Grrrl Power Players

Three female rockers we love
Allie Hanlon. PHOTO: Samantha Saturday

Rock ’n’ roll is still largely a guy’s world. But Burger Records in Fullerton produces “more girl groups than any other label,” says co-founder Lee Rickard. Many will be featured at Burgerama Four, the music festival at Santa Ana’s The Observatory, March 28 and 29.

Allie Hanlon
Peach Kelli Pop, guitarist and singer

How’d the band originate?
I started off playing the drums. When I was about 21, I decided I wanted to write and play whole songs instead of just playing drums to songs that other people had written. So I started writing, and when I had a few songs, I decided I needed a project name for them. That’s how Peach Kelli Pop started.

Ever had a bad experience because you’re a female musician?
There are definitely times when I feel the way I’m spoken to, or the energy that’s projected toward me, is different than if I were a guy.

Do you pay special attention to what you wear onstage?
I’m conscious of how I dress and present myself onstage. People are looking for your confidence. … If I were to dress more sexily than I feel comfortable with, then I wouldn’t be able to perform the way I want to.

Melissa Brooks
Melissa Brooks. PHOTO: Gary Copeland

Melissa Brooks
The Aquadolls, guitarist and singer

Any female musicians you’d call a role model?
Gwen Stefani. I’ve loved her since I was a child. She’s so commanding, and she doesn’t give a crap about what anyone thinks of her.

What does Aquadolls mean?
It’s from my love of mermaids and the sea. My friend made it up. But I liked it.

Are your songs feminist?
I have a song called “Us Girls Be Like.” It’s the girl-power anthem of 2015. It’s about women, and how we’re viewed, saying stupid boys don’t bring us down.

Are there a lot of women at your live shows?
A majority are girls, which is really cool. We’re sort of a punk band, so people are crowd surfing and moshing, and it’s really cool seeing all these girls stage diving. I’m like, yeah, you go girl, don’t be afraid.

Chelsea Brown
Chelsea Brown. PHOTO: Carlos Quinteros Jr.

Chelsea Brown
Summer Twins, guitarist and singer

How do you divvy up the songwriting duties?
For the most part, I’ve done most of the writing. We have a new album and my sister (Justine) has two songs that she wrote for it. She’s super-talented, but she’s just a little shy.

Is there much sexism?
There are comments sometimes from the audience that are annoying. We had one guy who kept yelling at Justine, saying she was hotter than Meg White (of the White Stripes). There are moments like that.

Disadvantages to being a woman in the rock world?
One is that people tend to lower their expectations. They see you get up there with an instrument and they expect you to sound worse than you do. On the other hand, you get more attention. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I’m not sure.


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