Women Who Rock! (On the Still Male-Dominated Business Side of Indie Rock) 

Still a Man's Game?


1.jpg

While Rolling Stone’s “Women Who Rock” cover stories seem more dated with each passing year—their underlying theme of “girls can do it too!” thankfully no longer novel enough to warrant a designated issue—a far less talked-about gender discrepancy in the music industry prevails. For whatever reason, the amount of women working behind the scenes, whether it be in studio production, talent buying, label management, journalism or any of the other backstage facets that make the industry go ‘round, has not increased at the same rate as women in front of the mic or behind an instrument. Not even close, it seems.

To draw attention to the tipped scale on the business side of things, we talked to six of the most secretly influential women in the Brooklyn music scene—those who are very clearly helping dictate what bands we listen to—about their experiences as often being the only woman in the room.


Photos by Aaron Richter and Lee O’Connor



Taylor Brode


Label Manager at Sacred Bones Records


2.jpg

Behind one of the most intriguing label catalogs in current circulation is Brode’s acute A&R intuition. It’s steered the likes of Lust for Youth, The Men, Trust and VÅR to signing with Sacred Bones, ultimately cementing the staunchly independent label as a trusted source for “what’s next.” In addition to arranging album release schedules, liaising with distributors, marketing retail, maintaining social networking outlets, organizing press campaigns, and hiring booking agents and publicists as part of its two-person team, Brode handles managerial roles for Zola Jesus and Cult of Youth through her self-ran band management firm.

What percentage of the people you work with on a daily are male, would you say?
A ballpark would be 60-70 percent, I guess. I have not met a female lawyer, but I do know several female bookers and publicists, and I’ve met a couple other female managers, which is always cool.

Do you make a concerted effort to include female artists on Sacred Bones’ roster, or is gender not a factor at all when signing a new band?
It’s not a factor. If we love a band, we love a band—female, male, transsexual, alien, whatever.

Have you ever felt like you had to prove your knowledge of music to a guy, like he was skeptical that you knew what you were talking about?
When I worked at record stores for about 10 years this happened a lot more. The one thing I’ve learned is that there’s always more to learn, regardless of your age or gender.

Has there ever been a situation where you think being a woman made your job more difficult?
I guess there is kind of this permanent “boys’ club” thing that I always feel on the outside of, but the way I approach management and A&R in general is already pretty different from how other people in this industry operate. I once was talking to a male manager who told me never to ride in the van with a band I’m managing because it would be blurring the line between client and friend. The thought of not being friends with the bands I work with is insane to me. Why anyone would want to manage artists they don’t like as people is confounding to say the least.

I prioritize my relationships with artists when they need my help, and this certainly extends into our emotional and personal lives. I suppose part of my instinct to nurture has to do with me a being a woman. This doesn’t make my job tougher; it makes it more fulfilling and purposeful.

Growing up as a devoted music fan, did you have other female peers who shared your passion, or did you find yourself talking about music mostly with guys?
I had a ton of female friends, weird punks, goth kids, ravers, you name it. I try to talk about music and art with everybody all the time—gender, species, incarnate are irrelevant.

Because the numbers are so few, do you think the camaraderie among women in the industry is stronger than it is among men? Do you think the same can be said for rivalry among women in this line of work?
I definitely really enjoy meeting other female managers and tend to feel an instinct to bond with them. I’ve been fortunate enough to need to hire an assistant, accountant, and artist’s travel agent in the last two years. I am proud to say all three are women. And, yes, that was intentional. (Sorry if that’s reverse sexism). Learning from and mentoring women in this industry has been a goal of mine since I first began working in it in 1999. Many female colleagues and friends of mine are gorgeous women who are 10 years younger than me. We’re not rivals; they’re my sisters. Rivalry—I don’t think that has anything to do with the music industry or gender. That’s just a function of insecurity or lack of self-love.


