Monday, January 23, 2017

Four Female Fronted Bands In Ferndale

This weekend many women across the world marched together to let the new administration know that we are not going to be silent if we disagree with the direction that this country is taking. Here in Detroit they estimated that around four to five thousand people gathered at Wayne State to march together on Saturday morning. One of those marchers was local musician Jo Champagne from Siamese.

Jo is one of those bad ass women that isn't afraid to support other women. In fact she is hosting an all female fronted four top at The Loving Touch this Saturday, January 28th. She recruited Queen Kwong, Dear Darkness and Kaliedo to perform alongside Siamese on Saturday to showcase the talents of some of Detroit's female musicians. Every one of these projects is female fronted by an amazing woman who isn't afraid to get on stage and command some attention.

We had the chance to talk to Jo about the event and her background as a woman in music. Check out what she has to say and then head up to The LT this Saturday for another weekend of female power and good music!

HID- What inspired you to put a show together that featured all female singers?
Jo Champagne- "Last year we put together a show at The Loving Touch that featured all female led bands (Fawnn, Odd Hours, and Tart). It was one of our favorite shows, so we decided to do it again this year with a different line up. Plus, with the political climate as it is right now, I think celebrating females who kick ass is a great thing."

HID- Why do you think it’s important to showcase female musicians?
Jo Champagne- "Female musicians are often held to a different standard than male ones. It is intimidating, and I feel that is why there are so few of us in the scene. I have been in bands where other musicians would mock how women hold their guitars and belittled my opinions and abilities. I have played wayyy too many shows where I am treated like a girlfriend of a band member, other than a musician myself. We get comments at almost every show we play about how surprised people are that our drummer, Angie, is actually good. Women don't get the same type of respect, and it's incredibly frustrating. I wanted to put this show together featuring strong, powerful, talented females because I want to say “fuck that.” Every band on this bill is one I enjoy for the music, and they just happen to be led by a woman. None of us playing are “shrinking violets” or little kittens stuck in a tree. We will all be kicking, screaming, and making noise."

HID- How old were you when you started playing music?
Jo Champagne- "I have been playing music since elementary school. I started taking piano lessons back then, and eventually went in to musical theater. I started playing in bands towards the end of middle school, and I just never stopped."

HID- When did you write your first song?
Jo Champagne- "When I was very very little, probably about 5, I would record my own songs on cassette with just me singing about whatever was going on in my head. I would fill up the whole tape, and then make another. I started writing piano songs in elementary school."

HID- When did you play live for the first time? When and where and with who?
Jo Champagne- "I started acting and singing in musical theater around age 7. I did play a few concerts on piano around that time too. I first started playing with a band in middle school, and we had our first show freshman year of high school. It was at some really crappy “battle of the bands” gig. This was with a few people I met through my guitar teacher. I had to do a bass solo for some judges, and they were all very serious looking. They had everyone tell them who their favorite musician was. All the other teens were giving very respectable answers such as Miles Davis. I told them mine was Marilyn Manson, ha ha. I didn't win that contest. Obviously. I think my musical theater background comes out on stage. I have to actually feel the emotion of whatever I am playing/singing, and usually it is anger."

HID- Do you think that female musicians are treated different than male musicians? If so how? Why?
Jo Champagne- "YES. We are often treated like accessories. A lot of times others assume that the men in the bands are the ones writing the music, and we just sing or play it. I have no idea why. It is baffling."

HID- What is Siamese working on these days?
Jo Champagne- "Right now we are working on new music. We put out an EP last year, and we are hoping to have a full length out in early/mid 2018."

Tickets for this Saturday's show are $8 and they can be purchased here, Doors for the show open at 8 p.m. and all ages are welcome. Each one of these bands is doing something unique and interesting, so get your 8 bucks worth and come out early to catch all of their sets! You wont regret it! 


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