LOUD WOMEN eZine Issue #5 | Fight Rosa Fight! | Louise Distras | Kathleen Hanna 
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LOUD WOMEN eZine issue #5

LOUD WOMEN is a DIY collective that champions women in music. This eZine will bring you the latest scoop on women-led music, events, ideas and action that we love and you want to hear about. And if that floats your boat, get involved and contribute to the next one!

Now That's What I Call 
Vol.5, Song 1

Yassassin: Social Politics
Now That's What I Call 
Vol.5, Song 2
Skinny Girl Diet: Yeti
Yeti - Skinny Girl Diet

introducing: fight rosa fight!

by tim forster

Cheltenham-based Fight Rosa Fight! formed in April 2014 and describe themselves as 'messy Riot Grrrl/DIY punk'. Within six months of forming, Lindsay, Cassie and Emily had released their first EP Step One: Start A Band following it a year later with a second EP Rotten. Their songs deal with a variety of subjects including inequality, class and mental health.

why did you get together?
Cassie and Linz met through a feminist group Cassie had started. Linz and Emily had played in bands together whilst at school and afterwards. Cassie and Linz were at a meeting and just generally chatting about music, when they decided to try putting a riot grrrl band together. After their first rehearsal, Linz suggested asking Emily to join and Fight Rosa Fight! was born. From the beginning the music and the message went hand in hand. We knew we wanted to make music that had a direct, strong, intersectional feminist message. 

your name ... rosa parks, rosa luxemburg, or another rosa ... ?
Both of the Rosa’s of course! We wanted the name to be bold and empowering, directly referencing feminist action.

is there a particular scene that you feel part of?
The Queer and DIY Punk scenes have been incredibly welcoming to us. NANA DIY at Althorpe Studios in Leamington Spa were especially welcoming to us very early on in our journey when Linz and Cassie were still learning to play their instruments – giving us a support slot for their Martha gig. Sheffield LaDIYFest gave us a chance when we were still a new band, and from playing there we met Petrol Girls who have been supportive and inspirational. Surprise Attacks DIY Punk night in Worcester was a turning point for us – the organisers and audience were really supportive and helped us to grow in confidence as a band. Jenn Hart of Cookie Cut [and Viva Zapata!] in Bristol gave us our first headline show, which developed our confidence further. Playing Nottingham Queer Fest in 2015 was a very special and emotional gig for us, with one of the best and loveliest crowds we have ever seen.
  • "We would like to give big thanks to all the musicians who were especially helpful and supportive, not just by letting us use their gear, but also offering us advice and showing us how to use amps in our early days."

your lyrics explore some really interesting politcal subjects; other songs seem more personal. do your songs deliberately reflect those two sides of concept and experience?  
Arguably all the personal things we write about are political and reflect both concepts of feminism and identity, as well as our own experiences. Our experiences are often politicised whether we choose them to be or not. For example, ‘Do What You Want’ at first listen may seem more of a ‘fun’ song but it is just as overtly political as ‘Everyday is Political’. Both songs call out to all those whose lives are political whether they want them to be or not, both songs reflect that some identities are politicised just by being ‘othered’ by society, by being pushed out of the mainstream and being treated oppressively. 
  • "Mental health has long been ignored, vilified and underfunded by our government and society." 

‘We Scream in Silence’ is based on personal mental health experiences but is a love song to anyone who is hurting; it is a song both of support and kinship. 

what bands and writers have you been inspired/excited by lately?
Everybody should check out Amygdala from Texas. We played with them at JT Soar in Nottingham and are quite frankly still reeling. Bianca Monique (singer/songwriter) is beautiful, strong and wonderful in so many ways; we were utterly moved and compelled by their presence and performance. Articles by journalist and editor Stephanie Phillips (also of Big Joanie) on race, gender, punk and politics are important and vital. Stephanie’s recent article ‘Are all bands who use female names alienating women in music?’ is available here. ‘Treading Water’ by Petrol Girls could not be more apt, important and necessary in light of recent events in the UK. We also love The Ethical Debating Society, Spook School and DirtyGirl. Cassie put together a zine called ‘Intersectional Politics for Punx’, the first issue dealing specifically with race in the UK DIY Punk scene; Linz and Emily would like to very strongly recommend this zine! Finally, we are very, very excited to be releasing a split 7” record with the awesome Little Fists. We are over the moon to be touring with them throughout the UK in August. Their tracks sound amazing!

