Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Farin

Females in Rock music

Recommended Posts

...why are there so few?

and why are the ones who are there primarily singers?

Probably 95% of the female pop/rock/indie/... musicians I can think of are either solo artists or lead singers in an otherwise all-male band...

why is that?

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rock scene, believe it or not, is a very sexist, "machist" scene. Women are mostly seen as groupies rather than rockers. In any case, they are accepted by colleagues as pop singers, or folk singers, or songwriters/performers, etc but not really rock performers.

You must be quite high or drunk to keep on at 3 am after the concerts.

You don´t have a family life when you live on the road.

When you have kids you want/have to stay home sometimes at nights with them but you must be recording at nights very often. You have Madonna, Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith, Grace Slick, etc., who are exceptions for the rule -they are/have been rock/pop performers- but there are few. And they avoid long touring -except for Madonna, who is not really a rocker-.

It´s hard. You must be very strong. And it´s not always easy to be a woman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

okay, I can understand that...

but that can't be everything. I mean, why are the few that there are almost always singers/frontwomen?

does that have to do with stereotypes and record company decisions too? as in, are they saying "let's put the pretty face where the audience can see it"?

:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It´s very hard to be in a band as well. You´re surrounded by men, all the fun is supposed to be for men, the men are more "primma donna" than women, mainly when the girl only plays piano or bass or so. Usually the woman in the band is the girlfriend or wife of some musician.

And it´s a VERY hard life. Again, nightime, smoke, dope, wild sex, alcohol, tours... it´s fine for awhile, yes. But you get tired of it. This is a man´s world, believe me... :shades:

Now of course, putting a pretty face&body as the frontwoman is the thing to do. That will sell a lot.

Again, this is a man´s world...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be completely off, but I think maybe it's also because if you decide to become a musician, life becomes VERY uncertain. You never know whether or not you're going to make it, or if you'll earn enough money to pay the rent, and if you are serious about trying to become famous then often you have to be so committed that there's no time for a 'real' job... and even then, it's often just luck if you make it.

I think women are less likely than men to give up a steady job for something as uncertain as a band. And if you only play bass or keyboard, you probably feel more replaceable than if you're the singer.

Also, if women are less likely to be willing to life off gigs for a while and hope someone discovers them, then I think once they DO make that decision, they want to be REALLY sure it's not completely in vain... so just playing bass is not enough, but playing bass AND singing or writing songs is a lot safer because you've got a lot more going for you (or even just singing - again, you're less replaceable, and it's bigger in a way).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...95% of the female pop/rock/indie/... musicians I can think of are either solo artists or lead singers in an otherwise all-male band... why is that?

:)

Farin, I suspect it's all about your perceptions, rather than the reality.

There are certainly fewer women in bands than there are men, but of these, plenty are not fronting bands, but are instead working as backing singers and instrumentalists. You tend not to notice them any more than you notice the male backing musicians. I've personally worked with at least five female front-people, but over a dozen women backing singers. In well-known Australian bands, I could point to female drummers, keyboard players, piano players, bass players, and even violin and oboeists. Not many guitarists, I'll will say.

But why are there fewer women than men in rock? Because it's a crappy, dirty, blokey job, where you spend much of your time (even at the top of the business) hanging out with the crew in dark, smelly, noisy venues, telling fart jokes, drinking and smoking, and pretending to have fun.

I guess I'm saying that women are simply smarter than men.

Am I nuts?

LB

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Farin, I suspect it's all about your perceptions, rather than the reality.

There are certainly fewer women in bands than there are men, but of these, plenty are not fronting bands, but are instead working as backing singers and instrumentalists

oh, that's true, I actually completely forgot about backup singers...

good call :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back-up singers and women who play intruments rather than guitar are not few. In fact, there must be more female than male back-up singers. And when I had to find someone who played a cello or a violin or a harp, for instance, it was a woman. But they don´t have a rock&roll way of life.

But why are there fewer women than men in rock? Because it's a crappy, dirty, blokey job, where you spend much of your time (even at the top of the business) hanging out with the crew in dark, smelly, noisy venues, telling fart jokes, drinking and smoking, and pretending to have fun.

Et voilà. It´s a man´s world, really... :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno, I think there are plenty of talented female musicians out there, just depends on where you look-

Khaki King, Kim Gordon, Kim Deal, Karen O, Feist

and more.

And yeah, a couple on that list are singers, but I'm not sure why we would disqualify singers from the list- as generally the singer is one of the more important parts of a band, no?

Oh, and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, his bass player(Joanna something, I always forget her last name) and Janet Weiss on drums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off the top of my head, bands with female instrumentalists...

White Stripes

Pixies

Dandy Warhols

New Order

Pulp

Elastica

Go-Betweens

Fleetwood Mac

Lush

Sonic Youth

My Bloody Valentine

Talking Heads

Heart

Prince and the Revolution, New Power Generation

Velvet Underground

Triffids

...

But are these just exceptions that prove the rule?

LBB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Runaways

No Doubt

there's a many others...

Yes, but these are bands in which the woman is the front-person or it's an all-girl band. I think we can name squillions of these... Finding women instrumentalists in bands with men is much trickier.

LB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, I know that there are quite a few very good female musicians, give me some credit, will ya ;)

there are people like Kim and Kelley Deal, Meg White, D'arcy Wretzky, Melissa auf der Maur, Kim Gordon, PJ Harvey (could name more) who undoubtly all deserve a :bow: and a :rockon:

but I still think they're more the exception than the rule...

And yeah, a couple on that list are singers, but I'm not sure why we would disqualify singers from the list- as generally the singer is one of the more important parts of a band, no?

first: I actually didn't mean for this thread to become a "list" one ;)

second: I didn't want to discuss male bands fronted by a woman, because often (certainly not always!) this could be the case of the record company deciding to put a "pretty face" up front, so the (teenage)male audience has something to look at while listening ;):P

Finding women instrumentalists in bands with men is much trickier.

exactly!

I actually got to thinking about that, because I did notice some newer Indie bands that are quite mixed, gender-wise, and I wondered if it's a recent development in music, or merely newer "exceptions" :P

Architecture in Helsinki, Belle and Sebastian, Broken Social Scene, (The) Arcade Fire, of Montreal, The New Pornographers, Godspeed You! Black Emperor...

(and now I made a list too :P )

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't matter how many bands you list, I could come up with ten times as many all-male bands in ten minutes. Some of them may not be as talented or as good-looking or whatever, but you ALL admit that there are a whole lot more bands WITHOUT female members and it doesn't make any difference whatsoever if you list a hundred of them... so, why? :shades:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't matter how many bands you list, I could come up with ten times as many all-male bands in ten minutes. Some of them may not be as talented or as good-looking or whatever, but you ALL admit that there are a whole lot more bands WITHOUT female members and it doesn't make any difference whatsoever if you list a hundred of them... so, why? :shades:

yes, yes! that's exactly what I meant :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I chalk it down to stereotypes. Women and 'rock' music seem incongruous. The ones who ARE in rock bands - especially those fronting bands - have decidedly masculine personlities. If you look at the form of music to be all angry, non-conformist, anti-authority (a lot of it is, right?), then you need the right growly, angry voice/instruments to do get the point across.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...