Rock music fans have been using the term ‘female-fronted metal’ to categorize women bands for decades. Bundling them 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 Thankfully, the death bell may finally be tolling for the outdated idea that ‘female-fronted metal’ is a genre and progress to change the perception is steadily being made. 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.
Let’s face it, women are a firm fixture in the metal scene whether on the stage or in front of it. They’ve been shredding since the 80s! Legendary artists…. Girlschool, Lita Ford-Joan Jett (The Runaways were from the late 70’s) and Vixen were trailblazers during that era there was never a qualitative genre to reveal the great contribution women made.Unfortunately, it was just a handy way for people to pick out the women in a male-dominated scene and leave it at that. It’s no novelty to see woman “shredding” at the guitar or death growling into a microphone nowadays — it’s become commonplace. Women have consistently proven their ability to rival the talent of any male contemporary; and create new genres that have proven skill, marketability, and long-term staying power. Women in metal continue to create compelling characters .. Lizzy Hale (Halestorm)…Lindsey Stirling (Evanescence) and Cristina Scabbia (Coil)… are all great… and shit.. Lita and Joan still have their niche covered.
Let me be perfectly clear and set the record straight… Everything about Swedish metal band, Thundermother is amazing. They’ve opt for a no-frills “kick-ass” approach that blends punk rock ethos into their brand of heavy metal. The press slackly draws comparisons to Motörhead, AC/DC and Metallica. If a writer chooses to connect the dots then its no more than journalistic laziness … Sure, it’s great to hang your hat on any of these musical legends; but think about it… AC/DC hasn’t written and exciting “riff” in over 20 years..Lemme is so dead that his bronze statue at the world famous Rainbow Bar & Grill in Hollywood is nothing more than an ashtray for “wanna” be rock stars…..Metallica are just that .. Metallica.. nothing fresh in decades!With all this in mind, it makes sense to kill the sexist gender divide and move forward into one united metal fandom.
Thundermother’s songwriting prowess has proliferated exponentially; and with each album they’re garnering credibility among the metal fans . Lead singer, Guernica Mancini is phenomenal.. a star! Her vocals rival any contemporary rock singer. Guitarist and band founder, Filippa Nässil has been the constant member of Thundermother; and she’s a symbol for rebellion against conformity, normality, and musical complacency. She’s a true rocker without being a rock star poser.Looking ahead to the next decade, her notability as a guitar hero will continue to skyrocket with metal aficionados Their forthcoming album titled, “Heat Wave” is slated for a July release… We anticipate greatness and monumental acclaim. Rock on Ladies!
We had the chance to chat with Thundermother’s singer, Guernica Mancini.. She’s upfront with the roll of women in heavy metal and she gives a preview about the fourth album, “Heat Wave.”
Rock Bandsofla.com: In the 1980s the presence of women in rock, in particular in heavy metal were considered by press and fans more for glamour and sexual exploitation than for the musicianship.. Thundermother has a commitment in getting behind your music and the avoidance of posturing as sex symbols. You’ve been around for a very long time… What are your thoughts regarding women in rock and roll? How do you keep your fans focused on your music and not sexual exploitation? It’s so easy to go down that path, especially in videos. What I love about Thundermother is that you keep it real.
Guernica Mancini: Hi first of all haha =) My opinion is that we need more women in rock bands! I’m very happy to see that this is getting better day by day, especially in classic rock or whatever you choose to call what we play. Most of the women I hear about playing metal or something else completely different. So It makes us all very happy to see other female musicians doing their thing and eventually it won’t be a thing for the whole gender question. The way we approach it by just being very confident educated musicians. And we don’t play for any other reason than for the love of rock and roll. So if anyone happens to find that sexy, 4 strong talented musicians.. then great. But you’ll never see us do anything specifically to be sexy, that’s so dated and boring and not sexy to me ha..ha.! Also if we ever post anything leaning that way it’s always with humor. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and love to just poke fun at the whole thing.I’ll try to answer the last one with some modesty..ha haha We don’t need to play the sex card because the music, our talents and our live shows speak for themselves. If that makes us exy then so be it. haha
Rock Bands of L.A.com: Its hard to believe that your band has been around for over 10 years! What bands are your inspiration?,. Guy bands ….girl bands.. Its easy to say AC/DC.., Metallica and Motorhead..What about Doro Pesch.. who has been dubbed the “Heavy Metal Queen”? Then you have Sean Yseult of White Zombie… who gained popularity in the 80’s…
Guernica Mancini: I wish I could say I had lots of female rock/metal musicians that have inspired me on this journey; but i dont … The only one and it’s a legend is Janice Joplin, the way she really meant what she sang and expressed it on stage and her vocals! That’ something I always try to keep in mind when I’m on stage. And Gwen Steffani made a huge impression on me as a pre-teen. Her style, her attitude, I just loved it all. Besides, from then my inspirations are all men, unfortunately within rock.. haha. I really hope we as a band can be part of a major change and can inspire lots of future musicians. One of my absolute all time favorite artists is Prince. When I started singing rock, Sebastian Bach, Axl Rose and Dio were vocalists that i tried to mimic. Fast forward to now.. haha I’m always trying to find new artists..and classic artists to get inspired by. But as for as band go AC/DC and Motörhead are huge influences.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:Ms. Yseult.. former bass play with White Zombie wrote a book about her time being one of the few women in metal.. If you were to write an autobiography… what would share with your fans that they don’t know?
Guernica Mancini:I have a few, both fun and crazy stories and slightly less uplifting tough situations. It’s life and things that shape you, make you stronger and help you grow. I can’t wait until I’m at that point where there’s enough people that would be interested in reading about my life, the good, the bad and the ugly… so to speak. And the title would probably be – “The Glamorous Life”.. ha ha ha.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:You have a new album coming out..”Heat Wave”… what can your fans expect? I think that Soren Anderson did a brilliant job! Major kudos! How did you meet Soren?
Guernica Mancini: I’ll start with how we met Soren. It was Filippa that met him first at one of her friends birthday party. And at this party they played songs written by him with a live band and she just knew she had to talk to him. We had at that time just started writing for this album and collaborating with several people. But from that point we set up a writing sessions with Filippa, Soren and me, at his studio in Copenhagen. And it was love at first sight.. haha we all just clicked and had a great work flow. It was all just pure magic, so then we decided to repeat this winning concept haha, and planned another session straight away and this time Emlee joined us and the same thing happened, we ended up writing 6 songs with him.
And we just knew there and then that he had to produce the album too. He knows exactly how to get the best out of all of us. We love Soren and we love the result and we can’t wait to share it with the world… What the fans can expect is a more elevated sound, a more mature sound. The musical influences are broader and you can clearly hear that we as a band have grown tighter, we are now a solid unit. Everyone has put their own touch/stamp on the different songs. This album is on a completely different level, without saying anything bad about the previous albums who we are very proud of, “Heat Wave” is something else and it is by far the best we’ve ever created together this far.
We need to give a big “ya-hoo” to Ms.Mancini and Michael Thiesen… for their help… It been a very hard time for everybody.