Gendernetworks & Music

These Interviews were conducted in 2003/2004 as part of a research for a paper at the University of Göttingen | Germany on gender networks and music.

Queer as in challenging heteronormativity

Terre Thaemlitz

yes, people have their own ideas of what “transgendered” means (including myself). promoters and audience members are sometimes disappointed if i do not appear in drag, etc. – but it is my interest to compicate notions of transgenderism and have people understand the transgendered body does not cease to exist when “invisible” or “out-of-drag.” (my opinion is that we are never out of drag.)

Julianna Bright (The Quails)

I think our political thoughts are very present in our music. Something we discuss and think about a lot are the ‘politics of every day life.’ Especially in the United States, electoral politics can be very discouraging/alienating. And so how then do you make the idea of justice and compassionate legislation something that matters to people, something they will stand up for?

Kevin Blechdom

its absolutely confusing i think… because i don’t see any separation for my life and my music and my political opinion… so its hopefully all there… i try to approach creative stuff from a direct place somewhere inside my heart so i guess its no different than where my political opinions come from… i mean i don’t think of them as separated activities… its not like one fuels the other… they’re just all mixed up

Jean Smith (Mecca Normal)

Mecca Normal is celebrating 20 years since our first performance. Longevity has become a political issue. We continue to challenge ourselves. We are calling our touring art show a “play” — the theme of the play is the presentation of political ideas within art (music, writing, theatre, etc) — bringing political vision into public sphere in the form of art.

Lynn Breedlove (Tribe 8)

my music is a vehicle for my political views. punkrock homohop is modern folk music.

Lindy Morrison (The Go-Betweens)

when I was younger I continually experienced discrimination as a woman in music, too many to discuss.

Sara Jaffe (Erase Errata)

Well, i don’t write lyrics, but it influences the kinds of venues we play, who we play with, the labels we put our music out with, how we present ourselves to the world…

Greg Saunier (Deerhoof)

It would be impossible for my politcal opinion to not influence my music or anything else I do. Even if I don’t always want to make “political” music, my music and my politics come from the same person, the same feelings, beliefs, thoughts. Sometimes we do songs with politically relevant lyrics, such as an anti-war song. Other times we do songs that use symbolism to suggest an anti-war opinion without really stating it. But always our music is meant to express freedom from dogmatism, inclusion of a wide range of ideas, and equality of those who participate.

Aliccia Berg Bollig (Slumber Party)

My political opinion encourages me to play music so that I might selfishly feel a degree of separation from “regular life“. It gives me a sense of freedom from desires and wants that I observe others to have. Those desires and wants that seem unattainable and unworthy of much of a struggle. Also, rightly or wrongly, my politics and music, as I’ve described their relationship in my life, give me a sense of purpose, and at times license to feel “beyond it all”.