Fight Rosa Fight!
are playing at LOUD WOMEN Fest on 3 Sept.

Thanks to Tim Forster for letting us use this abridged version of his interview. You can read the full version on his blog here.

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earlybird £8 tickets available here until 1st August! (£10 thereafter)

LIPS Choir

Viva Zapata!
Fight Rosa Fight!
Petrol Girls
The Wimmins' Institute
Dream Nails
The Franklys
Desperate Journalist
Grace Petrie
Janine Booth
Lilith Ai
Spanking Machine
Maddy Carty
Madame So
Nia Wyn
Debating Society
Louise Distras

Rabies Babies

Our first ever one-day festival is looking set to be the biggest and best women-led event this year! This all-ages event will take place at the 700-capacity T.Chances in Tottenham, with 25 acts performing across two stages. 



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interview: louise distras

by ngaire ruth

Protest-Punkster Louise Distras is one of the headliners at our LOUD WOMEN Fest. Currently working on her second self-released album, in between relentless gigging and touring, Louise is our kind of girl. The awesome Ngaire Ruth posed her some probing questions ...

ngaire ruth: So, Louise Distras, where did you come from? (musically, geographically, influentially … any way you want to take that question)

louise distras: Geographically, I come from Wakefield. Influentially I come from Nirvana, and musically I come from The Beatles.

nr: Why this type of visceral, folky punk?

ld: Somebody once said my music is “too punk to be folk and too folk to be punk”, but I really don't consider it to be either. In my head it sounds totally pop, like Abba. But regardless of however folks want to define my music, it wasn't a conscious decision to make it sound the way it does. It just came out that way and I don't really know why. It just is what it is.

nr: What sort of bands/acts do you see yourself billed with and why?

ld: One day I'd really like to open for Pearl Jam. I've been a huge fan since I was a teenager. I love their music and their message. In my opinion, Eddie Vedder is a really good example of what it means to be a true artist.

nr: You seem to play a lot in California – what’s the link?

ld: Last year my first album 'Dreams from the Factory Floor' was released on vinyl by an American label called Pirates Press Records. The response to my music in the States has been really good, and folks have been connecting with the songs in a big way which is the reason I've been touring over there so much recently. I love America, it's a great country and I can't wait to go back.
  • "Arriving in America to find people singing along to my songs at the shows was a mindblowing experience."

nr: Given your time again, would you do anything differently? 

ld: No, I wouldn't do anything differently. I'm really proud of the fact I have always stood firm to my own truth and vision regardless of other people's opinions and would advise any aspiring songwriter to do the same. When you are someone who creates your own path, the journey can be very lonely at times but it's important to remind yourself that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.

nr: Do you believe that music can make world a better place?

ld: I believe it already has made the world a better place and will continue to do so forever.

nr: What’s next for Louise Distras?

ld:  LOUD WOMEN Fest of course! See you there!

Louise Distras' debut album Dreams from the Factory Floor is out now.
Find her on Facebook and Twitter.


Now That's What I Call 
Vol.5, Song 3
The Julie Ruin: I'm Done
The Julie Ruin - "I'm Done" [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

interview: kathleen hanna

by laura maw
interview first published on Oh Comely

The Julie Ruin’s second album, Hit Reset, in Kathleen Hanna’s words, is about beginning again. Darker and more intimate than the band’s debut Run Fast in 2013, Hit Reset is a kaleidoscope of fury and candour in which Hanna confronts illness, abusive relationships and toxic friendships. "That’s what ‘Hit Reset’ means: I’m gonna hit reset before all this shit happened, I’m going to somehow let it go. And, you know, you have to look at it to let it go – you can’t turn away from it. Before you hit the reset button you have to do a lot of work.”