Slideshow
At Work with Sacred Bones' Taylor Brode
At Work with Sacred Bones' Taylor Brode At Work with Sacred Bones' Taylor Brode At Work with Sacred Bones' Taylor Brode At Work with Sacred Bones' Taylor Brode At Work with Sacred Bones' Taylor Brode At Work with Sacred Bones' Taylor Brode

At Work with Sacred Bones' Taylor Brode

By Lee O'Connor

Click to View 7 slides



Jamie Farkas


General Manager of VICE Music


3.jpg

As overseer of all things music-related at VICE, Farkas is behind the wheel in building their label’s roster, curating events, and helping program their online music platform Noisey, finding herself negotiating budgets, booking bands, combing through contracts, and generally navigating mayhem—all while spreading the gospel of Action Bronson and the Black Lips to the masses.

What percentage of the people you work with on a daily basis are male, would you say?
I would say that 80 percent of my day-to-day contacts are male. Almost all of the teams (artists, their managers, publicists, agents, lawyers, etc.) for each band on our current label roster are 85 percent male.

Do you consider yourself an assertive person? If so, do you think that attribute has helped your career more than it would in some other fields of work?
I am absolutely an assertive person, bordering on relentless, and I rarely back down. It's not uncommon for me to be the loudest person in the room, regardless of whether that room is full of men or women. It is without question an essential quality to possess as a manager regardless of the industry, and I don't believe I would be nearly as successful if I was more passive.

Have you ever felt like you had to prove your knowledge of music to a guy, like he was skeptical that you knew what you were talking about?
I’ve really never encountered that, so either I’m smarter than I think, or people I talk to are really nice and pity me.

Has there ever been a situation where you think being a woman helped you in the workplace?
Women are just as capable of men when it comes to taking a situation at just business face value, and, frankly, if you can't do that, your success will be limited. However, there have been times where, as a woman, I may see a situation with a bit more heart or emotion and that can at times be a good thing.

I find very few things more upsetting than when a woman uses her sex to her advantage in the workplace, specifically by dressing a certain way to draw attention to herself or using her body or body language as a way to get what she needs. It belittles all the other females who work incredibly hard and rely on their intelligence and work ethic to get where they are and be recognized for the work they do.

How about where being a woman made your job more difficult?
I don’t often find myself commiserating with other women about the fact that we work in a largely male-dominated field and how that can make things more difficult, but I’d be lying if I said that at times being female hasn’t been a hurdle. I think one of the most important things is to know you got to where you are because you deserve to be there, not because of your sex.

Has being the only woman in a room full of music dudes ever made you feel self-conscious?
Absolutely. When you work in a field where the male-to-female ratio greatly favors men, you’re prepared to be the only girl at the table. Though I have gotten used to this, there are times it’s uncomfortable for any variety of reasons. When someone excuses themselves for saying something they feel is inappropriate [to say] around a lady, it’s often better to acknowledge that you in fact didn’t need to hear their comment then to try to brush it off and be one of the guys. As much as I want to be accepted as an equal by all my male colleagues, that doesn’t mean I want to have small talk about our waitresses’ ass when we go out to lunch.

Because the numbers are so few, do you think the camaraderie among women in the industry is stronger than it is among men?
I've always had really positive interactions with the other females I've worked with, both directly and indirectly. I think most women in this business recognize it's a male-dominated field and are supportive of other women because of that, as opposed to being competitive with each other. I've always found it important to not only have female role models in this industry but to also try to be one.

Growing up as a devoted music fan, did you have other female peers who shared your passion, or did you find yourself talking about music mostly with guys?
When I moved on to college, almost all the friends I shared musical camaraderie with were male. Because music is such a predominant force in my life, I gravitate towards those who share the same love for it I do, and the sex of that person is inconsequential.

