Women In Rock
Hey, y’all, Shay here. thebuzzr after hours.
Welcome. Episode 12.
Tonight we celebrate Women in Rock.
Looking back at rock and metal history, women have been a part of it for as long as men have. They named Viola Smith of The Coquettes “America’s Fastest Girl Drummer” in 1939. The Rock-and-roll Hall of Fame recognized Rosetta Tharpe as being responsible for the careers of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. And then there’s Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Joan Jett, and many others.
Women put out incredible music year after year. I am introducing you to three talented women in rock tonight. Gemma Dee, lead vocalist of the band The Banquets out of Leeds, United Kingdom. Emma Dark, lead in her band Dark, based in Los Angeles, California. Amanda Pajer, lead vocals for the Los Angeles duo Mike and Mandy.
First up, The Banquets’ single “Black Mirrors” releasing May 7th. Rock, blues and pop band The Banquets hailing from Leeds join the podcast today. Gemma Dee, vocals and Leon Russell-Hills, guitarist are with us today. Catch the video on YouTube May 7th.
L.A. based artist Emma Dark joins us next. Emma formed the alternative rock band Dark. She is a singer-songwriter. Today we discuss her motivation to form her female-fronted band, and her latest songs inspired by the children’s poem “The Spider And The Fly”.
Last track of the night is “Ash Rain” by Mike & Mandy released late April of this year. The track is an aggressive hard rock original single reminiscent of the 80s.
Mike and Mandy are producer-writer-husband Michael Faulkner and singer-songwriter Amanda Pajer based in Los Angeles, California.
Closing tonight, a quote from Frank Zappa.
“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.”
And that brings us to the end. Thank you for tuning in. A huge thank you to the artists on tonight’s show.
When the show goes silent, take a minute to reflect on the messages told by these incredible artists tonight, through the power of music. Without music, our canvas is blank.
Night, all! Cheers!
Emma Dark | Dark
Provided by the Artist
Emma Dark formed the band, “Dark,” and is an alternative rock singer-songwriter from the United States, writing songs inspired by her favorite children’s poem, “The Spider and the Fly.”
At 13, she joined a small homeschooling group guitar class, where she discovered her ear for melody and writing vocal lines with her first 3 chords. After difficulty fitting into groups, she began writing music alone in her bedroom to heal from painful experiences. In a few short years, she recorded over 30 songs on her phone.
To start a rock band, she joined a music class for collaboration at the local community college, Norco College. There, she became the only female rock artist in a class of 30 males to 5 females. Before she could perform or record in the school’s studio, Covid struck a month into class. Back at home, she resorted to passing tracks back and forth online with a talented lead guitarist with 15 years playing experience from class, Dillon Brown. Complementing each other’s styles, he agreed to lend his influence and melodic solos to future songs.
During the pandemic, Emma set up a portable recording booth designed by her dad, in the living room. Produced all at home, “Dinner Time,” about feeling safe while being preyed upon, became the first of a series of songs for a concept album with complex characters based on the poem. A second song, “Be Still,” coming 3.12.21, is gritty, dark, and about feeling trapped while needing to remain calm.
The band, “Dark,” is looking forward to releasing a third song, “The Spider and the Fly,” in April and performing their first live virtual concert of the new music, as soon as it is safe to do so. You can follow Emma Dark on Instagram @itsybitsy_me for more information.
Quote from Emma Dark, “All of my songs are inspired by my favorite children’s poem, ‘The Spider and the Fly.’ I first discovered the book on a visit to the library in the second grade. After some learning difficulties, my mother began to homeschool me. I forgot about the book. In high school, I experienced the pain of exclusion and feeling judged when I wrote a song, “Caught in Web” and “Red Eyes.” At t his time, I recalled the book and my idea for a concept album with the universal themes of fear and control began.
As a homeschooler and trying to fit, it was always about who you knew. I experienced being told I couldn’t participate. When I learned to play guitar, I could create my own unique content and melodies to sing. I no longer needed to worry about being included or pretending to be what others needed me to be. I’ve found my voice as an Indie artist, writing about fear and control.”
Emma Dark Single "Dinner Time"
Gemma Dee | The Banquets
From the Band:
“Ash Rain” was written during the COVID-19 Pandemic, when the West Coast of the United States was on fire… it was literally raining ash on our neighborhood. Still, it’s a metaphor mixed in a homophone… how often do we go to the well seeking life-giving water only to find dead ash? We’ve all had relationships where the compassion and understanding we seek isn’t met but rebuffed by cold harsh judgement or indifference. It’s about requests for help and comfort being met with coldness and denial. Instead of cake you get crumbs. Instead of water you get ash. #hardrock #alternativerock #indierock