Kathleen Hanna hardly needs introduction. Frontwoman of seminal riot grrrl band Bikini Kill in the 1990s, she stole the hearts of thousands of young women in the feminist punk scene in Olympia (and, twenty years later, I was routinely wearing a Bikini Kill t-shirt to my sixth form English classes). She turned to dance-punk with Le Tigre in 1998, and formed The Julie Ruin in 2010 with ex-Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcox, Kenny Mellman, Carmine Covelli and Sara Landeau

After leaving Le Tigre in 2005 due to ill health, Hanna suffered for six years with Lyme Disease before it was correctly diagnosed, and underwent an intense summer treatment course in 2014. Did illness alter her writing in the period between the two albums? During our phone conversation, she tells me, “I really love our first record [Run Fast], but I have to say I feel so much more connected with the material on this record. I was just way more honest. With the first one, I wasn’t sure what was happening with my illness. Now that I’m not ill, I’m able to write about those feelings.” This honesty threads itself through her writing on illness and relationships on Hit Reset. In turns poignant and humorous, she pairs unsettling lyrics (“can’t take the tears away” / “I belong to the wolves who drug me”) with the sonically upbeat melodies of ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘I Decide’.

  • “I let myself be poetic when I felt like it, and not try to be super didactic about it.”

By her own admission, this light-hearted approach was the result of being able to find humour in her illness. She tells me about learning to undo her bra while attached to the IV drip, describing it as an “IV pole dance”, and together we plot the potential title of her autobiography – Kathleen Hanna: Cured By IV and Song. Hanna’s incontrovertible sense of humour, honesty and courage is what punctuates Hit Reset

Taking power through the cathartic expression of trauma also translates to her writing on her abusive relationship with her father, victimhood and vulnerability. She notes, “The trauma of being trapped in a body that you can’t control is very similar to being a child trapped in a household situation you can’t control, like I was. Having [my illness] happen to me in my adult life made me aware that I hadn’t worked through all of my childhood stuff and that I needed to go back to certain situations.” In her reflection on her childhood, she navigates the difficulty of dealing with abusive familial relationships, addressing the complex emotional turbulence of anger and self-blame. The album opener, ‘Hit Reset’, begins with a claustrophobic scene of “a chair that blocked the door” and her father “punishing the people he loved best”, then furiously asserts “I don’t think you’re sorry at all”. On ‘Let Me Go’, she softly asks, “would you love me enough to let me go away?”, overlapping disquieting lyrics with electro pop refrains – a catharsis you can dance to. 

“I get that I’m not to blame, but if you’re a control freak like I am it’s really hard to actually in your gut believe it,” she reflects. “My illness wasn’t my fault. In the same way, I didn’t grow up with an abusive alcoholic dad because I made him that way – it happened to me. I made a connection between the two. I needed to sing about some childhood stuff and be really honest about it so that I could move on.” 

Like its title track, Hit Reset begins as a poignant account of trauma and victimhood and develops into a powerful narrative of self-reclamation and possession. Hanna has challenged the injustice of women with ferocity in song-writing and feminist activism for years, inspiring countless others to vocalise their anger. ‘Mr So and So’ is scattered with phrases commonly used by the faux male feminist ally figure many women are painfully familiar with (“oh come on, it was just a joke!” / “you play so good for a girl”). She explains that the track ‘I’m Done’ was a similar response to empty misogynistic criticism online. “I try to take seriously the stuff people say that hurts my feelings, and investigate, trying to work on it and be really appreciative of people who honestly tell me how they view me or my work. There’s a fine line between that and criticism that’s just like, ‘I hate you’,” she says. “I finally want to speak back to that shit. And it’s definitely more pronounced toward women, especially women of colour – this kind of venomous attack.”

Was writing about traumatic experiences difficult or upsetting? “I’m happy to finally speak back to power, you know?"

  • "It’s not depressing to say ‘I’m fucking sick of this shit, I’m fucking done.’”