The most puzzling aspect of this whole male-female imbalance in the music industry is why exactly it exists. Do you think it stems from women generally not being as big of music fans as men, or is something else at play here?
I’ve wondered about this for my whole career, and I think there are multiple factors at play. When rock music in particular became popularized and a viable business entity, women weren’t fully entrenched in the work force on an executive level yet. At that time, as a serious music fan, a woman was most likely categorized as a groupie before anything else. Working in the music business isn’t a 9-to-5 job; it’s a lifestyle, and that lifestyle was equated with male-dominated activities like heavy drinking and drug use, being on the road all the time—an environment that women were not seen as having much of a place in aside from a sexualized way. Now that there are more women in the field, and it’s acceptable for them to grow to executive status and have a legitimate place in the industry, what will the male-to-female balance look like in another 50 years?


(Photo by Aaron Richter)



Chloë Walsh


Publicist and Cofounder of Press Here


4.jpg

Together with business partner Linda Carbone, Walsh launched Press Here in 2004, quickly turning it into one of the most respected PR firms for indie-minded artists. Through the years, she’s been responsible for putting The White Stripes, Bright Eyes, She & Him, Spiritualized, P!nk, Belle & Sebastian, Jenny Lewis and Grizzly Bear, among others, in front of the media, and therefore an audience. Heard of them? That’s because she’s really good at this stuff.

Public relations seems to be one of the only fields in the music industry where women are especially prominent. Why do you think that is?
It’s true, and I’ve discussed this with Linda many times. We’ve actually worked hard to stop our own office becoming 100 percent female. Is it because the stereotypical music critic is a socially awkward man who responds better to being cold called by a woman? Is it because bands are generally made up of badly behaved young men who need a den mother type to make them do their promo (i.e. Fran Drescher in This Is Spinal Tap herding the band around backstage like a kindergarten teacher)? Is it because it can be such a tricky and thankless task that men can't see the reward? All of the above?!

I'm going to make a sweeping gender generalization and say that women often have better powers of persuasion than men. I've always found that in PR you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. There's a lot to be said for being gently persistent. That comes more naturally to women than to men, I think. We're used to not being able to throw our weight around. Dustin Hoffman gives a great interview in the 25th anniversary DVD edition of Tootsie. He says that his first voice coach lesson as "Tootsie" was that when women want something they let the pitch of their voice rise at the end, almost as if it's a question. I have no idea if that's true, but it's an interesting idea. What I do know for sure is that keeping a healthy relationship between your clients and the media is a very specific skill and in my experience women tend to be, perhaps, more... diplomatic?

Generally speaking, have you found women and men have different concerns in how they're promoted?
All artists have different concerns about how they're promoted. The most important thing we do as publicists is make sure they're comfortable with the situations you're putting them in. I can't say we approach a campaign differently based upon gender. It's all down to the artist's personality and goals.

Has there ever been a situation where you think being a woman helped you in the workplace?
I had to really think for a minute to come up with something, but there's probably been a few times when I might've been punched—or at least ejected from some event, club or festival—for being obnoxious about the rules. Sometimes you just have to roll past the security with your gaggle of press people and do your job. I'm fairly certain that being a petite woman helps in those instances.

Has being the only woman in a room full of music dudes ever made you feel self-conscious?
Not self-conscious, no. I’m not a sensitive flower. One thing I have noticed is that there can be quite a lot of old-school backslapping and self-aggrandizing in this business, and sometimes those moments can go on for a painfully long time. Those tend to be the moments when I realize I’m in a room full of men.

Growing up as a devoted music fan, did you have other female peers who shared your passion, or did you find yourself talking about music mostly with guys?
When I was growing up in Scotland in the 80s, it was always the girls at school who were most into music, whether it was Madonna, or Prince or The Smiths. The boys were always more into football, skateboarding, video games. My girlfriends were the ones who would bunk off school to go into town and buy concert tickets. We’d knew which records were coming out every week. We’d have the band t-shirts. The biggest hip-hop head at my high school was a 14-year-old LL Cool J fan with blonde pigtails named Hazel. If we discovered a boy at school was into buying records, we were always intrigued because it was actually quite rare.

