LOWEST PRIORITY – Interview

Grrrls to the front!

 

I’ve discovered LOWEST PRIORITY with a live video that was flooding my facebook feed a while ago, with a bunch of idiots (not friends of mine but random jerks) who were posting stupid comments. I didn’t know the band so I checked them out on bandcamp to see who everyone was talking about. I really loved the demo and promo tape so I thought it’d be cool to have them featuring here. Thanks to the singer Maya for taking the time to answer my few questions! 

 

 

 

 

Can you introduce the band and members?

Hello, I am Maya and I’m the vocalist. Kristin plays drums, Elysa plays guitar, and Luna plays the bass

 

When did you get together and what were your motivations to start a band?

We first started jamming in January of 2016, and we all came together after Kerry (our former bassist) introduced me to Kristin, we were all interested in skateboarding and hardcore.

 

I know if you had been boys I wouldn’t ask this question but we can’t deny a 100% female band is not so common, so I’ll ask it anyway : was it deliberate or did it just happen to be like that and you could have had boys in the line up as well?

Definitely, the band was originally intended to be an all grrrls straight edge band, but as we later found, our lyrical content was more about unity of womxn, my own personal struggles in relationships and mental health, and we really didn’t sing about straight edge at all, besides the first hardcore song I wrote when I was 15, which we eventually stopped playing after our first west coast tour.

 

If it was intentional , can you explain what are your « goals » and  « fights » with Lowest Priority?

I wanted to start a HARDCORE band, like I loved Floorpunch, Youth Of Today, Chain Of Strength, and wanted a band with just as much aggression and energy. I wanted to be in a band with girls, cuz frankly, I cannot fucking relate to bros, or jocks, especially white cis dudes. I mean I LOVE  hardcore music, and its message but it has been a boys club since its birth, and I wanted to be in a band that broke that stigma, that girls could play instruments, and play in hardcore, and my intial goal was literally just to play in a hardcore band with my girl friends, but it turned into this huge thing where womxn n femmes were inspired by us, and that was a really great feeling. My goals are just to continue writing real ass songs. Our fights are daily, hella bros hate us and its cool, I literally don’t care whatsoever.

 

Why did you pick that band name? What does it mean to you?

The band name is completely random, it means nothing.

 

Do some of you play in any other bands, run a label, a fanzine or do any other music related activities?

Yes ! I play bass in It Follows, and guitar in Mala Racha, and I run Ultra ! Fanzine, and Kristin plays guitar in a new band called Instant Death—they just put out a demo and it rules.

 


What are you influences? It reminds me of Minority Unit sometimes.

Minority Unit is cool. When I first discovered hardcore I was listening to bands like Carry On, Sinking Ships, Focused X Minds, Floorpunch—this was after I attended my first hardcore show, and I was given 50+  CDS, and vinyl from a local promoter, I went home and listened to all of them, and from there discovered bands who influenced LP, like early NYHC, and NWHC.

 

I’ve discovered you with the video that everyone shared on facebook where we could see you playing live and a bunch of girls in the audience all singing and having fun , Tshirts off, just wearing a bra / sport bra. Unfortunately there were some pretty shitty comments from people. Were you expecting this kind of crappy reactions? How did you feel about it?

I didn’t know anyone was filming the video but totally would expect people to comment on a bunch of shirtless girls screaming and moshing. Honestly, I really don’t care what people think or have to say about my body, I’ve been fat literally my whole life, and have heard it all. If I gave a shit in the first place, I would’nt have taken my shirt off. I was having fun to my friend’s band No Right with my girls, and it was a great time. There is no point in paying any mind to negative comments.

 

I think your song « No Just Boys Fun » gives a great point of view on how the Hardcore Punk scene is (or was?). Girls have usually been « Pushed to the side, shoved to back » in the scene and very few were taking parts into playing in bands, starting a label etc. Now I feel it’s changing, even if it’s still going slow.  Did you notice any changes over the past few years? How do you feel about evolving within the Hardcore Punk « world » as women?

I think it’s great seeing more womxn getting involved, literally just their presence at shows is important. Seeing girls in bands, making zines, hardcore dancing, and being involved is changing the game, and men really don’t like it because it challenges them to see something different than they know. We still have a lot of work, hardcore is still extremely white, extremely straight, and extremely cis. I hope to see more hardcore bands with LGBT and POC members who speak their truths, and take up space, scream their truths in the faces of white jocks.

 

What are the favorite lyrics you wrote for Lowest Proirity and why? What are they about?

I don’t particularly have a favorite lyrics, but all their lyrics on our most recent promo are very personal to me, and when I wrote them I had a lot of feelings, when I look back on them, it makes me feel empowered that I got through so much, and came out stronger.

