Past the Boys’ Membership is a month-to-month column from journalist and radio host Anne Erickson, specializing in girls within the heavy music genres, as they provide their views on the music business and focus on their private experiences. Erickson can also be a music artist herself and not too long ago launched a brand new single, “Scars,” with Upon Wings. The most recent version options an interview with Shawna Potter of the hardcore punk band Struggle on Ladies.
Struggle on Ladies are a hardcore punk band out of Baltimore with a penchant for fiery riffs and highly effective vocals that seize the viewers’s consideration with each sound and that means. The band’s music is politically motivated, with Struggle on Ladies writing about abortion rights, rape tradition, road harassment, transphobia and different essential social points.
Shawna Potter is the lead vocalist of Struggle on Ladies, whose newest album is 2020’s Great Hell. She’s additionally an writer, along with her most up-to-date guide being Making Areas Safer: A Information to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Collect; and the host of the podcast “However Her Lyrics,” during which she discusses political motion in music.
Forward of Struggle on Ladies’s upcoming Summer time tour of the UK and Europe, Potter checked in with Heavy Consequence for the newest version of “Past the Boys’ Membership,” discussing the band’s music, what drives her to be concerned in politics, her ideas on, nicely, the struggle on girls taking form throughout America and extra. Learn the interview beneath.
Your music confronts essential social points, comparable to abortion, rape tradition and transphobia. Do you’re feeling this music is further related now with what’s happening with Roe v. Wade?
It’s bizarre, as a result of whenever you write political music and particularly music that’s supportive of any marginalized group, it’s all the time related. It by no means stops being related. I’d love nothing greater than for sexism, racism, transphobia to go away and for me to don’t have anything to sing about. That’s the purpose of this band: to expire of issues to speak about! That’s the long run that I’m wanting ahead to. I’m beginning to really feel that type of anger that after I was youthful in my activism I noticed in older activists. That feeling of, are we nonetheless doing this? I’m positively beginning to really feel that, and it’s firing me up in a manner that I haven’t felt for some time. I’m beginning to discover my anger once more. I’m all the time grateful if somebody finds some form of consolation or solace or approach to channel that anger via music.
Do you assume girls’s rights are taking a step again on this nation.
Sure, however not simply girls’s rights. Simply anybody that isn’t a white man with a sure checking account measurement. They don’t care about any of us. Our struggles are completely related. It’s actually very a lot that in the event that they’re coming for me, they’re coming for you, and now we have to battle it collectively.
Inform me about your guide, Making Areas Safer: A Information to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Collect.
It’s based mostly on years of doing safer house coaching with smaller to midsized venues and companies. After doing that for some time, I made a decision to place the whole lot that I train and study in a single guide so individuals may create safer areas wherever they go. For me, it means an area the place individuals will be free to precise their genuine selves but additionally a spot the place the workers or individuals operating the house are outfitted to reply to harassments when it inevitably occurs. So, when one thing does occur, all people is aware of what to do.
You even have a podcast, However Her Lyrics, devoted to political motion in music.
It began as a approach to promote our album that we launched, Great Hell, in October of 2020. We couldn’t play reveals. I didn’t need to begin a TikTok, so I assumed one thing I’ve by no means performed is doc an album and discuss how the songs have been written and provides an in-depth take a look at the making of the album. That was the primary season and first 12 months. I broke down each single track off Great Hell, and I assumed, if I do one other season, how do I would like it to look? I made a decision to proceed to cowl Struggle on Ladies’s songs from our catalog but additionally speak to individuals about social justice points and speak to different lyricists about their political songs and the problems they elevate.
What’s happening so far as new music with Struggle on Ladies?
We’re positively writing new songs. We have now a pair demoed already. We’ve found out what we need to do with them. We have to maintain writing, as a result of we don’t have an album’s value fairly but.
What are your ideas on the distinction within the variety of girls in rock and punk music in the present day verses whenever you began out?