Do you think the imbalance in the industry stems from women generally not being as big of music fans as men, or is something else at play here?
I think it’s a massive misconception that boys are more into music than girls. First of all, look who’s selling the most records—ever since Elvis and The Beatles to Taylor Swift and Adele. I think the misconception comes from the fact that men tend to be more trainspotter-y about it than women. They might know the Factory Records catalog numbers and collect all the limited-edition vinyl, but they’re not necessarily more passionate about the music. They’re just being more vocally competitive about it. When women discover common musical ground, they tend to talk about how much songs or albums meant to them at particular moments in their life, while men will tell each other which early show they saw and what rare tour shirt they have. Obviously something else is at play, and I think it’s the same thing that’s at play in every industry. (Cue ominous music.)


(Photo by Lee O'Connor)


Slideshow
At Work with Press Here's Chloë Walsh
At Work with Press Here's Chloë Walsh At Work with Press Here's Chloë Walsh At Work with Press Here's Chloë Walsh At Work with Press Here's Chloë Walsh At Work with Press Here's Chloë Walsh

At Work with Press Here's Chloë Walsh

By Lee O'Connor

Click to View 6 slides



Lindsay Zoladz


Freelance Writer, Contributing Editor at Pitchfork and Cofounder of Feminist Blog Canonball


5.jpg

Over the last 12 months, Zoladz has been tasked with making sense of such Make-or-Break albums as Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die, Grimes’ Visions, Grizzly Bear’s Shields and Beach House’s Bloom for decimal-point enthusiasts/authoritative tastemakers Pitchfork. In other words, her opinion of a record is able to propel bands into widespread acclaim or throw them completely off track. Her long-form think pieces for the site, as well as regular dispatches to the Washington City Paper, eMusic and Canonball, add to cultural pundits’ critical discourse.

Have you ever felt like you had to prove your knowledge of music to a guy, like he was skeptical you knew what you were talking about?
Yes. This is something I experienced a lot when I was younger and happens to me less so now once people find out what my job is, but I'd be lying if I said it still didn't happen sometimes. I've heard some people say that in a lot of spaces, men are by default assumed to be competent and knowledgeable, while women have to prove their competence and knowledge. It sucks, but it's true in a lot of other professions, especially in the arts—filmmaking, writing, comedy, painting, you name it—all these arenas where the historical influence of the Male Genius still looms large. Unfortunately, you see this with women who make music too. I remember last year I was at a Wild Flag show and they covered the Television song "See No Evil." My friend overheard this guy who pointed at the stage and was like, "Oh, cool, she's heard of Television." Of course she's heard of Television, dude. That's Mary fucking Timony! Get real.

Because the numbers are so few, do you think the camaraderie among women in the industry is stronger than it is among men? Do you think the same can be said for rivalry among women in this line of work?
I always think of this thing that the filmmaker Sally Potter once said: "As more women achieve in a given area, they are forced to compete with each other for the same space rather than the space itself expanding." And since I've become a music journalist, I'm always asking myself, "How can we make this particular space expand?" That's how I check myself from engaging in any sort of girl-on-girl rivalry behavior, be it slam pieces or nasty tweets or whatever; that's the last thing we need here.

I do think active, productive, critical dialogue is healthy among all critics. I don't grade my female colleagues' work on a curve, and I don't automatically love a piece of writing just because it has a female byline. But I do believe in supporting other female writers and going out of my way to tell them when I liked something they wrote or promoting it on social media if it's something I really liked. Writing is a total confidence game. No matter who you are or what you're writing about, it takes this crazy, herculean amount of confidence to hammer your thoughts into words and to put your name on it—especially on the Internet— which means that a little support and encouragement from your peers can go along way. That's how you make the space expand.

