“You Don’t Look How I Want You To”

It takes a special kind of person who decides to start up and operate a live music venue.

I happened to meet one of these very special individuals after a show on the Dead Sight Tour with Villainy a couple weeks back.

Let’s call him Colin.

Colin gives off the vibe that he’s one of those venue owners who’s just kind of over it. Perhaps he still loves live music but he acts like he fucking hates it and fair enough I guess, after 2745 weeks of owning a venue.

After the show had finished and members of all bands and crew were in the green room celebrating with a rainbow of drinks and banter, he decided to drudgingly approach me for a chat while I was mid-pack-up-my-shit-mode (a mode I take very seriously and do not like to be interrupted).

I could see him out the corner of my eye; a waft of old ciggies and booze was preceding his arrival.

In no way was this approach bright-eyed or enthusiastic. More so it was clear he had something he felt he really, seriously, needed to tell me to help me advance my career.

Cue Colin.

“Yeah, I thought you guys were alright. Some parts I liked, some I didn’t. The thing that I really didn’t like though was the image. To me it doesn’t match up with the music”

“The image of the whole band?”

“No. Just you.”

“Right.”

“It’s a bit too much like that Devilskin bird for me”

He says as if that’s a bad thing.. Anyone who’s ever seen Jennie up on that stage knows she somehow manages to fucking kill it while donning heels, stockings and corsets. She looks hot as fuck.

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The resemblance is uncanny.

He’s also seemed to have forgotten that little stage prop I have called a guitar.

I realise that he’s just meaning my ripped stockings. That’s the only common factor between Jennie and I that I can think of. Here I am in a baggy man’s t-shirt as a dress (thanks boyfriend), ripped stockings, and Doc Martens.

I look him up and down and wonder if it’s been two weeks or three since he last washed his 20+ year old, faded and stained, stretched and contorted, button-up polo shirt.

“So are you going to go give your fashion advice to the dudes in this room as well?”

“No, they don’t need it”

Ah… ha.

“Well cheers dude, I really appreciate the honesty.”

Sometimes I really regret being nice and not just saying what I actually think. Which would have been along the lines of “and who made you the next Karl Lagerfeld of New Zealand?”

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The offending outfit.

You run in to a lot of men like this being a vagina-owner in this industry. You don’t match what their ideal woman should look like, which grinds their gears, and they think that saying it out loud to you counts as “constructive criticism” for your music.

I might start asking them if they would be interested as coming on board as my personal stylist.

I thought I could handle it myself but it seems Colin has other ideas.

 

P.S. Not two days later did I see Jennie absolutely fucking kill it on the rock stage of Homegrown, 21 weeks pregnant – no less.
Ironically because of this, she was actually wearing an outfit similar to my own instead of her regular corset and heels get up.
She’s in it for comfort for an actual baby bump, I’m in it for hiding my food-baby & poo-baby bump.

AGFAG: Jennie Skulander

I can’t remember how I heard about Devilskin.

It was like they exploded into the stratosphere out of (seemingly) nowhere for me. All of a sudden, they were EVERYWHERE with songs and music videos all over the airwaves, and selling out shows left, right and centre.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Devilskin are a four-piece alternative metal band from Hamilton, New Zealand, formed in June 2010. The band consists of Nail (lead guitar), Paul Martin (bass, backing vocals), Nic Martin (drums), and most importantly; Jennie Skulander (lead vocals).

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L-R: Paul Martin, Jennie Skulander, Nick Martin, Nail. Photo by Steve Dykes

Jennie’s vocals impressed me from the start but it was safe to say Devilskin weren’t my cup of tea.

They obviously were the perfect cuppa for a huge amount of rock-starved New Zealanders, but I continued to be baffled and amazed at the response to the band.

That was up until recently, when it truly clicked with me at Homegrown.

Jennie’s a fucking badass.

She alone sold Devilskin to me with her pure badassery.

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What the fuck is this? How is she so cool? Photo by Bradley Garner Creative

I was privileged to have been handed an artist pass to Homegrown (despite not actually performing.. I spent most of my time drinking all the other bands’ beer..) , which meant I could go ANYWHERE I WANTED. THE POWER.

Naturally I spent the majority of my time between the free drinks and the free food areas.

But I did saunter up side-stage on several occasions to get an insight in to New Zealand’s most successful rock acts’ stage dynamics.

There are a lot of things you miss when you’re in the audience just consuming a show.

There was one major thing I would’ve missed with Devilskin’s show had I not been side of stage, and this was: Jennie is 21+ weeks pregnant.

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Here is Jennie setting the FUCKING BAR for women in music. I salute her.

Holy shit. This woman is incredible.

Here she is running off stage periodically while the guys do their instrumental thing, to cradle her tummy and smash back a banana (this was initially fucking hilarious to unsuspecting me; but now I understand it’s good for vocals. She’s a professional; I’m a person who laughs at people eating phallic objects).

Then she just goes the-fuck-back-out-there, infront of thousands of people, pregnant as shit, screaming the hell outta her lungs, stomping and twirling around, just generally absolutely killing it as if there isn’t a tiny human in there wondering ‘what the fuck is happening out there?!’ at all.

I’m a Jennie fan. Devilskin win.