Lisa Mungo on Seattle, how to be new band, and inclusivity in metal (GRRL032)

Welcome to Grrl on Grrl episode 32, featuring Lisa Mungo of metal band He Whose Ox is Gored and hardcore band Fucked and Bound.

I met with Lisa in 2016 when He Whose Ox is Gored played in San Diego, and we recorded this interview in February after the first women’s march… yes, it’s taken me a whole year to put this out. Yiiiikes.

Since the interview, Lisa’s other band–who we talk about but not name in this episode–Fucked and Bound, announced the release of their first album Suffrage.  You can pre-order (or buy, depending on when you see this) the album via Atomic Action Records. They start shipping February 16, 2018.

We also talk about Lisa’s expectations moving to Seattle and what she ultimately found there, how the city can foster the adventures of a newer band who’s still learning the ropes, and then a bit on her responsibility as a fellow woman to speak against misogyny while also balancing the need to ignore it at times.

Thanks so much to Lisa for chatting with me over Skype and for being my inspiration to stop smoking!

Thanks to The Fresh Brunettes for providing their song “Best of the Worst” as the new Grrl on Grrl theme song! You can find their album Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition on CDBaby.

Listen

Download GRRL032 at Libsyn [35 minutes; 34MB] or stream from these websites [iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play]

Show Notes

  • Quitting smoking and changes in Lisa’s screaming voice because of it
  • The start of He Whose Ox is Gored, 7 (8?) years ago
    • Meeting at Guitar Center, finding other folks who are just as serious about music as she is
    • Buying a synth and inviting herself into the band
  • Moving to Seattle – what were her expectations, and were those expectations met?
    • Feeling lucky finding the DIY scene there
  • The need for smaller venues for new and emerging bands
    • A safe space to learn how to be a band
    • Seattle has a cooperative, supportive underground music scene
    • “I fucking love Seattle!”
  • Will Seattle be able to “contain” He Whose Ox is Gored?
    • Every band has a different goal and/or path, dependent on lifestyle.
    • The possibility of over-playing a city or market; does that apply to younger bands too?
    • What He Whose Ox is Gored did when they were a younger band–“it’s because they were taking a leak somewhere and they saw our name!”
  • Advice and mistakes of being a younger band
    • “Do whatever it takes.” Not being afraid to try new things
    • Using mistakes and failure to grow as a band
  • Song clip: Fucked and Bound’s “00FUXX”
  • Talking about her new hardcore band, Fucked and Bound
    • New record unreleased at time of the interview, but can be ordered via Atomic Action Records
  • How does Lisa have the time for everything?
    • Music as her main focus
    • Making the switch to not drinking/not partying a few years back so she can focus on her projects
    • Game of Thrones
  • She reiterates, “I do watch a lot of Game of Thrones.”
  • DIY merch creation
    • The Vera Project – take a class and then can use their screenprinting lab
    • We both grouse about screenprinting and other DIY travails
    • The pride of making and selling their own merchandise
  • Can the metal (or more generally the music) scene be more inclusive? If you want to hear Sarah from Spotlights’ answer to that, head to her episode here.
    • Seattle can feel like an inclusive bubble.
    • Deciding to “hit the ignore button” vs speaking out against microaggressions (mansplaining, inappropriate questions, etc.) on tour
    • Responsibility to other women to speak up
    • Taking it night by night and/or situation by situation
  • Feeling hopeless in this current political climate
    • Solidarity, speaking out, not giving up
    • Using our anger to “hit the pavement”
  • Song clip: He Whose Ox is Gored’s “Machina

Links

Stream

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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!