How many females do we know of in today’s alternative rock world? Hayley Williams of Paramore has been the long-standing queen of pop punk since the early 2000’s, and Lynn Gunn of PVRIS has made a name for herself in recent years as a post-hardcore mainstay. You might also be familiar with metal frontwomen Ash Costello of New Years Day or Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf. I’m sure you can name a few more as well.
These women have all achieved some level of success in the alternative music industry, but does it bother anyone else that it’s even possible to make lists of females in rock bands? Imagine making a list of every male to come out of the alternative rock scene. It would be infinite, and not even remotely possible. Compare a list of any length with an infinite one, and it’s clear that there is a gap. Women are not being represented in the music industry nearly as much as they should be.
There’s something magical to me about lady punks kicking ass and taking names, and I, for one, would love to see more of it. They’re out there, it just sometimes takes a little more digging to find them. If we focus on supporting the badass women in the scene making names for themselves now, we can build up this too-short roster and make room for more.
I hate that it’s even necessary, but until they’re all household names as naturally as the boys are, I keep a running list of females in bands every time I discover a new one. I once paid for a ticket to a show I hadn’t intended on buying solely because one of the openers was an all-female punk band and I fell in love with them instantly from the pizza place I was at next door.
Here are just a few of the all-female punk bands that have caught my ear in recent times. Women deserve to be in this industry just as much as men, and these are just a handful of the musicians proving it.
Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Bad Cop/Bad Cop is today’s ultimate feminist punk band. With lyrics like, “We’re not selling sex, but we will make your eardrums wet,” and “I’m a modern anarchist, a punk rock existentialist, who wants to make the whole world feminist,” along with songs about leaving abusive relationships and other topics pertinent to women, their message is pretty clear. They’re ready to change the game and be taken seriously in this boys club.
Sisters Gwen and Lucy Giles released their first album as Dog Party in 2009, and eight years later they have now opened for Green Day before being able to buy beer. That’s right, the girls are still in college, but can add “Opened for a Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame inductee on a national tour” to their resumes. Talk about badass ladies.
Cayetana is a pop punk female trio from Philadelphia who recently released their second full-length studio album, New Kind of Normal. These ladies are about to tour Europe with PUP and The Menzingers, which is kind of a big deal.
Grunge three-piece Daddy Issues out of Nashville, Tennessee, have described their music as “a punch in the face to the patriarchy.” Their second full-length album Deep Dream was released earlier this year.
Upset is a four-piece all-female pop punk band out of Los Angeles. Their first album She’s Gone was released on Don Giovanni Records in 2013, and they are currently working on album two.
Photo credit: Bad Cop/Bad Cop
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