The WiMN Presents: Girls Night Out NYC with Lisa Loeb, Command Sisters & More

The Women’s International Music Network ( presents “Girls Night Out NYC” – an evening of live music, fashion, education, networking and fun at The Cutting Room in New York City on Thursday, October 19, 2017. Featured performers include platinum-selling artist Lisa Loeb, sister duo Command Sisters, and Los Angeles singer/songwriter Jenna Paone

This all-ages evening will also feature an educational industry panel, on-site interactive sponsor displays, giveaways, raffles, a silent auction and much more. The event will support the Women’s International Music Network’s efforts to create a voice for women in the music industry.
The WiMN is holding a contest for the opening performance slot for this event. One lucky winner will have the chance to take the stage during this energizing event! Enter at
Girls Night Out NYC takes place on October 19, 2017 from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased at The Cutting Room is located at 44 E. 32nd St. in New York City. This event is appropriate for all ages.
Sponsors include Martin Guitar, Casio, 108 Rock Star Guitars, M.A.C. Cosmetics, PRS Guitars, Sennheiser, Paul Mitchell, Luna Bars and more. The event will be live streamed on Parade magazine.

Front and Center: SIR Director of Marketing & Artist/Vendor Relations Manager, Jenn Triquet

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: SIR Director of Marketing & Artist/Vendor Relations Manager, Jenn Triquet

By Leslie Buttonow

Anyone who’s ever attended a festival or concert tour can appreciate how much work goes into those full-blown productions. Artists and event managers need to ensure that things will run smoothly – from rehearsing, to obtaining the correct musical equipment for each tour stop, and more. A tall order made much easier with Jenn Triquet on the job! She’s the person they rely on for their musical needs and manufacturers rely on to support their artist endorsers.

Below, Jenn talks about moving up in the music industry as a female and meeting some challenges along the way. She also shares how her musical background and experience on the other side of the desk led to a new opportunity at SIR, who’s celebrating 50 years of service as the nation’s largest musical equipment support service for top musicians.

To find out more, visit

The WiMN: Growing up, you played an instrument, and you were very much into music and bands. Tell us a bit about your experience with music and how it influenced you in your youth?

JT: From the moment I started school music classes I knew I wanted to work in music – I remember in kindergarten sitting on the mat in a circle knowing that was something I wanted to do when I grew up. I played the viola starting in fourth grade through an experimental program in our middle school to get younger kids interested in the orchestra and found love!

I continued to play during college at Hofstra University and even after I graduated, in community orchestras. It was my happy place! I also sang throughout my school career and got a partial vocal scholarship. Through my teens and early adulthood, music helped shape who I was as a person and the friends I kept – which were vast and varied. As an example, the first concert ever attended was Rush Counterparts, and the following week I went to see Grateful Dead’s Spring Tour ‘94!

The WiMN: Many years later, you find yourself working at SIR , and learn that there’s an interesting tie-in between your favorite guitar player’s first band and their career-changing experience with SIR. Care to share that story?

JT: As the artist relations manager for Korg USA (which represented Korg, Marshall, VOX and Vestax at the time), I had the opportunity to work with many artists. Of course, I had to keep my professional hat on, but I couldn’t help but get a bit giddy every time I got to work with Marshall endorser, Slash! Growing up listening to Guns N Roses, how could I not? Interestingly enough, years later, I’d come to work for SIR. It was at our Los Angeles office where Slash had rented (and may have absconded with for a brief period of time) a Marshall amp – the famous Marshall #39 (as told in this story) from which he got his signature Appetite sound!

The WiMN: When working with vendors and artists in the touring industry, it’s probably safe to say there’s no such thing as a “typical” day, but take us through an average week for you and what that entails.

JT: As the artist and vendor relations manager for SIR, my typical week involves a lot of endorsement request phone calls and emails from artists and manufacturers alike. I help everyone get the best possible pricing and service from SIR across the U.S. Many times, this involves entering orders for the entire band and making sure all the details are in order for a single show or a month-long tour in multiple cities across the USA. Additionally, as SIR’s marketing director, I just worked to overhaul our website (, I write our monthly newsletters, manage our social media accounts, have graphics made for our trucks, cases, stickers, shirts, etc, — if it involves SIR branding, you can bet done I’ve done it!