One notable statistic to come out of Pitchfork's People’s List is that female voters counted for just 12 percent of the participants. Did that number surprise you?
I knew the number would be low, but I don’t think I expected it to be that low. The morning the list was posted, I emailed four of my close (female) friends asking them why they didn’t make a People’s List, and this incredible discussion just poured out of them, speaking honestly and anonymously about their experiences as female music fans. I edited down the conversation and then posted it on my tumblr. The common thread in their stories was that they’d all had frustrating experiences with men either assuming that they knew nothing about music or they didn’t value their opinions about music, and they’d all pretty much checked out of the music criticism conversation once and for all. So I think the question we can take away from that whole experience is, “How do we bring people who’ve felt alienated back into the conversation? How can we better honor their opinions and thoughts about music?”

And it's not as simple as, like, "Men's brains contain some mysterious chemical that programs them to love making music-related lists, and women's do not." No way. I knew plenty of men who chose not to make a People's List, while I and plenty of other women I know made one and really enjoyed it. So it's just about moving away from those stereotypes, questioning them, talking about them, and figuring out how we can bring the most diverse group of people into the conversation. Once we figure out how to do that, everybody wins.

Growing up as a devoted music fan, did you have other female peers who shared your passion, or did you find yourself talking about music mostly with boys?
I had both experiences. I took a guitar class for three years in high school, and that had a huge, formative impact on how I listen to and talk about music. And once I got to the highest level of the class, I was the only girl in the course. I became close friends with a lot of the guys, but I definitely felt self-conscious about my gender. I think about this experience a lot and how it prepared me to be a music writer, because this was the first time I felt like the one girl trying to be accepted into "the boys' club." I was too young to be a riot grrrl, and I hadn't read any feminist theory or anything like that yet, so although I made a lot of friends in the class I also felt lonely and alienated in this way I couldn't quite yet articulate.

But. In my early teens I also had this group of four other girl friends. This is so embarrassing, hah, they're going to kill me, but—we called ourselves "The Posse," and for a couple years running we would make matching t-shirts with all our inside jokes on them and go to the Warped Tour together and wear them. It was so much fun. We would rotate houses and have "CD burning parties," where we'd get a spool of CD-Rs and sit around making copies of everybody's CD collections. We were always going to local punk shows. It was a really positive experience to have a group of female friends in the scene that I could be my dorky self around.

Do you think the imbalance in the industry stems from women generally not being as big of music fans as men, or is something else at play here?
I've been thinking a lot about this thing Kathleen Hanna said in a recent interview. When she first started identifying as a feminist in the really early days of Bikini Kill, her mindset was just like, "Get the fuck out of my face, men!" She calls this the "Feminism 101" phase, where you're just spewing all the gender-related rage you've pent up for years. This is normal. It's a totally necessary exorcism. I went through it too, and I directed all my rage at the music world and the writing world. I would read my favorite magazines and websites and see little or no female bylines, and it would infuriate me. In my Feminism 101, I had this notion that all these male editors were sitting there, stroking their goatees and thinking conspiratorially, "Hmm, how can we keep all these women out of our publication?"

But then I got the privilege to be on the other side of things, and from the inside I see that that's not the way it works at all. It's not that simple. There are fewer women writing about music because there are fewer women pitching articles about music. And there are fewer women pitching articles about music because historically music writing has been seen as a male-dominated—and in a lot of cases, actively misogynistic—domain. So the question becomes, "How can we attack and challenge and rewire the culture until more women feel like this is a space where they are welcome?"

Again, I think the issue is confidence. From an early age, girls are still socialized to think that if they’re too assertive that they are bitchy or unladylike. So as those girls get older, that limits the ways they express themselves. This can be changed. I’ve some done work with Girls Rock Camp, which teaches girls how to play instruments, write songs and start bands—it injects them with this particular kind of confidence right at the age when society is trying to scare it out of them. I think these camps are going to have a huge, pervasive influence on the next generation of female musicians over time. So we need to figure out how to do something like that with writing, with all forms of artistic expression. Maybe someone needs to start a Girls Write Camp.


