INTERVIEW: Girls with Guitars #2 – Interviews’ Mashups

Girls with Guitars #2 – Interviews’ Mashups

It’s finally the second occasion for the feminista flag to fly high – Girls with Guitars is on once again this Saturday (29th May), highlighting some of the best females in the business. The girls playing the show were quizzed on certain topics, and we made mashup verses of their answers. Read on to see how alike (or not) these women think…

Key: Heather Lowe – White Reign Lee – Purple

Dark Secret – Green 9 Maps -Cyan

  1. On being a woman playing music…

It’s honestly not something that I’ve put that much thought into – but maybe that’s a good thing

Most of my experiences as a woman in music have been pretty positive

I’ve never found that people haven’t taken me seriously because I’m a woman playing music.

If anything, I’ve been greeted by surprise after my shows

Never thought that being a woman playing music was a hindrance, nor do I think it has gotten us any special treatment

People comment that the show wasn’t what they had expected because they’re used to women musicians being more folk and less rock; more sensitive and less aggressive

However, I do feel the difference

There is a general idea that female musicians should be pretty or sexy in order to be successful

Frustrations I’ve felt based on gender have come from crossing paths with people who seem to find it much easier to pigeon-hole women’s roles in music

Most people think that rock music is the world of men

Pressures that seem to apply to women but not men

But women are not a ‘focus group’girlguitar1.jpg

In this day and age everyone has to work hard to succeed, regardless of sex

We’re human beings, and like men – we can fulfill many different roles, not just musically, but socially and politically as well

An amazing amount of female singer-songwriters have become very successful

I can’t stand pigeon-holing of any kind

Anyone can have the spirit of rock

Don’t be a stepping stone, get it all out, deliver it

The most positive thing about this though, is that the lack of expectation creates a space to push the boundaries more in music. And I really like that.

The battle is not between men and women; it’s between you and yourself.

  1. On playing music in Hong Kong…

Playing music in Hong Kong is much different than playing music anywhere else

Haven’t had one bad experience playing music here

Nothing less than great experiences in Hong Kong

There’s definitely a vibe that everybody is welcome and anyone can play

The scene is quite small

A very organic environment

You don’t come across the music snobbery you can get in other countries

In most places outside of HK, booking a show in a good venue can be tough; you can’t just walk in and ask for a gig

In my experience touring, you have to be prepared to prove yourself night after night

There are more opportunities to be heard and supported here

Everyone is always extraordinarily supportive and bands always seem to be encouraging each other

A mostly supportive environment, very important in order for musicians to grow

Bookers and managers elsewhere are less likely to book an act unless they can bring a crowd

Given the density of this city, I think the turnout doesn’t always stack up…

Though there definitely are plenty of wandering souls you meet along the way through the more intimate settings

I’d really like to see more cross-cultural shows

A melding between the local indie scene and the expat indie scenes

Appreciation of music can also be more subtle here

You don’t get as much constructive criticism because people might not want to offend

When invited to play a local event, I was the only Eurasian there

Most of the other bands sang a blend of Cantonese and English

girlguitar2.jpgThe crowds were fantastic

They live and die for the music – moshing at the front of the stage and listening to every word

It reminded me of a lot of gigs I’ve done in the States and how different crowds can be in different cities

The scene will only continue to grow as people stop complaining about the lack of live music and actually do something about it.

  1. On being a performing artiste…

Performing music is a high that I don’t get in very many places in my life

Music’s the purest form of expression

Music means authenticity and transcendence; having a redemptive space for myself, where filters dissolve

I like power rhythms and groove

I like distortion and clear drum beats

I like vocals’ beautiful melodies and gloomy bass lines

It’s invigorating putting your emotions out there for everyone to see

At its best, it represents a moment of time when a group of people are all catching the same rhythmic wave

I’ve never taken performing too seriously, as I don’t take things too personally

The bands I like have accompanied me for a long time, and affect me a lot

I’ve been in the middle of nowhere in Virginia doing a show

Suddenly, in the middle of the song, the crowd starting creating the percussion for the song – in unison! It was crazy.

Most of them had never heard of me or my music before

But something in the moment beckoned for participation

I like lingering charm carrying on lyrics, telling stories to trigger emotion and imagination.

The effort can be quite solitary in other creative enterprises like photography Playing with another and contributing to the same piece really takes you elsewhere

Nothing compares to the unifying experience that music can be

Having this click with somebody else is tremendously fulfilling

That best sums up what being a living, breathing, working musician means to me.

It’s about just having fun, and I want to keep it that way.

  1. On the using the medium of song and verse to express themselves…

Writing songs is really my only creative outlet for self-expression

I have a habit of writing words down at anytime, anywhere

When writing music lyrics and words will emerge

I’m really big on self-expression

What better way to do it than through music and lyrics

To mark down my true feeling about things, people, or my emotions

I may put them into my songs as lyrics when good melodies and wonderful guitar riffs reach me

There’s a definite satisfaction to writing and completing a song

Maybe because the eloquence and melody can’t be translated to everyday life

It makes you realize how hidden some of your emotions or feelings can be

Represents the link between my conscious and my unconscious mind – which can be spooky

It’s all so, so liberating, and necessary almost, to convey your sentiments –

You know (or hope) you’ll be able to later share with empathetic ears if you wanted to

I never sit down to write about something specific that has happened

I don’t sit and think about what I want to say and how I want to say it

I just let it flow like automatic writing

They’re about a feeling and emotion

Most of them don’t have a comprehensive story to explain why I wrote them

And what can I say? It’s unearthed a few skeletons in the closet…

It can be restrictive in the sense that your thoughts sometimes feel as if they have to fit into some degree of structure

There’s a part of you that wants it to be all eloquent and poetic

I feel happy if someone hears my song and has his or her own feelings about the song

Everything is up to the interpretation of the listenergirlguitar3.jpg

The listener becomes an active participant in the music

They are deconstructing what it means to them

 

It’s not telling my own story; it is telling theirs.

Shashwati

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