The WiMN: You are the first person to formally hold your specific title at SIR. What is something you brought to this position that you’re most proud of?

JT: You’re correct! This position didn’t exist before I began here. I remember as the artist relations person for Korg how frustrating it could sometimes be to have to reach out to the 12 different SIR locations to try to arrange the same thing for my endorsers – there was no central point person who could field my request. Each SIR office had its own email addresses and even websites! It was basically the Wild West – each office for itself!

I’m really proud to say that since I took on this role in October 2008, SIR has become unified with one website, one email address system, one look and feel for our branding, and that we’re now the unified operation we’ve always been but didn’t quite look like since day one. I also love that our manufacturer partners now have someone they can call directly and they now have one central point of contact – I’m here to make everyone’s lives easier in the fast-paced and ever-changing artist relations world!

The WiMN: Are there any particular favorite artists or tours that you and your company work with?

JT: How can I pick just one? SIR has built so many fantastic relationships over the past 50 years that I’d surely leave someone out if I started naming names. However, I do have my own particular favorites and have built lasting relationships with many bands and artist management teams over the years. And being stationed in NY, I am proud of every single order and product we put forward. Just recently, I did the production for the Governor’s Ball on Randall’s Island – that production takes four to five months’ of legwork to put it together! It was the third year I personally worked with the festival, and we’ve really found a groove working with one another

The WiMN: On the flip side, are there any particular challenges you’ve faced working in this industry, overall, as a female in a male-dominated environment?

JT: It’s funny you ask as I had a surprising incident just this week. I answered the phone and was helping a potential customer with an order and answering a bunch of technical questions about an amp. When he was finally ready to place his order, he asked to speak to the salesman! I said “Yep, you’ve got HER!” I’m glad that women in the music industry are seemingly on the rise but you still get a few knuckleheads that just don’t get it. Yes, women can help you out just as well (and sometimes better) than the men!

Breaking the mold of the “boys club” is something I pride myself in doing. Being a girl who’s into baseball, can talk shop about gear, and someone who sold skis (a position at the store I worked for that was typically reserved for men – why? I have no idea!) have definitely given me an upper leg, I think. But that boys club mentality is always there lingering in the background.

The WiMN: Looking back at your younger self first entering the music industry, what advice would you give to someone else at that point of their career?

JT: As a fresh-faced 20 year old entering the music industry, I had no idea how many different areas there were in this industry. I entered college studying Music Merchandising, thinking I would ultimately end up working at a record label or a management firm. Little did I know there was a huge portion of the industry that had to do with the musical instruments themselves. The best thing I ever did was to secure an internship – it helped teach me my strengths and weaknesses and find what I really excelled at. I would highly recommend interning in multiple aspects of the industry until you find your passion.

My former boss, Larry DeMarco, once told me – and I’ll never forget – “You have to find a job you love going to every day or you’ll never truly be happy at work.” He was absolutely right. Coming to SIR is never a chore for me; it’s my second home. I love the people I work with on a daily basis, and after almost nine years here, I’m still very passionate about my job. Find your happy place and it’ll never be work!

The WiMN: This year is the 50th anniversary of SIR. Anything in particular you’d like to share about that?

JT: It’s been wonderful seeing many of the artists we’ve worked with over the years offer such nice testimonials about their experience with SIR. They’ve shared some fun videos and stories that you can see here.

Front and Center: SIR Nashville General Manager, Laura Ford

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: SIR Nashville General Manager, Laura Ford

By Leslie Buttonow

For those not familiar, SIR (Studio Instrument Rentals) is the nation’s premier provider of musical instruments/gear rentals and rehearsal facilities for musicians preparing for music tours or TV appearances, as well as for major festivals. They are located in most major cities across the country, and Nashville is no exception. Laura Ford has worked at this location for the past 29 years, first as their office manager, and then after a few years, as their first and only female general manager – a position she holds to this day.

Although SIR Nashville is located in the heart of “Music City,” they serve a territory that spans far and wide, including cities such as Dallas, Charleston, New Orleans and Detroit, delivering gear rentals directly to a wide array of performance venues. With that kind of responsibility and geographical coverage — and the ever-changing nature of tour productions — they need someone who can stay organized and exemplify the expression “grace under pressure.” Luckily, Laura Ford is just that person.

