March is the month of women, the beautiful face of our ugly human coin. Though many think it’s been a long journey to achieve equal rights, a lot has yet to be done. We, from Metal Addicts, are trying our best. We interviewed three beauties that are beasts emerging from the quite turbulent Brazilian Metal scene: Lyria’s Aline Happ, Melyra’s Fe Schenker, and Hamen’s Monica Possel. Here are some excerpts of the interview – read the full interview here.
The girls were asked on today’s situation for them with Metal:
Aline Happ – I don’t think this is something from a specific music style or exclusively a man thing, but from insecure people in general. People are seeking for attention and act like idiots because they believe it will be funny and they will be noticed somehow. They think they could be rejected being polite and saying something nice so they prefer to attack first. Generally, they are hidden among a crowd or behind a screen to feel safer and stronger. These people think they need to compete with everybody and some of them think they would look “virile” making some kinds of comments.
I don’t know if I feel angry or if I feel sorry for those people. Obviously, people don’t need to like all the bands of the world, neither to agree with everyone, but they should respect the others. As you said, the last interview we had is a perfect example of how people can be aggressive without any reason. I never had problems in concerts. In fact, metal fans in our style are usually very respectful, but unfortunately there are some exceptions, especially on the internet.
Fe Schenker – Well, I think it’s not only about heavy metal world, it’s the whole world! Our culture is man centered and feminism is a new movement, born in the last century to fight for women’s rights. And yet, there’s a big road to travel when it comes to women’s rights. Unfortunately, I dare to say that every single woman has been through something like this in her life and we are no different. But fortunately the big majority of our fans are very respectful with us.
Mônica Possel – I think it’s hard for women to get into the male heavy metal world because women first need to identify with this male world. That is, not liking things that society standardizes as feminine, for example pink, romanticism and flowers. The world of HM is quite the opposite of that. Mainly the predominant color is Black and in addition it has much pre-concept in this medium. Example in my teens if I wore a band shirt, there was always a guy who would come and ask me: which album did I like better or who was the band’s guitarist? Just to validate my taste for this musical style. To be accepted in the middle, in the group, I would have to really have knowledge of the Metal world to include me in the group. When you are a woman, it is not enough to just enjoy yourself, and they still ask: “Do you like this because your boyfriend influenced you?” It’s kind of bizarre really.
On beauty patterns:
Aline Happ – Everyone has their own beauty pattern, but nothing matters if there is no beauty inside and in this case, talent too. I also believe it is important to have a look that matches with your music style, because it helps people to relate to your music. This is what can call the attention of the crowd at the first sight. But you should wear whatever you want and what makes you feel good. I wear what I like, I also make most of the accessories I wear on the stage.
Fe Schenker – I don’t think it’s mandatory, but this is me. The industry, though, definitely does “think”. And again, I don’t think it’s only about metal world, entertainment market is cruel to women at all. We do care about our image and usually we inspire ourselves in other women from the scene to build our looks. We don’t put this as our priority, for us, music comes first. About clothes, what we do is choose something that is comfortable, looks good and matches with each others styles.
Mônica Possel – Yes, the woman’s appearance in a HM band makes a lot of difference, I will not be a hypocrite to say no. There have been cases of people going to see the band because of my photo. But I believe that this happens in the feminine world too, attracting people for beauty, I believe it is something common. Now if this negatively affects you, as there have been cases with me, then it’s not legal. It is always good to have respect above all else.
On why women are not that attract to Metal:
Aline Happ – I believe it is more a historical and cultural thing and because there are many more female models to be followed in pop, for instance, than in metal. So, it becomes a kind of deadlock situation: we need more women as audience to later become musicians, but we need more successful female musicians to attract more women as audience. Despite it, many people that are not familiar to metal think it is noisy and aggressive, so there is a prejudice with this genre. In this sense, I believe some people associate this supposed aggressive behavior to a man thing.
Fe Schenker – I think that women at all are more compared to “regular standards” than men. And headbangers are nothing like “regular standards”! We listen all our lives about how we should dress, behave, speak and feel and society judges women much more than men. In addition to it, metal music is not disseminated in our culture as it is in Europe, for instance. So, if you put these two things together, you can understand. It’s not easy to break all the rules and dive into a world that looks so masculine in it’s edge. But, when we allow ourselves to explore it, we see that deeply metal has no gender at all. It’s just another way to express the same universal feelings.
Mônica Possel – It seems that Metal is very masculine at first sight, as you said, loud music, guttural vocals, end up scaring people a little, and I don’t say especially to women, I know many men who don’t like the aggressiveness of sound really. But I believe it’s only the first impact, once you’ve gotten to know better, the histories of the musicians behind the bands and the lyrics of the songs, you end up realizing that it’s not all that aggressiveness … hehehe.
I started in the Metal listening to symphonic and melodic metal, because of my conservatory in lyric songs, so I knew bands in metal that have this effect vocal. I think that would indicate for the women to hear this style of sound to begin in the world of Metal.
A message to the girls about to Metal:
Aline Happ – We recently released the music video for “Let me be me,” one of the tracks of our second album, “Immersion.” The lyrics can have different interpretations; here I would like to connect it to girl power. Don’t let anyone say what you should do, don’t let anyone try to change you. Be yourself and don’t give up your dreams. You are strong and capable to do whatever you want to. So, keep believing, working hard. Keep rocking! \m/
Fe Schenker – JUST DO IT!
Mônica Possel – If you want to know the metal world search for bands in Spotify. Today the internet helps with this. Go to some local scene show, even if you don’t know the people there, invite a friend who likes the sound and go to meet. Watching a live show is very different than just listening to the song in your favorite player. But neither does it mean that one invalidates the other. You can start by listening to some bands, the most famous that everyone indicates to enter the metal world: Iron Maiden and Metallica. Then you know something of Power Metal like Stratovarius and Dragon Force for example and then if you like it, go to a more obscure sound like Doom metal for example. But there isn’t much logic, listen and see what your heart identifies and don’t be afraid to hear these sounds even if you like pink for example … hahaha …;) The song is there for everyone and this kind of preconception is already past.