Music fans have been using the term ‘female-fronted metal’ to categorize bands with female vocalists for decades, bundling them all together in one untidy (totally sexist) “genre” which segregates them from their male peers and labels them as an exception to the rule. Thankfully, the death bell may finally be tolling for the outdated idea that ‘female-fronted metal’ is a genre and progress to change perception is steadily being made. After being notably underrepresented in festival line ups for decades, increasing numbers of women are managing to claw their way into premium slots at some of Europe’s most notorious metal festivals.
As a fandom, we’re smart enough to know that ‘female-fronted metal’ doesn’t just include the operatic stylings of symphonic metal — women can be found in all metal genres, performing all vocal styles.
The segregation of gender through genre is even more redundant when you examine modern attitudes to women in music. Perspectives are changing and embracing females and femaleness within music is now relatively commonplace. There’s little argument to be made for female vocalists being talentless sex objects used to attract a predominantly male fandom, either. Women have consistently proven their ability to rival the talent of any male contemporary — Doro Pesch, Joan Jett and Lita Ford all have proven skill, marketability, and long-term staying power. When you closely examine modern attitudes of women in heavy metal the frame of reference has been changing for the better and the rock world is now open to embracing females and all their “femaleness”. Rock bands should be judged by their music… social relevance and not by gender.
70’s rock star, Suzy Quatro’s story differs from the mean simply because she was one of the very few hard-rocking women in the business in the 70s; she was a mere slip of girl when she hit the big time, barely taller than the bass she played. All that being said when we were sent stuff that is the essence of a newly released album. Sure I remember 48 Crash and Glycerin Queen.
I’m excited about doing a story on Haxan.. Rock Bands of L.A.com has been around over 6 years and have interviewed almost 200 artists… We’re unlike other blogs.. we get the story right and tell things that fans never knew. I have only a few queries… so take your time and have fun. Its as if we’re having a one on one conversation. Oh… we have a special section.. Women Who Rock… yep.. that’s you. Also, please tell me who’s answering the question, so I get it right…
Harriet Wadeson – Bass:In the 1980s the presence of women in rock, and in heavy metal bands it was usually considered by press and fans more for glamour and sexual exploitation than for the musicianship. You’re different. Your band. has a deeper commitment in promoting your music and your musicianship.. And the avoidance of posturing as a sex symbols. You’ve been around for a very long time… What are your thoughts regarding women in rock and roll? It is so easy to go down that path, especially in videos. What I love about Haxan that you keep it real.
Harriet Wadeson: It’s a difficult double edged sword, especially in this day and age. Back in the 80s, women were strong-armed into the “sex sells” mantra and, for me personally, it was difficult to take them seriously, let alone become inspired by them. Nowadays there is a huge focus on feminism and equality, which can mean empowering women to gyrate around on stage with few clothes on, not because they have to, but because they want to. As long as the sound doesn’t suffer because of it, I’m all for it. But I definitely feel like it’s a distraction rather than an addition to the music, which is the most important thing. I think the key is we don’t try to be anything and we don’t try to not be anything. We do what we want, but the music always comes first. I like to think we offer a lifeline for the younger generation of female musicians who maybe don’t want to feel like a sex symbol or have to look a certain way to make cool music. You can be a gross, sweaty mess like the men and that’s still badass.
Rock Bands of l.A.com: I always find bands when asked about their influences.. they always play it safe….AC/DC ,Motorhead and Metallica…? But in reality it should be trail blazers like Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Lzzy Hale, Girl School.. and Suzi Quatro..Do you find female rock bands “need” to like “guy” bands more than girl bands?
SamBolderson/Guitar: Suzi Quatro was a massive influence on me growing up. And all being well at the end of year, we’re lucky enough to be sharing a bill with her in Australia. So we can’t wait for that. We do have mostly male influences, simply because we were inspired by the classic rock era growing up, and sadly this was, and still is to a degree, male dominated. So I don’t think it’s so much that female rock musicians “need” to like guy musicians, it’s just a case of them being a dominant force. Being an all female band, we looked to artists like Joan Jett and The Runaways when we were cutting our teeth and developing who we are today, but I’d like to think that now, we add something a little modern into the mix.:
Rock Bands of L.A.com: I always find bands when asked about their influences.. they always play it safe….AC/DC ,Motorhead and Metallica…? But in reality it should be trail blazers like Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Lzzy Hale, Girlschool.. and Suzi Quatro..Do you find female rock bands “need” to like “guy” bands more than girl bands?
Rock Bands of L.A.com:You have a new album coming out “White Noise”… what can your fans expect?
Jess Hartley/Drums: We’re very proud of this album and every song on it. We’ve worked very hard and feel we’ve curated a more developed and tighter sound. Every song sounds different