To find out more, visit

The WiMN: You’ve been driving the bus at SIR Nashville for quite some time. What are some of the day-to-day business areas you’re responsible for, and how many people are on the team at your location?

LF: There are 15 of us altogether. I do a lot of paperwork and accounting, but I also research and make a lot of the purchasing decisions, and do research on touring and recording trends to keep up with the equipment demand.

The WiMN: What are some things you feel have kept you successful in your career over the years? Any particular habits, skills or personality traits you find especially helpful?

LF: For one, you have to be a complete crazy person with multi-tasking. You have to stay calm with everything that’s thrown at you. Nothing stays as planned, and so every moment, you need to think about how to solve problems. Shows and tours hardly go off as planned, but if you can get everything to work at the end with minimal stress for everyone involved, then you’ve done your job well.

The WiMN: SIR celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – that’s a LOT of artist support! Are there any favorite artists you’ve worked with during your time there, or stories you’d like to share?

LF: In my 29 years, I have a ton of stories. Once I came around the corner of the hallway at our facility and ran into Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings comparing open heart surgery scars. They turned to me with their shirts open and asked me whose scar looked better. Yeah, I told them to button it up; I wasn’t going there! Ha ha!

Another time we had a big snow here in Nashville. I let all my employees leave to get home and I was waiting for the last order to cancel. Eddie Money walks in the door complaining about the Nashville drivers in the snow. He had called to have someone pick him up because he didn’t want to drive with all the crazies, and he proceeded to tell me that I needed to shovel so people could get in our parking lot. I told him it was fine and that it would be gone tomorrow. Just then, the phone rings and it’s my last customer cancelling their order. When I got off the phone, I was looking for Eddie to find out when his ride was coming. He wasn’t in the lobby or in the back. I looked outside to check if he was there, only to see that Eddie Money had grabbed our shovel and was shoveling our parking lot!

That’s just two of many…

The WiMN: Working with all of those artists, tight deadlines and last minute requests must be stressful at times. How do you and your team keep your cool during those times and work through it together?

LF: I think for the most part, I keep my staff calm because I stay calm. I always remind them that getting upset only hurts them and doesn’t get the job done. Plus at this point, I think we are all used to it.

The WiMN: What has your experience been like as a woman in the industry––any challenges you’ve had to overcome?

LF: When I first started, I really was the only woman in a higher position in this end of the business – the male-dominated end of the business. So there are always challenges; unfortunately, even now. You have to do it right and do more without complaining. Then you earn the respect of the male counterparts. But it’s great to see that there are a lot more women in my end of the business now.

The WiMN: Any advice for young ladies looking to break into the performance side or business side of the music industry?

LF: Definitely go to school and remember as a woman you have to do it right and do more. Once you earn the respect of the males, then the playing field is even – sad but true.

The WiMN: Are there any big tours or festivals you’re preparing for currently that we can expect to see in the spring or summer?

LF: Our two huge events we do in June are Bonnaroo and Firefly Festival. They’re a very big undertaking, but very satisfying when all goes well.

Watch Demi Lovato Sing “Stone Cold” Live at #NataliesHouse

By Gabriella Steffenberg

demiPowerhouse vocalist Demi Lovato made a special performance last week at #NataliesHouse as a feature on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The live performance featured Lovato’s new single, “Stone Cold,” and was performed exclusively for a lucky lady named Natalie, along with her roommates and James Corden.

The stripped-down song showcases Lovato’s heart wrenching vocals and earnest portrayal of heartbreak. With lyrics such as “God knows I try to feel happy for you – know that I am, even if I can’t understand,” the listener is able to feel the intense sincerity in her words, not to mention that the gospel-inspired song showcases Lovato’s incredible range and gusto as a performer.

Watch and listen to Lovato perform “Stone Cold” below (but be sure to have box of tissues at hand).

Front and Center: Co-Founder of Emo Night LA, Babs Szabo

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

September 2015 Emo Night 0016Front and Center: Co-Founder of Emo Night LA, Babs Szabo

By Gabriella Steffenberg

Inspired by the bond of music after a sing-along to a classic emo track, Babs Szabo knew something special was born, and turned an idea into an opportunity.

