1980s power balladeer and one-time punk Belinda Carlisle said it best; heaven is a place …
Part 2 of the Hysteria Mag and FemmePower collaboration of empowering and inspiring stories from a few of the Women of Halloween Hysteria. Again, these short snippets are just a fraction of what each of these ladies believes can help inspire and empower not just women, but everyone in our community.
This is Carina from The Wrath.
While it’s great to feel encouraged and inspired by external factors, like idols and influential people, Carina is a firm believer that how you talk to yourself and understanding your feelings and thoughts is just as, if not more, important towards empowerment! That’s something that Carina has always tried to be conscious of, especially after issues with bullying in her early life. “I had a lot of unnecessary fear before joining my first rock band, being a male dominated scene I just assumed I wouldn’t be good enough to try out for a band or at least not good enough to get a spot over a male guitarist. What I was doing was grossly undervaluing the hard work I’d put in and having very little faith in my ability. Perhaps due to a lack of female role models or idols in my life and maybe from also carrying around a massive amount of negative self talk due to years of bullying in my past; regardless, this behaviour wasn’t serving me. I think women can be empowered by keeping close watch on their inner dialogue, by being kinder to themselves, having more faith in their abilities and learning to recognise when your self talk is actually causing you to pause in life instead of progress. When I finally fought through the fear, I realised most people you meet in rock ‘n’ roll are actually extremely open and accepting due to also feeling like an outcast at some point in life, regardless of gender.” The message that Carina wants everyone to know is; never press pause. While life isn’t always 100% fair, we are lucky to live in a much more accepting time with much more opportunity for women. If you have a passion for something, take each day as an opportunity to move towards that goal and validate your hard work with a feeling of pride and accomplishment. You can do whatever the hell you want to do!
Most people you meet in rock ‘n’ roll are actually extremely open and accepting due to also feeling like an outcast at some point in life, regardless of gender.
This is Sam from Hey Baby!
From a young age, Sam never thought that the things men and women could do, could achieve, were exclusive to their gender. Thinking back, if Sam had been born a guy there is nothing that she would have done differently in the way she lives her life; she’s always just done what she wants. At 14, Sam decided she liked the guitar and began teaching herself on her brother’s old electric. She learnt what chords she liked the sounds of, what notes were the perfect fit, all without a single lesson; it was all due to determination and passion. Admittedly though, Sam never imagined that one day she would play in a band, it was purely for fun and for the love of the music she could play and create. Then that love for playing guitar and the desire to jam with others led her to being the guitarist in a successful band, touring Australia and having a blast along the way. That passion for music and the fun that you can have as an artist is a big part of Sam’s life, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously. I feel like if you can have fun and create something that is uniquely yours, then you’re doing good.” A fun loving, self-confessed ‘weirdo’ who loves to create music that is unique, Sam’s story is a testament to giving things a go because you never know where it could lead. It doesn’t matter what kind of family you come from, what kind of background you have or what you think you should or shouldn’t do; if you love something and you put in the hard work, anything is possible.
This is Hanny J.
Imagine leaving your hometown at only 15 years of age and moving to a city 150 kilometres away to pursue your dreams. It seems like such an impossible concept, but this is exactly what Hanny J did when she decided to pursue a career in music. “I had a kind of epiphany when I was about 14, I wanted to get out of my small country town and start playing shows. I was really aware of the school structure and what I should ‘technically’ be doing, but I knew what I wanted to do, even though a lot of people wouldn’t really approve of me wanting to leave school so young.” Hanny was determined to be apart of the punk scene. She began to write songs that expressed her feelings and, as a bi-product, found she was able to connect with her audience the same way that she connected with the first punk songs she heard. Lyrics play such an important part in that connection between artist, song and fan, creating a environment of free expression in a good and healthy way. Although Hanny had all the drive and determination, there were some testing times early on in her career. “As a teenager, playing around all these adults and predominately male adults at shows, I wanted to be taken seriously so I would act quite masculine or tone down my feminine traits. But that wasn’t healthy because I wasn’t being myself at all. Then when I was about 21, I was in a band which just happened to be all women and that was a completely different dynamic for me. We dressed in high heels and hoop earrings, we wore what we wanted, we played the music we wanted and we embraced being feminine. We still wanted to be taken seriously, but we didn’t change who we were to achieve it.” Now a strong performer under her own name, as well as an integral member of Melbourne band Clowns, Hanny is continuing to be true to herself and writing music that makes her happiest. Never think that you have to change who you are in order to achieve happiness, instead embrace yourself, believe in yourself and follow your passions!
This is Sophie from Valhalore.
Growing up listening to an array of music genres—mainstream, techno and classical to name a few—it was no surprise that Sophie decided to pursue a career in music. After high school, she was accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium as a clarinettist, with dreams of travelling overseas to play in symphony orchestras. It wasn’t until her third year that those dreams were challenged by a devastating prognosis that would leave her unable to play the clarinet. Sophie chose not to give up and instead continue to pursue her dreams in a different way. She finished her studies at the Con, completed a Graduate Diploma of Education and became a woodwind music teacher. Then life opened up another door for Sophie, with an introduction to metal, to Anthony Willis (one of the founders of Valhalore) and the discovery of herself within the genre. “I had never listened to metal, ever! I love music, but I never found a genre that I really clicked with. When Anthony played me Across the Frozen Ocean, it was this moment that I can’t describe—I just felt like this is what I needed, this is where I need to be and this is what I want to do.” And it wasn’t just the genre that Sophie fell in love with. Valhalore’s relationship to Viking culture wasn’t something that Sophie had been apart of previously, but resonated with instantly. “I love the Viking version of equality. It’s not like all the women are there to be the wives and cook the food, and some of them do that if they want, but they can also choose to fight right alongside the men. When you watch stories on Vikings, it’s not just the men at the front heading into battle; there’s badass women putting themselves out there, swinging shields and axes in the front line. Just look at the Valkyrie, they were all women! And at the end of the day, they drink with all the men, sit at the fire and swap stories; there’s nothing strange about it, it’s just the norm!” The more Sophie learnt, the more she felt an affirmation that this is why she does what she does. Now living a life that’s nothing like what she had imagined for herself, Sophie loves every bit of where she is in her career and her place as a serious female musician with a strong message to share.
I just felt like this is what I needed, this is where I need to be and this is what I want to do.