(Photo by Lee O'Connor)



Michelle Cable


Agent and Founder of Panache Booking


6.jpg

Contacting touring bands to ask if they’d play in the sleepy town of Eureka, California, as a zine-publishing teen eventually grew into Cable establishing one of the most zeitgeisty booking agencies in the game. The Panache team is responsible for setting up Ty Segall, Bleached, The Men, Mac DeMarco, Thee Oh Sees and over 100 others on well-coordinated tours that not only run smoothly and don’t leave them abandoned on the side of the road with a broken-down van, but actually earn them money—a higher stakes game then ever before, as more bands rely on playing live for the bulk of their income.

What percentage of the people you work with on a daily basis are male, would you say?
I’d say probably 70 percent.

Do you ever feel like you have to fight harder for your bands than a man in your same position would?
Definitely when I first started that was true. That may have had more to do with my age and experience than being female, though. There is definitely a double standard for women, but I think it’s actually encouraged me to be more focused and prove myself. Over the years, especially since moving to New York, I’ve developed a confidence and manner of taking care of business where I don’t think it matters whether I’m a man or woman. It’s definitely a male-dominated industry, especially in the booking world. There are very few female-owned booking agencies out there. Hopefully that changes.

Have you ever felt like you had to prove your knowledge of music to a guy, like he was skeptical you knew what you were talking about?
Not really. I don't think most of the artists we work with have those types of old- fashioned stereotypical views of women. Part of the reason I love what I do is that I get to choose the artists we represent. It's important to me to respect and trust them both musically and personally.

Has there ever been a situation where you think being a woman helped you in the workplace?
Our artists depend on us to have their backs and fight for them—that’s one of the reasons my job exists. I think people don’t expect me to be such a hard ass when it comes to sticking up for our artists. So that actually can be beneficial, as I can deliver the unexpected. I think having that toughness while also maintaining a certain finesse and grace is a powerful combination.

How about where being a woman made your job more difficult?
I definitely have noticed in certain industry situations there’s a “bro” mentality that’s centered around drinking heavily after hours. As time passes, I veer more towards healthy living and less constant partying, which is difficult in this business. A lot of what an agent does takes place during the day in the office. But a lot of bonding and deals happen over drinks. It’s 24/7—you live and breathe it—so it’s good to take some time for yourself and nurture yourself. Which isn’t exactly the most masculine approach to the business.

Has being the only woman in a room full of music dudes ever made you feel self-conscious?
It’s something I definitely am aware of, but I think it’s happened enough times I’ve gotten used to it.

Growing up as a devoted music fan, did you have other female peers who shared your passion, or did you find yourself talking about music mostly with guys?

I was really lucky to have a close circle of female friends who loved music as well. I was 16, living in a stoner town where I didn't smoke pot and was desperate for something to do. The main objective was that I loved music and writing and wanted to combine those things so I could keep life interesting. I definitely had a really nerdy approach to music, getting obsessed with a band and collecting their records, watching countless interviews, music videos, etc. But living in a small town, I had to bring music to my community and help make things happen. If I wanted to see a band, I would write them and try to get them to come through [Eureka]. I still work with a ton of the people I met when I was in my teens: John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees, Reigning Sound, DMBQ, etc.



Do you think the imbalance in the industry stems from women generally not being as big of music fans as men, or is something else at play here?
I think it’s a hard industry to break into. There are definitely way more men in power positions and maybe those men are the ones choosing their successors? In booking, I’d love to see more female agents. Panache as an agency is 50-50 when it comes to gender ratio—we work with a ton of great female artists—and that even goes down internally to our staff and interns. I think women generally are really competitive and that the women that are in these growing positions end up competing with themselves rather then forming an alliance, while men are competitive but also equally supportive of each other. Maybe I’m stereotyping here… But I definitely love when I end up working with a female manager or agent. It’s refreshing.