“It’s important for people who are marginalised to celebrate their anger. A lot of the time I take celebratory-sounding songs to be the most pissed off. I feel it’s a real relief.”

The Julie Ruin play Koko in London on 2 December. See you down the front.

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Now That's What I Call 
Vol.5, Song 4
The Tuts: Let Go of the Past
The Tuts - Let Go of the Past (Official Video)

LOUD WOMEN gigs diary

Fri 5 August @ Hope and Anchor, Islington
IDestroydeux furieuses | Miserable Wretch | Gladiators Are You Ready
Sat 3 September - LOUD WOMEN FEST @ T.Chances, Tottenham
£8 earlybird tickets on sale NOW from WeGotTickets
25 acts across two rooms, including: Vodun | Louise Distras | Grace Petrie | Dream Nails | Argonaut | Maddy Carty | LIPS Choir | Madame So | Petrol Girls | Viva Zapata | Dolls + lots more!

Fri 16 Sept @ Hope and Anchor, Islington
The Potentials | End Men | Hoopdriver | Kenickers  
Fri 7 Oct: Anti-austerity fundraiser @ T.Chances, Tottenham
To mark the We Shall Overcome week, LOUD WOMEN is teaming up with Who Run the World promotions to bring you a very special show, with: The Empty Page | Little Fists | Charmpit and MORE TBA!
Fri 21 Oct @ Hope and Anchor, Islington
Bratakus | Madonnatron | Emily C Smith | Afraid of Everything
Fri 18 Nov @ Hope and Anchor, Islington
Phoenix Chroi | Thunder on the Left | Lilith's Army | Ex People

do not miss #1

Who Run the World – 1st Birthday Party
Sat 13 Aug, MUSE, Soho
Musician Beth White started her London live events company, Who Run The World, a year ago, with the aim of improving the visibility of women in the city’s grass roots music scene. Since then, she has received over 150 artist submissions from female acts, and hosted a total of 31 shows, with a few more in the pipeline. WRTW's birthday party will feature Scarlette Fever, Svetlana, Holloway and MIRI, as well as champagne and party bags on offer. And a disco after! Get your tickets quick, and keep an eye on the WRTW Facebook page for more awesome gigs.
Now That's What I Call 
Vol.5, Song 5
Doe: Last Ditch
Doe - Last Ditch
Photo (C) Keira Anee

loud women on the radio

We're all over your airwaves this month!
Our Cassie Fox joined Cheri Amour, Ruth Barnes, Lisa Jenkins and Ray Gun's Jess Jordan on The Other Woman show on Resonance FM - you can listen again here

Tune in also to ...
  • The Get in Her Ears show on Hoxton Radio, Thurs 3 Aug
  • The Fiery Bird show on Radio Woking, Thurs 25 Aug
  • Joyzine on Croydon Radio, Weds 17 Aug
  • plus watch out for news of LOUD WOMEN on BBC London 94.6FM - a date in August TBA soon!

The birth of Bikini Kill
Famously, feminism for teenage girls' thrill. 
But that shouting about silence
Gave all wimmin 'be angry, stay angry' licence.
By Ngaire Ruth

do not miss #2

#genesisters vol. 4 Sat 20 Aug, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, E1
#genesisters vol. 4 features the first UK public screening of the 1995 documentary 'Not Bad For A Girl' in 20 years as well as live performances from The Wimmins' Institute, Ghost Car and Abjects. The night will also feature DJ sets from Kathryn Woods (Fresh) and Sister Sounds. There'll also be zine stalls from Reel Good Film Club, Fanzine La Raya, Sister Zine and Parallel Magazine. Oh, and free cupcakes for all. Did we mention that entry is just £3?

'Not Bad For A Girl' features interviews and performances from Babes In Toyland, Hole, L7, Lunachicks, Joan Jett and more - this overlooked classic was part-financed by Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love
Now That's What I Call 
Vol.5, Song 6
Foxcunt: LinkedIn
Foxcunt - LinkedIn

That's all folks!

If you've got this far, and liked what you've seen, you're gonna want to keep in touch ...
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