Co-Founder of the smash hit experience, Emo Night LA, Szabo talks about inspiration, the daily in-and-outs of work, music, and even makes the tough decision of which emo song would be the soundtrack to her life.

Catch the full Front and Center with this driven lady below, and be sure to check out the sites for both of her businesses, Emo Night LA and creative agency Ride or Cry.

WiMN: What inspired you to start Emo Night LA?

BS: TJ, one of the other founders, and I were at a friend’s birthday party and we sang Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” together. That’s where the idea was born. I didn’t know TJ very well at the time but I think that experience immediately created a bond between us. We then joined forces with our third founder Morgan and started Emo Night about a couple of months later.

WiMN: What are your responsibilities at work?

BS: I handle everything from booking guest DJs, handling our merchandise orders and inventory, developing creative projects, event production, sponsorships, etc. The list goes on and on.

WiMN: How is the crowd environment at your Emo Night LA shows?

BS: The crowd at Emo Night is the best community of people I have ever met in my life. Everyone is open minded, fun, incredibly nice, and so positive.

WiMN: Which companies did you work with within the music industry before you and your cohorts created Emo Night LA?

BS: I was a College Marketing Representative for Sony Music, I interned at Noise Pop, then I went on to be an assistant at Creative Artists Agency in digital strategy and music touring. I then worked at a small digital strategy agency, and now I own two business, one of them being Emo Night.

WiMN: How was music a big part of your life growing up?

BS: My parents are both musicians, so growing up I went to a lot of shows. It was really amazing. I loved seeing live music from a very early age. In high school I spent every weekend at shows, sum41 being the first one.

WiMN: If you had to choose one emo track to be the theme song to your life, what would it be?

BS: Taking Back Sunday – “New American Classic”

WiMN: Who are some of your favorite musicians/bands and why?

BS: The Strokes are my favorite band, they are incredible live and I love their music. Taking Back Sunday also holds a piece of my heart, their music has gotten me through pretty much everything in life. And of course Lil’ Wayne! I have Lil’ Wayne lyrics tattooed on my arm.

WiMN: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received regarding the music industry?

BS: Work hard and stay humble.

WiMN: What are your hopes for Emo Night over the next couple of years?

BS: My hopes for Emo Night is to continue taking it to more and more cities and meet more incredible people who understand the community surrounding the music that has made me who I am.

Front and Center: Singer, Guitarist, and Drummer of Ultrahazard and Melomaniac, Violet Staley

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here


Front and Center: Singer, Guitarist, and Drummer of Ultrahazard and Melomaniac, Violet Staley

By Dawn Perreault

There is a bit of a movement happening on the south side of Chicago. A group of younger bands that have rejected their peers love of computerized music are embracing the old school styling’s and methods of playing real instruments; writing songs that echo some of the best of our punk and alternative musical history.

It was said that rock n’ roll will never die, but while those of us who love the genre are waiting for it to either gasp its last breath, or resurrect like Lazarus, the heart of Punk Rock has not grown weak. Like the Tell Tale Heart, it’s under the floorboard letting you know it isn’t dead yet.

One unique twist to this little group of bands in Chicago is that the driving force behind many of them are the women that play in the bands. Nothing replaces the raw and brutal energy of youth than Violet Staley, and “Bruised Violet,” as she calls herself, is letting nothing hold her back. Check out both Facebook pages for Ultrahazard and Melomaniac, as well as the Band Camp pages for Ultrahazard and Melomaniac.

WiMN: Tell me about both Ultrahazard and Melomaniac, and why two bands?

VS: Ultrahazard is a Chicago-based political punk band. We would describe our sound as being ska punk crust-pop fun. We stand for unity and equality. We sing about topics ranging from feminism, solidarity amongst artists, class war, roller derby, and revolution. All four of us come from different musical backgrounds such as Riot Grrrl, jazz, punk, and reggae, but our music sounds like a mix of Star F*cking Hipsters, Bomb! The Music Industry, The Distillers, and We Are the Union.

