LADY BEAST (EN)

– Hello and, first of all, thanks for taking your time to answer to our questions, hope you are all safe and healthy over there. How are you dealing with the whole covid-19 situation? How does this affect you as a band?

Thank you so much! We are doing the best we can with the limited possibilities of playing live music. Not the best time to release an album, but it was so unexpected. We were fortunate enough to do a live stream show June 20 so we were able to rock and get that release we were longing for! We all need to adapt to the situation and most importantly keep each other safe. It is hard to say what the next year or two holds for live music.

– You are a band firmly rooted in an 80’s sound. What motivated you to form a band so purely inspired by this kind of sound? What were your goals?

Its collectively our favorite era of heavy metal. So its not hard to embrace this sound when it comes out in writing so naturally. From the beginning we knew Lady Beast was going to be a heavy metal band that highlights all the best parts of traditional heavy metal. Each song still sounds different even though we stay true to a style.

– I think we all already know Metal tends to be a quite nostalgic «community». When Simon Reynolds researched on the cult of retro on «Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past» he wondered if: “Is nostalgia stopping our culture’s ability to surge forward, or are we nostalgic precisely because our culture has stopped moving forward and so we inevitably look back to more momentous and dynamic times?”. Applied to the Metal world, what’s your opinion? Do we use to look back because we feel there’s something missing on most of today’s music?

I think you can hear some bands out there that are just trying to copy a sound or style because it’s popular or easy to produce. There is something to be said about bands that take the genre of heavy metal that is over 50 years old and still keep it interesting and fresh. We were never trying to reinvent the wheel (of heavy metal), but you have to be unique and creative to stay relevant and grow as a band.

– Even though you twist things a little here and there, your music is founded on a 80’s basis. Do you work in accordance to these old school roots when it comes to recording and production?

We enjoy a cleaner, true to sound production. We record live as a band so we want to capture some of that energy. No crazy effects, triggers, autotunes, etc are used in the recording of any of our albums. We like to keep it raw, real and always leave the audience wanting more.

– In fact you seem to keep a quite DIY way of doing things. How important is this DIY ethos for LADY BEAST?

Honestly being DIY wasn’t really a choice as much as it was the only way to make things happen for us. When we began in 2009 there were not many heavy metal bands playing, especially female fronted bands. So we basically started out in the punk scene and grew from there making connections along the way. When you are in the drivers seat and have control of the band, you decide where you want to go and who you want to take along for the ride. You really are able to appreciate those gold moments of playing festivals, large shows, etc when you started playing in basements. And we will never forget this long road and the wonderful journey it has been so far.

– «Lady Beast» is a really powerful band name. It has power. What did you want to portray with it when you came up with a name for your band?

It was actually the title of the song from a previous band former bass player Greg Colaizzi and I were in together in 2008. When that project disbanded we kept the song and decided to name the new project Lady Beast. Picking band names is one of the hardest parts of starting the band. Haha

– In fact it fits that power and epic you instill with your sound and lyrics, at the same time this is what traditional Heavy Metal is about. How do you work on this? Do you build a specifical imagery for an album and then make the other elements (lyrics, artwork, etc.) fit in it? Or how is the creative process for LADY BEAST?

Normally they first write the songs, during that time also i write the lyrics then after we have enough for a complete album we will start thinking about the album as a whole. That includes album title, art work concepts, layout ideas, etc. It normally comes together pretty quickly as this point since this is our 5th release. But each time is so different and amazing.

– Your new album is «The Vulture’s Amulet». What’s the non-literal meaning of the album’s title? What does it symbolize?

I really love birds, vultures especially. I volunteer with them at our local wildlife center. I am also very connected and drawn to Egyptian deities and magic. It came to me and I felt like it was perfect and would also inspire amazing artwork.

– It holds a certain spiritual halo, as some of your lyrics do. To what extent can spirituality help us go through difficult moments as the days we’re living in right now?

Positive thinking and reflective manifestation can do more than you think in dark times. I try to always see the positive side and also acknowledge the dark so you can learn from experiences and always be able to grow. I always try to have a song or two on each album that encourages people to always stay true to who they are and to never stop fighting for their dreams.

– Some of your lyrics also have that storyteeling feeling. What kind of stories do you want to communicate and what lenguage do you use to do that?