(Photo by Aaron Richter)


Slideshow
At Work with Panache Booking's Michelle Cable
At Work with Panache Booking's Michelle Cable At Work with Panache Booking's Michelle Cable At Work with Panache Booking's Michelle Cable At Work with Panache Booking's Michelle Cable At Work with Panache Booking's Michelle Cable

At Work with Panache Booking's Michelle Cable

By Aaron Richter

Click to View 6 slides



Catherine Herrick


In-House Publicist for the Beggars Group


7.jpg

The Beggars Group, the self-described “largest and most influential independent group of labels in the world” counts 4AD, Matador Records, Rough Trade and XL Recordings, along with each of their imprints, among its stable. Herrick is on a small team that handles press for nearly every artist under the umbrella. For those keeping score at home, that’s Vampire Weekend, tUnE-yArDs, Yo La Tengo and basically every other band you’ve ever liked.

What percentage of the people you work with on a daily basis are male, would you say?
Honestly, I’d say it appears pretty 50-50 to me, not that I’ve actually counted, but I’ve never perceived an imbalance. That said, I’ve had a pretty singular experience. I started as an intern at the Beggars Group right out of college and never left, so we’re talking independent labels that are still around because of a basic need to be adaptable and forward-thinking. About half of our department heads are women, come to think of it.

Public relations seems to be one of the only fields in the music industry where women are especially prominent. Why do you think that is?
You have to wear different figurative hats to do PR. You're called on to write something snappy in an effort to compel others to write something even more snappy about your artist; let's call this the creative hat. Then you need to do a lot of organizing for yourself and other people, so that would be the organizational hat. Then there's the decision-making hat: artist has X amount of time to do interviews, and loads of people clamoring for Y amount of time with them (which is way larger than X), so you need to discern what's the most important. Similarly with guest lists: label was able to buy X amount of tickets, shows sells out, and Y amount of people want to review. You have to try to keep people happy, but sometimes you have to let people down. There's a lot of navigating with different types of personalities and temperaments. "Finesse" might be a good word to use, and it's a word that I would venture to guess is more often applied to women than men.

Not to play up the stereotype of a shy, worrisome girl the corner, but has being the only woman in a room full of music dudes ever made you feel self-conscious?
No, there’s too many of us women, and the people I’ve come into contact with in the music industry that I’ve found the most intimidating have been women, truth be told.

Do you think the camaraderie among women in the industry is stronger than it is among men?
I had a recent dinner outing that was comprised of women on the publicity and journalistic side of things, and there was a moment when I took pause and just felt really excited to be at a table filled with smart, passionate women who are funny and witty and doing great things. So in that sense, there’s an example of camaraderie for you, but part of me finds it sort of sad that my head took me there. Why should a night like that even be considered novel? Why can’t I even stop thinking in terms of gender? And gender binary for that matter! People need to listen to more Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, but that doesn’t just pertain to the music industry.

Growing up as a devoted music fan, did you have other female peers who shared your passion, or did you find yourself talking about music mostly with guys?
I went to a performing arts junior high, so everyone, male or female, was a bit ambitious and nerdy about music and the arts in general. After that I ended up at an all-girls Catholic high school. Surrounded by affluent party girls and academic overachievers, I was one of the misfits that just wanted to listen to music, pour over music magazines and biographies, and spend my lunch money on imports. I had little to no social contact with fellas around that awkward time, so I talked about musical esoterica with my small group of misfit friends in girl’s school, and then I spent an unhealthy amount of time arguing about music in AOL chatrooms. My brother and sister are around 10 years older than I am. I didn’t see them very often growing up, but my brother would visit, survey my music collection and say, “Why the hell are you listening to stuff I listened to when I was a teenager? Here’s a mixtape I made in 1987.”


(Photo by Lee O'Connor)


Slideshow
At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick
At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick

At Work with Beggars Group's Catherine Herrick

By Lee O'Connor

Click to View 8 slides



Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

More by Lauren Beck

Latest in Features

© 2014 The L Magazine
Website powered by Foundation