I got into a tweet chat over on twitter earlier about being a woman who plays guitar and started talking to a riot grrrl called Laura aka Weedy McWeedy @VenusManTrap22 about her experiences. Our collective aim here at GrrrlsWithGuitars is to inspire women and grrrls to pick up guitars and play. Most of us have been inspired by famous female rock stars and folk artists, or influenced by a guy. I just realised that it’s pretty powerful for us women who are often sidelined in conversations about guitar and songwriting and the music industry, to share our stories and to actually talk to each other about our experiencess and perceptions. So I decided that it would be pretty cool to interview this riot grrrl from twitter who had posted these gorgeous vintage photos of herself playing guitar at different periods of her life:
“Me in 2002 (age 23) with my Vantage acoustic guitar that I got for Christmas in 1995.”
Hannah Golightly: Hello, first of all, what is your name?
Laura aka Weedy McWeedy: My name is Laura.
HG: Are you in a band?
Laura: No I’m not in a band unfortunately. I’ve been trying to get my own band started for years and it’s just hasn’t happened. (Some of it was due to life events that were out of my control.)
HG: What made you pick up a guitar for the first time?
Laura: I had 2 friends in high school who played guitar and one day my friend let me mess around with her guitar, I had no idea what I was doing but I enjoyed how it felt in my hands etc.
Laura: My favorite guitarist of all time? That’s a difficult question because I have so many favorites! lol let’s see Jimi Hendrix, Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Nancy Wilson (from Heart), Kat Bjelland, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, I could go on and on…
“I was at my friend’s house messing with his acoustic guitar in 2006.”
HG: What challenges (if any) do you feel that women and grrrls face when becoming guitarists and forming bands?
Laura: I don’t know what kinds of challenges women and girls face today when they want to learn guitar/start bands, but I’m sure they probably will deal with not being taken seriously, or if you go to buy a guitar the shop owners think you are there getting a guitar for your boyfriend, ugh.
HG: Do you feel supported by the music industry in achieving success and reaching your goals?
Laura: I’m not in the music industry. I just do my own thing. I’d love to have my own band and be able to record and put out albums.
HG: Who is your favourite grrrl with a guitar?
Laura: My favorite grrrl with a guitar would probably be Kat Bjelland.
HG: How many guitars do you own and what are they?
Laura: I only have 2 acoustic guitars now. I miss having an electric guitar. I have 2 generic acoustic guitars, the one I’ve had the longest is an old Vantage guitar. The other one is an Esteban Spanish style acoustic guitar that my late step dad gave to me.
“Pic of me with my friend’s electric guitar that I loved 2006” Laura
HG: What amps do you use? What pedals do you use?
Laura: I sadly don’t have any amps or pedals since it’s been forever since I’ve owned an electric guitar. (I was playing my friends red electric in that one pic)
HG: What genre music do you make if you had to label it?
Laura: I have no idea what genre my music would be in. I guess rock with some punk elements. Though I’ve written some folks songs too.
HG: Where can we listen to your music online?
Laura: None of my music is online because I’m not tech savvy at all and I only have bad cassette tape recordings of songs I’ve written and co written with others, they aren’t at a quality that I’m happy with. I’d love to record them (possibly rewrite some) and record them properly and then release some online. Plus I’m super shy and a little self conscious about my singing and playing abilities which makes me reluctant to let the public hear it.
HG: What is your favourite lyric of all time? (Yours or someone else’s)?
Laura: Favorite lyric of all time? Again I have so many favorites. I could write a book about them. I will say that a few lines in “Violet” by Hole are favorites of mine “might last a day yeah, mine is forever ” and “And the sky was made of amethyst” ….
HG: Thank you so much! This is a really great interview! You have inspired me to start interviewing more people like you who play guitar but aren’t famous, because to me this is also very inspiring and will offer insight to other women and grrrls about showing them that guitar playing can be for them if it appeals. Thank you so much!
Laura: You’re welcome I wish I had a more exciting musical life but hopefully someday I will! I think it’s a good idea to interview more people like me (non famous musicians/songwriters) and I always love to try to help and support female musicians (or encourage aspiring musicians/ people who are just learning to play.)
HG: Thank you! And it’s not all about being exciting.
Laura: True. Some people just do music/play guitar as a hobby and as a creative outlet in general, and not trying to be famous etc. It’s an excellent outlet to have.
We recommend that you follow Laura aka Weedy McWeedy on twitter @VenusManTrap22
Hannah Golightly founded GrrrlsWithGuitars in 2016. She is a riot grrrl musician, singer, guitarist and drummer from the UK. She has been a music critic and rock writer for over eight years and has previously written for collapseboard.com for six years, godisinthetvzine.co.uk, mother's pride zine and vulturehound.com. She has a passion for guitars and amps and owns a lot of them! She is passionate about promoting and helping grrrls and women play guitar and form bands. She loves female rock musicians' music and he favourite band is Skating Polly. She believes that a grrrl with a guitar can change the world!