Hi Brazen Hussy! You are the new babes on the block, signed to Hell Hath No Fury Records & taking the London Queer DIY Punk circuit by storm.
But as well as blasting babelicious beats on stage . . .
💖 What’s Brazen Hussy about?/ Where did the name come from? / How did you set up?
Laura: So, originally Brazen Hussy was a clothing project that I set up to recycle old band shirts into halter tops.
I was quite frustrated that bands never offered merch that I felt fitted me well, or made me feel good about myself. So I decided to set up a project that would reduce the environmental impact of the punk world, whilst at the same time offering more options to women & femme presenting babes called Brazen Hussy Boutique . . . It went nowhere . . .
At the same time I was keen to start a band as I wanted a better outlet for my emotions & had been writing poetry since I was 13 (some of it published). I guess it never crossed my mind that girls could be in bands growing up in the small town that I did – bands were something boys did to make themselves seem vaguely useful.
I don’t know what clicked but I guess I just started to realise that we spend so much of our time going out to support really mediocre cis-het white male bands. If that was the standard – I could definitely meet it.
I just had to get over my false premise that in order to be in a band you had to be good or things had to be perfect. I’m honestly in awe of everything we achieve today.
So anyway, Zak & I bonded over our love of Cerce & he drums for every cool band in the world so it was obvious we would work together. He loved the name of my boutique so we ended up using it for the band name. (We were originally going to be called Born 2 Be Mild which I’m glad we didn’t because obviously 😷😷😷).
Dory is phenomenal, so the second we put out a shoutout for other members they were first to comment & first on the list for obvious shredlord reasons.
Karis was a little harder. She’s my biggest girl crush but didn’t want to be in a band. We know now that it’s because she doesn’t like playing bass or having fun 😂
But that didn’t stop me messaging her every day for 6 months asking her to play bass for us.
She finally gave in & I’m glad she did because she’s perfect in every way.
💖 What inspires you to play music?
Laura: I think it’s just the opportunity to express myself & hang out with my friends.
Some of the stuff we write about is very personal to me/has been very hard to process. It feels so empowering to turn some of the awful things that have happened in my life into something so powerful.
Being able to stand on a stage & scream at the top of my lungs feels like such a release.
That & I want to be able to go see all the best bands in the world for free & no-one be able to tell me I’m not allowed to be there. Playing with so many awesome bands allows me to do that hahaha.
Being able to stand on a stage & scream at the top of my lungs feels like such a release.
Dory: It’s a great way to get some pent up frustration out. Had a bad day? Smack a guitar & make a ton of noise.
💖 What’s your writing process?
Laura: I already have around a million songs written lyrically.
I’ll generally start to focus on how I think those might sound & keep voice notes on my phone to build up a picture of the song as a whole. I don’t share them with anyone though because they’re embarrassing.
When we get to practice I basically just name a band I think the song should sound like, Dory plays the perfect riff immediately & we all just build from there.
In all honesty our songs take about 30 seconds to write because I think we just work really well together. We spend more time trying to remember what the fuck they go like than we do writing them.
Dory: I think my favourite example of this is when Laura said “I’ve been listening to a lot of H2O this week.” & I just played this generic skate punk esque riff & Laura just shouts “Yes! That’s exactly what I want!”
Having this stereotypical riff combined with lyrics about macho bullshit is just perfect in so many ways.
💖 Who are your main influences in music/life?
Dory: Lately for me it’s being able to piss off transphobes simply by just existing. What better motivation is there than knowing some bigot is gonna be all riled up by anything you do?
Why not be loud, obnoxious, & in their face!
What better motivation is there than knowing some bigot is gonna be all riled up by anything you do?
💖 Unlike typical, bro-down macho hardcore bands (i.e. white vests, khaki shorts & THOSE vans) you have embraced your unique style & love for fashion, a juxtaposition I adore. For people who haven’t seen your band, how would you describe your ‘aesthetic’?
Laura: UUUUUGGGGGGHHHH those vans 😷😷😷
Honestly, as a band I literally love the fact that we all have such strong, unique senses of style. We’re like the Spice Girls but with socially acceptable political beliefs.
For myself I’m going to go ahead & say Paris Hilton meets crack den chic. Think Lindsay Lohan Death Row Barbie. I often get told that I pink filter everything in my life & Dory believes we are starting a cult.
My biggest style icons are Courtney Love, Frances Cobain, Studio Mucci (again, obvs), Cher Horowitz & Eva Hendricks. I’d also take anything from Dolls Kill, Plastic Money, Chrissa Sparkles, Glitter for Dinner & Be a Bimbo if anyone’s paying . . . 💸💸💸
Karis is my unofficial personal shopper, as despite almost never wearing pink she basically gets targeted ads for clothes that only I would wear 💅
Long term we’re planning some pretty heavy merch lines & I’d love to launch my own fashion range someday. Band practices are a 1 stop crop top swap shop tbh.
Dory: Uhm, if by ‘those vans’ you mean the checkered-board sneakers I will not hear a single bad word about them thank you very much.
Definitely a cult.
💖 When you’re not doing band stuff what do you get up to? I know you all have other on-going projects that contribute to the feminist & queer scene. Tell me about those . . .
Laura: I tend to work way too hard in my day to day business. I run an ethical trade consultancy which helps massive corporations understand the risk of slavery within their supply chains & helps to empower workers.
I also run KNM & As If Promotions – we are currently expanding our writership & starting to put on events!
Karis: My day job is facilitating group work for survivors of domestic abuse.
I also run gigs under Resist Psychic Death.
