As much as that misogyny repels her, at the same time Lauren’s bond to and love for the scene is much stronger – and it’s a love that always wins out. It’s also never stopped her from speaking her mind about the scene and sexism.
“A lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m a woman in a historically male space,” she says, “but it’s also the fact that I’m critical of it. Some people don’t know how to take constructive criticism. I could tell the hardcore scene to go fuck itself, that it’s trash and that heavy music is bullshit and fuck all of you. That would be well within my rights to do, but that would be the same thing as people going, ‘Oh, you don’t like this country? Then move to another one.’ I don’t <want> to move to another one and I don’t want to move to another type of music. I want this, because I know how powerful and impactful it can be; especially if you have unprocessed trauma, if you have experience feeling threatened in the world, if you haven’t had a place where you can easily process your emotions in front of a community.”
That’s something Lauren has done, both musically and speaking onstage between songs. As outspoken, intelligent and confident as she is, she’s also not afraid to be vulnerable – or show that vulnerability to others, and use it as a form of empowerment. On 2017’s debut, Clever Girl, the song Left 4 Dead details her experiences as a survivor of sexual assault and rape. It was the first time she’d written about those experiences, and doing so – and performing that song live – was incredibly cathartic, not least because people in the audience would share their stories and experiences with Lauren afterwards. It’s seeing that impact, and finding that inner strength, that keeps Lauren going, because while she’s using Sharptooth as a vehicle to communicate her ideas, those ideas are so much bigger than her or her band. And that’s precisely the point. It would be easy – or easier, at least – for her to quit music and the scene. But life isn’t easy, and the struggles that minorities and marginalised communities encounter even less so, and so Lauren wants to redress the balance. In fact, she needs to.
“My goal in Sharptooth,” she says, “has always just been more representation. I want hundreds of bands that are all different colours, all different genders, all different sexualities. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but it's really clear to me that it’s asking a lot right now of our music scene, which is a fucking travesty and we have to step up. We can do fucking better, and I believe in that, and that’s why I’m so mad. If I didn’t believe in that, I would say, ‘Fuck all of you, I’m out.’ But I do believe in that, so I can’t say, ‘Fuck you, I’m out.' My heart is here. That’s why this hurts so much.”