Metal music has always been perceived as a very masculine genre of music, with its themes of strength, power and rebellion. However, Sashquita Northey, the force behind Emalyth, decided it is about damn time we recognize that the ladies of metal in South Africa pack just as hard a punch as the boys do!
This weekend, 2 July 2016, Emalyth presents SIRENS live at Wolmer Bush Lounge. This event not only hosts 12 Bands who, without their ladies, would probably not exist, but also features a special performance by all-star metal project ‘Sista’s Of Metal’. It comprises of Robyn Ferguson (Adorned In Ash), Roushan Van Niekerk (Riddlebreak), Callysta Van Niekerk (Posthumous), Courtney Gibson (Mizera)and Tamla McMahon (Tamla Kahn). The Metalist za caught up with Robyn and Courtney to chat about the project and what it is like being ladies in a male dominant scene.
So how did Sista’s Of Metal first come about?
“I think the first idea came from us all just getting along really well and wanting to jam together for many years. Then finally the Emalyth Arts Expo provided us with inspiration. We asked Sash for a short slot where we only played two songs and if would be a once off show. The crowd responded so well and we all just really enjoyed hanging out and jamming together that we decided we might do it again just for some festivals or for fun…. then again, Sash being so awesome decided to create the Sirens gig and present us with another slot which sounded great to all of us” – Courtney
“We had an idea to join up for something a bit different and special and came together for the Emalyth Arts Expo. It was supposed to be a onetime only performance but due to popular demand we’re shaking off the dust and joining up again for Sirens. I think it’s a perfect event to promote women in metal and ‘Sista’s of Metal’ will do exactly that.” – Robyn
Joining forces from so many versatile bands, how would you describe the music that you play together?
“I’d say it’s mainly melodic death.” – Robyn
“Well that’s a tough one, I think our music is still in the processes of forming, but yeah I would say mainly some sort of death metal” – Courtney
Now, I’m sure everyone is wondering, do you think people judge you differently because you are an all-female band?
“I hope not, that’s really not what we intend, we just dig jamming together.” – Courtney
“Possibly although if they do it’s rather close minded. I, myself, have always felt that you’re looked at differently- admired, yes, but mostly judged more harshly. I personally feel there are a lot of bands or artists who push sex appeal to get fans and such, however personally I have always strived to be a great musician and performer and let that be the main focus.
All in all, in everything, people will either love what you do, hate it or not care about it- you just have to be the best you can be and kick butt harder than anyone else. Each one of us are doing exactly that in our main bands and this group is a celebration as well as an inspiration for all woman. The fact is-women in metal rule and I challenge anyone who thinks otherwise.” – Robyn
Is there anything exciting planned for your performance at SIRENS this weekend?
“Yeah we are hopefully going to play more songs.. (laughs)” – Courtney
“We have a few popular covers which I’m sure everyone will enjoy.” – Robyn
Lastly, what does the future of Sista’s Of Metal look like? Are there any plans to record anything or will it stay a side project?
“Woah now Sammy… The Sista’s are trying to take the relationship nice and slow, we haven’t even hit second base yet! (laughs)
We are all so busy with our own stuff and I think the thing we all enjoy about the Sista’s is that there are no pressures for future recordings or performances… If we get asked to play and we are all available or if another lady would like to fill in then we will probably jam…
It’s kind of an in the moment thing. It’s pretty cool that way cause I live pretty far so I might not always be able to make it and Tamla is also sometimes hiding out in her mountains so she also can’t always make it…
So I feel it’s a really free and understanding commitment. Nothing planned but always open to opportunity.”
“I haven’t actually put enough thought into that yet… I guess when you put a great combination of women together you’re bound to have it draw attention and I think although we don’t have plans as yet, we should definitely look at making this a more regular project.” – Robyn
You can catch Sista’s Of Metal at 23:20 on Saturday night. Be sure to check out the other amazing female talents in Deadpandoll, Skarlit, Nerve Zero, Polar Dust, Specteral Realm, Theatre Runs Red, Pollinator and Hokum.
^Tickets are R80 early bird / R100 at the gate and incl. overnight camping on the Saturday. Mail firstname.lastname@example.org for early bird ticket details.
^Gates open 1pm.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/190872734622073/
Interviewed by: Sammy SF (more from Sammy)
Date: 30 June 2016