The lineup of Ultrahazard is Eli, Nick, Saffron and I. I play guitar and sing, Eli plays bass and sings, Saffron plays guitar and sings, and Nick plays drums. The band started in a Girls Rock! Camp, which is a super amazing camp that I recommend every girl between the ages of 8 and 16 go to while they can! You form a band, learn how to play the instrument of your choice, write a song and then perform it at the end of camp show (all in one week). After camp we decided to keep the band going and take it further. The band has been growing up with us and it’s really cool to look back and see that.

The more we expand our taste and knowledge of music the more you can hear that in the music. It’s been one of the greatest things ever in my life – to be in a band with my best friends, grow up with each other, have our music to listen back to, and hear and feel that change.

Melomaniac is a 3-piece horror rock and roll band based in Chicago. We have been a band since December 2015. We formed because our friend Jessica was telling us about how she missed playing music after being done with her time at the School of Rock in Chicago. The thought of being in an all-girl band with two of my best friends was super exciting. So far, we’ve been writing songs about horror movies and true crime bass.The lineup of Melomaniac is Saffron, Jessica and I. I play drums and sing, Saffron plays bass and sings back-up, and Jessica plays guitar.

WiMN: What has been your experience in the music scene as a woman? Do you feel an advantage/disadvantage?

VS:  I’m grateful that my interest in playing music sprung out of attending Girls Rock! Camp, because that really prepared me for the experiences I have encountered in the music scene as a woman. I learned about Riot Grrrl and the history of women in rock and beyond.

Learning about Riot Grrrl and feminism opened so many doors for me. It made me stronger as a person and as a musician. I have experienced discrimination at shows, because of my gender. Guys assume I’m just the “merch girl” instead of one of the actual band members, being asked stupidly ridiculous questions like, “How do you play guitar with your finger nails?” by some guy in one of the bands we were playing with, or watching guys in other bands greet the two guys in my band all excited and bro-like, but then looking past me, as if they can’t talk to me the same because I’m a girl.

I don’t want to say that being a woman in the music scene is an advantage or disadvantage, but I will say that I have been ignored or thought of as lesser of a musician because of my gender.

WiMN: If you could change anything about being a woman in the scene, what would it be?

VS: If I could change anything about being a woman in the music scene I would make it so that it doesn’t matter what your gender is! Whatever you identity with, you have the right to express yourself and make the music that you want.

I wish that I wasn’t ignored or thought of as lesser of a musician because of my gender. I don’t want the main focus of my music to be my gender – I want the main focus of the music that I make to be the passion and love that drives it, and I want the outcome to be filled with unity, equality and fun.

WiMN: Who is your main musical role model and what made you want to be a musician?

VS: It’s really hard to pick one person as my main musical role model. I think my biggest musical influence isn’t a role model, but a movement. Riot Grrrl really changed the way I think about music and the way that I play music. It was really empowering to discover all of these amazing all girl bands, because most of the bands that I listened to when I was younger did not have women in them.

I am a musician because I want to make a difference in the world, and the best way that I know I can reach people is through my music. Through my music I can share ideas, I can express my feelings with more than just words, and I can show the world that girls can do anything.

WiMN: What does 2016 hold for you?

VS: Ultrahazard’s biggest goal is to finish recording our first full-length album. Melomaniac is also working on recording, so we can put out an EP. I think the biggest goal that both bands have is to just really get our music out there and play even more shows. Both bands have yet to tour, but we have been talking about making a tour happen really soon, especially with Ultrahazard because of our new album coming out soon.

Dawn Perreault lives with her husband Mark and their boxer Scooby, in a suburb of Chicago. When she is not busy chasing her grandson around, she loves to write about local bands and musicians and also sings and writes original music.

Boston Calling Music Festival Lineup Announced

By Gabriella Steffenberg


Click image for high-quality.

Boston’s favorite music festival, Boston Calling, announced earlier this week the spring lineup of artists who will be performing in City Hall Plaza in Boston, Mass., from May 27-29.

There will be plenty of talented women playing the festival, including Sia, Robyn, Haim, Jangle Monáe, Courtney Barnett, Elle King, Lizzo, and more!

With Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes closing out during the blood moon this past fall, it’s safe to say that the spring edition of Boston Calling will serve up another round of unforgettable live music moments. For more information on the festival or to purchase tickets, head to


Brittany Howard Performs “Joe” at Live at Billboard Women in Music

By Gabriella Steffenberg 

From Billboard.

