From my zine, CUNT COPY PASTE-stay tuned for more.
Who are some of your influences/albums?
If I had to pick some kind of trifecta it would be: The Slits-Cut, X-Wild gift, Smashing pumpkins-Siamese dream
Who are some of your muses and what inspiration was there behind you wanting to pick up a guitar and start playing?
What I really appreciate in a guitarist is quality songwriting and that’s why as a young girl Billy Corgen really resonated with me because he could play guitar really well but could also write a fucking good rock song. When I was a kid Smashing pumpkins were my favorite band in the world. As I grew older and got more into punk and riot grrl, that stuff hit me really hard too.
What resonated with you in the riot grrl scene?
Bikini Kill changed my life. Sleater-kinney was my favorite band for years and years. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Sleater-kinney, which is weird because I feel like I haven’t listened to them much in my older age. I remember the first time I heard the Gossip before they turned to a disco band and were still a blues band, I had never heard anything like that. I remember downloading “Sweet Baby”, it was on the Kill Rock Stars website and I feel bad about this but I stole money and drove myself to the record store and bought all of the gossip records. I do feel bad about it because I really love my pops but I needed to have those albums. The gossip was a huge part of my young life as a young queer in suburban New Jersey.
Do you experience being pigeon-holed into a queer female rock player?
I think most people who write about music and I hate to say this, but a lot of it has to do with lazy journalism. Where it’s like we don’t understand how to write about music so we’re just gunna write about what we see and what we see is a small woman playing the guitar, and she just happens to be gay. Music journalists kind of seem hesitant to write about music anymore in depth than the superficial judgments they can pass on a band, and that’s boring. That’s boring for the person reading it, for the band, and I’m sure that’s boring for the journalist. Um, it’s fine with me…whatever floats their boat is cool. I don’t really care what people think about me. I don’t really care what people think about our band. I know there are people out there who like the music we make and that’s all that matters to me.
Do you consider yourself a feminist or do your band members consider themselves feminist?
I think until marginalized niches of people are properly represented in the mainstream culture then there have to be radical people to represent those marginalized people. Women are marginalized, are not equal in the workplace, or in social spaces and we need to have allies and other people who identify as women who are proud to be female. I identify as a woman. I’m super proud of it, but it’s a hard question to answer because certainly I identify as a feminist. It’s weird because I’m queer too and sometimes those two things conflict in a weird way. Sometimes I feel like I’m not quite falling in line with other woman who identify strongly with what is socially acceptable as being feminine. I don’t wear makeup and high heels and I know that stuff doesn’t define you as a woman but that’s what mainstream culture accepts as being feminine. If you had asked me when I was a 9 year old if I wanted to be born a woman or dress like a woman, my answer would be no. I enjoy doing stuff that little boys get to do like comic books and dinosaurs but as I grew older, and I think riot grrl and punk is a really big part of this, I was like, “being a woman is so powerful and amazing and I’m so grateful to be a part of this community and be able to be strong and inspirational for other people who are a part of my community.” So yeah, I’m almost 110% sure the boys in the band identify as feminists because they stick by me thick and thin.
You’ve put out 7 albums now and you still play small DIY venues. Do you like playing DIY shows or would you prefer to be playing bigger venues?
What I really love about punk rock and about music is galvanizing the community into feeling like we are more than a subsidy group of freaks. People who want to make the world a better place to live in are really powerful and they can come together and make the world better. Even though this was just a punk rock show tonight, where people are hanging out and drinking beer and listening to music. These are still a bunch of like-minded, radical people who are queer allies and feminists who are getting together, listening to rock n roll, hanging out, getting along, and everything’s cool. No one is going to punch each other in the face and nobody’s going to slip somebody a roofinol. A lot of major metropolitan areas are really afraid of having arts and cultural spaces and that’s fucking stupid. There’s one thing that unites people across the board whether you’re from Australia or Croatia and that’s art and music. So that’s why I value DIY venues.
To celebrate 10 years of Screaming Females we excited to bring you an 8 cassette box set that includes all of our albums and every B-Side we have ever released! There are only 219 individually numbered copies. The collection comes in a custom made clamshell case (like your old Disney VHSs) and has a 8 page 12x8.5 booklet.
The box set is $65 (shipping included) and, if you’d like, you can order an exclusive t-shirt of the cover art for $80. This is for USA only!!! (but I’m holding 10 copies for international people who can’t live without it. Email us about it if you are outside USA).