Have you had any experiences where you felt like sexism contributed to how you were treated?
"At a soundcheck once when I was a drummer, I checked all the different pieces of the kit. The next logical step is to check the whole kit, as is the standard pattern. But the soundguy said check the kick and I didn’t hear that because he didn’t have a microphone, so I checked the whole kit. He came up and totally dressed me down in front of the room and was said, “You need to listen to people. You think you totally know what you are doing but you would learn something if you took a minute and listened to people.” And because I was like 18, I quietly had a little sulk. But then I was like, “He never would have said that to a six foot two guitar player guy.” I was like, “Wow, I thought that was a myth, but that totally happened.”
Another good one where me and my other drummer from my other band had booked a tour of the UK and we got to play a gig in London. He went around front to get them to open the back door. I was trying to go in the back door after I had reverse parked a splitter van and the bouncer was like, “Sorry, girlfriends have to stay upstairs until sound check is done.”
Most of the time I’ve been lucky to be in bands with guys who are like very aware and supportive. So, I mean, I would never want to be tarring everyone with the same brush. But occasionally you come up against a dinosaur who doesn’t seem to realize that the 50’s aren’t happening now."
What do you do to combat that when they happen?
"I used to find it really upsetting, hence the kick drum crying thing. Now I guess it pisses me off more. I try to say one assertive thing to the person and then just walk away. I don’t know if I want to get into a massive debate with somebody in the middle of a venue. So I think, no, if I just continue doing things as good as if not better, maybe that’s the best way forward.
Also, it’s been helpful to have TYCI [the women’s collective Lauren founded: http://www.tyci.org.uk, https://soundcloud.com/tyciblog]. It’s been helpful in terms of meeting other women in the community. That feels like a positive thing to do. With this kind of stuff I sometimes worry it’s quite easy to be like, “This is rubbish. That’s terrible.” And concentrate on the negative stuff and not say anything about the positive stuff. My angle is to be aware of the negative stuff but try to focus on the amazing number of female musicians who are doing great things and try and bring out that somehow. I’m an idealist. Probably won’t work, but we can try."