I’m also hoping to put a zine out some time soon so check out facebook.com/resistpsychicdeath for updates!
Dory: I do videography & photography under the name Fish Outta Water Films. Got an event you want covered? A music video shot? Hire me! Competitive rates. Quality product 😉
Laura: Adding to this Zak is in pretty much every cool band ever & I’d say he’s one of the biggest contributors to the queer scene in London. Go checkout Cecilia, Dead Men Don’t Rape, Airborne Faggotry & Prestige Party if you’re feeling fancy 😉
💖 What does feminism mean to you? / What 1 thing could everyone be doing to make the scene a better place?
Laura: I think that we need to get past the idea that you can’t make money in the DIY scene.
I believe that things should be open & accessible to all, so there should be pricing that accommodates the fact that we’re all skint.
But the people in the DIY scene (or at least the sphere of the DIY scene within which I operate) are some of the most marginalised in society. I think we need to get over our activist guilt & start finding ways to push each other forwards.
Feminism to me means addressing things that are wrong in the world, but finding the right ways to support people in the way that they need to be supported.
We are all individuals & there’s no one size fits all.
I think there’s a lot of venom in the scene at the moment & I think we need to get better at recognising that we’re all trying to make the world a better place, or at the very least the punk world a better place – so unless someone is being a complete asshole (ie they are being outwardly racist, homophobic, transphobic etc) then 9 times out of 10 you can probably speak to them kindly in terms of addressing their behaviour & they’ll respond well to it.
Those that are being complete assholes – burn them, show no mercy 🔥
I think we need to get over our activist guilt & start finding ways to push each other forwards
Laura: Honestly, I’ve been through both – & in terms of sexual assault I’ve been through it more than once.
The saddest truth is that this is the case for most womxn, something I didn’t realise until watching the Punk Singer. Kathleen Hanna gives a really great account of how she became empowered enough to talk about abuse because she realised she wasn’t the only one. That other women had been through it & that they would believe her.
I think that’s the most detrimental lie we’re told. That we have to handle things on our own, that it’s our fault in some way, that we should be ashamed of what has happened to us. Or that if we’ve been through something more than once then it must be us because we’re ‘crazy’.
I just want to say – fuck all that bullshit. You are not to blame. You do not have to handle things on your own. & if you’ve been through something more than once it’s not because you’re ‘crazy’ it’s because the world is fucked. & you can be a part of the change that so badly needs to happen.
I also think it’s important to take time to process things & to do it in your own way. Don’t let anyone write your story for you or tell you how you should react to things. Take time to lean into it & recognise the beautiful person that you are.
If I hadn’t been through some of the things that I’d been through I wouldn’t be doing any of the things that I’m doing today, & I’m so glad I took time out from things to recognise the power within me & find love for myself.
I’ve found it really empowering to turn my abuse into art.
Karis: You are a survivor & you are amazing. It’s ok if you don’t always feel like that – recovery isn’t linear. But try to remember that the abuse was not your fault & you are doing the best you can.
Everyone’s recovery journey will look different. But in my work I see the healing benefits of survivors being able to connect with other survivors in terms of realising you’re not alone, speaking to others who can understand what you’ve been through & won’t judge you, & helping to reduce any feelings of guilt & shame around your experiences.
You are a survivor & you are amazing. It’s ok if you don’t always feel like that – recovery isn’t linear.
If you can, reach out for support. Although services are constantly under the threat of having their funding cut, at the moment there are some really great services out there.
💖 Do you have any self-care tips for womxn, non-binary & queer creatives?
Laura: I try to do 1 self care thing a day. But I think it’s really about recognising what brings you strength.
I find social media overwhelming (me who has 7 email addresses & 3 instagram accounts), so it’s crucial for me to try to organise downtime & to try to learn not to take on too much.
I like to check out a bit by doing yoga at home, reading, lighting candles & burning essential oils. I also live by the Sanity & Self app which I trialled for a week & bought accidentally. But it’s honestly the best money I ever spent.
Karis: Self-care is going to look different for everyone, but when you find something that works for you, make sure you do it!
Self-care is super important because you deserve it, & also because it makes all of the other awesome stuff that you’re doing more sustainable.
Remember that self-care is also about figuring out & asserting your boundaries. That might mean being able to say ‘no’ when you don’t have the capacity to take anything else on. It might be about taking time out from certain projects or activism when you need to & giving yourself the time & space to recharge.
💖 Tell us about your next release what’s the feeling to it/what’s it about?
Laura: We released our EP ‘Not All Men’ on my birthday (August 25th) which was super exciting!! I want to aim to do a release around this time every year so I’m hoping to have an LP ready by the summer.
We have 2 more shows lined up & then we’re going to retreat back into writing territory.
I think people will be surprised by some of the softer material we’ve been working on. We want to show that we’re not a one trick pony – we can be mediocre at everything 😂
💖 What’s next for you guys?
Laura: VALENTINES WEEKENDER!!!! We’re playing KNMs first event on February the 14th – checkout Not Your Galentines Day below!!
Following this we are playing an anarcho speed dating event for all our North London buddies. We weren’t sure how much speed to take for such an event but given that none of us actually do drugs I’m sure we’ll be underwhelming.
💖 Dates for any upcoming shows?
14.02 | Not Your Galentines Day | Amersham Arms | New Cross
15.02 | APOO 3 Valentine’s Special! | Grow | Tottenham Hale
💖 Where can we fiiiind yooooouuuuu?
Our feminist meme page https://www.instagram.com/brazenhussyofficial/?hl=en or alternatively . . .