GRRL012: safe spaces (or lack thereof) and the DIY scene, featuring Anastasia Rivera of The Weak Days

Anastasia Rivera is vocalist and keyboardist for pop punk/emo band The Weak Days based in Richmond, Virginia. The band describes themselves as “sing-along indie punk/pop… whatever that means.” And the name fits, I think, especially with their dual and dueling vocals.

Anastasia joins me over Skype. We talk a lot about being a girl in the DIY punk music scene in Richmond, battling hardcore kids (literally), and her strategy when it comes to avoiding uncomfortable situations at shows.

You can find The Weak Days on Bandcamp and Facebook, and if you’re on the east coast, you’ll be happy to learn that they play outside of Richmond. In fact, they’ll be doing a short tour this spring.

If you liked this episode, rate us on iTunes so more people can find the podcast. And as always, feel free to leave a comment, email me, follow me on Twitter, or like Grrl on Grrl on Facebook.

Listen Here

Download here. [~26 mins, 31MB]

Shownotes

  • [1:00] DIY punk spaces in Richmond, Virginia
    • Strange Matter: safe venue
    • More bands means more houses to play in
    • More open than the hardcore scene
  • [2:45] Violence at shows vs. riot grrrl/inclusivity
    • “I had my septum ring punched out. I’m 90% sure that the guy got pissed off that I got purple lipstick on his sleeve.”
  • [4:00] The Weak Days – Year of the Gnar
  • [7:30] House venues, especially in Philadelphia
    • Seeing house shows fill to max capacity
    • “Let’s just throw shows whenever… and surprise, we’re your favorite band!”
    • Does San Diego have a space or audience for more house venues? Does gentrification have an affect
    • Call back to Emma’s episode about creating DIY spaces in San Diego
  • [9:00] All ages venues
    • Under-21 people missing cool shows only because of their age
  • [10:00] Padfoot – Make Way for the Hurt Kid
  • [14:00] Touring with guys
    • “The only thing that sucks about being a girl in the band… is being a girl in the band.”
    • Being put on a pedestal, glorified, or viewed at a higher standard — Damned if you do, damned if you don’t?
  • [16:30] Slingshot Dakota – Until the Day I Die
    • Pre-order their upcoming album Break at Top Shelf Records, in different formats
  • [21:00] Dealing with boys approaching her at shows
    • How do you respond to inappropriate/uncomfortable comments?
    • “Problems” with being sober: “I can’t go outside to smoke a cigarette to get out of a conversation.”
    • Comparisons to working in retail
  • [23:00] People disrespecting boundaries
    • During tour life, romance
    • Re-iterating the need for safe spaces
  • [23:30] Being in someone’s “favorite band” doesn’t excuse bad behavior
    • Speedy Ortiz’s sexual assault hotline at their shows
    • Here’s an interview about that hotline.
      • “It seems like people have identified a real need for it, and we’re happy that that need hasn’t yet translated into us having to take proactive measures to help someone. I think even just the idea of this existing makes people more inclined to look out for one another, and look out for one another’s safety.”

Other Notes & Thanks!

Thank you again to Anastasia Rivera for joining me on Skype.

Special thanks to: Sullen Ray who graciously allows me to use their song “Get Up Got It” as the Grrl on Grrl podcast intro and outro–listen to and buy their album Blue Minor on Bandcamp and look out for the upcoming new album Outside the Color Wheel; Greg Guiliano for his financial support; and Gary Hankins for making the episode sound good.

And to all my friends who have been so supportive of this project, I love you!

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