Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rape Revenge interview with Vocalist, Samantha. 2010.



Vista: Who's in the band & who does what?

Samantha:
Arielle – Guitar
Gwen – Bass
Keaton – Guitar
Matt – Drums
Samantha - Vocals

Vista: Could you give us a brief history of Rape Revenge ? Year started, ex-members, what material has been released so far & what's still available, etc.?

Samantha: Rape Revenge was formed in August 2009 by myself (Samantha) and Matt.  We then asked our friend Nick to drum, and Keaton and Gwen and guitar and bass. Things didn't work out with Nick after our first show, in October 2009, and so  Matt replaced him on drums, and Arielle joined on guitar. We have released a 7” self titled record on XtrueX Records, which is based out of Edmonton. Copies are still available at www.xtruexrecords.com .

Vista: O.k....Lets get into this! Ha! Where did the name,"Rape Revenge" come from? Give us all your thoughts behind the name. Has the name of the band caused some negative/preconceived thoughts about your band? And...Is that the point? To get people thinking about this name as two strong words, separate...Put together as ONE strong name?

Samantha: The name Rape Revenge is inspired by getting fed up with sexual violence against women being a women's issue. Why aren't men fucking dealing with this, because THEY are the ones creating 90% of the violence.  Yet sexual assault is something women organize against, something we spend money on self defense classes for. Fuck defense, I want to get on the offensive. I want sexual predators to fear for their lives. I want revenge. I want revenge for all survivors, not just women. For children, for men, for people with disabilities. Sexual violence is happening in punk and hardcore communities, and we need to talk about it. Rape should not be a hush hush thing we hide, hiding it implies it's something the survivor should be ashamed about, which implies blame. Rape Revenge was a very conscious choice for a name.

Vista: Lyrically, what are some of your targets? I was reading some of your lyrics that you have posted on your myspace band site & I'd say that the lyrics are definite targets!

Samantha: I'm unsure what you mean by targets.  I mean, our lyrics are often inspired by people and things that piss me off: Misogynistic men at shows, systemic oppression of aboriginal people, animal torture, homophobes. Maybe you are referring to Dear Date Rapists Of St. Albert Alberta? I grew up in St. Albert and heard lots of stories of all the hockey jocks (who by the way are the fucking pride and joy of St. Albert) gang raping girls they went on dates with. I was always disgusted and outraged by this, but also too scared to do anything. I was so young. No one even talked about it like it was a bad thing, just what you get for dating a jock or something. I wanted to direct this song specifically to them, because when you talk about rape, no one ever thinks you are talking about their friends, or their town.

Vista: What was your first exposure to Punk/Hardcore? How old were you & what bands really grabbed your attention?

Samantha: The first 'punk' bands I heard were Less Than Jake, Social Distortion, TheClash, and Face To Face. I was 12. I was into the angry outcast side of punk. I always felt so strange and like there was something that made me a freak, you know? THEN I started hearing bands with WOMEN in them, bands like Bikini Kill, Sleater Kinney, Fuck The Facts, and I realized this wasn't just something I could enjoy, this was something I could create too!

Vista: You list Rape Revenge as a, "Feminist, Straight Edge, Vegetarian band"...It's 2010 &  your band actually has SOMETHING to say? It's 2010 & your band actually has SOMETHING to believe in? It's 2010...How unique! Ha! Really, this day in age, That's awesome! Most bands these days are more concerned with: Booking agents, money, by-the-books bullshit formula for song structure/lyrical content, synchronized stage moves, etc...How is it that you dare to step out of that box? Thoughts?

Samantha: I disagree that it is necessarily a time specific thing to give a fuck about politics and ideas. I think a lot of bands have very strong beliefs and values, who are around today. Bands like Punch, Iskra, Limp Wrist. Political band are out there, but because we take strong stances, we sometimes don't get as much attention as others. We are just VERY upfront about our stances on things, because that's just who I am, and who Matt is, and consequently, how the band is. I used to play in bands where it wasn't very political, just art. I got bored. So I started writing songs about what pissed me off, and I found it  way more rewarding and challenging.  I don't know if it takes daring, we all have ideas and a desire to share them in some way or another.

Vista: I was watching a video that your band posted on the band site of a performance from a parking lot! Where did that take place & how pissed were the people who live in the houses in the background of the video!? Ha! I thought for sure that someone would look out those windows!

Samantha: The parking lot show was kind of a weird joke. Dillinger Escape Plan was coming to town, and I really like their music, so I was like “we should open for them”. There was no way we were gonna get on that bill, plus it ended up being in a bar, and we only play all ages shows. So I was like “fuck it, we'll just play outside, we'll just open for then anyway”. The show was this summer. It was actually a huge success. We were ready to get beat up by bouncers, or arrested. But the bouncers were THERE, watching us, getting stoked. The people in the houses behind us were ALSO THERE, so stoked.  They wanted us to play longer.  The show was in downtown Calgary, off this busy strip. People that live on that street, they are used to a ruckus all the time, they choose to live there. The parking lot show was an amazing experience where we learnt that sometimes, if you don't ask for permission, and just fucking go for it, you can get away with a lot more than you think.

Vista: Speaking of playing live, where are shows going on {besides parking lots!} in your area? Teen centers, clubs, legion halls? Tell us about the Hardcore/Punk scene where you're from? Are all the members of the band from Alberta, Canada? What other bands are worth checking out? Also, I know from speaking with you a bit, that you do a fanzine. Tell us about that as well. Don't you know that zines are a dead concept? Ha! Actually, that's a great reason to keep a zine going and/or start one!