Taken from Billboard.

Brittany Howard officially can do no wrong. The Alabama Shakes front woman graced the Billboard Women in Music stage and gave a stellar performance of “Joe,” a track off of Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color. Howard also received the Powerhouse award, with the show airing on Lifetime Friday, Dec. 18.

Always one to cause jaws to drop, Howard powered through a soul-stirring performance of one of the more toned-down tracks of Sound & Color. Her power does not come from her belt – it’s found in her conviction and honesty that is ever-present in her vocals.

Towards the end of the performance, Howard hits what is most arguably the gut-wrenching lines of “Joe,” singing, “See people, God gave me so many things, fulfilled my many wishes, and I’ve achieved my many dreams. But oh, see that Joe? He’s the only thing I want, but I ain’t going to get what I want.” Heartbreak displays itself centerstage in the song about traveling, growing up, and achieving, but uncovering that the ache of one true love is something that can never be shaken.

Watch Howard perform a beautiful live rendition of “Joe” for yourself below:

Front and Center: Becky Gebhardt and Mona Tavakoli of Raining Jane and Founders of Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Becky Gebhardt and Mona Tavakoli of Raining Jane and founders of Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles

By Gabriella Steffenberg 

Becky Gebhardt and Mona Tavakoli are determined to make the rock world better for women in music, and they have already made waves. From being in the band Raining Jane together, who have toured with the likes of Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz (in addition to him producing and co-writing multiple tracks of theirs), and co-founding Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Los Angeles, these ladies are already paving the way for fearless women in the music industry.

MONABECKYCheck out Raining Jane’s website, and find out more about Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles.

Read below to find out more about these talented and inspiring women.

WiMN: How did your band, Raining Jane, form?

BG: Raining Jane formed before I was a part of it. It all started with a couple of undergrads at UCLA who wanted to put together an all-female band. I didn’t enter the mix until a little while later after they had already been playing gigs. I was introduced to the band through their drummer, Mona Tavakoli. Mona and I became friends while working together in the residence halls. She taught me important social skills like how to hi-five, and she brought me in to Raining Jane.

MT: When I was living in Sproul Hall at UCLA as an undergrad resident assistant I was approached by two girls across the hall. They had seen me play cajon at a flamenco dance class recital and were wondering if I also played drum kit. They wanted to start an all-female folk-rock band and play around Los Angeles. Santa Monica local, Mai Bloomfield (vocals, guitar, cello, women studies major) was also recruited. Over the course of the next few years band members changed. We added Chaska Potter (vocals, guitar, captain of the UCLA bruins volleyball team) and Becky Gebhardt (bass, sitar, cheese lover). Our first show as Raining Jane was at UCLA’s Spring Sing talent show where we played at the Los Angeles Tennis Center performing a medley called “A Tribute to the Women of the Eighties.” Raining Jane took home trophies that night for Best Band, Best Director and Grand Sweepstakes.

WiMN: What have been some of your most memorable shows?

BG: One of the most memorable shows I’ve had the honor to be a part of is “Live Art,” a fundraiser for SPARC (School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community). What’s amazing about this show is that it integrates about 200 kids of all abilities, and 50 adults into one big theatrical performance. All kinds of art – music, dance, spoken word, puppetry and even painting – are involved. It’s all about how art breaks down barriers and builds connections between people. It’s a magical experience that has changed me forever.

MT: The best part of being in Raining Jane is all of the opportunities for sharing it has given me. I am grateful for all of the beautiful/weird experiences we have had to share music around the world. There was that one time we drove to a college gig in western Pennsylvania and instead of looking at our technical rider they decided that we were an a cappella group so they only set up 6 vocal mics and nothing else. Don’t worry, we used all the mics- AND IT WAS MEMORABLE. Then there was that time we played in Daegu, Korea and the crowd was so spirited and responsive that we gave them singing parts. Never in my life could I imagine an entire venue in Korea singing along to a Raining Jane song.

WiMN: Who are your biggest musical inspirations and why?

BG: Different musicians inspire me at different times. Two artists that come to mind right away are Kaki King and Anoushka Shankar. I appreciate that they both are such excellent players of their respective instruments and also are doing very innovative things with them. And I just love the sounds they make. Their music is beautiful, interesting, and engaging.

