Get To Know The Band: Artemis

Emma Smith & Alice Penney Artemis
© Emma Smith & Alice Penney

Artemis are a four piece alternative rock band from Southampton. Amongst the punk-quartet lies the powerful and seducing lead vocals of Yianna, vibing with the rockin’ riffs from guitarist Frankie. In addition to the catchy and punchy basslines of Hannah which lock in with the chaotic neutral drummer, Fenella.

How would you describe your music for someone who may not have heard you before?

We like to call ourselves alternative rock because all of our songs kinda fall into different categories of rock. We don’t like putting labels on things but if we had to it would be a mashup of punk, post-punk, pop rock and melodic punk? I guess we like our stuff to be open for interpretation. But we have had some critics saying we need to pick a genre but we don’t see why we can’t just make what we want.

What is the creative process of the band? Do you all contribute towards writing songs?

Normally yes, we like to combine elements of what everyone wants a song to sound like but sometimes we’ll work off of one person’s idea they bring in. For example, Hold Me Down started off as a 6-note-noodle from Fenella, Julia was written as a demo from Frankie before Yianna put lyrics to it, or it could be written completely from scratch on the spot in a couple hours, like Reckless was.

Where has been the best place that you have played and what made this experience so special?

For us it would be O2 Academy Islington as it was our best seller for ticket numbers and quite a few promoters found us after that day. That was also the first show we sold merch at and it did really well which we weren’t expecting. The support from our friends, family and fans was unreal. Another one was at Heartbreakers in Southampton for the Hot Vox Isle of Wight competition. The energy was off the charts throughout the whole night, even though we were practically shaking from nerves before we got on stage.

Last year you released a music video, how was this experience?

So, the music video to Hold Me Down was released in December and it was a really fun little project for us! It’s the first music video we’ve done and the outcome was better than we expected. However, we couldn’t have done it without the help of the little team we gathered from people from our university and good pal Will. 

Watch the video on Youtube below:

Does your latest single ‘Reckless (moan for me)’ have a story? What was the inspiration behind it?

Well…Yianna came into one of our practices one day and was like ‘I have these lyrics and I wanna make a proper punk song with them’ so that was kinda it. I mean the song is literally just about sex, and being in control. We still blush when we see our parents in the crowd when we play it.

Which song of yours is your favourite to perform and why?

Definitely Reckless because of the PHAT ending, however Kingdom is one of our heaviest so it’s nice to open a set with that. I also feel like these two songs defined our sound the most accurately. The best songs are the ones where you can just let yourself go and have fun whilst rockin’ out, and especially when the crowd is giving that energy back to you.

Do you have any plans to play anywhere else in the UK outside of London and Southampton?

We had sooo many huge gig plans lined up for this Easter and Summer, especially elsewhere along the south coast like Bournemouth and Portsmouth, but then the corona virus came crashing everyone’s plans. We had one lined up with HotVox who hosted the New Blood competition to play for Isle of Wight but that’s going to be an online session soon. We haven’t got anything planned for outside of the UK though…. yet…

Who are some of your favourite bands and artists in the London and Southampton music scenes?

There are so many that are thriving right now who really deserve it! The Pill are another all girl punk band from the Isle of Wight who are suuuper cool, we really admire FES from Peterborough and their songwriting approaches and techniques, Estrons, Dream Wife, and VUKOVI are some of our favs at the moment. We take a lot of inspirations from other female rockers out there, it’s important to support your own. We all came together from loving bands like Paramore and Wolf Alice and it’s so fulfilling seeing so many great rock bands emerging. 

Amber Tolley Artemis
© Amber Tolley
What advice would you give young women looking to get into music and performing?

Girls. Just do it! start a band! write some songs!! Get your feelings out and don’t let people tell you what you can and can’t do – the world has no obligation to make sense of you, do what you want with it. There is no better feeling that creating your own music, and performing it in front of people. Take any opportunity and create whatever makes you feel good, there is no limit and there are no rules.  

Do you have any releases planned for the near future?

We have 2 more singles to release in 2020 so that’ll be cool and we’re really excited for that. We also have new material to record at the end of the year. We’ve got some amazing ideas for the Reckless (Moan for Me) music video that was about to be shot when COVID-19 came along, but it’s first on our list when we can get out there and do it all again!

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Listen to Artemis on Spotify

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