“what do i do?
tell me to…”
i clear the head
to care about you
i make the time
have the space
and be happy
…be happy to know.
I had the pleasure to interview Anna and Andrea of xFirstWorldProblemx.
Hey Anna…first of all thanks for your time. Could you please introduce the band and yourself? How did it all get together?
Anna: xFirstWorldProblemx started in a conversation November 2011 when 4 women said they wanted to start an all-girl queer hardcore band!
And then we emailed for months and months… and then finally, only two of us (Andrea and me) were available to do the band! We started practicing in May, and we played our first show at Ladyfest Leipzig in June :-) So I play guitar and do vocals, Andrea plays drums, and we recently asked Sarah to play second guitar… so that should be fun!
We identify as a vegan drugfree feminist hardcore band!
We like to dress in drag, and make fun of macho hardcore!
All the songs are about racism that I have encountered, sexism that we have all experienced, and about male privilege in general.
But why is it so important for you to label the Band with adjectives like vegan, drugfree, feminist? Wouldn’t it be the same without them?
Andrea: Feminist is for me the more important label then the others, because it shows my political view – especially in the music hardcore punk scene, were feminist statements are for me totally important and not common.
Vegan and drugfree are not so important for me to show everyone, but i think its cool and nice to show, that there are feminists also in the straight edge scene, also vegan etc. and its all not just a boys’ fun. i think its important to make this visible for many people in the scene and there should be more girls and women visible.
Ok so…what are your thoughts about the ukrainian feminist group Femen? Is it the right way to protest naked even if it’s for showing solidarity for the punk band “Pussy Riot” etc.?
Anna: What is not right about protesting naked? People owning their sexuality is fine with me. I <3 Slutwalk, for example.
The only problem I have with Femen (I don't know that much about them) is that they simplify their politics, for example, into a blanket sentiment, and any generalisation is problematic... Eg. anti-Islam, "anti-prostitution", whatever that means...? What about sex work that is autonomous and where sex workers are self-organised and empowered? If they are against the objectification of women, then why are they protesting with no clothes, but with very very tall high heels and heavy make-up? It's confusing and pretty contradictory. But, like I said, I don't know much about them so I don't want to offer my opinion of them unless I know everything!
Whilst I don't have a problem with naked protest, I DO have a problem with advertising campaigns like PETA (or private companies) that rely solely on the sex appeal of naked or almost naked women, all who have the same kinds of conventionally accepted bodies (like pornstars, Playboy bunnies, etc). (http://www.jewcy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/legacy/alicia-silverstone.jpg) They aren’t communicating to people the importance of about animal rights, they are about feeding the egos of superstars, to have attractive photos of them nude for what they think is a good cause…! It really loses it’s meaning. And they perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes of beauty… I think they are too distracting to convince many people to go vegan!
As for Pussy Riot, it is shocking that they got sentenced to two years in jail. State repression is not to be tolerated!
Yep, also for me that’s kinda weird and shocking. Does Pussy Riot had any influences on your music and what are your influences in general…bands, albums or songs?
Andrea: pussy riot are activists like others i really love and respect and i am totally happy that there are girls like them. it also motivates me to move on with having bands, supporting feminism and working on me.
they dont have influence about music-stuff, more about empowerment and influence me and my mind for political action.
other influence are different bands in hardcore punk scene like pettybone, beyond pink, störenfrida or bruise violet – there are no special songs, most empowered concerts are ladyfests or special riot grrrl – feminist events and also the ruby tuesday girls trans and inter rock camp, where i can meet all the cool music – feminists in germany/and everywhere and celebrate with them some time, having fun and making music. most male hc/punk shows frustrate me more and more, cause there is not so much support, just a few women, few queer, less.. i dont know. i dont feel so comfortable and accepted like in special feminist events, where you get so much support for what you are doing. but my heart is still at the scene and i hope there will be more changes with the time and the diy spirit will move on <3 thats what i love. and all the hardcore riot grrrl sisterhood straight edge or drunken feminist women and queer who are still in the scene and dont surrender <3
Is their any band you would like to go on tour or doing a split ep? And what are your future plans?
Anna: Hmmm, this is a hard question!
I love the band Mio! I would love to tour with them… if I wasn’t in New York right now, we would be touring with Daighila from Malaysia, one of my favourite bands! But honestly, we would love to tour or play or record with any band!
We like all sorts of music, so even if it is a very different style, that is okay! Personally, I would be happy to play or tour with someone heavy like Amenra or Resurrectionists, or someone indie like The Jolly Goods. I was asked a few months ago to tour with Teenagers, who are a garagey-poppy-punk band… so anyone and anything, as long as they are nice people! Our future plans are to practice and write songs with the three of us ladies, and then maybe record. Of course we will continue to play shows during this time.
And hopefully tour at the end of Winter, maybe February! That would be great… but who knows what will come our way, also! :-)
What are your favourite releases in 2012 so far? Any favs or recommendations?
Andrea: i dont listen so much to music anymore and there was no record i was waiting for and listening carefully. there are just some live bands i really like and love, but there is no time and space for me since 2 years for active listening albums.
this changed by starting my own bands and organising concerts ^^
Anna: my solo album! haha. annavo.bandcamp.com
Any famous last words?
Be nice, don’t judge, don’t assume, keep your mind open, and RELAX.
Thank you so much for the interview. Stay rad.