MT: My first musical inspiration was Madonna. As a tiny, hairy 10 year-old I would rock a lace headband bow, draw in a fake beauty mark and sing “true blue” at the top of my lungs. I remember being so moved by her confidence and willingness to engage. Throughout my high school marching band/drum line years I was turned on to Neil Peart, the drummer of Rush. Neil Peart’s creative and musical drumming inspired me to think differently about the role of a drummer in the band. Thank you to Prince, Bjork, Paul Simon, Missy Elliott, Ben Gibbard, Gloria Estefan, Ani Difranco, Tori Amos and Peaches for being some of my favorite writers/performers on the planet as well.

WiMN: When did you know that you wanted to be in the music industry?

BG: I don’t feel like I ever knew I wanted to be in the music industry. I’ve found myself in it because I love being in a band and I love playing music – I wanted to see how far I could take it. I knew I wanted to be in a band when I was 13 years old and it basically progressed gradually from there. Where I’ve been able to go with it has surpassed all of my dreams and expectations.

MT: I don’t think I ever thought I would be in the music industry. I thought I would go to Business School and become a real professional business lady. I just loved playing music with my friends. I loved playing the drums. I loved sharing and singing and laughing. And it all seemed to come together when Raining Jane would play a show. And the shows became a tour and the tours became my life. And now I am playing music as my job. I can’t even believe it. I am so grateful I get to do something that I love with people that I love. And don’t even get me started on the fact that I get to connect and share with people all over the world through music – it’s just too much!

WiMN: What influenced you to found Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles?

BG: Mona and I had heard about the original Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls which started in Portland, Oregon in 2001. We went up there to volunteer in 2005 and kept going back after that. The experience of mentoring girls while also being inspired by their bravery and brilliance was super powerful. We knew we needed to start something similar in Los Angeles. L.A. can be so fame-focused sometimes, we wanted to create something that was explicitly not about fame or “making it in the music industry.” It’s really about harnessing the power of music for personal empowerment and rocking at life. However, for girls who do want to consider a job or career in music, this summer camp would be an incredible resource as well.

We really wanted to build a non-competitive space where girls and women could feel safe to fully express themselves and support each other. Now we have a really awesome community of like-minded people that’s sort of a haven. And it’s a reminder that it is possible to effect change and create the world that we wish existed at least for two weeks out of the year, and take those high vibes into the rest of our lives as best as we can. The volunteers end the week as pumped and inspired as the campers do, if not more.

MT: Becky Gebhardt and I had heard about this movement in the Pacific Northwest called the “Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls” from a publication called Venus Zine. We got in the car and drove from Los Angeles to Portland in the summer of 2005 and spent the week volunteering and teaching girls how to play music TOGETHER. It moved us so much that we knew we wanted to bring this magic to our community in Los Angeles. After Raining Jane took a break from touring full time we were able to get started. We are now in our sixth year of Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles!

WiMN: What’s the most rewarding part about working with young women in the music scene?

BG: Young people are brilliant and hopeful and creative and when I get to work with them some of that rubs off on me and I am so grateful for that.

MT: I think the most rewarding part about working with young women in music is being able to witness through them how much is changing in the world. I am watching girls of every background come together create together and sing together. As a young girl, I never saw a Persian woman playing the drums. Now I see every kind of woman and girl expressing themselves in ways I never imagined. Rock Camp has helped me discover how passionate I am about creating a safe space for expression and personal growth. Our mission is to create an environment where girls are encouraged to take risks, be loud, take up space, express their true selves and collaborate with their sisters. I am grateful to be a part of this work and movement. It informs my music and the way I engage and approach the world.

WiMN: Have you two ever faced adversity within the industry, just because you’re women?

BG: I don’t feel like I’ve faced adversity just because I’m a woman, but I’ve often wondered how my gender identity has affected how people treat me and perceive me. A lot of times you just don’t know. Sometimes people are just assholes, and as women we have the burden of wondering if it’s because of our gender. Systemic biases are much harder to pin down and point to than an isolated degrading comment, for example. Gender discrimination isn’t always a conscious act and nor is there always tangible evidence to prove it’s happening.

