Do you know what’s really fucking cool? Girl bands.
I was reading an article today about the history of women in rock, which gets down to the point of the late 20th century where women started finding their voice more in rock in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and it quotes Chrissie Hynde (lead singer of The Pretenders) as saying “I’m glad there’s a lot of babes doing this shit [now], because it’s kind of lonely out there”, which made me think about my own position in an all-male-band-except-me and how most often we only get to play shows with all-male-bands.
And yeah, when I think about it, it does get lonely out there. I don’t mind hanging with the dudes, and given my history of playing music with almost exclusively men, if anything I’m geared towards it.
It made me begin to imagine how different the dynamic would be if my whole band was women, though.
It would be so awesome to all get ready for a gig together, talking about girl stuff (farts, poos and period problems), while doing our hair and warming up our instruments before a show.
What Decades’ music would sound like if we were all women? Weirdly I think it would be harder and faster, angrier and more political, with a fucktonne more hair (and boobs).
WordPress auto-loaded in this caption for me: “Three girls playing the guitar, isolated on white background.” Yes, that’s EXACTLY what’s happening here. PS: This is barely even relevant, I should be in the image too if it’s of Decades as a girl band, but just the idea took me and I spent like 20 minutes on it and it’s so fucking funny so it’s in my blog. That’s how I roll.
The feminine energy of girl bands is so distinguishable. I find it hard to define, but there is something so very special about girl bands, and I’m only just at the tip of discovering what that is for me.
Here are 3 girl bands that have touched my psyche and subliminally influenced my development and perspective as a woman in rock music throughout my life.
1. The Runaways
An obvious choice, the ladies in The Runaways blazed the way for women in modern rock music after launching their estrogen-filled punk tunes on to the world in the late 70s.
My first touch point with The Runaways was via Joan Jett‘s song “I Love Rock and Roll” – which my Dad showed to me after Britney Spears released her sparkly cover of it to a 11-year-old pop sprogget Emma.
“Listen to the real thing”
Thank god for Dads.
2. The Donnas
Sometimes I really fuck myself off. I remember when The Donnas released Fall Behind Me in 2005 and I LOVED IT. I was about 15 and it was around the time I wanted to start a band. Seeing these ladies rocking out on C4 (or whatever the fuck music TV was then) had a huge impact on me.
They were playing RIFFS. The song was COOL. They had PRETTY HAIR.
It literally said to me: you are a girl and you can actually do this rock band thing while being a girl!!
But I never bought their albums or followed their career at all? I don’t know what is wrong with me (cough teenage malleable attention influenced by the societal hivemind men = better cough)
In a time where I was feeling my most overwhelmed by the more negative impacts of our cultures stereotypical femininity (I was hairdressing, which for me meant everything around me was image focussed, judgemental, pop music, not-a-hair-out-of-place-or-you’re-gross sorta vibe), Warpaint called to be in their soft, dreamy, modern hippy female rock vibes from the TV screen in the salon.
I had no idea what C4 was doing playing this amongst the glitz and glamour of the Top 20, but it was so fucking refreshing, and I became obsessed with this track, and bought the album immediately.
They have this effortlessly cool, don’t-give-a-fuck essence oozing out of all of them which feels really empowering in this modern age where a lot of women in music still feel the pressures of caking on the make up and wearing the tight clothing.
I’d also like to give local band Blue Ruin a shout out – a kick-ass modern all girl punk band from Auckland. I haven’t seen them live yet, but I hope they continue and I’m looking forward to checking out some releases by them.
The girls in Blue Ruin with Cherie Curry from The Runaways earlier this year when they opened for her.
I’d love to know what girl bands you’re in to, please comment and link to the ones you dig in the comments!
I have another ask, since I’m finding it hard to articulate describing the unique vibe of girls bands. How you would describe the energy of girl bands? I would love to make some social media posts quoting your descriptions. That are better than mine.
So comment those below as well, and I might just share yours.
(and feel at-rest in my soul that I now have an accurate description of my feelings via you).