You can walk outside and see 800 stories passing you by. It’s a great place where you can be very distracted and inspired by seeing other people’s lives in front of you. L.A. can be a little isolating. You don’t have the random people in the street.”

Bitch describes her sound as “poet-pop.”

“I’m a lyricist first, and this is my first pop album,” she says. “It’s very heavy on synthesizers, and I wanted to center my violin since that is my earliest, original voice. So it’s very synthesizer-heavy, violin-centric, poetry-pop music.”

Her new album Bitchcraft, due out in February, has an environmental theme running through it.

“There is the devastation of climate change around us,” she says. “There’s some heartbreak on there. I’ve always seen myself as someone who is trying to imagine a new world through writing and art, so there’s definitely some of that too.”

Similarly, Bitch says that can’t fail to have been influenced and impacted by world events, from Trump to #metoo, Pride to COVID.

“The song ‘Easy Target’ I wrote during the Kavanaugh hearings,” she says. “That was such a crazy time to witness. We’re still dealing with the effects of Trump and his influence on the Supreme Court. It’s hard for me as an artist to not be affected by the world.”

She worked with the likes of Anne Preven (Beyoncé, Madonna, Demi Lovato) and rapper God-des on the new album, and the first single taken from it was “Hello Meadow.” That’s been followed up by the aforementioned “Easy Target.”

“The record label wanted to lead with ‘Hello Meadow’ because it’s so different to anything else on the record,” Bitch says. “It’s an environmental club banger. I describe it as a song about the battle between capitalism and Mother Nature. But with this huge club beat. So they wanted to lead with that, and then ‘Easy Target’ for me is such a deep song. It just seemed like the time to release that. It’s always the time when you’re talking about that, but it weirdly lined up with all the abortion stuff with the Supreme Court. It’s just interesting that I had written it about all that. ‘Easy Target’ is a very special song to me and I feel like it’s one of the more powerful ballads on the record.”

2022 promises to be an exciting year for Bitch as she prepares to release her album, and perform three shows at the Hotel Cafe.

“I’ve been working, as a theater person, with a director actually,” she says. “It’s going to be a very theatrical experience. It’s not your average ‘OK I’m playing songs and here’s a little story about this song.’ I’ve got a whole theme, and some theatrics. Some props. There’s a magical broom involved, of course. So you can expect something that’s half theater, half pop.”

There’s going to be a new single and video, “You’re the Man,” in January, and then Bitch will be shooting a video for “Pages” at the Hotel Cafe. If COVID allows, she’ll be doing a tour and returning to New York for a residency in April.

There’s no stopping her now.

Life’s a Bitch and Then You Fly!: The “Easy Target” single is out now. The Bitchcraft album is out in February.

Life’s a Bitch and Then You Fly!

LA Weekly