About Grass Widow
Bassist/vocalist, Hannah Lew, drummer/vocalist, Lillian Maring and guitarist/vocalist, Raven Mahon chose the name for their San Francisco-based three-piece as a way to represent the approach they take to writing music. The phrase is rooted in 17th century literature; commonly referring to a woman whose husband is away at sea, but the visual associations of each word also provides an opportunity to interpret meaning on multiple levels. “We write lyrics about very personal and often dark subjects, but present the ideas in a way that disguises the content within metaphor and upbeat instrumentation.”
Influenced by similarly all-female punk and post-punk acts like The Neo Boys and Kleenex, they also note Roy Wood's The Move and The Kinks as a major source of inspiration, which can be heard in their three-part harmonies, complex arrangements and odd chord progressions. Grass Widow is also influenced by a legacy of women who have paved the way through their music and politics. Their collaborative songwriting process, the fact that they don't have a front person and that they all equally contribute to the work of the band speaks to this philosophy. In addition, they take the opportunity as an all female band to bring attention to the roles of spectacle and spectator in their scene and make a conscious effort to play shows where women are involved.
In a statement from the band: “We want to thrive in our scene as musicians, with a focus on our musicianship first, not our gender. Our goal is to normalize the role of gender in our craft and have an avenue to express our intelligence and our love of music. We acknowledge that movements of the past created by or affecting women in the art and music worlds are hugely influential, but there is potential for the original sentiments to lose potency if the meaning is misinterpreted or not redesigned for a modern context. Even the riot grrl movement is kind of antiquated. You never really hear people talk about that 'new riot grrl' band. We owe a great deal to that lineage but it's time for something new. We want to be portrayed as the responsible, thoughtful people that we are.”
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