Also my gender presentation isn’t typically feminine so I think that also affects how I am perceived and treated by others too. I’ve definitely heard messed up stories from other women. But I don’t go on auditions and I’m not trying to fit in to other people’s visions of videos or bands, and I’ve never had to work on a team with a lot of men. I roll with a pack of ladies almost all the time (Raining Jane) and since we’re an indie band we make our own choices.

MT: There have been times where dudes were just rude. We have walked into venues and have been asked if we were the girlfriends of the band. I have friends that have had incredible challenges based on their gender identity and the way they look. However, I can see that the landscape is changing and I have a lot of hope for the direction that our industry is headed in.

WiMN: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned throughout your careers?

BG: Don’t be so afraid of making mistakes. My fear of messing up has held me back and it hasn’t been until fairly recently that I’ve really let go of that fear – it’s incredibly freeing.

MT: The most valuable lesson I have learned in my career is to take every opportunity to keep learning and evolving within my craft. There is no substitute for hard work and growth. It helps you lean in deeper into creation and gives you the confidence to share whatever you make. I have also learned that kindness always wins. Work your ass off and be nice while doing it.

WiMN: Do you have any advice for women looking to break into the music industry?

BG: My advice to anyone is to stay true to yourself, be great at what you do, work hard and find mentors. Also be nice and show up early but not too early. There’s definitely no blueprint for how to find success in the industry. Everyone’s path is different.

MT: Dolly Parton said it best: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

WiMN: What does it mean to you to receive a She Rocks Award?

BG: I feel very honored to receive a She Rocks Award. It’s really inspiring to see how the She Rocks Awards have grown over the years. Last year was my first time attending the event. It was an oasis of much-needed acknowledgement and celebration of women by women. It means so much for it to be happening during the NAMM Show and I’m grateful to everyone who has championed it.

MT: It is such a badass honor to receive a She Rocks Award! I am so grateful that this event exists and that we have a place to celebrate the accomplishments of women doing good work in the music industry. Yay She Rocks!

Julia Holter Shares “Silhouette” Video & Announces Headlining US Tour Dates

Silhouette video still

“Silhouette” video still

Following the release of her richly acclaimed new album Have You In My Wilderness, Julia Holter has shared the video for the album’s latest single, “Silhouette,” directed by Rick Bahto. Watch the video now HERE.
Julia Holter performed ‘”Silhouette”’ recently as part of a KEXP session. The session can be viewed HERE, and ‘”Silhouette’” specifically HERE. 
Holter has also announced a run of 2016 North American tour dates. All dates are below, and are on sale this coming Friday, November 20 at 10:00am local time. 
Thurs Jan 28 || San Diego, CA || The Irenic || TIX
Sat Jan 30 || Los Angeles, CA || Teregram Ballroom || TIX
Sun Jan 31 || San Francisco, CA || The Chapel || TIX
Tues Feb 2 || Portland, OR || Holoscene || TIX
Wed Feb 3 || Seattle, WA || Columbia City Theater || TIX
Thurs Feb 4 || Vancouver, BC || The Cobalt  || TIX
Tues Feb 23 || New York, NY || Bowery Ballroom || TIX
Fri Feb 26 || Philadelphia, PA || Johnny Brenda’s || TIX
Have You In My Wilderness is available on CD, digitally, and LP. The album includes the singles ‘”Feel You’” (watch the video HERE) and ‘”Silhouette’” (watch the video HERE) as well as previously released tracks ‘”Sea Calls Me Home’” (watch the video HERE) and ‘”Betsy On The Roof’” (listen to the official audio HERE). Buy from Dom Mart HERE and iTunes HERE.
Praise for Have You In My Wilderness:
“Minimalist patterns and airy lyrics mesh in the songs of Julia Holter, who easily walks the line between classical and pop.” – New York Times
“Enchanting” – Rolling Stone
“It’s a wholly absorbing record, one that doesn’t so much tell a single story as stitch together those tiny snatches of memory that make up our idea of another person” – The Fader
“Soothing and gently unsettling at once” – Mother Jones
“Transcendent” – ­Pitchfork, Best New Music
“A breathtaking headphone record that rewards amplified, focused listening.” LA Times