After I began out, it was 1994. That’s after I began taking part in reveals, though I had been taking part in guitar for a number of years. I began taking part in reveals in highschool, and we made indie rock or punk rock, so we have been usually the one girls within the room, as a result of we have been an all-women band besides our drummer. It’s exponentially elevated. There are such a lot of girls strolling round, whether or not they’re working at a venue or onstage. The presence of girls has gotten higher so far as I can inform. However, it’s not sufficient. There’s nonetheless not sufficient girls on stage. It completely takes seeing different folks that seem like you onstage to know that you are able to do that, too, so we nonetheless don’t have the numbers. I’m all the time advocating for that if there’s a tour package deal going out, there’s no cause why it must be all white males. There are too many bands on the market for that to nonetheless be a factor.
What are among the constructive modifications you’ve seen for girls in music over time?
One is simply the truth that individuals are speaking about harassments extra and bystander intervention extra and what they will do. Extra individuals are realizing they’ve energy to alter issues and make a distinction, in order that’s tremendous useful to make extra individuals come to a present and really feel welcome and secure. So, that’s good. However, I don’t assume there are sufficient girls performed on the radio. I don’t assume girls artists are being paid the identical as their male counterparts, to not point out every other marginalized genders. I additionally assume with the power for individuals to self-release their music, there positively is slightly little bit of leveling the taking part in discipline having the chance to get your stuff in entrance of different individuals with out gatekeepers. However, I additionally assume individuals’s tastes and the biases of society are mirrored in what’s fashionable. So, I’m certain gifted girls in music are nonetheless not being picked for playlists or accepted by followers as a lot as we must always as a result of we’re nonetheless type of not used to listening to girls’s voices, which is f**ked up.
Do you assume there’s extra stress on girls in music to look a sure approach to be interesting?
Oh, yeah! I believe that it’s useful when groundbreaking artists have that I-don’t-give-a-f*** angle. Lizzo and different artists are paving the way in which for others to point out that everybody physique has value and deserves respect and is efficacious and never disposable. I believe that’s tremendous essential for individuals to exit on a limb and make it simpler for others. We play punk music, however I nonetheless dwell on this society and am nonetheless impacted by sexism and our youth-obsessed tradition and our thinness and beauty-obsessed tradition. I’ve to work on my vanity, and that’s sadly a traditional wrestle for most individuals. However, I really like how supportive my band is and the way supportive the followers are in terms of these things and physique picture. I do know they like seeing individuals onstage that seem like them and look actual and attainable and are comfy being themselves. I attempt to verify no matter doubts I’m having that day, that I’m exuding that feeling of being comfy in my very own pores and skin, so I can move that alongside to the viewers.
What recommendation do you’ve got for girls trying to get into music?
It’s so bizarre. It’s so completely different than after I began out, that I’m wondering if I’d have something related to say. I believe the very first thing is to let go of any self-doubt or feeling it’s a must to be good earlier than you even get stared. I had loads of years of progressing in my guitar taking part in and singing, and I simply acquired on the market and performed. I performed as many reveals as I may and saved getting higher and higher, and I believe that’s actually essential to do. Due to this fact, if somebody is judging you in your third present and saying that you simply suck, who provides a shit. You’re making an attempt to get higher. So, not letting anybody interrupt your journey.
It’s been nice speaking with you, Is there the rest you’d like so as to add?
Proper now, we have to be combating like hell for bodily autonomy and everybody can do one thing. Not everybody has to do the whole lot, however everybody can do one thing. If that’s the case far you’ve taken a backseat, now could be the time. It’s do or die time for lots of people, and particularly any males studying this. Sadly, they’re going to be listened to extra and be taken extra significantly, so we want their voices. We want them to advocate for the remainder of us and never in a white knight, white savior manner, however in a manner the place you notice the stakes are excessive for the remainder of us and that this could affect you, too. You need to care and be outraged proper now. You may battle for us with out drowning us out.