Faye Webster is a multi-talented creative based out of Atlanta, Georgia, who recently came out with her fourth full-length album, I Know I’m Funny haha. The album mixes soft R&B with country-folk twang, and her lyrics portray a close vulnerability.
Seattle's Riot Grrrl Records—run by us and Tali Ashkenazy—had the pleasure of chatting with Webster about her latest release for the sixth issue of our zine "Ra-Ra Rebel." Our theme for that issue was "CowGrrrl," about the intersection of riot grrrl, country-folk, punk, and a little bit of free-jazz. Webster's creative vision fits right inside that mix.
We pruned this interview for clarity. Listen to the whole thing above.
Riot Grrrl Records: Introduce yourself!
Faye Webster: My name is Faye Webster, I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, I make music. I go by she/her pronouns, and I literally hid my sign for so long because that was so many people's top question. They would be like “I listen to your music and I have to know!” I just hid it for so long because I felt like it added to the suspense, but my record came out on my birthday, and that was promoted a lot, so it's no secret anymore... I’m a cancer.
We love cancers in this house. No zodiac beef here! When did you start writing music and playing guitar? Any inspirations you want to share with us?
My brother was a really big inspiration. He played guitar and was in a high school band, and I think growing up and hearing him through the walls of our house, I was jealous, maybe? I was like, 'I wanna do that.' I don't remember when I first started playing, but I do remember playing at my 5th grade graduation so I was playing by then. I covered that song that Miley Cyrus’s dad wrote for her. It went like “please don't goooo"—What was it? "Ready Set, Don’t Go."
Beautiful! Does being a musician and public figure ever get overwhelming.
How do you deal with the pressure?
That is my biggest flaw, I hate it! I don't actually hate it but I hate not feeling like another normal human being. I feel like part of my songwriting task is to be as relatable as possible. I don't like when people think of me as an idol. I’m just like “I’m doing what you're doing and you can do it too." It is very overwhelming, I wish I could just make music and just keep living and making money I guess.
I don't wanna say that I don't like it at all, but I don't think I've ever really been a fan of attention. Maybe that's my problem. It is very hard to cope with because I just want to be seen as a very regular dude. But I think that therapy helps and really just talking to people in general. Like you said, having an emotional support team is the most important thing for me. But at the end of the day, what I want to get out of writing music is for someone to feel me. So as long as I’m doing that for other people, it's a win for me, which is nice.
What type of roadblocks have you encountered in your creative process? Do you have any tricks to get yourself out of that?
During the pandemic, I was struggling, creatively. So many people had high expectations from creatives during this time and it's funny because they mostly came from non-creatives. They were like...
"Oh, you paint, you're gonna have so many paintings."
"Oh you’re a musician, you're gonna have two records out."
That pressure made creating not fun and actually really stressful. What I do when I hit walls like that is, I do something else. I am not even listening to music, I am not picking up my guitar, I am not even trying to think about writing. I’ll go play video games for five days straight and not leave my bed. I realize that I miss being creative after that. Taking a break makes me want to go back at it and try it again. This could be bad advice but it works for me.
There is a lot of sexism in the music industry and we want to know what's the stupidest thing a man has ever said to you?
Wow, this is hard to pinpoint.
I like video games and I'm good at them but with yo-yoing I'm still trying to figure it out. It is hard as fuck, I’ve done it for two years, and I’m still practicing. I can name like five other female players who compete, there are no female players in yo-yo. They also have their own division which is weird, like, ok, why? But when I first started, there were so many men who just said “stop, you suck” and I'm like damn! I'm just trying!
Every time I find something that really makes me happy, which is very important for my mental health, it can be something so small but as long as it just helps a little bit, I want to just keep doing it. I know I'm not a good player, I'm not competing. I’m not at these competitions bro, I'm just trying to do shit that makes me happy. I guess it’s just like an alpha dominance thing that is commonly found in a lot of men.
A question about touring: What is something you didn’t realize you would miss about touring when the pandemic hit. What's something you felt you could live without?
I miss seeing people. Having faces right in front of you is extremely underrated. I really miss feeling supported physically. Every time I get on stage, I can see why I do this. Over the past year, I've worked the same amount, and, sure, you are seeing these numbers go up but it is not the same satisfaction. These people have paid money and they want to see me; online, it's not the same. On tour, when you play at a show, everyone wants to be there, I want to be there. I have traveled and cried in the tour van for so many hours to be here. I hate traveling, I hate being in a van and away from things I love. It's so hard on me but the one-hour period I am on stage makes up for the past 17 shitty hours.
Any friends you wanna shout out?
Oh, always. Shout out to Boothlord for being the best partner in the world. Shout out to my friend New Bananaz, can’t wait to text you when this interview is done. Love you always. Shout out to Monique, the greatest entrepreneur in Atlanta. One more shout out, someone who will never hear this, Hailey for buying all my merch.
You can stream and support Faye Webster’s latest album, I Know I’m Funny haha, on Bandcamp and all streaming platforms. The "Ra Ra Rebel" zine is available via our Instagram @RiotGrrrlRecords or Etsy shop.