International Women’s Day chat with Bristol trio Grandmas House.

We got in touch with one of our favourite new acts to get a perspective of the industry from an artist’s standpoint.

Words: Cherry Walker | Photo: Belle Whittington

I think it would be fair to say that, historically, women haven’t been celebrated in quite the way they should. Whether it be the many, many women who have gone uncredited for their work throughout history or even currently, with under-representation in the media and music industries, it feels like women have to work twice as hard to get where they want to be. International Woman’s Day helps celebrate the achievements of women – both currently and throughout the years – and remind us all that we wouldn’t be where we are today without women.

As a female writer and musician, I have always revered a day to celebrate the achievements of the many great women that surround me in the world. Being able to resonate with these women and see what they’ve accomplished only inspires me to stand up and fight for more, even if the world might not like it. Sink into our chat below.

Have you ever experienced overt sexism within the music industry? Or has it been less overt?

“I think the main thing we have struggled with so far is internalised misogyny. We have underestimated ourselves a lot in the past which we think comes from women in bands not being given as much of a platform and being criticised for things that men wouldn’t be.”

Do you think that your personal experience within the music industry would be different if you were male?

“I think a lot of our experiences so far would have been completely different. It took us a long time to be taken seriously as a band, and for people to recognise it as a possible career rather than just another hobby. There have been a lot of times where we have accepted a lot less than we deserve – which again comes back to us underestimating ourselves because this industry tells us to. We’ve learnt a lot from these experiences and we definitely know our worth now!”

Would you say that there is a lack of female representation within the industry?

“Yes there is. There is this frustrating misconception that there are barely any female bands out there, but if you just take a SECOND to look you can find an endless amount of amazing, talented, young female bands all over the world! A great place to find these gems is the Instagram account: @yupihaveone – they post so many amazing female bands every day and we have recently discovered so many incredible musicians through them.”

Do you think it’s harder for women to get into the industry, based on their gender?

“Yes. One of the main reasons why it’s harder for women to get in to the industry in the first place is the lack of female representation. We didn’t grow up with an endless stream of all female bands being played on the radio in the same way that our male counterparts did. This goes for a lot of jobs within the music industry.”

Do you think that the industry is making steps in the right direction to represent and treat women better?

“We would love to be able to say yes to this question, but the argument (excuse) that “not as many female artists exist”  is used as a reason for lineups that are still 90 percent male is ridiculous. That being said, there are a lot of amazing organisations and people out there focusing completely on providing women, non binary people and POC with opportunities within the industry, and fighting for the change we need to see. A few we’d love to shout out are Eatupcollective, Get In Her Ears, Punka.”

How would you change things, if you could?

“We are changing things. We are going to continue to push female artists and make sure we have mainly female line ups when we play headline shows – this is something that every band should be active in doing.”

Have you ever experienced sexism that was disguised as something else?

“One of the most obviously disguised acts of sexism is festivals saying they’re not going to hire female bands just for their gender but are going by skill instead and then release a line-up that consists of at least 70 % men, which suggests that they could only find 30 % of women that had enough ‘skills’ to be playing.”

What – if anything – has changed within the industry in terms of the way women are treated since you first joined?

“On a personal level, we’ve created an amazing network of wonderful women and non binary people within the industry. Our manager is young, independent, female and always actively taking strides to make change within the music industry! She inspires us everyday!”

Grandma’s House are a truly inspiring band and their honesty within the questions really paints a light on issues that those outside of the female spectrum may be unaware of. I’d like to thank them for that honesty and for the suggested people to follow that they’ve made above; standing together and holding one another up is truly the way forwards. Find the band on Spotify here.