I don’t like writing personal songs, so that leaves only a few options of content, and one of those being stories. One of my favorite parts of heavy metal is being taken away through the lyrics to different worlds, times and places. On this particular album we have The Champion, which is a story about being the chosen one to save the world of evil because your heart is pure. The Gift is a song I wrote about my nephew and the underlying message that love is the best gift anyone can give or receive. Vow of the Valkyrie is about Odin’s women warriors and their history.

– And what kind of feelings do you want to channel with them? Most of them are very empowering and motivational.

Yes those are two words I would like to hope resonate with the listener! I just want to distract people from this crazy, sad world and get lost in something that will make them leave feeling strong and good.

– You recently welcomed your new bass player Amy. How did everything happen?

After we had recorded the album Greg had let us know he was no longer able to continue with the band. So after 10 years of playing he hung his Lady Beast hat up. Only a couple days went by before we came up with a couple of replacement ideas and Amy was one of them. She was the only one we tried out because we immediately clicked with her! Her energy, playing ability and vocal harmonies were a selling point and we couldn’t be more happy! She was definitely a gift from the metal gods and we can’t wait to start writing some new material with her.

–All this about «The Vulture’s Amulet» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Magical. Epic. Metal.

-Women always have to take the double amount of shit for doing the same work a man does, also to work harder to get to the same position… Do you have any mechanism to cope with different kinds of bullshit?

You just don’t let it get to you. Things are changing and women are getting the credit the deserve in the metal world. There are much harder struggles out in the world today so I don’t like to dwell on it. When you feel like a victim you can easily become one. It is best to fight harder, work harder and you will see the payoff. You cannot wait for anyone to help you in the music world…and sometimes even the ones you think are helping have other agendas.

– Metal has always been a male-dominated community and in art in general women have always been made invisible, so Metal is not an exception. Would you say the way the Metal world (and society in general) perceive women in our community is slowly changing? As it seems people are more aware nowadays or aren’t that afraid of speaking out and calling out on sexist (and other shitty) behaviors anymore.

It is definitely getting better, but the misogyny will never fully go away. More women in the scene playing and going to shows help this change! I think also with the increase in female numbers in metal, we are more comfortable calling out sexual and abusive offenders in the music scene. Whether they are promoters, musicians, club owners….whatever, they need to be exposed and dealt with. There is no reason to stay silent anymore and that type of behavior cannot be lied about or hidden. I encourage everyone to fight for what is right always!

– As I said, women in art and in masculinized spaces have always been made invisible, that’s why there’s not just less women metal musicians (even though there are tons of them), but less women in any artistic field. Because female artists have to face more obstacles, they have to fight against sexualization, invisibilization, infantilization, etc. By the simple fact of putting albums out and going on stage you are pushing other women to do the same, and as a lyricist, as you choose what kind of message you want to communicate. I guess this is something you are not really aware or think about when you are writing music but would you say you can also use your position as an artist putting our records and being on stage as an empowering tool even for other women?

Yes! I want to totally empower other women to play heavy metal or just feel strong! I enjoy being a frontwoman who doesn’t overly focus on sexy costumes, glitz and extras….(although I enjoy those things a lot) I want the women at my shows to have a different experience. I want to connect, uplift and empower! I feel like i do that with my live performance and through my lyrical content. With more women playing heavy metal it doesn’t feel as male dominated, even though the numbers will never be close to equal. There will always be struggles being a woman in metal but if you let those things follow you, they will.

– I read on an interview you stand against any kind of discrimination or hatred. Nowadays that Metal seems to be facing a tough period, dealing with a lot of bigotry, how important do you consider is to make a stand politically and call out on shitty behaviors?

We 100% do not tolerate any hate, bigotry, racism, or sexism at our shows or events. We don’t write music for those kind of people and definitely don’t want their support. Its an obligation as a person who gets to speak for 1000s of people to remind them how to respect one another and to relay messages of equality and hope. We live in a fucked up world and it breaks my heart to see the same problems. People say to keep politics out of metal….I say fuck that.

-And before we wrap this interview up, what are now your near-future plans?

Unfortunately its going to be hard to know what the plans are for the future! Its very unclear, but all we can do is keep practicing and writing new music! Which is what we are doing right now. Hopefully we can release another EP early next year in hopes of being able to tour again in 2021.

-That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thank you so much again and we really appreciate everyone who is reading and following the band! It means the world to us! Cheers!

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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