Samantha: Calgary is in a really great place right now for all ages venues.  We have 6. We have Local Library, which is an all ages space run out of some rooms in a church, Comrad Sound which is now applying for non-profit status, run out of an old radio repair shop. There's The New Black which is a recording studio as well as a show space, Tubby Dog which is a hot dog restaurant, Emmedia which is an arts education centre, and there's a house called The Fun Spot that recently started having great shows. We used to have two other punk houses that did shows: The Dollhouse, which I lived at and Rape Revenge, Lab Rat, and Brain Fever jammed in, died in April 2010.  Safe House, which was fucking insane and really rowdy died about a month ago. Some sucka's still rent community halls, but you don't really have to in Calgary.  I used to put on hall shows when I lived in Edmonton, they sucked. The hall owners don't really want you there, and you have to spend the whole time stressing about anyone fucking anything up, because they can just ban punks from using the space if anything goes wrong. Plus you have to give them SO MUCH MONEY that could be going to touring bands, or back into putting on more shows. Calgary has been rich with all ages venues run by and for the punks for years. There used to be a venue called Imaginary Ordinary that was amazing, and another that my friend ran out of the basement of a thrift store. Unfortunately the scene here can be sort of divided.  Which in a way is also a sign of our size.  There's the art/indie rock kids, and new hardcore kids, and punk hardcore kids, and drunk punks, and folk punk kids. But we often all come together on things, and lots of us are friends, we try to support each other even if the music isn't what we are into. Lots of people here write zines, there's tons of people intobiking and dumpstering and going to protests.  Right now one of my main
goals for the scene is making sure that touring bands get fed, well as often as I can afford/dumpster enough food! Keaton and I are both from Edmonton, although we didn't know each other when we both lived there.  Arielle and Gwen are from Calgary. Matt is from Linsday, Ontario. Some awesome Calgary bands to check out include:
-Brain Fever
-Point Break
-Mares Of Thrace
-Monkey
-Secret Brothers
-Wake
-Deformer
-The Throwaways
Bands from Alberta that are amazing:
-Jeff Spicoli
-Falsehood
-Kali
-Geister
My zine is a queer perzine called Trees. Unfortunately, I don't have any copies of the most recent issue left.

Vista: Talk about the new 7inch on xTruex Records. How did the band get involved with the label? Also, The layout is really decent. The booklet is great, with explanations & the way it's put together, not to mention the poster! Are you satisfied with the way it came out?

Samantha: Nate, who runs the label, and I have known each other for years. We met when I lived in Edmonton and we both were very involved in the hardcore scene there. We bonded over both being vegan and straight edge. So when I wanted to release a 7” with Rape Revenge, he was the first person I called. He was super excited about the band and was happy to help us get the record out. I'm glad you like the booklet and the poster! It was a lot of work, but super worth it, because, yes, I am VERY satisfied with the whole record. We silk-screened all the covers and backs of the sleeves by hand, it was a lot of work, but really worth it to me.

Vista: Pretend there are no annoying computers in the world {ah, life IS better!}...Describe the style the band plays? Pretend a person can't instantly "click" a button & be instantly engulfed in the "internet-opiate". How would you describe your sound, musically & vocally?

Samantha: Angry as fuck, noisy, fast and intense grindcore with decidedly un-grindcore influences. It's weird trying to describe my vocals, but I try to be diverse, with both high screechy vocals and lower throaty growls. I definitely am influenced by black metal vocalists, as well as lots of great hardcore vocalists. Oh, and gotta put in the 'female fronted' side-note too, I guess...

Vista: Outside of the band...What are some of your interests & hobbies?

Samantha: For the few months leading up to our tour in May, and for May, I didn't have a life outside of the band.  But now that we are back, I am remembering what the fuck I like to do outside of Rape Revenge. I have a puppy, a cat, and a parrot who I spend a lot of my time with, they are all very incredible. The cat is Doris (after the best perzine of all time, Doris), the dog is Nutch (after the nickname for Nutritional Yeast (cheese for vegans)), and my bird is named Riot.  I get such a sense of peace from taking care of them, giving them affection, learning from them. I am a total zine nerd. I run a zine library, I review zines for Broken Pencil magazine, I spend tons of time keeping up with pen pals who wrote zines I liked and decided to get in touch. I also am a bike nerd and love working on bikes and going for bike rides. I got to shows a lot too. There are so many great bands in Calgary, and in the summer there is often a great show going on every night.

Vista: When the band started out, what were/are some goals that you want to achieve? I always dislike saying "goals" because that seems like some contrived idea to begin a band or whatever, but were there any thoughts of doing a demo & then a 7inch and just playing some local shows? Or were getting these ideas, lyrically in peoples faces a primary desire! Ha! Thoughts?

Samantha: I started Rape Revenge with very clear goals in mind. I wanted to release a 7”, go on tour across Canada, come back, write another record, and then go on tour in the US, or Europe.  I wanted the band to inspire other women and queers to start bands. I wanted the band to be a sore thumb in the sexist hardcore scene, the in-your-face proclamation that misogyny is still an issue and we are not going to fucking take it anymore. Some of those goals have been achieved. Some, we are working on.

Vista: Samantha, thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview. I appreciate it. Is there anything else you'd like to say? Also, what is the best way to get in touch with the band?

Samantha: Thank you so much for getting in touch! If anyone would like to contact
us, please email us at raperevengeband@riseup.net

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