 

I’ve read an interview where the author asked you the following : « You tweeted about toxic masculinity at your shows, what is that in reference to? » to which you answered « We asked cis straight bros to go to the side and let everyone else space to mosh. They didnt get it and didnt move out of the way. Next thing we knew, a fight broke out. » As feminists, vegans and straight edge I assume you fight and stand for equality and respect, then why trying to stigmatize a specific category of people (CIS straight guys here) by asking them to stay aside rather than trying to explain everyone should get in the mosh and respect / take care of each others? Do you think repeating the same pattern of exclusion on those who are usually « the oppressors » (just by being white, Cis and male) is the right solution to reach for equality? Isn’t it also applying to the kind of discrimination you are fighting against?

Hardcore is dominated by men, I dont’ feel sorry at all for asking them to create space for womxn/femmes during our set. We must create this kind of space for marginalized folks because right now, there isn’t enough. There is no discrimination against the cis/het white men, they take up the most space, and we want it to be equal, because right now, it is not.

 

Recently we lost in France one of the most influencial and important woman of our History: Simone Veil. She was a french politician who survived the Nazi death camps and managed to legalize the right to abort for french women in 1975.  Give us your top 3 female insparations and elaborate on each.

Personally, some of the women who I really admire would be, Aretha Franklin because she was amazing artist, Kathleen Hanna (although she allowed some problematic shit to happen in Riot Grrl), she also pissed off a lot of bros, and inspired a lot of womxn, femmes, and queer folks in a time where there was no space for femmes in punk. I also really admire some newer artists such as Mykki Blanco, Princess Nokia, Lizzo, Rihanna, and Cardi B, and SZA. I’m also inspired by every woman of color fighting for DACA right now.

 

You went on an east coast tour in May 2017, how was it? Since you are from the other side of the country, was it different from your previous tour in 2016 on the west coast?

It was crazy different from the west coast tour, but it was incredible, and I miss New York City and Philly every day—the people are amazing there, so are the skate spots, and the food, and the general culture over there. The shows were fun, and we can’t wait to be back in December for AHC.

 

What were your highlights and deceptions (if any) on this tour? How was the reaction of the crowd at shows?

The crowds were great, each show was pretty different, but people liked us, at least I think. Highlights were visiting all my friends in Philly, getting the opportunity to play Brooklyn with our friends in Krimewatch, staying in Queens for a few days and skating LES.

 

What are your  plans with the band? You recently released a promo tape so I assume a record is coming up?

We took a long break this summer because everyone in the band got generally super busy with life, but we are getting back into it, going to start writing new music for a future split release, and then we head back to Boston in December.

 

You are from Seattle right? How would you define your city in 3 words ? To me it would be : Brotherhood, Grunge music and the tower that actually happens to be on the Brotherhood LP cover, the Space Needle, I believe?

Seattle is my home, even though I wasn’t raised here, it is my city forever, and I would categorize it as gloomy, grungy, depressing, diy, and artistic.

 

What is your current playlist?

According to my four daily mixes, I’m listening to a lot of Bind, Jesus Piece, and Queensway, Young M.A, Young Thug, and Bryson Tiller, Frankie Cosmos, Citizen, Title Fight, and Now, Now.

 

What books can we find on your bedside table at the moment?

My bedside table isn’t even a table, it’s like a fucked up plastic clothes container, and there’s hella hoops earings, butts of my joints, my lighter, some comics are stacking up to read, hella pennies, probably some perfume, lotion, and some bobby pins.

 

Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?

Thanks for reading ! Currently we are promoting our show that is happening on October 16th in Seattle, it is a benefit for our drummer, Kristin’s very close friend, Sage, who was an insanely good skateboarder, before being diagnosed with a very rare type of spinal cancer. They are currently battling this cancer, but they can’t do it alone. This benefit show will go towards helping them heal, and all the proceeds will help funds their medical expenses, and rehabilitation expenses. If you don’t live in Seattle and can’t make it to the show please consider donating to Sage’s GoFundMe, or pick up merch from The Skate Witches, all merch proceeds will also be donated to Sage. Please message me or Kristin for more info on how to help Sage. Again, thanks for reading.

 

Sage’s GoFundMe :

https://www.gofundme.com/helpsageheal

The Skate Witches :

http://theskatewitches.bigcartel.com/product/sage-pma-shirt

 

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You should definitely check this band out and if you like what they do pick up merch or a tape on their Bigcartel.

 

Alexis

Alexis

Alexis is the one man behind STRAIGHT & ALERT, also doing vocals for Harm Done and Raw Justice (R.I.P). He has been involved into Hardcore Punk for 15 years, running Straight & Alert, playing in bands, booking shows or doing a fanzine. Based in Nantes, France.
Alexis

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