With mosh pit culture being so strongly aligned with a lot of macho bullshit, being a 5”5’ girl in amongst all the chaos came with a fair amount of crap. I’ve had guys tell me I should stand to the side because I won’t be able to 'handle the pit' (*eyeroll*) only to come up to me after and say how surprised they were after actually seeing me go up against a hoard of huge sweaty men. I’ve had guys in pits make fun of me for wearing skirts or wearing pink, saying I look out of place or that I won’t last long. At the beginning these comments really got to me… and then I remembered that the second you’ve let yourself be discouraged or set back because of a man that you’ve already lost. Again, I say spite is my greatest motivator. I said fuck these dudes, this is the one place I feel the happiest I’m not letting anyone ruin that. Once that mindset was solidified, everything changed. I actually started getting some great opportunities from my photography - I was able to get a photo pass for Reading & Leeds where I ended up meeting the artist who would then, completely on a whim, take me out around the world as his session bassist. The coin was about to flip, all because of one drunken conversation at Reading Festival.
My main networking advice is: never underestimate the power of chatting shit. I met this guy and we started talking about music, as you do. He asked if I play. I said, 'Yeah, I’ve played bass for five years, but never been in a band.' He said, 'Well, I need a bassist and you look cool, would you be interested in session work?' and three weeks later I was playing my first show as a bassist. I had been very suddenly booted into the deep end. Luckily I have roots in musical theatre, so I was able to combine that with my bass skills to somewhat pull it off. But for a long time I felt like a fraud. I knew nothing about live gear, about monitors, mixes, sound checks, equipment and was constantly fearful of looking like the dumb girl who doesn’t know her stuff. I wanted to be taken seriously. So I did something I never do and I just shut my mouth for a few days and took in everything I could. Learnt what D.I box does, how to set up a live rig, how live sound works, how to play with IEM’s. The experience I gained on that first tour was invaluable. It also set me up to deal with a whole new genre of male bullshit. Cue the, 'Wow, I didn’t expect you to be so good!' and the 'You don’t look like a bassist?!' But in a way, I’m glad I came across people like that at that time because now, a year and a half later as a competent and experienced bassist, I can shut them down in no time. What exactly do you expect a bassist to look like mate, hm? Make people reassess their prejudices and expectations, it makes the world a little bit better for everyone. What really hit me on those tours was the amount of girls and women of all-ages, especially in the U.S., saying how much it meant to them to see a girl rocking it out on stage. I felt touched and impassioned. I knew I had to channel this into something, something loud and angry - enter the perks of WARGASM.